The TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" chronicles the daily activities of a loving, responsible Arkansas family of two parents and 19 children navigating their way through life with large clan. But last week, when Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced they are expecting their 20th child in April, the media reaction was far from joyous.
To Washington Post religion reporter Lisa Miller, evangelical ministers like Rick Warren and Tim Keller should be applauded for their "clinical frankness" about God's design for sexual pleasure within the covenant of marriage in their sermons, books, and even tweets.
Initiative 26 -- which would have amended the Mississippi state constitution to include unborn children as persons protected under the law -- was rejected by Magnolia State voters last night.
In response, Georgetown professor and Washington Post "On Faith" blog contributor Jacques Berlinerblau quickly hacked out a post celebrating the temporary victory over the "devastating sleeper cell of a law" but warned that in losing, those dastardly villains on the religious right may have actually won (emphasis mine):
The day before Mississippi voters went to the polls to decide whether to amend the state constitution to define "person" to include unborn children as early as the point of conception, Washington Post's Sally Quinn set out to denounce Initiative 26 on the "On Faith" blog that she edits.
Quinn, an atheist, groused that religious voters in the Magnolia State may make a significant change to the state constitution in order to protect unborn children's lives:
The arrest of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on pedophilia charges has absolutely nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Neither does an alleged coverup by Penn State officials of repeated allegations of sexual misconduct against Sandusky. Yet religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman found a way to shoehorn the Church into the story in a November 6 "Faith & Reason" blog post at USAToday.com entitled "Catholic bishops' lesson for Penn State: Call the cops!":
“[S]ocial conservatives believe that efforts to protect gays from assault, discrimination or bullying impinge on their religious freedom to express and act on their belief that homosexuality is an abomination. That’s stating it harshly, but it is the underlying belief,” Time religion reporter Amy Sullivan huffed in a November 4 Swampland blog post on the magazine’s website.
“[T]he Michigan legislature is doing its best to make me hang my head in shame,” Sullivan, a “transplanted Michigander” groused, explaining that:
Yesterday I noted the unbalanced reporting of Washington Post blogger Elizabeth Flock regarding a Georgia Christian university's new policy requiring all faculty to agree to abide by certain standards of conduct, including not engaging in homosexual acts, premarital sex, or adultery.
Today I found an equally biased and harshly-toned blog post from Nsenga Burton, editor-at-large of the Washington Post-owned website TheRoot.com.
Here we go again. A Christian college is revising its code of conduct for faculty members, expecting a commitment to personal conduct that's in line with biblical ethics, including on matters of sexual behavior.
But, of course, all the liberal media will focus on is a new "ban" on gay or lesbian faculty members at Shorter University, a Baptist institution with campuses in Atlanta and Rome, Georgia.
Those prestigious publishers at Simon & Schuster selected All Saints Day to unleash the book world's latest attempt at mocking Christianity. It’s called "The Last Testament, by God."
The author is David Javerbaum, a top writer for 11 years for "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, perhaps America's leading religion-hating TV network. Is it any surprise that the critics are loving it?
Outspoken Christian athlete Tim Tebow, now the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, has been widely criticized by many in the media. NFL analysts are starting to admit that criticism, in large part, has been because of his faith.
''Inside the NFL'' analyst and former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth concluded that much of the hatred against Tebow was based on his religious beliefs. Responding to a question from fellow host James 'JB' Brown, Collinsworth showed his disgust for Tebow's treatment: ''It's unbelievable, though, JB, that one of the best kids - just pure kids that's ever come into the NFL - is hated because of his faith, because of his mission work, because of the fact that he wears it on his sleeve, because of the fact that he lives his life that he talks about.''
Actress Susan Sarandon is notorious for espousing liberal causes and bashing conservatives. Now, she is attacking the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.
In a public interview with Bob Balaban at the Hamptons Film Festival, Sarandon told an audience that she had sent a copy of a book to Pope John Paul II. She then said: “The last Pope, not this Nazi one we have now.”
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..."
Only at the self-described "Essential Global News Network" could the Sunday deaths in Egypt of 26 people, mostly Coptic Christians, be kept out of a story's headline and their mention deferred until the third paragraph.
But that's what readers will see in the four-paragraph grab which follows from a much longer item by the Associated Press's Maggie Michael yesterday:
Preaching that homosexuality is a sin is "bullying" and akin to "child molestation" and must be stopped, argued Mitchell Gold of Faith in America on today's "MSNBC Live" hosted by Thomas Roberts.
For his part, openly gay host Roberts failed to question Gold's assertion or to hold out that Gold's view may at best border on anti-religious bigotry (emphasis mine; video courtesy of MRCTV's Bob Parks follows page break):
NBC’s series The Playboy Club remains in search of an audience, so some stars are lashing out on Twitter at the Parents Television Council, who’s calling for the show to be cancelled, since it promotes one of the world’s leading pornography brands.
David Krumholtz – who many might remember from CBS’s “Numb3rs”– attacked the PTC on Twitter for “randomly” choosing the Playboy show, but eventually turned to attacking Mormons and Catholics for having “a long history of degrading women.” When someone asked how Catholics currently degrade women, he snapped back “My bad. I should have said little children instead of women.”
NRB conducted a study of "the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon." Its conclusion: with the notable exception of Twitter, "social media websites are actively censoring Christian viewpoints.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli filed a completely one-sided report on Wednesday's All Things Considered about a radical-left organization, along with a group purporting to represent victims of clergy sexual abuse, lobbying the International Criminal Court to investigate the top leadership of the Catholic Church, including Pope Benedict XVI, for "crimes against humanity." Poggioli played sound bites only from those involved with the effort, and none from anyone sympathetic with the Church.
Host Melissa Block stated in her introduction that "the International Criminal Court in The Hague has dealt with plenty of war criminals and warlords, but it may soon have a different target: the Catholic Church. The tribunal is being asked to investigate top Vatican officials over the global clerical sex abuse scandal....the argument is that the sex offenses meet the legal definition of crimes against humanity, and should be prosecuted."
It sure didn't take HBO's Bill Maher long to make his first hateful remark about the religious right.
Roughly one minute into his opening monologue on Friday's "Real Time" the host said, "In today's Republican Party there's a term for people who hate charity and love killing - Christian" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the 2012 presidential race gears up, leftist Christophobes are showing some signs of hysteria — or political opportunism; it's sometimes difficult to tell.
The New York Times' executive editor, Bill Keller, in a piece in The New York Times Magazine, argues that presidential candidates should be asked tough questions about their faith. Keller wants to know whether a candidate will place "fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon ... or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country" and "whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history." He wants to make sure "religious doctrine" does not become "an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises." His colleague, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, followed up with a hit piece on "Republicans Against Science."
As NewsBusters reported last week, New York Times outgoing executive editor Bill Keller believes presidential candidates should be questioned about their religious beliefs.
On Monday's "The O'Reilly Factor," media critic Bernie Goldberg marvelously said, "I wish that he and the New York Times was as concerned about religion and politics during the last campaign when it pertained to Barack Obama, who sat in a church with a hateful minister for 20 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The New York Times’s outgoing Executive Editor Bill Keller received some pushback on his recently posted column that demanded, in rather insulting fashion, that the media more aggressively question the religious views of the G.O.P. candidates.
Times Watch and others noted that his paper was hardly a model of journalistic assertiveness during the spring of 2008, when Barack Obama endured political controversy over the racially inflammatory and conspiracy-minded Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's minister at Trinity United Church of Christ. Keller responded via Twitter on Friday morning:
Yes, Dems should be asked about their faith (and influences) too. We were late to Rev. Wright in '08, but we got there, and did it well.
I didn't go to the Catholic News Agency's web site tonight looking for a media bias column; I usually go there to find "positivity" posts for my home blog. When I clicked on an item with an intriguing title ("The Pope's Young Army"), I expected that the author, Father Robert Barron, would regale me with inspiring vignettes from the Pope's recently completed World Youth Day in Madrid.
Well, at first he did just that. But then Father Barron's fine column took an interesting turn. Check out his reactions to how the international press covered the event, and his remarkably insightful conclusions (bolds are mine; additional paragraph breaks added by me):
Bill Keller’s upcoming column for the New York Times’s Sunday magazine, “Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith,” raised familiar liberal paranoia about the conservative religious views of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry. The official headline for the upcoming print edition: “Not Just Between Them and Their God.” Keller had no time for respectful criticism: "Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are Mormons, a faith that many conservative Christians have been taught is a 'cult' and that many others think is just weird."
Keller, the outgoing executive editor for the Times, got off on the wrong foot by mockingly comparing the candidates’ Christian beliefs to belief in space aliens. Then he made the latest in his impressive string of column factual errors, identifying the Catholic politician Rick Santorum as an evangelical Christian.
It's been a bad week for Michelle Goldberg. Last Monday the Daily Beast columnist laid out a loopy conspiratorial post about how Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry were theocrats-in-waiting, Christian "dominionists" who were bound and determined to destroy the separation of church and state.
The ongoing panic and paranoia about the Fundamentalist Menace continues with Frank Schaeffer and liberal media outlets. On Thursday, he appeared on the Ed Schultz radio show with guest host and trial lawyer Mike Papantonio, who tried to freshen up the fright-wig dialogue by bringing up the assassination of Abe Lincoln: "The South got pulled into the Civil War over religious politics. They murdered Abraham Lincoln, the people that murdered Abraham Lincoln under that conspiracy. They were zealot nuts."
When they talked about Byron York's question to Michele Bachmann in the Iowa debate if she was "submissive" to her husband, Schaeffer compared conservative Christian Republicans such as Perry and Bachmann to "fundamentalist" Muslims and Hindus who murder in the name of their religion:
On Thursday's All Things Considered, NPR's Lauren Frayer emphasized the trend towards secularization in Spain during a report on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the country for World Youth Day. Just as she did almost a week earlier, Frayer couldn't find any local supporters of the Pope, and completely misreported how the Catholic Church extended pastoral support to women who had abortions.
Host Robert Spiegel noted in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Spain and its view of the Catholic Church have changed radically in recent decades." Unlike her report on August 12, Frayer did play two sound bites of Catholic youth who were happy to see the pontiff, but only from two Americans. But after playing her first clip, she highlighted how "thousands of angry protesters forced their way through police barricades...shouting, 'out, out.'"
Left-wing media outlets are really eating out of former Christian evangelist Frank Schaeffer's hands as he paints Michele Bachmann as the outer fringe of the fringe, and "anti-American." On the radical-left yet taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio show Democracy Now on Wednesday, host Amy Goodman encouraged Schaeffer to unfurl charges that Bachmann was somehow comparable to Ayatollah Khomeini and Kim Jong Il -- two-thirds of Bush's Axis of Evil countries -- and somehow, an outdated believer in Bronze Age mythology.
Pacifica touted his latest article on the lefty site Alternet, titled "Are Michele Bachmann’s Views about 'Christian Submission' Even More Extreme than She’s Letting On?"