ABC's "The View" hosted pastor Joel Osteen Tuesday, author of the book The Christmas Spirit – but the conversation took a controversial turn and went from Christmas to homosexuality. Co-host Joy Behar belittled Osteen about his conservative Christian beliefs on the matter.
ABC's Barbara Walters first popped the question in the middle of the interview, flagging it was a "controversial" topic. She referenced a previous quote made by Osteen on the show about homosexuality not being "God's best" for a person's life. Walters asked him how he felt about a Georgia pastor who recently came out and said he was gay.
After Osteen's tepid response, Behar interrupted him and flatly lectured him that homosexuality is natural. "It's not a choice, Pastor," she asserted. "It's not a choice, and therefore I don't think that God would look askance at homosexuality in that way, because it's not a choice. They're born this way, people are born this way."
Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.
"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."
At times, the Internet can be an information wonderland. At others, it is more like a landfill where people go to dump their poorly crafted opinions labeled as fact. Take this quote for example:
"It's a fact that gay teenagers are about thirty percent more likely than straight teenagers to take their own lives. It's a fact that the vast majority of Christians believe that being gay is a profound moral failing, a foul aberration, a repelling, unnatural offense against God that fully warrants as punishment an eternity spent in hell. Asserting that those two facts have no relationship cannot possibly be anything but intellectually dishonest."
This quote comes from the personal blog of John Shore, contributor to the Huffington Post, which linked to the entry in question. He writes primarily on Christianity and operates under the mantra "Trying God's patience since 1958."
His statements are pretty compelling to the uncritical reader. Unfortunately for Shore, he is the one being "intellectually dishonest." His argument is built upon false premises. Just because two aspects have a common bond does not necessarily translate into a causal relation.
This Halloween, millions of Americans will dress up in costumes and pretend to be celebrities or other important figures. Most journalists won't take serious note of this. Yet recently a few women have slipped into some vestments and claimed that they're "women Catholic priests," and writers at Time magazine think there is some sober journalism to pursue.
For the second time in two weeks, Time has published an article trumpeting women who are pretending to be genuine Catholic priests. As we noted last week, Dawn Reiss was the culprit in a flimsy piece. Now the bleary-eyed Tim Padgett is in on the act.
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association was formed to "foster fair and accurate coverage" of gay issues, but their journalistic ideals do not include balance in any way. "Fair" coverage, to them, excludes dissent. On their official Re:Act blog, Michael Triplett, a Washington reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs and NLGJA vice president for print and new media, rejoiced that, in the wake of teen suicides like Tyler Clementi's, the media has realized this is no time for religious conservatives to speak:
What’s good about the coverage is that journalists haven’t fallen into the unfortunate habit of feeling like they need to interview opposing voices. Maybe because it’s about bullying and not just LGBT issues, the stories have been blissfully free of “crazy minister” interviews or the need to include someone from Focus on the Family or Family Research Council to provide a countering voice.
There are, for sure, voices out there who are opposed to including anti-homophobia information in anti-bullying training in schools. But now isn’t necessarily the time for those voices to be used as a counterweight. We can all agree that suicide is bad and kids being bullied is bad and broadcasting an 18-year old kissing another boy on the Internet is bad. That doesn’t require a dissenting voice.
Are religious leaders, conservative activists, and Jim DeMint responsible for the deaths of gay teenagers? That's the impression left by Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, and Lance Bass, in an extensive interview on the October 4 "Larry King Live."
Focusing on the slew of gay teens who have committed suicide in the past week as a result of bullying, the panel of gay rights activists spewed offensive bile toward preachers of traditional social values.
"The blood is on their hands," decried Griffin, referring to the bullies who abused the gay teenagers, and religious leaders and political figures who oppose gay marriage and the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Earlier in the show, Griffin implored viewers to see her ludicrous connection between conservative social policy and gay teen suicide:
It was only a matter of time before liberal gay rights activists would politicize the tragic suicide of a homosexual college student as an indictment of social conservatives opposed to their agenda.
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer on October 1 used carefully selected viewer emails to blame "religious kooks" for the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate set-up a hidden camera in their dorm room and streamed live footage of the college freshman kissing a man.
At the top of the noon hour, Brewer posed the following question to viewers: "Are we likely to see more instances of gay-bashing because the issue of gay rights is now front and center?" The anchor-activist's loaded question produced predictable responses.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, comedian Bill Maher praised Jimmy Carter as "a better proponent of what Democrats actually believed in," and asserted that it was "fantastic" when Carter bragged about never taking military action against anyone during his tenure, as the HBO host complained about the modern day Democratic party. Maher: "He was a better proponent of what Democrats actually believed in. He was saying the other day, I heard him on 60 Minutes say that during his administration they never fired a shot, not a bullet, not a missile. He said, you know what, I thought, as the world's superpower, we had the obligation to be the peacemaker. I think that's fantastic. What a choice that would be for a voter because we don't have that kind of choice."
Host Behar complained: "And the tragedy is that Jimmy Carter has been vilified as the worst President in the United States history, practically, besides George W. Bush, of course, and it's really not very nice for people to say that."
During a discussion of Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell in which Maher took shots at her religious beliefs, he declared, "I need someone in the Senate who believes that global warming is real and the Earth is not 6,000 years old," leading Behar to add, "I know. It's true. I mean, maybe they should be given an IQ test before they can even run."
Maher also voiced support for raising taxes on the wealthy, claiming that increased taxes "healed" the economy in the 1990s. Attacking the credibility of supply-side economic theory, he dismissed the benefits of cutting taxes on the wealthy as he declared that the wealthy would use their money to purchase more boats, seemingly oblivious to the fact that middle class people build boats and therefore benefit financially when they are purchased by the wealthy. Maher:
As the actor Richard Tillman – brother of former Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman – appeared as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday promoting the film "The Tillman Story" about his brother’s death in Afghanistan, host Maher played a clip from Pat Tillman’s funeral in which Richard Tillman mocked the religious references made at the funeral by speakers Maria Shriver and John McCain. Maher went on to praise Richard Tillman as having "a lot of balls" for his words as there was also moderate applause from the audience.
Maher set up the clip: "But, you know, they had Maria Shriver and John McCain... Speaking there, and Maria said, "Pat, you are home. You are safe." And McCain said, "You will see Pat again when a loving God reunites us all with our loved ones."
Then came a clip of Richard Tillman speaking at the funeral while nearly crying: "Thank you for coming. Pat’s a f------ champion and always will be. Just make a mistake, he’d want me to say this. He’s not with God. He’s f------ dead. He’s not religious. So thanks for your thoughts, but he’s f------ dead."
After applause from the audience, Maher responded, "That’s a lot of balls, my friend."
While discussing sex allegations against Bishop Eddie Long on Friday, MSNBC host and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer asked Bishop James Dean Adams: "Long has taken a very strong anti-homosexual stand....Is there always a danger, if you're taking that sort of stand, that you're living in a glass house and people are going to be encouraged to throw stones?"
Brewer described how "the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Bishop Eddie Long 'one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay moment. Long reportedly told his congregation about homosexuals, he said, God says you deserve death.'" The left-wing organization spliced together that comment and other clips of Long's Sermons on its website.
Brewer used Long's comments to go after Bishop Adams: "I mean, you can't support that, do you? The saying that homosexuals deserve death?" Adams replied: "No. I don't say that homosexuals or anybody, for that matter, deserves death." Brewer continued: "Do you think, in any way, Bishop, this will change the way black churches deal with the issue of homosexuality?" Adams explained: "I disagree with the viewpoint that the church is somehow been purposefully anti-gay. It's not about anti-gay. It's just simply anti-sin."
The Huffington Post would like to present itself as an oasis of religious tolerance. When they started their Religion section, Arianna Huffington decried that "all too often, when talking about it, we end up talking at each other instead of with each other." Weeks ago, they published Nida Khan lamenting conservative Islamophobia, as "a vocal minority of extremists to capitalize and advance on their bigotry and xenophobia." The writer cited Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, Rick Lazio and Peter King. That was one of many Huff-Po pieces feeling the pain of American Muslims, victims of vicious midterm politics.
But that same Huffington Post doesn't mind promoting "Rome-o-phobia," vile anti-Catholic screeds from bigoted leftists that just happened to enjoy ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul on national TV. Arianna Huffington published Sinead O'Connor's "An Open Letter to the Pope," carrying flagrantly false statements, such as "not one member of The Vatican has publicly displayed an iota of humility over this issue. Instead each person who has spoken has done so most arrogantly and dismissively."
Comedian Joy Behar repeated her 'View' tirade against Christine O'Donnell on her eponymous HLN network program yesterday, denouncing the Delaware Republican Senate nominee as "crazy" and suggesting she should see a psychotherapist.
"You know, I'm not a shrink, but this is the crazy train this girl is on," chortled Behar, who also belittled O'Donnell on ABC's "The View" yesterday. After maligning O'Donnell's character, Behar suggested the social conservative could benefit from therapy: "I believe in psychotherapy. Maybe she should go to a shrink."
Behar's guest, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, did not take the bait: "I don't know that much about her. But we also need to allow people to change as they grow. Express themselves when they're young, make mistakes and change their point of view. Do we really think that she's into witchcraft? I don't really buy it."
Reporting on Pope Benedict's visit to the UK on Friday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Mark Phillips noted how 65,000 people attended a Thursday outdoor mass in Scotland, but observed: "...it was only about a quarter of the size of the crowd Pope John Paul drew to the same park on his visit 28 years ago. And this crowd had a much better warm-up act...TV talent show star...Susan Boyle."
On Thursday, correspondent Richard Roth touted low turnout predictions during the Papal visit: "Some Church officials this morning were already lowering expectations, saying seats were still unsold for several outdoor events."
Phillips described the trip as "A test of whether Pope Benedict can get his message across over the background noise of the Church's child abuse scandal. And that test gets harder as time goes on." He went on to observe "This Pope finds himself with an ironic challenge, he bemoans the weakening role of religion in everyday life, yet it is the Church's very own public struggle with its child-molesting priests that is helping to drive people away."
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer mocked attendees of the Values Voter Summit today, directing her ire at former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, and the entire conservative movement.
"So, they're calling themselves values voters, but isn't this election really about the economy and not so much what we think of as values?" sniveled Brewer, who put air quotes around the term "values." Brewer's dismissive attitude toward values voters must not extend to homosexual rights activists like herself who frequently turn their anchor chairs into liberal soapboxes.
The champion of same-sex marriage revealed her disdain for Palin by noting that although the former Alaska governor was not present at the event, "her doppleganger, Christine O'Donnell is there and she is stealing the show."
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill teased a report on Pope Benedict's visit to Scotland: "...it's a rather controversial visit for a number of reasons." Later, correspondent Richard Roth proclaimed the state visit "has more pomp and potentially more problems" and would "bound to be shadowed by controversy along with ceremony."
Roth went on to tout a gaffe made by a Papal aide prior to the trip and noted how the Pope "courts criticism on a range of issues, from the visit's cost – figured at around $20 million – to the cover-up of sex abuse among Catholic clergyman." He also highlighted predictions of low turnouts at Papal events during the visit: "[Benedict's] welcome will be measured, in part, by the size of his crowds. Some Church officials this morning were already lowering expectations, saying seats were still unsold for several outdoor events." In fact, about 125,00 people lined the streets of Edinburgh to see the Pope's motorcade, with 65,000 attending a later outdoor mass.
The only positive comment about the Papal visit was a sound bite of Queen Elizabeth welcoming the Pontiff: "On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I wish you a most fruitful and memorable visit." Roth concluded his report this way: "This is a country with a strong anti-clerical streak and a critical press. But, one leading paper's comment here that Benedict's 'entering the lion's den,' may also reflect a flare for dramatic overstatement."
Comedian Bill Maher took his anti-religion, anti-conservative views off HBO and into the mainstream Sept. 13 during an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show." Maher told host Jay Leno he's against the Ground Zero Mosque, because he's "against a mosque anywhere. I'm against a church anywhere, or a Hindu temple or a synagogue."
Maher declared that houses of worship are "places that people go to retell nonsense stories from a time before men understood what a germ or an atom was, or where the sun went at night. They try to telepathically communicate with their imaginary friend. These are places that fleece people, and scare people and they perpetuate mass delusion. We shouldn't build any of them."
But Maher conceded that because the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, "they should be able to build them anywhere."
He also attacked conservatives and Sarah Palin, calling her an "evil dingbat."
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, actor Jon Voight condemned Time magazine for the cover on its September 13 issue which provocatively displays the words "Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace" in the middle of a Star of David made from daisies. Voight charged that there must be anti-Semitism at Time magazine if such a cover could be devised. Voight:
Listen, if Israel falls we all fall. Did you see the Time magazine, did you guys see the Time magazine cover? Cover? It was amazing. Here's a cover with a Star of David on it, and it says Israel doesn't care about peace. ... But this is anti-Semitism. This is, who are the anti-Semites who are running Time magazine? And their prior cover, you know, they alluded to the Islamophobia, they're calling America Islamophobic.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, Time managing editor Richard Stengel bizarrely seemed to see a down side to fewer terrorist attacks against Israelis when he appeared on the Thursday, September 2, Morning Joe on MSNBC, as he suggested that it was a "sad truth" that the low level of recent violence from terrorists -- including the "Hamas folks" -- had made Israelis feel less urgency about negotiating with Palestinians. Stengel:
As liberals tumble over each other extending apologies to Muslims for any American that would even whisper idly about burning a Koran, they should start apologizing for the Daily Kos. On Friday night came a plea from the atheist blogger "qinkilla" to burn all the religious texts, to keep people warm:
I am fine with the Koran being burnt, but only if the Bible and the Torah and any other religious document is included in the prodigious torching. If you've watched the Denzel Washington movie "The Book of Eli" you'd probably think that a braille copy of the Bible could save humanity. Well, in this country, we've got one of 'em in just about every hotel and motel room - and things just aren't getting better.
I believe sans religion, we'll all be better off....So here's my plan. We spend the next month gathering up all the religious documents in the world -- after all, it's time to let the invisible man go - and we allocate them to cold places, so they can be burned for a good cause...heat.
As the ninth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, and Americans fret about a Pastor they never heard of burning Korans to commemorate the event, people on both sides of the political aisle should be asking a serious question: did the media negligently create this controversy?
After all, Terry Jones has a tiny, 50 member, non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida.
Should some unknown Pastor - with a following smaller than what's normally in line at an In-n-Out restaurant drive-thru! - wanting to burn Korans generate such a media firestorm that an international incident and our national security are threatened?
As Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel wrote Wednesday, if you knew the real attention-getting background of Jones, the answer would be a definitive "No":
On Tuesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited one of his favorite subjects of ire, the Catholic Church, and this time called for the ordination of women. Cafferty highlighted the advertising campaign of a British organization which demands that Pope Benedict XVI allow for such simulations of ordination, and mocked a Catholic priest's defense of the all-male priesthood.
The commentator devoted his 6 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to the issue of women's ordination: "'Pope Benedict: ordain women now'- that's the message that will be plastered on London buses when the pontiff heads to England's capital in a couple of weeks. A group called Catholic Women's Ordination is spending $15,000 for 15 buses to carry posters with that message around London for a month."
Cafferty then moved to the opposing viewpoint, and wasted little time before bashing it and one of its defenders: "Father Stephen Wang says women are not barred from the priesthood because of sexism....Wang says that Jesus chose 12 men, and no women, to be his apostles, and he adds that men and women are equal in Christianity, but that gender still matters. Wang compares the role of a priest to an actor, saying no one would be surprised if he wanted a male actor to play King Arthur. He then admits the analogy is weak. That's the most startling and profound thing he said in the message so far- terrible!"
The editors of the mainstream media must think we all have very short memories.
Their latest schtick is to smear conservative talk show host Glenn Beck as a creepy Mormon who has no business influencing evangelicals.
Aside from the disgusting hypocrisy of Mormon-baiting one minute and then bashing Islamophobia the next, these news outlets are also hoping you've forgotten about their recent smearing of evangelicals like Sarah Palin, John Hagee, and James Dobson.
But hey, they shouldn't be held accountable for their own religious bigotry on display in 2008. That was a whole two years ago, and anyway they had a Democrat messiah to protect.
For a flashback at how low the media stooped then, let's review an editorial cartoon shamelessly bashing Pentecostalism that appeared on the Washington Post's website on September 18, 2008:
Secular leftists in the media don't often have use for religion, particularly Christianity, except, it seems, when biblical passages can be isolated out of context to bash religious conservatives over the head as wicked for opposing big government or for standing up for traditional moral values.
Enter Joe Klein, Christian theologian extraordinaire, who suggested in Time.com Swampland blog post yesterday that Jesus would make Fox News host Glenn Beck sweat it out a bit at the pearly gates:
If Jesus were around today, he might say that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a telecharlatan to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In a follow-up blog post from today, Klein thanked a commenter for passing along a passage from the gospel according to St. Matthew wherein Jesus taught that "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men."
"The noisy proclamation of religiosity is usually a sign of the exact opposite," Klein preached regarding the August 28 Beck rally.
CNN on Friday disgustingly advocated for a watered-down, more politically correct version of Christianity.
Highlighted at its website was research from a Princeton theology professor on the state of Christianity among teenagers. The study found that American churches have fallen for PC feel-good morality that's afraid of confrontation - and the result is a generation unable to distinguish Christianity from simple theism.
The author of the study, Kenda Creasy Dean, said the process was "depressing" as she interviewed one Christian after another describing God as a "therapist" who exists to validate their "self-esteem." Worse yet, many of them could not give a coherent explanation of the Gospel, content with a general belief that God wants them to "feel good and do good."
And in MSM newsrooms across the fruited plain, there was much rejoicing. Incessant pressure to water down Christianity has finally paid off.
CNN reporter John Blake wrote a piece on the sad phenomenon with no introspection as to who might be causing it:
Time magazine's Joe Klein yesterday did what he does best: take one paragraph from a neoconservative's column and blow it out of proportion and out of context in order to go on an extended screed bashing conservatives in general and neocons in particular.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein addressed Bill Kristol's editorial for the August 30 Weekly Standard print edition entitled, "He's No Muslim, He's a Progressive."
Klein started off with a backhanded compliment:
Well, it's good to learn that there are limits to Bill Kristol's tactical skeevery. He clearly states here that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. No winks, no nods, no gratuitous McConnellesque "If he says he's not, that's okay with me."
With that out of the way, Klein dove into his screed:
Grossman explained that the comparison stems from conservatives who pointed out an incident in the early 1990s when Pope John Paul II halted a planned convent near the Auschwitz concentration camp. The nuns had every right to build the convent, but it was unwise and insensitive to do so, leading the pontiff to scrap the plan. By way of analogy, Muslims have every right to build a mosque near Ground Zero, but the insensitivity of doing so blocks from the site of the deadliest radical Islamic terror attack in U.S. history should lead Muslim leaders to call for the project to be scrapped.
But Grossman then went on to quote two liberals who reject the Auschwitz analogy as invalid before she conflated the Ground Zero mosque issue with isolated incidents across the country where other folks are raising NIMBY objections to mosques in their hometowns (emphasis Grossman's):
Daily Show host Jon Stewart has again come to the defense of the Ground Zero mosque-builders, complete with a graphic suggesting the opponents are conducting a “Mosque-erade.” Stewart brought in “senior religion correspondent” John Oliver, and predictably, they launched back into Catholic pedophile humor, as if it were fresh and original and so, well, 2002:
STEWART: Why should religious groups have to bend to people’s worst suspicions about them?
JOHN OLIVER: Because, Jon, there’s a difference between what you can do and what you should do. For instance, you can build a Catholic church next to a playground. Should you? Should you do that, Jon? Should you do that? [Whoops, laughter and applause.]
It's not often you see an obituary as snarky and bitter as the one written by British columnist Johann Hari announcing what he called the "slow, whining death of British Christianity" in the UK edition of GQ and online at The Huffington Post.
Citing an unlinked ICM study, which is not available on the organization's website, Hari called on reader to "put your hands together and give thanks, for I come bearing Good News. My country,Britain, is now on the most irreligious country on earth."
Hari called Christianity, "superstition," "weak," "cruel," and based on "intimidation." He predicted that, "As their dusty Churches crumble because nobody wants to go there" and predicted that "the few remaining Christians in Britain will only become more angry and uncomprehending."
While he mentioned Judaism and Islam twice, Hari focused his ridicule on Christianity and the Church of England. He used the survey to call for an end to government support for Anglicanism.