MSNBC's Martin Bashir -- who attends a New York City church pastored by a conservative minister who signed the pro-traditional marriage Manhattan Declaration -- yesterday maligned the Holy Bible in an attempt to defend President Obama from the charge that his support of same-sex marriage contradicts biblical teaching on matrimony.
The incident came in an interview with Dr. Robert Jeffress after the Dallas-area Baptist minister affirmed that he "absolutely" agreed that defending same-sex marriage "contradicts" the teaching of Scripture. "I think the president is violating the very teaching and words of the Jesus he says he follows," Jeffress noted. That's when Bashir sprung his "have you stopped beating your wife, yet"-style gotcha question:
It was said of Al Smith, a Roman Catholic, that if he won the 1928 presidential election he would take orders from the Vatican and not uphold the Constitution.
John F. Kennedy famously confronted that anti-Catholic prejudice in a 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Kennedy said in part, "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the president -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote..."
Texas Governor Rick Perry conducted interviews with all three network morning shows on Friday and all used controversial comments made by Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress as a line of attack. This despite Perry having already distanced himself from the pastor's remarks labeling Mormonism a "cult."
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer led the charge by leveling this accusation against the Perry campaign: "...the issue of faith was really introduced – the can of worms was opened by a surrogate of your own campaign..."
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos wouldn't let the issue go: "The Romney campaign...have called on you to repudiate him and his comments. Will you do that?...do you want his support, or will you repudiate that?...do you repudiate Reverend Jeffress?"
While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.
FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll: