When it's Sunday on National Public Radio, it must be time to announce the Catholic Church is out of step with modern times. On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR granted a soft-soap eight-minute interview to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the front-runner to succeed Michael Bloomberg as Mayor. NPR touted: "Christine Quinn has a notable biography. She's from an Irish family, she's Catholic and gay."
She's so "Catholic" that her "wedding" to Kim Catullo last year featured her walking down the aisle with her father to Beyonce's "Ave Maria," which is just another love song, not the actual Hail Mary hymn in any way. Her partner marched down the aisle with her dad, too...to Bruce Springsteen. NPR anchor David Greene asked as one of the "most powerful gay women" in America, if she shouldn't just leave the church that won't accept her homosexuality:
Time magazine is shooting straight at Mitt Romney’s religion. On the Time Ideas blog, the conservative-bashing psychoanalyst Dr. Justin Frank has an article titled “The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort With Lying.” That root, he says, is Mormonism.
Dr. Frank is agitated that Romney would “lie” about Obama’s economic record: "But this pattern of lying and not acknowledging it, even when confronted directly, has persisted and led me to look for other sources of Romney’s behavior and of his clear comfort with continuing it. I think much of this comfort stems from his Mormon faith."
Yesterday the Southern Baptist Convention elected their first black president, an historic moment for an organization that got its start defending slavery in pre-Civil War America.
CNN Starting Point host Soledad O'Brien interviewed Fred Luter Jr., who will be installed as president Wednesday evening. The interview on the main was fine, but towards the end, contributor Margaret Hoover pressed Luter as to whether he would champion as a "civil rights" cause, "inclusiveness of gay Americans," referring it seems to same-sex marriage. Luter answered in the negative, citing the Bible's teachings on the definition of marriage. It's then that O'Brien retorted that his stance put him in opposition to President Obama, as if to suggest that were a scandalous position for him to be in:
If the audacious amount of gory violence and bloody sex in “True Blood” doesn’t do it for you, what about malevolent vampire “Christians?”
Apparently “True Blood” vampires have a sacred text, and HBO writers admitted it’s a slanderous take on the Bible and separation of church and state. A faction of vampires called the “Sanguinistas” functioned as a demeaning allegory for traditional Christians, as they literally interpret the vampire “bible” and believe humans only exist as blood-bags.
Funny, but they’re not making much noise about using government to discriminate in favor of their lifestyle. One Canadian activist even declared: “We’ll only take away charitable status from the buildings where the priests live and where the people pray.”
Perhaps the most common justification for government intrusion into people's lives and into the economy at large is the notion that "doing something" is better than preserving limited government.
The usual rejoinder from the right is that capitalism has done more to alleviate poverty and is therefore a more efficient way of helping raise living standards than socialism or its related ideologies. While that answer has the advantage of being true, it is often unpersuasive for those looking for an answer to a moral question. That is the task at hand for Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and center-right thinker in his excellent new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.
The conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition is in the middle of a three-day "conference and strategy briefing" in Washington, D.C., which proved to be a sufficient justification for MSNBC's Martin Bashir to bring back anti-conservative-Christian hatemonger Frank Schaeffer to denounce the meeting as essentially a congress of an American Christian Taliban.
"I think what you have to understand when you look at the religious right in action these days is that they speak in Orwellian doublespeak. They say the opposite of what they mean. They talk about faith and freedom, the conference should really be called Politics and Bondage," Schaeffer, the prodigal son of the late famous evangelical theologian Francis Schaeffer snarled. [MP3 audio here; video is posted after the page break]
On Friday, conscientious Americans participated in 164 coordinated noontime rallies in support of religious freedom, but those demonstrations were ignored by the liberal broadcast media, NewsBusters contributor and Media Research Center analyst Matthew Balan noted yesterday. At the same time, networks have played up conflict over a Vatican investigation of feminist nuns. NewsBusters publisher and MRC founder Brent Bozell reacted to the double standard in a statement this morning:
The bias beat goes on, and it's getting more obvious as outrage against Obama and his mandate spreads to every corner of America. To ignore these coordinated protests across the country is bad enough. But then to hype what a few über liberal nuns and their hundreds of supporters - hundreds! - are doing to dissent against the Vatican's supposed 'inquisition' is unbearable.
Via Breitbart, we learn that the Independent Film Channel (IFC) has a new sitcom in the works they’re touting/warning is the "most violent sitcom ever made." It’s called Bullet In The Face. Then comes the politics.
In addition to the “unrestrained shootings, peppered with wildly offensive language, IFC is apparently concerned that the use of a crucifix as a backscratcher and dialogue grouping Dick Cheney in with the likes of Hitler and Stalin will be misconstrued as something more than an attempt at some very dark, inappropriate humor." This kind of story is usually more of an advertisement than a warning.
Donald Trump on Monday had some harsh words for Bill Maher's incessant attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism.
Appearing on Fox News's On the Record, the real estate mogul said, "If a conservative Republican made a like statement about somebody else's religion, there’d be hell to pay. It’ll be all over the place. It would be the end of that person's career as you know it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Todd Kaufman at the Sports Page in Dallas notes that Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports writer Randy Galloway sounded bitter when Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton talked about getting a big new contract after this season ends -- not just for himself, but to help a "hurting world."
It's always hard for a baseball fan to see your team's highest-wattage star headed for the clubhouse door. But the disdain for the God talk ought to seem more impolite in the Texas metroplex, where ABC puts the "GCBs." Kaufman writes:
National "Public" Radio has barely touched on the 43 Catholic organizations that filed lawsuits against the Obama administration, but it continues to be a noisy sounding board for leftist nuns and their supporters. On Friday, NPR offered more than 14 minutes of air time to the left-wing forces.
On the afternoon talk show Tell Me More, NPR devoted nine minutes and 47 seconds to a segment they titled "Born to Be Wild: Catholic Nuns Hit the Road."These "wild" nuns were celebrated for opposing the Paul Ryan budget with a bus tour. Once again, NPR's honored guest was Sister Simone Campbell of Network, the "social justice lobby." Martin asked Sister to get out a club (or a ruler?) and whack Ryan:
You don’t have to be Catholic to find the liberal media often sounds intentionally clueless when it writes about the Catholic Church publicly identifying for people both inside and outside the church what its teaching is.
When the church makes an announcement that perhaps someone who supports abortion, homosexuality, and masturbation isn’t really anywhere on the planet of Catholicism, liberal journalists have a fit. In Saturday’s Washington Post, (anti-)religion columnist Lisa Miller was so exercised she found someone to say the Vatican sees wayward nuns as comparable to Islamic terrorists (sort of like the Rosie O’Donnell character in An American Carol):
American liberals continue to be clueless (willfully or otherwise) as to the nature and purpose of the Catholic Church and its relationship to its members. The latest proof comes in the case of theVatican’s condemnation of left-wing nun Margaret Farley’s book, “Just Love, A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” which advocates gay sex and marriage, divorce, and female masturbation. These practices are contrary to Catholic theology as practiced since the beginning of Catholicism.
But the Church’s reaction to the book is, to liberals, another example of the Vatican stifling women. Here’s how one Sarah O’Leary described it in the Huffington Post: “Sister Margaret A. Farley, a scholarly woman of faith who taught Christian Ethics at Yale University and served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, is being brought to the woodshed by Rome for penning "Just Love.” How dare she use her God given gifts of cognition to share her educated point of view with the world!”
Chalk another one up for media anti-Catholic bigotry.
Syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich, working for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, created a cartoon bashing the Catholic Church for controlling women. The cartoon features a wizened old bishop in a confessional, saying to a woman that “The contraception debate’s about controlling you.” The cartoon has the caption “Confession” at the bottom.
Sister Margaret Farley probably would have had Sally Quinn's respect when she endorsed same-sex marriage in her 2006 book Just Love, which has recently been denounced by the Vatican as unsuitable for use in Catholic theological or moral instruction due to its various departures from Church teaching.
But by golly, it's the Church's rebuke of Farley's defense of masturbation that Quinn thinks is her ticket to convincing her audience that the Church has lost its mind. From her June 7 On Faith blog post "Fifty Shades of Catholicism" (emphases mine):
Last month 43 Catholic institutions across America joined together to defend the First Amendment and filed a total of twelve lawsuits against the Administration in order to protect the right to freedom of religion on behalf of all Americans.
This is the most significant religious lawsuit in U.S. history and Christian leaders all across America have joined in support of the Catholic institutions. This lawsuit is not a single action by a few “out of touch religious leaders,” as the liberal national media would like to portray it.
The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.
The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:
When the news pertains to issues in the Catholic church, CNN loves to promote liberal theologians and religious, especially ones that are defying Catholic teaching. In contrast, orthodox priests and bishops might receive vastly different treatment – if they even get on CNN, that is.
So when an American nun's book on sexual ethics was found by the Vatican to be "not in conformity" with the Catholic Church's teaching, CNN contributor Stephen Prothero smacked the Vatican for its "unjust" condemnation of the book and accused the Catholic Church of continuing to "attack the sort of apple pie, mom kind of institutions in America."
When a nun tows her vows, she pledges among other things obedience to the Catholic Church and its teachings. So when a sister writes a book on sexual ethics that in various ways contradicts Church teachings and refuses for six years to recant, is it really all that shocking when the Vatican issues a rebuke (and an extremely mild one at that)?
That's exactly what has happened in the case of Sister Margaret A. Farley, whom the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rebuked yesterday* for her 2006 book Just Love: A framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. But to Reuters's Philip Pullella, the Vatican is waging war on a "popular American nun." From Pullella's June 4 story headlined "Vatican attacks popular U.S. nun over sexuality book" (emphases mine):
One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.
So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn't that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein.
Elitist film critics at several big city papers, Friday, mocked the Christian-themed movie For Greater Glory as "catnip for crusaders," a movie that exploits the struggle for religious freedom with "maximum teary-eyed outrage."
The movie, directed by Dean Wright, tells the story of a Catholic uprising against religious persecution in 1920s Mexico. However, Los Angeles Times film critic Robert Abele sneered, "'For Greater Glory' is mostly single-minded, dying-for-the-cause fodder, catnip for crusaders but not so interesting to those looking for a deeper view into how politics and religion can tragically clash."
Once upon a time waiting to have sex until marriage was seen as a beautiful thing, well that time has come and gone according to the liberal media.
Lolo Jones is a 29-year old Olympic track star who recently came under the left’s scrutiny after openly speaking about her virginity on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” She said her reason for sharing something so personal was, “because she wants other girls who have made the same decision to know that they are not alone and that it’s not easy.”
CBS made little effort to hide that it was siding with liberal dissenters inside the Catholic Church on Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's CBS This Morning. Scott Pelley hyped that there was a Vatican "crackdown on America's 57,000 nuns." Gayle King touted how "some Catholics compare it to the dark days of the Inquisition, a crackdown on a prominent organization of nuns accused of being radical feminists."
King and co-anchor Charlie Rose sympathized with the group of dissenting sisters during an interview of left-wing public radio host Sister Maureen Fiedler, and hinted that the Catholic hierarchy was "out of touch." Correspondent Wyatt Andrews also overwhelmingly slanted towards the disobedient religious and their supporters during his reports on the two programs, and played only one brief soundbite from a spokeswoman for the bishops.
While the networks largely ignored 43 Catholic institutions suing the Obama administration over the ObamaCare contraception mandate, since news broke on May 25 of the Pope's butler leaking classified Vatican documents, those same networks saw fit to provide 13 stories in 5 days proclaiming"another black eye for the Vatican" and supposed "corruption at some of the highest levels." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC News lead the charge, with a total of six reports from May 26 through 28. NBC followed close behind with five reports, one of which was a news brief, from May 25 through 29. CBS had the lightest coverage of the controversy, with only two reports on May 28. CBS was also the only one of the three networks to provide any coverage of the Catholic lawsuit, offering a 19-second news brief on the May 21 Evening News and an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the May 23 This Morning.
The central issue in the fight between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church is the right of the federal government to redefine religious institutions as entities that hire and serve mostly people of their own faith. Secondarily, the fight is over forcing Catholics to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. But one looks in vain for the Church’s critics to even acknowledge this reality. It’s not contraception that is in play—“It’s the First Amendment, Stupid.”
The New York Times says the Obama mandate “specifically exempts houses of worship.” Try telling that to Donald Cardinal Wuerl who runs the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; it is a self-insured entity and thus must be forced to pay for morally objectionable services. The Times says most American Catholic women do not agree with the Church’s contraception stand, but fails to mention that because of the Obama administration’s disrespect for religious liberty, support for Obama has dropped precipitously among Catholic women.
Naturally, this leftist group opposes the lawsuits against the Obama administration as a baldly political move (as if their website displays a group that's more religious than political): "There is also no denying that many Catholics believe that the bishops’ religious freedom campaign and the timing of the recent lawsuits have more to do with politics than faith. Not everyone is on board." But these people were pretty much always on board with Obama.
On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace not only interviewed Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington DC, but asked him about the MRC’s finding that the broadcast network evening news shows only gave the Catholic lawsuits against Obamacare 19 seconds of air time.
He asked: “I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but it you haven’t, I’ll inform you. What do you make of the fact that the broadcast networks have spent a grand total of 19 seconds this week on their evening newscasts – 19 seconds covering the lawsuits by the 43 Catholic organizations. What do you make of that?” (More transcript as well as video below)