An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.
She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln foresaw a "new birth of freedom" in his Gettysburg Address, the folks at MSNBC are busy celebrating abortion.
From Chris Jansing to Thomas Roberts, to liberal darling Alex Wagner, the all-liberal network has chosen November 19 as the newest abortion day at the “Lean Forward” network. Perhaps the most obnoxious abortion segment on MSNBC on November 19 was during Now w/ Alex Wagner, where the MSNBC host featured liberal comic Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, to promote Monday's online abortion fundraiser for the women of Texas and a new campaign she was calling “From V To Shining V,” the "v" presumably standing for "vagina." [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Lean Forward network took a half-hearted stab at being fair and balanced on Tuesday. During the 11 a.m. hour, Thomas Roberts invited on two women to discuss the vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representing the obvious pro-abortion side was frequent MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon.
Representing what Roberts called “the church side” was Sara Hutchinson of, wait for it... Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice lobby group. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Typically, Washington Post “On Faith” founder Sally Quinn touted tattooed progressive minister Nadia Bolz-Weber, the one who boasts about her new book “Pastrix” in an Amazon video: "the first word in the book is s–t.”
Her book claims also include “I wrote it for people who listen to This American Life" on NPR, and "I wrote it for people who know the difference between American cheese...and actual cheese." Quinn should have a tongue in her cheek as she finds it amazing, amazing that Reverend Nadia could draw 800 people to a service....after a major writeup as a alternative-Christian "superhero" in The Washington Post:
The press has been obsessed with the fate of Obamacare's contraception mandate ever since religious, corporate, and other litigants began challenging it in the courts.
So what explains the fact that a search on "Korte" at the Associated Press's national site and at the New York Times return nothing and nothing relevant, respectively? Or that there are only nine stories at Google Newsin a search on “Korte contraception court” (not in quotes), only two of them from establishment press outlets, on the Friday Appeals Court ruling in Chicago in Korte vs. Sebelius? That's easy. It didn't go the "right" way, and the ruling appears to have been significant. Excerpts from Joe Palazzolo's coverage at the Wall Street Journal, one of those two establishment press outlets, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
If it’s Friday, HBO’s Bill Maher must be attacking conservatives as well as people of faith.
On the most recent installment of Real Time, the host did a lengthy segment accusing religious conservatives of being hypocrites saying, “There's always a good, moral, Christian reason to tell everyone you meet to f--k off and die” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS and ABC on Thursday and Friday offered respectful tributes honoring "America's pastor," Billy Graham. The networks, which are often hostile or dismissive of religion, all featured segments on the minister's 95th birthday and played clips of what has been announced as his final sermon. (However, NBC's Today allowed a mere 24 seconds to the topic.) World News correspondent Dan Harris observed, "Throughout his life, it's been the Gospel that has sustained him."
The journalist oddly related, "...In private, he's a surprisingly humble man, married to the same woman, Ruth, for more than 60 years." But Harris also included ample footage of Graham's final sermon, featuring the pastor leading his worldwide audience in a prayer: "I invite you to come into my heart and my life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and savior, in Jesus's name, amen." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There really is nothing MSNBC’s Ed Schultz won’t say about conservatives.
In response to a viewer question “What do Christian values mean to Republicans,” Schultz said Tuesday, “It's just a stepping stone, a footstool, to get exactly what they want in the political arena. They hide behind their plastic Jesus” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
In today’s television world, anything goes. We’ve seen shows about everything from sewage treatment, meat slaughtering, trash collection, and prostitution houses. Yet for all the unvarnished look at life that “reality” shows bring to viewers, there is one thing that is apparently too hot for television: praying to Jesus.
According to Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s mega-hit series “Duck Dynasty,” the producers of the cable program deliberately removed his and other family members’ references to Jesus in prayer.
CNN's routine marketing lie is that they're the centrist network that doesn't take sides. In July, CNN's Belief Blog promoted Muslim creative-writing professor Reza Aslan's book about Jesus. CNN contributor Stephen Prothero wrote a Fox News-"correcting" article titled "What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus" and they published Aslan's own piece on "Why I Write About Jesus."
But when it came to Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Jesus," CNN's Belief Blog posted an article titled "Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'". Oh, yeah, CNN never takes sides. The author is a liberal author named Candida Moss, who has written a book attacking the "myth" that the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire. She mocked O'Reilly's grasp of facts:
The Little Sisters of the Poor sued over ObamaCare's birth control mandate on Tuesday, claiming the law forces them to violate their consciences. However, CNN ignored these nuns after boosting the liberal "Nuns on the Bus" tour last year that slammed the Ryan budget.
"We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government's program to provide access to abortion inducing drugs," said Sister Loraine Marie, the superior of one of the congregation's provinces. The Becket Fund, which filed the lawsuit, said the congregation will not be exempt from the mandate and faces millions of dollars in fines.
By now a clear pattern is developing in how the liberal media cover Pope Francis. Step one: the pontiff makes frank, off-the-cuff comments in a speech or an interview which contains statements easy for the liberal media to misconstrue. Step two: the media do what they do best, misconstrue and spin the pope in order to hail him as a liberal who will reform the church in a leftward direction on the unholy trinity of concerns for the secular left: abortion, sexual ethics (particularly on homosexuality), and women in the priesthood. Step three, liberal activists within the church are given platforms in secular media outlets to caution that, no, Francis is not the liberal you hope he is, at least, not yet, but that with some gentle prodding maybe he can be won over.
The bishop of Rome's interview with La Civilta Cattolica -- accessible in English here at the Jesuit magazine America -- is the latest instance where we see this pattern playing out. Witness how Time magazine today gave a platform to liberal nun Sister Simone Campbell, who explained to readers "What Pope Francis Thinks About Women in the Church." Campbell began:
The September 19, 2013 article “Pope Francis: Church cannot be 'obsessed' with gays, other bans” on The Chicago Tribune’s Web site notes:
In a remarkable change from his predecessor Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder, Francis said that when homosexuals told him they were always condemned by the Church and felt "socially wounded", he told them "the Church does not want to do this".
Contrary to what a typical reader might conclude, Pope Benedict wasn’t expressing a personal opinion on homosexuality. What he said comes directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
On Friday, Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press shamelessly construed Pope Francis' denunciation of abortion and euthanasia as an "olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church". Winfield ballyhooed how the pontiff "issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn".
The Bishop of Rome advised a group of Italian gynecologists to "recognize, in the fragile human being, the face of the Lord...Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ....And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the 'culture of waste' proposes!"
CNN's Chris Cuomo turned a discussion on Pope Francis' recent interview into an ugly personal attack and sharp lecture of his guest, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, on Friday's New Day.
The fracas began when Cuomo lectured Donohue on the Pope's statement that the ultimate focus of the church is "salvation" and not one particular moral issue. He said "it really sounds like you're one of the people [Francis] is sending this message to, to be fair, Mr. Donohue, isn't it?" Cuomo clearly had a bone to pick with his guest. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While liberal journalists have a thrill up their leg over Pope Francis telling an interviewer that Catholics have a much broader message than just opposing abortion and unrepentant homosexuality, they're missing other messages that show the Holy Father is still leading a pro-life church.
Francis X. Rocca of The Catholic Herald in the United Kingdom reports the Pope told a gathering of Catholic gynecologists: “In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science.”
Friday's CBS This Morning heralded how supposedly, "Pope Francis is already being described as one of the most progressive popes in modern times" after six months as Bishop of Rome. Charlie D'Agata asserted that the pontiff is "the friendly face of the Vatican, the people's pope", and played up how Francis' apparent "spirit of spontaneity, openness, and inclusion has courted controversy...It includes extending an olive branch to the gay community." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday, NBC Nightly News also underlined how Pope Francis seemingly "has changed the tone in a church plagued by the sex abuse scandal, emphasizing Church teaching on helping the poor and social justice....it's not just what the new pope says that's a sign of a changing church – it's what he does – getting close to people...enjoying the crowds that flock to him."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Mark Phillips all but hinted that Pope Francis had "taken sides" with Russia's Vladimir Putin and against President Obama in the international debate over military strikes in Syria. Phillips proposed that the Pope's letter to Putin "must have been music to the Russian president's ears."
The journalist also turned to a "Vatican historian" who once publicly attacked Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, as a "dictator", and likened him to Islamists. He also labeled the Pope's upcoming prayer and fasting vigil for peace in Syria a "religious street protest." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In case you missed it, new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has proven his "moderate" credentials to Time magazine [see screen capture below page break]. How so, you might ask? Well, a tweet from (what purports to be) his account yesterday, which reads, "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR"
In this last installment of my back-to-school series, I will address possibly the most controversial aspect of Thomas Jefferson and public education: Did he advocate and expect only a completely secular public education system?
Rather than have it remain only in churches or private schools, Jefferson proposed that religious education be incorporated in the public education system, too — but with a twist.
Liberals usually get upset when politicians suggest someone is on a mission from God when they have a political program to push – at least when it’s a conservative program. During Saturday’s live MSNBC coverage of the March on Washington anniversary (organized by Al Shaprton), Ed Schultz proclaimed that 9-year-old Asean Johnson, speaking out (well, reading a sheet of paper) on behalf of a teacher’s union, was “a gift from God” in fighting against “under-resourced” public schools.
God favors teacher unions? On The Ed Show hours later, Schultz fawned over the youngest speaker at the rally and his mother during an interview alongside his sponsor, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers. Schultz repeated the “gift from God” reference. Schultz barely mentioned that Johnson’s nemesis was Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
In March, the Associated Press ran a 470-word "Big Story" item about the case of of Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer "who declined to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple." The couple filed an anti-discrimination claim with the state's Human Rights Commission, which found that Huguenin, who runs her business with her husband, had violated state law.
New Mexico's highest court upheld the commission's ruling against Ms. Huguenin on Thursday. Though the AP has an 11-paragraph story on the ruling by Barry Massey which several AP-subscribing outlets throughout the country have picked up, searches on Ms. Huguenin's last name which returned no results and no new "Big Story" result indicate that it is not present at the AP's national site. Especially since it was such a big deal five months ago, what explains the, well, light exposure? Excerpts from what AP management is apparently now treating as a local story follow the jump:
No one likes to see his religion trashed, and from everything we have learned about [the PBS documentary] "The Life of Muhammad," Muslims have nothing to worry about. The New York Daily News says the film could be subtitled "Islam 101," boasting that "If it helps with greater understanding, it has done its job." A professor who appears in the series praises it for its "balance."
However, a look back at PBS' treatment of the Catholic Church yields few films that could reasonably be dubbed "Catholicism 101," or that could in any way be praised for promoting "greater understanding." In fact, most of the films were flagrantly imbalanced.
Imagine a generally conservative evangelical figure switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democratic because in his view the 2012 Republican Convention's array of speakers and the party's platform convinced him that he could no longer in good conscience be affiliated with a political party which he believed steadfastly aligned itself with sinful positions on say care for the poor or immigration reform. Network news media would surely fall all over themselves to book that preacher on their morning and Sunday shows and print publications would scramble to get an exclusive interview.
Well, that sort of treatment has not greeted the Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, the bishop who oversees the Catholic diocese of Providence in Rhode Island. At a Young Republicans event last Tuesday, Tobin noted he joined the Democratic Party in 1969, but can no longer remain one, not after the 2012 Democratic convention's war-on-women/abortion-heavy confab. Providence TV station WPRI broke the story on August 13 (emphasis mine):
Two reporters at the Associated Press covering the trial of the alleged (but really confessed) perpetrator of the Ft. Hood massacre still believe there is a "key but difficult question" which needs to be answered: "Why did Maj. Nidal Hasan attack his fellow soldiers in the worst mass shooting ever on a U.S. military base?"
Although the narrative of Nomaan Merchant and Michael Graczyk is couched in the context of what prosecutors will allow themselves to say in the trial itself — after all, the government claims that the murders represent an incident of workplace violence, and therefore not one involving terrorism — the pair's opening, which is what will get most readers' attention, still makes it appear that Hasan's motives remain vague (bolds are mine):
Left-wing radio host and MSNBC weekend denizen Ed Schultz made it abundantly clear yesterday that he is fed up with "phony Christians" in the Republican Party who "hide behind their plastic Jesus."
Schultz also touted himself as a Christian before questioning the born-again faith of GOP Senator Ted Cruz, thereby demonstrating that religious hypocrisy is not the exclusive province of those he was criticizing. (Audio clips after the jump)