Jeffrey Toobin likened social conservative Christian business owners who refuse to participate in same-sex "marriages" to advocates of racial segregation during a Monday special on CNN: "This is...precisely parallel to the people in the '50s and '60s, who thought there was a religious obligation to keep the races separate – and they really believed that." Toobin continued by underlining that "we made a decision, as a society, that...we are not going to allow that...even if you actually believe it. And the question now is, are we going to do the same thing for homosexuality?"
On Monday's New Day on CNN, Daily Beast's John Avlon likened Indiana Governor Mike Pence's defense of his state's new religious freedom law to George Wallace's fight for racial segregation. Avlon asserted that Republican politicians "don't want to say they're in favor of bigotry. So what you get is that incredibly awkward stonewalling by Mike Pence." He added that "this puts him in the same position as George Wallace...by saying that...I'm not in favor of segregation. I never have been. This is about states' rights and the Constitution."
Andrea R. Jain bemoaned how a "growing number of individuals and institutions oppose yoga, and actively encourage fear of it" in a Thursday item on Quartz, an online magazine from the parent company of The Atlantic. Despite passing mentions of opposition from evangelical Christians, such as Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler, the Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis professor devoted the bulk of her attention on high-profile "yogaphobia" in the Catholic Church.
Friday's CBS Evening News played up the "growing backlash" by social liberals against a new law in Indiana that protest the religious liberties of business owners. Correspondent Adriana Diaz spotlighted how "the protests have grown from Indiana's state house to a torrent on social media." She also played clips or read excerpts from statements of four opponents of the law, while only featuring two from supporters.
Bush seems not to share what Ed Kilgore calls the “vengeful rage about the alleged persecution of good conservative Christian folk” and what Peter Beinart describes as “the sense of Christian victimhood and superiority that lurks just below the surface in today’s GOP.”
Max Fisher writes that Obama’s comment was “so banal it could be an after-school special. That it has provoked national controversy goes to show that there is still a mainstream thread of thought in America that Islam is an inherently violent religion, that the world's 1.6 billion Muslims are somehow different, and that non-Muslims are superior human beings.”
The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman advocates that Obama skip next year’s National Prayer Breakfast and instead “hold his own inter-faith breakfast at the White House, one geared more toward understanding and less toward proclamations of the one true faith. Of course, conservatives would be apoplectic if he did that, saying that it just shows how he hates Jesus and hates America. Which is exactly what they say anyway. So why not?”
After years of virtually always failing to file a print news report on the March for Life, the New York Times this year ran a full half-sentence on the rally of tens of thousands in Washington, in a Jeremy Peters' report that used the march's existence solely to embarrass the Republican Party over its mishandling of an abortion bill.
On Wednesday's Now With Alex Wagner on MSNBC, Eric Bates raised the specter of censorship by Christian conservatives during a panel discussion on the past Muslim backlash against Charlie Hebdo magazine – the target of an Islamic terrorist attack in Paris earlier in the day. Bates, a former executive editor for Rolling Stone magazine, cited Jerry Falwell's lawsuit against porn magazine Hustler in the 1980s as an apparent example of "religious fundamentalists of all stripes and of nationalities have this penchant to say, we want to be able tell you what you can and can't portray."
In a Talking Points Memo piece, Ed Kilgore opines, “Even if the supply side of theocratic impulses in America is abating a bit, the demand side will boom” because of “a large and noisy Republican presidential nominating fight in which Christian Right resources will be a fiercely contested prize.”
With Christmas three days away, one liberal atheist took to the far-left website Salon to dismiss the existence of a “war on Christmas” spotlighted annually by conservatives and news pundits, led by the Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Bill O’Reilly. At the same time, however, the author seemed perfectly fine attacking Christmas himself, claiming that Jesus Christ never existed and wondered if “anyone” would “truly mourn the holiday if we did without it.”
In a piece entitled “Let’s Make Bill O’Reilly’s Head Explode: We Desperately Need a War on Christmas Lies,” Atlantic magazine contributing editor Jeffrey Tayler began by summarizing one of O’Reilly’s latest segments regarding the “war on Christmas” that discussed into a series of billboards being sponsored by the American Atheists.
The Daily Beast's Jay Michaelson warned his left-wing fellow-travelers in a Tuesday item that Pope Francis "does not intend to change fundamental Catholic doctrine" on human sexuality. His evidence: the Bishop of Rome spoke at a "bizarre" (in his words) conference where "a who's who of theological conservatives from a breadth of Western religious traditions" gathered to discuss traditional marriage.