When serial anti-Catholic bigots Bill Maher and Seth MacFarlane get together, it is a sure fire recipe for new lows in tastelessness. And that's what we got on HBO last Friday night, as MacFarlane appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher. "…[Y]ou're so lucky that you do cartoons," Maher told the creator of Fox's Family Guy, 'because the things you get away with in cartoons—I'm so jealous." The example he chose, predictably, was the repugnant Dec. 7, 2014 episode of Family Guy. Titled, "The 2000-Year-Old-Virgin," it defiled Jesus.
At the same time that schools are censoring "Silent Night" from being sung at their annual "holiday" concerts, others are forcing students to pay homage to Muhammad. Regarding the latter, when a teacher at Riverheads High School in Virginia assigned students to practice calligraphy by writing, "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah," the school district defended the decision. Many parents strongly disagreed and the ensuing ruckus led officials to close the school on December 18. It should stay closed until sanity prevails.
The cover story of the December edition of Cosmopolitan is titled, "Sex Wish List." The article contains 24 sexual suggestions, all of which exploit the Christian and Jewish holidays. Most conspicuously, it includes a "Sex-Vent Calendar," a rip-off of the Advent calendar prized by Christians.
The media are pushing Spotlight, the movie that opens on Friday about the Boston Globe team that exposed priestly sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese prior to 2002. But there is little interest in this issue when non-Catholics are implicated in such crimes. As recent cases show, many courts around the nation evince disparate treatment as well.
On September 30, the New York Times ran a front-page story that smeared St. Junipero Serra. Repeated attempts to have the paper correct the record have failed. This is yellow journalism at its worst. When I submit paid ads to the Times, I am often asked to identify my sources. Yet it accepts hit jobs like Holson's. The fact is there is no list of historians who claim Fr. Serra tortured Indians, and the Times knows it.
Who but Charlie Hebdo would find the tragic drowning death of a little boy funny? The French magazine, notorious for its vile offenses against the sacred beliefs of Muslims, Christians and Jews, has now published two disgusting cartoons mocking the death of little Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shores of Turkey during the Syrian refugee exodus.
Last November, Terrence Bean was taken into custody in Portland, Oregon following an indictment by a jury that charged him with multiple sex crimes against minors. Now additional child sexual abuse charges have been made against him. Why isn't the media covering this? Because he's a prominent gay leader, that's why.
On March 3 and 5, the Vatican released a statement on the pope's trip to two Italian cities. It noted that he will have lunch with prisoners at "Giuseppe Salvia," a detention center in Poggioreale. The Vatican's website today also mentions the visit. So what's the big deal?
The media are flagging this as a sit-down with gays. In fact, 90 prisoners from three local prisons were chosen by lottery, and ten of them were selected, by chance, from a unit that houses gays and transgendered men, along with those who have AIDS. Here's the spin:
In his 2006 address at Regensburg University, Pope Benedict XVI described how Islam was perceived as "evil and inhuman" by a 14th-century Christian emperor who was under siege by Muslims. The central point of the pope's address was to call attention to what happens when faith is uncoupled from reason, and vice versa.
As if to prove his point about faith being severed from reason, Muslims who disagreed with the pope's remarks shot a nun to death, firebombed churches, and took to the streets calling upon fellow Muslims to "slit their [Christians'] throats." In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, author Garry Wills blamed the pope, not the barbarians. "When Pope Benedict XVI tried at the University of Regenburg in 2006 to open a dialogue with Muslims, he did it so clumsily that riots and killings resulted."
Janet Maslin has been reviewing movies and books for The New York Times for several decades, and up until now she has faithfully towed the newspaper's line on abortion.
Then she slipped. In a book review about a Chinese abortionist, she noted that once the "fetus" was born, "she has no right to take its life anymore."
The New York Times has a story today about the Diocese of Harrisburg's decision to ban high school boys from competing against girls in school wrestling. This is the second day in a row that the Times has covered this story, and there is nothing new of any substance in today's piece.
Today's news story on the Pennsylvania Catholic high school wrestling policy merited 978 words. By contrast, today's New York Times ran a story on Oslo withdrawing from a bid to host the 2022 winter Olympics that totaled 406 words. A story on Derek Jeter starting his own web forum was a mere 599 words.
In 1970, a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old sister went to his hotel room after his concert to get his autograph. He came to the door naked and then sexually abused the 14-year-old in front of her sister. He was sentenced to a one-to-three-year prison sentence, but only served three months. Tonight (May 19) he will be honored in New York City by the Parents Association of his alma mater, LaGuardia Arts High School (the FAME school). Al Roker and Deborah Roberts will co-host the fundraiser, and many stage and screen stars will perform.
The child molester is Peter Yarrow, of the Peter, Paul, and Mary trio. Yarrow, who was convicted of "immoral and improper liberties" with a minor, brushes off criticism by saying what he did was not uncommon.
Let’s look at the way the print media reacted to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis after their first six months as pontiff.
We looked at the editorials in 15 of the nation’s largest newspapers to see what they said about the current pope, and his predecessor, after their first six months in office (Pope Francis will celebrate his first six months on September 13).
No one likes to see his religion trashed, and from everything we have learned about [the PBS documentary] "The Life of Muhammad," Muslims have nothing to worry about. The New York Daily News says the film could be subtitled "Islam 101," boasting that "If it helps with greater understanding, it has done its job." A professor who appears in the series praises it for its "balance."
However, a look back at PBS' treatment of the Catholic Church yields few films that could reasonably be dubbed "Catholicism 101," or that could in any way be praised for promoting "greater understanding." In fact, most of the films were flagrantly imbalanced.
In today’s New York Times, there is an analysis of former CNN anchor Campbell Brown’s new group, Parents’ Transparency Project, that was established to root out public school employees guilty of sexual misconduct. This is what it says about the ad: “Her case is helped by stark statistics and will appeal to parents who would not want anyone who had been accused of misconduct, no matter how minor, around children. But by blaming unions, and ignoring concerns that the city might impose unnecessarily harsh punishments on employees, she risks inflaming organized labor, and in turn, the Democratic candidates for mayor.” (My emphasis.)
When it comes to the Catholic Church, the New York Times insists on “zero tolerance,” but not when it comes to the public schools. It wants to go light on “minor” offenses, and is strictly opposed to “unnecessarily harsh punishments.”
There has been a rash of stories about U.S. State Department employees taking drugs and cavorting with prostitutes. In addition, the Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, was accused of soliciting prostitutes and minor children. While all of these alleged crimes are reprehensible, the Catholic League only has interest in the charge that Gutman “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.” (My italics.)
No media outlet was more outraged over minors being molested by priests than the Boston Globe, but it has shown no interest in this story; it has not run a single piece on it. The New York Times ran one story; the Washington Post ran one story, but unlike the Times, it never mentioned “minor children”; the Los Angeles Times, like the Globe, ignored the story altogether.
The 2012 annual report on priestly sexual abuse in the Catholic Church featured an audit done by StoneBridge Business Partners, and the data were gathered by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
The report on sexual abuse, part of an annual audit, is available on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Apparently, almost no one has read it. Not a single secular newspaper in the United States reported on it.
Former Time and Newsweek blogger Andrew Sullivan accuses the pope of being a homosexual. His evidence? The pope’s “handsome male companion [Archbishop Georg Ganswein] will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day.” Sullivan asks, “Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?”
Speaking about what is normal is hardly normal for Sullivan. To be specific, in 2001 he solicited anal sex with anonymous men by posting a picture of his torso on the Internet. He explicitly requested to have sex with men who did not wear condoms, begging for orgies. Unfortunately for him, he was outed by his boyfriends after they recognized it was his body.
Christopher Hitchens has been brought back from the dead by Slate, but it won’t do them any good. Yesterday, they republished a hit piece by the atheist from 2010 that was vintage Hitchens: the man was a great polemicist but a third-class scholar. Facts never mattered to him. ("The Pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it.")
Hitchens said the scandal “has only just begun.” Wrong. It began in the mid-60s and ended in the mid-80s. Current reports are almost all about old cases.
Ian Buruma is not exactly a household name, but he is a hero to readers of The New York Review of Books. His fan base will obviously warm to his latest piece in the Beirut newspaper, The Daily Star ["Pope Benedict's dangerous sex appeal"].
Buruma begins by recounting the brutal rape of a young woman by six men on a New Delhi bus last month. His quick segue to Pope Benedict XVI’s speech on gay marriage, which was given a few days before Christmas, was not only awkward, it was a dead give-away: the pope was responsible for the gang rape.