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of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Verifying Sources

While preparing to write an essay inspired by Newt Gingrich’s criticism of President Obama’s apology for the accidental burning of a Koran, I did a considerable amount of research.  There were two issues in particular for which I wanted more information.  In part, I considered arguing that given attitudes toward the texts themselves, burning a Koran is not the equivalent of burning a Bible.  In this case, I know Muslim theology better than Christian theology.  I spent time reading up on sacramentals, appropriate disposal of the Bible and other issues.  Unfortunately, I was not finding sources I considered credible enough to use.  Eventually, I do want to do some more writing on the subject of disposing of sacred texts and will keep up the research.  Although I “know” that I am correct in what I want to say, I am not willing to say it without solid documentation.

The other issue shows the need for documentation and checking sources.  While in a restaurant, I caught a comment made by Charles Krauthammer which I was able to read because of closed captioning.  It was a pretty arrogant comment and I wanted to use it in my essay.  But even though I “knew” what I had seen, I was not willing to criticize Krauthammer without first checking my source.  While checking the source, I discovered that the comment was not made by Krauthammer.  In fact, it the proper context, it had a very different meaning.

My memory is pretty good.  But verifying sources and working with credible sources is crucial for credible research and writing.

Aiken, Charles Francis. “Apologetics.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.

Casten, Patricia.  “Can You Just Throw and Old Bible Away?”  The Compass.  13 October 2010.

Krauthammer On Apology to Muslims: Embarrassing, Self-Debasement and Groveling.” Real Clear Politics.  24 February 2012.

Poor, Jeff.  “Krauthamme:  U.S. Apology for Koran Burning ‘Embarrassing’ ‘Groveling‘” The Daily Caller.  25 February 2012.

Richstatter, Thomas.  “Sacraments: It All Starts With Jesus.” Catholic Update. n.d.

Sacramentals:  Proper Disposal of Sacramentals.”  Catholic Answers.


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