Religious Right

By Matthew Balan | June 15, 2015 | 4:27 PM EDT

Jeffrey Tayler of The Atlantic treated religious belief as a mental illness in a Sunday column for the far-left website Salon, which targeted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for "imposing your obscurantist dogma on impressionable young minds" – specifically, "the bizarre Catholic cult." Tayler made no secret of his anti-Catholic bigotry when he slammed the supposed "pedophile pulpiteers of your creed [who] have...warp[ed] the minds of their credulous 'flocks' for two millennia."

By Matthew Balan | June 8, 2015 | 3:33 PM EDT

On Sunday's MediaBuzz on Fox News, former CNN correspondent Lola Ogunnaike slammed the reaction of many conservatives to the sexual abuse scandal surrounding the Duggar family. Host Howard Kurtz wondered if "some conservative commentators going easy on the family, because it's somebody who is seen as on their side." Ogunnaike replied, "Absolutely. I think that if this family was a group of atheists, they would have thrown the book at them. They would have raked them over the coals – drawn and quartered the entire family in the middle of Times Square."

By Tom Johnson | May 29, 2015 | 10:46 AM EDT

In a Tuesday post for Slate, lefty pundit Marcotte explored the religious right’s fascination with (and perhaps exploitation of) the Duggar family and how it might change in light of the Josh Duggar sexual-abuse scandal. “The Duggars' [religious] extremism elicited admiration and maybe a little envy among the ranks” of Christian conservatives, Marcotte commented, “but perhaps now Republicans will learn a lesson about the dangers of embracing religious extremists.”

Marcotte thinks the GOP’s affinity for the Duggars exemplifies the religious right’s misogynistic race to the bottom: “Just as urban liberals compete to see who can eat the most organic food and libertarian types race to see who can have the most polluting truck, Christian conservatives compete to see who can deny women's autonomy the hardest.”

By Matthew Balan | May 27, 2015 | 2:54 PM EDT

Wednesday's New Day shut out social conservatives from a panel discussion on Senator Marco Rubio's Tuesday remark that "if you do not support same-sex marriage, you're labeled a homophobe and a hater," and that "the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity – the Catechism of the Catholic Church –  is hate speech." Instead, the CNN morning show brought on a Republican and Democrat – Ana Navarro and Donna Brazile – who both blasted Rubio for his warning.

By Matthew Balan | May 21, 2015 | 6:39 PM EDT

Patricia Miller ecstatically touted that the apparent "demographic free-fall" of the Catholic Church is "good news for the country" in a Thursday item for Salon. Miller bemoaned the American Catholic bishops' "outsize role in U.S. politics" in the past, given their opposition to abortion, contraception, and same-sex "marriage," and asserted that "with their flock fleeing and Pope Francis espousing a more conciliatory form of Catholicism less focused on the pelvic zone, the U.S. bishops don't look so powerful."

By Tom Johnson | May 13, 2015 | 10:38 AM EDT

A new Pew Research study found that between 2007 and 2014, the percentage of Americans self-identifying as Christian fell from 78.4 to 70.6. In a Tuesday post, Martin Longman speculated about causes for the dropoff, commenting that “the Republican Party’s embrace of a very conservative interpretation of Christianity” may be “undermining people’s faith.”

Longman added that it’s not solely the fault of the domestic religious right: “Islamic radicals…committing unspeakable atrocities in Allah’s name” and “Jewish radicals…standing in the way of [Israeli-Palestinian] peace negotiations” share the blame. “Most of the war and killing that is going on in the world today is generated by disputes between or within a small handful of very well-established traditional religions,” he remarked. “If the whole world woke up tomorrow with no memory of the New Testament, the Torah, or the Koran, it’s quite possible that peace would break out in ways that seem unthinkable today.”

By Tom Johnson | May 8, 2015 | 6:10 PM EDT

The faltering religious right would be well served to borrow a strategy from gay activists, but it almost certainly won’t, contended The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky in a Friday column.

In Tomasky’s telling, the gay-rights movement in the 1980s alienated many because it could be self-righteous to the point of belligerence, but eventually “the leaders of the movement saw that it was more important to persuade public opinion than to shock it. And so the public-relations strategy around the movement for same-sex marriage became ‘we’re just like you.’ And it worked.”

The religious right, Tomasky argued, “can’t change. When you believe the Big Guy Himself handed you down your positions, you’re not going to alter them or indeed even the way you talk about them. What is the religious right’s version of ‘we’re just like you’? I don’t think there is one. Because they are not like the rest of us, at least when it comes to politics.”

By Matthew Balan | May 4, 2015 | 6:43 PM EDT

Taylor Wofford spotlighted how Pope Francis "publicly affirmed his stance on so-called traditional marriage between men and women" in a Wednesday item for Newsweek. Wofford did his best to indicate that the pontiff was commenting about the recent oral arguments on same-sex "marriage" at the Supreme Court: "Though he made no specific mention of the case before the court during his daily general audience, the pope reiterated his position that marriage is only between one man and one woman."

By Tom Johnson | April 20, 2015 | 9:23 PM EDT

Imagine a president of the United States proclaiming in his or her inaugural address, “I do not believe in God. I do not believe in a hereafter…There is no hope, save in ourselves.” If something like that ever happens, writer Jeffrey Tayler’s dream will have come true.

Tayler, who routinely trashes religion for the liberal online magazine Salon, complained in a Sunday article that several recent announcements of presidential candidacies have brought about “a media carnival featuring, on both sides, an array of supposedly God-fearing clowns and faith-mongering nitwits groveling before Evangelicals and nattering on about their belief in the Almighty.” He called on the media not to let the candidates “get away with God talk without making them answer for it.”

By Matthew Balan | April 8, 2015 | 3:29 PM EDT

As the Big Three networks were touting President Obama's claim that climate change affects the health of children – including that of his own daughter – on Wednesday, their morning and evening newscasts have yet to report on the politician's criticism of many Christians during a Tuesday prayer breakfast. Mr. Obama underlined that "on Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes, when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned."

By Tom Johnson | April 3, 2015 | 1:43 PM EDT

Christianity’s tent is not big enough to accommodate both the supporters of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Brittney Cooper, who in a Wednesday piece for Salon blasted both the state’s pre-fix RFRA and the religious right in general.

“This kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women,” declared Cooper. “That means these people don’t represent any kind of Christianity that looks anything like the kind that I practice…This white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus of the religious right is a god of their own making. I call this god, the god of white supremacy and patriarchy...This God isn’t the God that I serve…He might be ‘biblical’ but he’s also an asshole.”

By Matthew Balan | April 2, 2015 | 6:08 PM EDT

CNN's Gary Tuchman condescended towards Christian florists in rural Georgia on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 over their religious-based stance against participating in homosexual "commitment ceremonies," as the state hasn't legalized same-sex "marriage" yet. Tuchman used the Bible as a club against two female employees: "The Bible talks an awful lot about love and loving your fellow man....You're not loving them if you don't want to serve them – right?"