As part of a piece on Friday’s CBS This Morning about the opening of the first freestanding Chick-fil-a in New York City, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers couldn’t help but harp on the company’s conservative Christian values and how they had to supposedly draw customers back “in 2012 when those values ran afoul of public sentiment” after “CEO Dan Cathy affirmed his support for tradition marriage.”
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel took time out of his opening monologue on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to grumble over the news that Pope Francis secretly met with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis last week during his visit to the U.S. and quip that it would have been better if he met with Kim Kardashian or murderous North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un instead.
Esquire’s Charles Pierce is a graduate of a Jesuit university (Marquette). It’s among the many reasons he’s been a big fan of Pope Francis, the first-ever Jesuit pontiff, and it’s probably one factor in his vehement disappointment that Francis met with, and apparently encouraged, gay-marriage objector Kim Davis last week in Washington.
Pierce referred to the pope’s behavior regarding the “nutball” Davis as “a fcking [sic] blunder,” “a sin against charity,” and “the dumbest thing [he] ever has done.” He concluded, as if addressing Francis, “I will pray for you, because, damn, son, you need it.”
Variations on the term “Bush Derangement Syndrome” are common on both the right and the left (a Google search for “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” yielded roughly 180,000 results). Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see Indiana University law prof Steve Sanders modify Charles Krauthammer’s famous coinage in order to trash religious conservatives.
“The Christian right is deep in the grip of gay marriage derangement syndrome,” wrote Sanders in a Thursday article for The Washington Monthly. “Conservative Christians grew accustomed to hegemony in a world where judges and lawmakers frequently deferred to their preferences…But as Americans become markedly less religious, things are changing, and the law’s treatment of homosexuality is a cutting edge of that change. So far the Christian right is reacting exactly like an indulged child throwing a particularly stormy tantrum.”
On Sunday, NBC Nightly News found it pertinent to run a puff piece on a liberal Tennessee church that fill-in weekend anchor Carl Quintanilla hyped as a place “where the views of all are welcome” and gay people are welcomed with the full benefits of membership (including baptisms and marriages).
Regarding the mainstream media’s superficial coverage of religion, is the sticking point excessive evenhandedness or simple ignorance? Two lefty bloggers differed Friday on that issue.
First, Paul Waldman wrote on The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog that reporters don’t like asking the presidential candidates “about the specifics of their faith and how it might influence their day-to-day decision making…because they’re worried that it will come off sounding like criticism of the candidates’ beliefs.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, however, countered that journalists worry not about appearing biased but rather about getting overmatched by politicians who are well-versed in Scripture, exegesis, and so on.
Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore vomited up the oft-used leftist insults of social conservatives on Tuesday's Nightly Show in a rant about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Wilmore hinted that her supporters were akin to the Ku Klux Klan, and mocked her Christian prayer gesture as a Nazi salute. The "comedian" later likened Davis to notorious segregationist George Wallace, and hyped that "going to jail for what you believe in does not necessarily put you on par with Martin Luther King. Jeffrey Dahmer was in jail because he believes in eating people."
The Week’s Paul Waldman agrees with conservatives that the undercover Planned Parenthood videos raise a profound moral issue, but disagrees sharply with them over what that issue is. In a Friday post, Waldman asserted that “this controversy simply has nothing to do with fetal tissue” and claimed that it’s really about the right’s disgust with women’s sexual “autonomy.”
“Republicans have always hated Planned Parenthood, not only because it provides abortions but because it's a forthright advocate on behalf of women's rights to control their own reproductive lives,” wrote Waldman. “Nothing is more horrifying to a certain kind of conservative than a woman who has sex because she wants to, and does so without being punished for her sin.”
A 7,000-word New York Times Magazine cover story by Eliza Griswold, "The Shadow of Death," is an all-too-rare look from a major media outlet at the decimation of Christianity in the place of its birth, the Middle East, at the hands of radical Islamist groups like ISIS. From the cover text: "Christians in the Middle East are being forced out of their homes, enslaved and killed. Why is no one coming to their aid?"
As of Wednesday morning, NPR's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the second undercover video of a Planned Parenthood executive revealing how the organization varies its abortion procedures in order to preserve the organs of unborn babies for medical research. Instead, Tuesday's All Things Considered spotlighted a March 2014 incident where the adult son of a pro-life activist vandalized an abortionist's office in rural Montana.
A movie dramatization of the Stanford prison experiment opened this weekend, but if you believe Andrew O’Hehir, that’s not the first time the 1971 psychological study has been restaged in some manner. O’Hehir asserted in a Saturday piece that over the past few decades, “the Republican Party has been the subject, willing or otherwise, of a version” of the Stanford experiment, with the result that the GOP is now “a xenophobic, all-white party of hate that seeks to roll back not just the Civil Rights movement and feminism, but the entire Enlightenment.”
CNN's Chris Cuomo tried to shame Rick Santorum on Tuesday's New Day over his opposition to same-sex marriage. Cuomo indicated that Santorum wasn't in line with Pope Francis on LGBT issues: "Your Pope says tolerance is the message of Catholicism, when asked about gay marriage and LGBT existence within humanity. He says, 'Who am I to judge?' That doesn't work for you. You say you want an amendment that keeps marriage between a man and a woman. Why aren't you more like your pope?"