It’s quite striking to see the degree to which traditional Islam has come under ferocious attack from the anti-religious impulse in Hollywood and New York and other bohemian centers in America. It is clearly anti-Islamic religious bigotry. Take a look at just some examples over the last year alone.
January: The Source Weekly, a weekly arts publication in Bend, Oregon, featured on its cover an image of Mohammed holding a child with President Obama’s head crudely posted on its body. Muslim protests were greeted with this dismissive response: "What is printed is printed, and we will not apologize."
February 12: The NBC sitcom "30 Rock" poked fun at Muslims when the Alec Baldwin character attempted to ingratiate himself with his beautiful Muslim girlfriend by fraudulently going through the motions at her mosque.
Having closely examined this week's slanted coverage by the Washington Post of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington's decision to end spousal health care benefits, GetReligion.org's Mollie Z. Hemingway zeroed in on the heart of the media bias present in today's piece, "Catholic Charities' health-plan change called 'devastating'"*, which begins with a former Catholic Charities officer lamenting the organization's decision to not grant health insurance to spouses of future employees in order to avoid having to cover same-sex couples married in the District of Columbia:
The narrative on this story could be framed as one where the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to be able to continue serving the poor here in DC against an oppressive government crackdown on religious freedom — even changing its benefits structure so that it won’t be in violation of church teaching. Instead, it’s basically framed as a choice that the Archbishop decided to make so as to mess with gays. The power to frame a story is huge and largely unseen by readers.
In a CNN video posted at Story Balloon, left-wing comedian Sarah Silverman expressed her disgust at the nation’s rejection of same-sex marriage as she declared that she is "starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age." She went on to compare getting married to joining a racially exclusive country club in the 1960s. Silverman: "I mean, it’s like, if you say, if you joined a club, a country club, you know, in the 60s that, where no blacks or Jews were allowed. Why would you want to join that country club? ... I find marriage has a very ugly mark on it right now, and I would not want to be a part of it."
And, as she made a distinction between her Jewish ethnic heritage and her religious beliefs, she described herself as agnostic, and related that she is only religious when "I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor." Silverman: "I’m not religious. I mean, the only times I’m religious are when I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor, like in sweat, I will definitely find God, or in incredible amounts of turbulence."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the video, which can be seen at Story Balloon:
It's no surprise that elitism and a pretentious point of view have a place on The Washington Post editorial page, but even this is a little much.
Pseudo-conservative columnist Kathleen Parker asserted that Trig Palin, the Down syndrome son of the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin might one day find his mother's abortion comments "hurtful." A Feb 14 column published in the Post focused on the delicate art of criticizing Palin's recent political and personal defense of the special-needs community, stemming from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's controversial comments involving the word "retarded."
Parker recounted Palin's brief mention that she understands how women entertain the thought of abortion when learning about the special needs of an unborn child. Instead of praise for Palin's honesty and candor, Parker seized the opportunity to criticize Palin's outspokenness and attempted to speak on behalf of her son.
Even though, the day after it aired on the Super Bowl broadcast, the consensus on the Focus on the Family advertisement featuring former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was that it wasn't as bad as the left had feared, at least one person that isn't going to let it go.
On MSNBC's Feb. 8 "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough made the point that the TV spot played during the Feb. 7 game was inoffensive and painted the opponents of it as being upset about nothing.
"One other thing too, talking about the soft touch - Focus on the Family's ad with Tim Tebow was soft, it was subtle and it made all the people who criticized it over the past week look like shrill idiots," Scarborough said. "It was a mom talking about a son she loved - her take with soft music."
Picking up on the story, "Hannity" substitute host Tucker Carlson had Bozell and fellow signatory American Papist blogger Thomas Peters on the Friday, February 5 show to discuss Knox's record of anti-Catholic rhetoric, including his refusal to apologize for saying that the Pope's opposition to condoms was "hurting people in the name of Jesus."
Harry Knox is not exactly a household name, and the media elite have no interest in making hime one. The media are in the controversy-making business, but not when Barack Obama picks "spiritual advisers" who think condoms are holier than the Pope.
Some could say Bush's faith-based initiatives office didn't get much ink, either. But back in July 2001, the networks picked up and promoted gay-left groups like Knox's group (the Human Rights Campaign) in complaining about the Bush faith-based initiative. They made the Salvation Army a target of political criticism. (Here and here.)
UPDATE (11:57 a.m. EST):Brent Bozell is confirmed to appear on "Hannity" tonight to discuss this. He should appear around 9:10 p.m. Eastern time.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has joined Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) and a coalition of Catholic leaders today in an open letter to the White House demanding that President Obama fire Harry Knox (depicted at right*), an appointed member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
This week Knox once again boldly and shamelessly showcased his hatred for the Catholic faith, its teachings and leader by reaffirming his belief that the Pope “is hurting people in the name of Jesus” by not promoting the use of condoms as a means to control the spread of HIV. As first reported by the MRC's CNSNews.com who documented the attack with video footage, Knox reaffirmed the charge he made against the Pope in March of 2009 by declaring “I do” when directly asked by CNS News if he still stood behind those words.
The outrage has spurred Catholic leaders from across the country to convene and issue the following open letter:
In the Groundhog Day edition of the Washington Post, liberal, pro-choice sports columnist Sally Jenkins took direct aim at the National Organization for Women (NOW) for its campaign to keep a pro-life ad featuring Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother from airing during Sunday's Super Bowl.
Jenkins slammed NOW, mocking it as one of the few "Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep" (DOLL) that is coming off more "pro-abortion" than pro-choice with its anti-Tebow crusade (emphasis mine):
Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
Yet that's exactly how Huffington Post religion editor and ordained American Baptist minister Paul Raushenbush went off on Pat Robertson for his controversial "pact with the devil" remarks about this week's devastating Haitian earthquake in a January 13 blog post:
Haiti is suffering, and the only response from Christians and other decent human beings is compassion, love, and all the concrete support we can supply. [...] Instead, Pat Robertson opined on his TV show, the 700 Club that this happened because, in order to gain liberty from the French, Haiti (read: black people) made a pact with the Devil. [...] Go to Hell, Pat Robertson -- and the sooner the better. Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God...
"Radical cleric" is a term many news outlets, including the Associated Press, have used to describe Islamic clerics who encourage and/or train radical Muslims for jihad against civilians in the West. Case in point: Anwar al Awlaki, who reportedly inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting spree.
But a commenter on Time magazine's Swampland blog seems to have convinced writer Karen Tumulty that the term is appropriate to apply to Pat Robertson, given his loopy pronouncement that a long-ago "pact with the devil" made by Haiti has cursed the Caribbean nation and resulted in yesterday's devastating earthquake:
The week-old story of Brit Hume's Christianity vs. Buddhism remarks is apparently still fodder for a good laugh, and comedienne Wanda Sykes attempted to squeeze out one more. The late-night talk show host arguably stepped over the line with a skit this week when she jokingly entertained the notion that Jesus was willing to give Tiger Woods crabs.
The Jan. 9 broadcast of Fox's "The Wanda Sykes Show" featured a sketch in which two actors playing Jesus and Buddha appeared as "guests" on the Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly Factor" during which the former Fox News anchor expounded on his comments.
"This week, Brit Hume went on ‘The O'Reilly Factor' to talk about the statement he made that Tiger Woods should become a Christian," Sykes said. "And I'll say this about the interview - it was really fair and balanced."
Even obituaries can inform the public what the leftists at National Public Radio consider admirable.When Mother Teresa died in 1997, NPR stood out with a vicious obituary from anchor Scott Simon noting her "tolerance of tyrants and criminals" and her theology of "destructive comfort to keep people poor." Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a book-length attack on her, was welcomed to kick dirt on the memory of her.
On Tuesday, by contrast, NPR celebrated the life of "Catholic" scholar Mary Daly. No one was welcomed in to savage her. It was completely one-sided. She was, instead, "for many women, such as Sister Joan Chittister, a prominent nun, Daly was an icon."
This was a bit different than even the AP obituary, which more accurately called her "iconoclastic" in tone:
Radical feminist Mary Daly, the iconoclastic theologian who proclaimed, ''I hate the Bible,'' and retired from Boston College rather than allow men to take her classes, has died. She was 81.
The first rule of dinner-table conversation is no hot talk about politics or religion. Apparently there’s a rule regarding the discussion of religion during political talk shows, too.
On "Fox News Sunday" on January 3, the panelists had advanced to that light part of the discussion where they focusing on movies and crime novelists. Venerated news man Brit Hume turned to sports, and predicted Tiger Woods would return to success as a golfer. But if he really wanted to recover as a person, Hume suggested, he should consider Christianity. Woods is a Buddhist, he said, but Christianity offered the forgiveness and redemption that could really make Woods a powerful role model for faith and recovery.
Ka-boom. Oh, what a reaction erupted.
Some in the secular elite acted like Hume had set the national house on fire and broken all the fine china. Some TV talk show hosts quite seriously compared Hume’s comments to those of "Islamic extremists" waging a "holy war."
I'm not at all sure why the liberal left is always so shocked that evangelical Christians want other people to become Christians. The outrage that followed Fox News anchor Brit Hume's plea to Tiger Woods to find Jesus has been totally disproportionate to the statement itself. The usual suspects—MSNBC and The Huffington Post—and indeed the whole liberal left blogosphere leapt all over Hume for his arrogance and conservatism.
The word "evangelical" comes from the Greek word for gospel, or "good news." Evangelical Christians are those who want to spread the good news. They aren't pretending to believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. They actually do believe that it—and yours, and mine—comes through him.
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann twice claimed that FNC contributor and former anchor Brit Hume’s public recommendation that Tiger Woods convert to Christianity to help solve his personal problems amounted to trying to "threaten" Woods into conversion. Previewing a segment focusing on Hume’s Monday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor to clarify his words from Fox News Sunday, Olbermann teased the show: "Brit Hume and the attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity. He does it again."
Olbermann also plugged the segment before a commercial break: "Brit Hume has tried to force Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian again. That in a moment."
The Countdown host introduced the segment, contending again that Hume had tried to "threaten" Woods into becoming a Christian: "Brit Hume of Fox News has not only not apologized for his bizarre on-air attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity, he`s actually gone further."
Notably, in December 2005, Olbermann distorted the words of former FNC host John Gibson from Gibson's radio interview on the Janet Parshal Show and compared the program to "an Al-Qaeda show on Al-Jazeera talking about infidels."
Editor's Note: The following is republished from a January 5 entry at Big Hollywood.
On "Fox News Sunday", panelist Brit Hume offered a hopeful New Year’s message for the fallen Tiger Woods:
“Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question… the extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist, I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be: ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”
As an avid golfer, Christian man, and therefore a witness to the historic fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Mr. Hume clearly offered his message in good faith with honest concern for both Tiger’s future and for that of his family, friends, fans and business associates.
Sadly however, some drones of Secularism have reflexively stomped on their Political Correctness brakes; stinging at Mr. Hume with personal demonization, as if he’d somehow committed a sin against their totalitarian faith:
With his unconventional pass delivery and a physical style that seems just as comfortable running the ball anyway, some wonder if University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow will achieve NFL glory. But football fans just may get to see the story of the Heisman Trophy winner and unapologetic Christian impact the pro sport's biggest game of the year.
Colorado-based conservative group Focus on the Family reportedly may buy a Super Bowl spot for an ad about how Tebow’s mother carried him to term despite a difficult and dangerous pregnancy.
If true, it would be just another example of Tebow annoying the secular left. The quarterback is as famous for wearing Bible passage citations on his game-day eye black as for winning an NCAA championship. As NewsBusters has detailed, that practice – and the faith it symbolizes – is irksome to some commentators.
Bonnie Erbe of U.S. News and Report praised Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s efforts to change the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching against abortion in a December 23, 2009 blog entry, calling her a “modern-day Crusader of sorts” and outlandishly predicted that the Church would eventually “recognize the wisdom of...[her] approach.” Erbe would even go so far as to liken Townsend to St. Joan of Arc.
The left-wing contributing editor to U.S. News began her editorial with the “Crusader” label for the former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland, even going so far as to quote from the early 20th century Catholic Encyclopedia: “Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a modern-day Crusader of sorts. As defined by the Catholic Encyclopedia, crusade means, ‘all wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels.’ I use the term Crusader figuratively, not literally, as she’s speaking out publicly, she’s not leading a war. She’s trying to change the minds of her own church leaders—she’s not directing her rhetoric toward infidels. Nonetheless she’s leading a crusade for her church that many clergymen see as blasphemous.”
Lefty author Margaret Atwood has created, in the form of a novel, the environmentalist's bible. "The Year of the Flood", as it is titled, is not merely a figurative bible for a dispersed and sporadic collection of greenies, but rather a sacred testament (the author says as much) for a movement that, every day, looks more like a church--complete with sin, salvation, and saints (one of whom is--you guessed it--Al Gore).
In an interview with Atwood, National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep described "The Year of the Flood" as gloriously melding science and religion into a harmonious enviro-theology. Atwood "thinks that in the future we could see a religion that combines religion and science," Inskeep states.
But the more the listener learns about Atwood's novel, the more he or she realizes that the book does not meld science and religion. Rather, it does away with religion and replaces it with radical environmentalism. Here is an excerpt from the NPR interview (h/t CATO's David Boaz):
Tolerance is a virtue the Left loves to trumpet, except when the intolerable is set forward. In this instance, the intolerable is a gentle Christian evangelistic overture to a celebrity caught in sexual scandal.
Yesterday, Fox News analyst and professing Christian Brit Hume expressed his spiritual concern for Tiger Woods and urged the golf superstar to turn to Christianity for grace and forgiveness during a segment of the January 3 edition of "Fox News Sunday."
Leave it to the web site The Daily Beast to publish a lie-filled attack on the Catholic Church the day before Christmas. The author of the hate-filled piece is James Carroll, one of the country's foremost haters of the Catholic Church. He an anti-Catholic zealot. Period. (Is it any surprise that he also writes for the Boston Globe?)
First, a prayer offered by Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at last week's so-called prayercast sponsored by conservative groups opposed to a government takeover of health care.
After the prayer, a spot quiz --
BACHMANN: Lord, as leaders of our country, Lord, I pray as a stand-in for myself, I pray as a stand-in for others, Lord, who may not have looked to you and all your ways, Father, as leaders. Father, we want to represent you in the way that we should and so, Lord, I ask for forgiveness for that and our own country ... Lord, we know that we have failed and we haven't done as we should. And so that's why now, Lord, we ask for your forgiveness and we repent and we turn from that. And we say, oh Lord, we deserve your wrath but would you yet get our nation mercy. We ask for your mercy, we cry out to you, oh God. This is our moment and this is our time. Lord, we are at the end of ourselves and now we need you.
Got an idealized notion of Christmas? A cherished memory, or a favorite carol or story? The simple smell of pine needles in your living room? Do you insist on celebrating the birth of the savior?
If so, you’re at war, like it or not.
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree.
There is plenty to report from the conventional front. But there are other fronts. There is the sexualization of the holiday, either in service to commercialism or out of the lefty arts community’s desire to be “transgressive” (read, vile and offensive). And there are the attempts squash the mysteries and magic that accompany even a traditional secular Christmas.
So from “living” lingerie mannequins to Frosty’s “porn collection,” and from the lies you tell about Santa to our president’s “non-religious” observance, here are some dispatches from the war on Christmas, 2009.
On the Thursday, December 3, The View, on ABC, co-host Joy Behar found Tiger Woods worthy of being partially defended over his adultery saga – according to her, at least he’s not a "hypocrite" like "these pro-marriage, right-wing, kind of guys who is anti-gay," like former Republican Senator Larry Craig. As the group discussed the latest news of women who have alleged having affairs with the golf star, Behar offer up her defense of Woods, with conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck struggling to rebut her while Behar sang, "La, la, la, la," as Hasselbeck spoke:
Of course the encounter in question is that of literary critic Mary Gordon, a "liberal, feminist intellectual" who happens to be Catholic, is not a trained scriptural scholar, and admits to having "never actually read the full Gospel" prior to undertaking her "Reading Jesus" project.
"But off she goes anyhow, girded only by her considerable intelligence and disarming sincerity, determined to look squarely at the Gospels, how she reads them and how she maintains what she calls her 'hopeful faith,'" Charles notes approvingly, adding that Gordon's professed disinterest in converting readers or making doctrinal claims is:
For several days NewsBusters has been chronicling media outrage over Catholic bishop Tom Tobin asking pro-choice Patrick Kennedy to refrain from the sacrament of communion.
In all of their indignation over a church being involved in politics, they must have forgotten about the recent past when President Obama asked churches to help him push government-mandated healthcare. When ministers stepped into the politicial discussion back then, media outlets were more than willing to celebrate it.
In late August of this year, President Obama held a meeting with left-leaning religious leaders to convince them that government mandated healthcare was a "moral imperative," and that ministers should be involved in educating their fold on the issue.
The media protrayed the meeting as a great idea and praised the ministers who attended. MSNBC ran an article from CQ writer Jane Norman that gushed with excitement over sermons laced with politics and prayer meetings aimed at congressional districts: