At the beginning of Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith exclaimed: "Coming to America. Pope Benedict XVI arrives on American soil tomorrow. How will Americans receive his hard line and soft style?" In the later segement, correspondent Allen Pizzey continued the "hard line" theme: "Since becoming Pope Benedict XVI three years ago, the man who used to be the Vatican's chief hard-liner has undergone an image makeover...when Americans see him next week, they may get a pleasant surprise."
Pizzey went on to describe the Pope’s "makeover":
Benedict has made what one ambassador to the Holy See called a smooth transition from scholar to universal pastor. It may not quite fit the miracle category, but it is nonetheless an extraordinary transition for a man who was once known as God's Rottweiler. As Pope he has not gone out of his way to appease the more liberal wings of the Catholic Church in the U.S., but Benedict's chief image maker is unfazed.
Following Pizzey’s report, co-host Julie Chen interviewed left-wing priest, Father Thomas Reese, who was editor of the Catholic magazine "America," until the Vatican pressured him to resign for allowing numerous liberal opinion pieces critcizing the Church to be published.
Can it be a coincidence that just hours after Bob Novak published his column reporting that it's unclear just who is directing Hillary's campaign--Mark Penn or Geoff Garin--the latter dashed off an email to supporters claiming to be in charge? But if Garin really does have the reins, why is the campaign employing tactics that Novak suggests would be worthy of the "kamikaze" Penn?
Bill Maher, true to form on his "Real Time" program on HBO on Friday, went on a tirade against Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, only days before the Pope’s visit to the U.S.. He stated that the Pope "used to be a Nazi" and compared him to a cult leader. He then went on to call the Church a "child-abusing religious cult" and "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." "And that’s the Church’s attitude: 'We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,' which is fine, far be it from me to criticize religion."
Following a profanity-tinged one-liner concerning the raid on the Texas compound of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Maher quipped, "In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God’s infallible wingman here on Earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I’d like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult. Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. That’s right, the Pope is coming to America this week and ladies, he’s single!" At the "funny hat" line, Maher displayed a picture of Pope Benedict wearing a wide-brimmed hat called a saturno
Clarification: Apparently the Thursday night "Idol" included the "Jesus" lyric. In a somewhat-related item of interest to our readers, my colleague Tim Graham reminds me that West Coast viewers of ABC's "The View" in May 2002 heard a bleep when co-host Joy Behar said the word "Jesus."
Appearing on Morning Joe a couple weeks ago, Time editor Rick Stengel was quick to blame the controversy over Rev. Wright's past remarks on "the incredible ignorance of white Americans" about what goes on in black churches.
But the Time editor wasn't quite so forgiving when it came to the past of the current pontiff. Appearing on today's Morning Joe to discuss Time's cover story on Pope Benedict XVI's impending visit to America, Stengel blithely referred to the Pope as having been the Vatican's "hatchet man" during his years as a cardinal.
The April 7 edition of Time includes an article by Richard Lacayo hailed the peace symbol, "50 years old and still working." It was the ready-made icon for the sixties counterculture. But then Lacayo decided to compare it to the Christian cross, and things got ugly:
There were people who didn't like the symbol any better than they liked the movements it represented. They saw it as an inverted broken cross or "the footprint of the American chicken." But it kept spreading through the culture. Like the Christian cross, which has served the purposes of soup kitchens and Crusaders, the Sisters of Mercy and the Ku Klux Klan, it was adaptable. Over time, it evolved from its narrow association with nuclear disarmament into an insignia for countercultures of all kinds. Hippies made it a sort of all-purpose symbol of peacefulness. The environmental group Greenpeace, the militant wing of flower power, adopted it for its eco-defense campaigns.
While the Klan and the burning cross certainly go together -- and the Klan definitely saw itself as righteous Christians -- this is still a bit of free association that burns and singes the vast majority of Christians (including black ones) who loathe the Klan.
National Public Radio knows how to identify itself as the secular liberal media. On Good Friday, the show Fresh Air with Terry Gross recycled a 2004 interview with retired academic John Dominic Crossan, a co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, a man who believes the Gospels are largely mythology, someone's ahistorical hopes, and that the resurrection of Jesus never occurred, and that perhaps the body of Jesus was consumed by wild dogs. In this interview, Gross also asked him to comment on (disparage) the movie The Passion of the Christ, which he eagerly did. He suggested too much focus on the passion of Christ is "dangerously close to pathological." (Photo from NPR.org)
Last night on CNN Headline News's "Showbiz Tonight," so-called Hip Hop Professor Marc Lamont Hill noted that he was "freaked out" by Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus's claim that she loves Jesus. Host AJ Hammer played a clip from a YouTube video where Cyrus and pal Mandy answered fans' questions, this one dedicated to their religion:
Are we Christian?
Yes. We are.
We love Jesus. Happy Easter by the way. He died for our sins. That is how great he is. That`s why we do what we do. I sing and act Jesus. Not the acting but I sing and dance for Jesus. Actually, I act for Jesus, too. And now that I think about it, I do everything for Jesus.
In all the brouhaha last week over the incendiary comments made by Barack Obama's pastor the media seemed to forget to partake in their traditional Holy Week Christian-bashing excercise. There were a few entries in the "Easter Hit Parade," like the Comedy Central show "Root of All Evil" which my boss, Brent Bozell, wrote about in a column recently, and an episode of "Law and Order" which featured another Christian-stones-someone storyline.
I suppose it's good news that there was less faith flagellation courtesy of the liberal media, and yet at the same time it's sad that I was expecting to find it at Easter time. But the fact remains that Christmas and Easter are generally times when the media attacks on Christians are more pronounced.
The Huffington Post has learned that Bill O'Reilly -- who claims to love America -- spent Sunday at a "church" run by a former Hitler Youth named Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ratzinger has gone to elaborate ends to hide this connection, including taking on the absurd pseudonym "Pope Benedict XVI." Which, even if it doesn't prove anything, certainly makes you think.
This shocking revelation comes only a week after Barack Obama admitted he attends a church formerly run by Jeremiah Wright, who talks smack about America, although probably less than Goebbels did.
Somebody better break it to the New York Times: they might still be the paper of record in their own minds, but to the rest of the world they're just one more dead-tree joint struggling for attention.
The Old Grey Lady's unjustified conceit was on display during this afternoon's Hardball, when one of its columnists was aghast that Chris Matthews had had the audacity not to have read her oeuvre.
Deborah Solomon, who has a weekly column in the NYT Sunday magazine, had interviewed the Rev. John Hagee, a minister who has endorsed McCain and has made a number of controversial statements. I'd mention in passing that while Hagee's critics have accused him of anti-Semitism, he has in fact received numerous awards from Jewish groups for his steadfast support of Israel.
Anti-Catholicism still thrives at the Los Angeles Times, even though readers of the paper continue to call them on it. Last week, the Times published a smarmy op-ed by "humor" writer Barry Gottlieb ("That 'thou shalt not' list just got longer," 3/17/08). In addition to propagating the false story that the Vatican had composed a list of "new sins" (it didn't), Gottlieb mocked Catholic belief, ridiculed the sacraments, and derided the Church. In other words, it was just another episode of Catholic bashing at the Times.
Today (Thu. 3/20/08) - to its credit - the Times published three letters to the editor from readers who objected to the column's blatant bigotry. (I couldn't help but embolden some of the right-on points.)
This screed [Gottlieb's piece] insulting the Catholic religion is inexcusable. To publish this in a daily paper is an insult to every Catholic reader.
Lewis Black is a stand-up comedian. His shtick is foam-flecked fits of rage and profanity. Amazon.com advertised one of his DVDs by promising "There's eye-crossing, teeth-gnashing, raspy-voiced yelling, and liberal use of the F-word." In his show at Washington’s Warner Theatre, Black complained the Kennedy Center refused their facilities on the grounds that he dropped F-bombs 42 times in his first hour-long HBO special.
With a record like that, it should be no surprise that he’s a star on Comedy Central, that venomous Viacom property that markets mockery of everything polite, charitable, and (especially) holy. Black is the star of a brand-new Comedy Central show, named "The Root of All Evil." Comedians act like prosecutors, with Black as judge, trying to determine which of two allegedly evil forces is worse. The battle for the debut episode: Oprah Winfrey vs. the Catholic Church.
This is the same hate-spewing channel that mocked the Pope on "South Park" and skewered Catholicism on the holiday special "Merry F—ing Christmas." Now, on the cusp of the Easter celebration, it’s Catholic-hunting season again.
The Washington Post’s Sunday Style & Arts section spotlights Satanic music on the Lord’s day. The headline is “Going Down-Market: Satan Rules the Night at Jaxx.” Religion reporter Michelle Boorstein begins by reproducing the lyrics of a band called Dark Funeral: "Sin stands for beauty, sin stands for life. Sexual sin is every man's right!! He will exalt the wicked of man: our king the Antichrist!"
The ugliness continues as Boorstein explained:
Most common T-shirt of the night: "The day you die is the day I smile." Most common adjective: brutal (in a good way). Most common piece of jewelry: It's a tie between chains and upside-down crosses.
Are Americans dumber than we used to be? Susan Jacoby thinks so, and continually uses conservatives as her illustrations.
The "dumbing down" of American culture, as evidenced by America’s obsession with reality television and the barrage of celebrity "news" coverage, is a worthy topic of discussion. But it’s hard to have a reasoned discussion with an author who is contributing to the problem by gratuitously bashing conservatives and religious believers.
NBC’s Matt Lauer sat down with Jacoby to discuss her book, The Age of American Unreason, during the February 19 broadcast of the Today Show, and asked her about the role the media play in "dumbing down" Americans. Jacoby responded:
Dumbness is us. Yes I think the media has a lot to do with it. It’s not an original observation. This is the first time we've been able to have 24/7 entertainment coming into our ears if we want it. But just as politicians will say to voters, you were lied to, rather than -- the more fundamental question is why did we let ourselves be so stupid that we're so easy targets for lies?
‘View’ co-host Joy Behar followed up her anti-Catholic "saints are crazy" line, noting she "got in trouble with the Catholic Church." Though she emphasized it was "not all but some," she still called them "nuts" and "psychotic," and added that "not all of them deserved to be saints." Behar also added her opinions how crazy people in medieval Europe would be able to escape punishment by saying they were saints.
"I mean, let’s say that you were a person in those days, right? And you were hearing voices, and maybe you were mentally ill, but you were not stupid. As they say ‘I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.’ So you said to yourself, ‘let’s see, if people think I’m crazy they’re going to put me in a dungeon. If I pretend to be a saint, they’ll name a church after me.’"
"Good Morning America" co-host Chris Cuomo presented a decidedly one-sided segment on Monday about the "gender discrimination" expressed by a private religious school in Kansas that refused to allow a female basketball referee the chance to call a boy's varsity game. Cuomo announced, "many" think that "religious belief does not give the school the right to discriminate."
The ABC host offered almost no consideration to the argument, made by St. Mary's Academy, that men are best equipped to guide boys and prepare them for future life endeavors. (The referee in question, Michelle Campbell, asserted that she was not allowed to call the game because the school believes women shouldn't have authority over men.) Instead, he offered loaded questions to Campbell, who appeared on the show: "Gender discrimination is not something new. We know about it. But were you surprised that something this obvious still confronted you today....Were you surprised?"
One could feel the disdain that Emma Jane Kirby felt toward Catholicism in a recent travel piece by BBC News. Her disgust and utter dismissal of the Catholic holy site at Lourdes, France was so thick it verged on hatred. Knocking the sentiment behind Lourdes, slamming the "fusty" feel to the place, mocking its religious sincerity and, finally, ending in condescension, Kirby was so disturbed by her visit that she exclaimed "Good God!" and did so "not in any laudatory way," as she points out. Her piece was a pure hit job on Lourdes in particular and Catholicism in general and provides another great example of European's hatred for religion and the BBC's campaign against traditional culture.
Lourdes is a massive Roman Catholic pilgrimage site with more hotels than any other French city, except Paris... It reminded me of my father's attic - small, overcrowded, fusty, and so stuffed full of junk that the minute I entered I used to panic, desperate to get out again.
Of course YouTube has every right to disallow any video they deem unworthy of their service, this goes without saying. But, when YouTube sets up it's own criteria for removing a video and then removes videos that do not fit its own criteria, then we have cause to wonder if a particular reason for banning videos is one that is kept secret from users. That secret reason would be a certain political bias used by Youtube to eliminate content. And, naturally, that bias is in favor of leftist causes and against the conservative ones.
Such is obviously the case with the recent removal of a video created by the American Life League that criticizes several promiscuous Planned Parenthood condom advertisements. The videos were removed, according to Youtube, because of an "inappropriate nature" and also because of complaints by YouTube members. But, the claim by YouTube that the ALL's ad breached Youtube's "inappropriate nature" rule does not stand up to logic or scrutiny, nor does it seem to fit their own publicly stated rules.
Last Monday, ALL received an email message from YouTube announcing the decision. The ALL website reports that, "The e-mail sent to American Life League said, 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature.'"
Something from what I like to call the forgive but never forget file. From the MRC.org CyberAlert archives, March 7, 2001:
Ted Turner insulted attendees at Bernard Shaw’s retirement party, asking those on Ash Wednesday with a smudge on their foreheads if they were "a bunch of Jesus freaks," FNC’s Brit Hume reported Tuesday night.
Hume revealed during his "Grapevine" segment on Special Report with Brit Hume:
Imagine someone going on the radio and using Scripture to give you advice on your finances. To ABC's "World News," following this advice involves "radical" action.
The February 3 "World News Sunday" featured the financial advice of Howard Dayton. Dayton incorporates the Bible into his advice and says it's Biblical to get out of debt as soon as possible. But "World News" anchor Dan Harris portrayed the followers of this advice as a fringe element.
"Dayton urges families to pay them [debts, including home mortgages] off as quickly as possible, even if it involves radical belt tightening - advice the Pruitt family is following," Harris said.
Proving once again in good European form that they think nothing American is democratic, good or fair, Reuters gives us a pity party for CAIR who is whining that they "feel left out" of the 2008 presidential elections. With the headline blaring "Some non-Christians feel left out of election," Reuters gives us a tale of woe guaranteed to make Europeans shake their heads knowingly that we Americans are really just Christian nuts out to oppress all minorities. One does wonder, however, how CAIR would like it if Muslims did become a focus of the 2008 elections? In light of current events it is doubtful if such a focus would be favorable to them, so, were I them, I'd be happy no one is paying attention to them!
In a U.S. election campaign where presidential candidates from both major parties have talked openly about their Christian faith, some non-Christians feel shut out or turned off.
Listen, this is a majority Christian nation and anyone wanting to get elected is naturally going to talk as closely as possible to that majority. This country is still over 75% Christian, so it is a logical presumption that citizens whose religion represents only a few percentage points would not be a focus of a politician's efforts!
In a January 29 article for the Associated Press, reporter Rachel Zoll lambasted conservative Southern Baptists as "vicious" partisans who sought to "wipe out" any trace of liberals or moderates from the denomination. What's more, this characterization came while reporting on a gathering of "moderate" Southern Baptists set to convene tomorrow and featuring ex-presidents (and liberal Democrats) Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (h/t Steve Barrett)
Both Clinton and Carter were raised Southern Baptist, but Carter has since cut ties to the Southern Baptist Convention and Clinton frequently attended the liberal Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., with his wife while president.
Here's Zoll's first two paragraphs:
Weary of Southern Baptists' dominance in American Protestantism, a new push is starting by other Baptist groups aimed at working on social justice issues, and showing their religious tradition is broader than the conservative SBC. Former President Jimmy Carter is leading the effort.
We are told over and over again that the United Nations is the answer to all the world's ills. It is often claimed that without the UN things would be so much worse in troubled spots around the world. But, when we look at the pernicious effect the UN has where ever it goes, it's awfully hard to reconcile the claims with the hard truth. For one thing, we've seen the UN responsible for turning indigenous teens into prostitutes for UN workers in Cambodia, Africa, and Bosnia. Well, now we can add vandalism of sacred, ancient wall-art to the ever growing list of evils perpetrated by UN operatives.
But, where is the media to report this outrage against human history and sacred religious relics and sites? About the same place they were when underplaying the reports of UN peacekeepers and employees forcing young women into prostitution the world over... absent from the scene.
Ten days after ESPN sportscaster Dana Jacobson's "F*** Jesus" outburst, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann made a dopey crack that made light of the Christian belief that Jesus was resurrected in an immortal body from the dead.
The remark came at the end of his "World's Best Persons" feature on the January 21 program as Olbermann relayed the story of one Feliberto Carrasco of Chile, who awoke from an apparently deep slumber in a casket at a wake being held for the presumed-to-be-dead elderly gentleman.
Quipped Olbermann as he eased into a commercial break, "So do I have the etiquette correct here, does Mr. Carrasco get his own religion now, or what happens? Is there a vote?"
After making a long string of anti-Christian remarks, ESPN host Dana Jacobson is getting only a one-week suspension. Lucky for her she didn't say something about Mohammed or another member of the left's "protected class:"
Sources have confirmed that Jacobson, a co-host of "First Take" on ESPN2, currently is serving a one-week suspension because of her behavior at a Jan. 11 roast for ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic at Atlantic City, N.J.
Now, I have never seen this show, so you'll have to excuse me if I am misunderstanding the whole American Idol "thing," OK? As I seem to recall, the deal is that you sing for a washed up 80s pop star, a fat guy no one ever heard of and some English dude and they rate you on your talent. Right? Or is it that they are supposed to rate you on your sex life and moral beliefs? Because, it seems that host Ryan Seacrest has given some unwanted "advice" to a recent contestant that offered that at 19 he'd never kissed a girl. In response, Seacrest told him to "go kiss some girls," and hoped that once he came back to audition again he'd "come back less a boy and more a man." This did not amuse contestant Bruce Dickson who says the reason he'd never kissed a girl was because of his Christian moral convictions.
So, is being a Christian with closely held moral convictions now a disqualifying thing to be a proper contestant on TV's American Idol? If Seacrest has anything to say about it, it would seem so.
In 2006, movie mogul James Cameron lent his name to a "documentary" detailing the "discovery" of the tomb of Jesus Christ and his family. The film was widely panned by archeologists, Christians, Jews and non-believers alike and the evidence of the find has been shown to be highly suspect. But, this doesn't seem to bother Time Magazine as the monthly is reviving the story once again in Jesus 'Tomb' Controversy Reopened, a story by Tim McGirk. Naturally, the entire article is written from the perspective of those who take the anti-Christian position on the story and Christians are presented as rejecting the "find" merely out of blind belief while those supporting the interpretation of the find as that of Jesus' final resting place are presented as serious scientists and academicians.
In the past few decades, as political correctness has taken hold of virtually every industry, folks involved in sports and sportscasting that have made racist or sexist remarks on camera have typically been fired or forced to make public apologies.
Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's termination by CBS back in 1988 is a fine example, with the recent two-week suspension of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman being another.
Yet, given what happened on an Atlantic City dais on January 11, where a high-profile ESPN anchor went on an alcohol-induced tirade which included a vulgar reference to Jesus Christ, it appears public antitheism is not politically incorrect.
After all, until this moment, you probably hadn't heard about this incident, and the person involved apparently has not been publicly admonished for her behavior by her employer.
While you consider such a double standard, Press of Atlantic City reported on January 12 (h/t NB reader Andy Traynor, readers are warned that vulgarity and blasphemy appear after the jump):