As NewsBusters reported last week, New York Times outgoing executive editor Bill Keller believes presidential candidates should be questioned about their religious beliefs.
On Monday's "The O'Reilly Factor," media critic Bernie Goldberg marvelously said, "I wish that he and the New York Times was as concerned about religion and politics during the last campaign when it pertained to Barack Obama, who sat in a church with a hateful minister for 20 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On both Good Morning America and World News, two different ABC correspondents filed separate reports recounting that some Christians oppose Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally from the weekend, but, in both reports, clips of left-wing figures like the Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and Drew Courtney of People for the American Way were shown, instead of showing any more mainstream Christians as examples of dissent.
The ABC and NBC morning and evening newscasts on Sunday gave attention to President Obama's attack on the Republican presidential candidates for not scolding a couple of audience members who booed a gay solder who asked a question about gays in the military at a recent debate. Monday's Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC noted that Obama has his own history of standing by without condemning inappropriate comments at public events.ABC correspondent David Kerley filed full reports devoted to the story on both Good Morning America and World News Sunday, while NBC's Mike Viqueira mentioned Obama's line of attack within reports that dealt with other political issues on Today and the NBC Nightly News.
NewsBusters has been reporting for weeks that the Obama-loving media are going to do anything possible to smear all Republican contenders for the White House in the coming months.
On Monday, ABC's "World News" actually began with a segment that included undercover videos of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's husband's clinic where homosexual patients are allegedly counseled to pray to become heterosexual (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Belief Blog might seem more like the Unbelief Blog at times. CNN's Katie Glaeser not only publicized, but seemed to take sides with American Atheists and their campaign to fly their Godless message on airplane banners on the Fourth of July. "It's a battle of belief -- and the right not to believe -- in a country founded on freedom," she began. That's a bit of a straw man -- even President Bush repeatedly talked of the right to faith -- and no faith at all. But the latest stunt from these beleaguered anti-evangelists can get a boost from CNN:
Planes with banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic" will be flying over 27 states on Monday. While people might be leery to see the messages overhead, the $23,000 campaign has had a struggle with those who are supposed to bring it to life.
Hollywood once eschewed making movies that openly advocated atheism. That is no longer the case.
"The Ledge" is the latest in a series of recent Hollywood films that actively promote atheism. Director Matthew Chapman hopes that his movie will be the "'Brokeback Mountain' moment for atheists."
"The Ledge" has a simple plot. An atheist seduces the attractive wife of a Christian fundamentalist. The husband, a crazy fundamentalist, lures the atheist onto a ledge and threatens to kill the wife if the atheist doesn't jump from a ledge at a certain time.
On Tuesday's In the Arena on CNN, Bill Maher channeled the far left's frustration with President Obama: "This is one of my big problems with our president. He never blames the Republicans for anything. He's their best friend....There's an oil rig that blows up in the Gulf of Mexico, and the party of drill, baby, drill does not get blamed." Host Eliot Spitzer also joined Maher in bashing the Tea Party.
The two liberals vented about domestic politics during the second half of the segment, which began 18 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Spitzer mouthed off his regular talking points about how "the middle class has been squeezed and has suffered....[and] the top 2 or 3 percent has profited amazingly well. And then...we had this financial meltdown, caused primarily by Wall Street." He then lamented how this situation hasn't benefitted his fellow liberals as much as he'd like, which led to Maher bashing the apparent stupidity of the Tea Party:
It's not often that a CNN anchor declares America a "very Christian nation," but that's what new host Piers Morgan did on Thursday while debating atheist comedian Ricky Gervais. Morgan chided the entertainer for a joke he made while hosting last Sunday's Golden Globes.
Morgan critiqued, "...I know American culture quite well now and they're a very Christian nation here in America." During the ceremony, Gervais sarcastically announced, "And thank you to God for making me an atheist." Morgan derided this as "poking fun," adding, "But you must be aware that a lot of people in America would potentially find that offensive."
Morgan later described himself as a Catholic and probed into Gervais' atheism: "The problem for atheists, it must be so doom and gloom. When you get to, like, 70, 80, to think, well, hang on, that's it. That's the end of everything."
More than nine out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas - even atheists, agnostics or believers in other faiths, according to surveys by LifeWay Research and USA TODAY/Gallup. They might be roasting chestnuts over an open fire, decking the halls with boughs of holly or trying to get the Chipmunks Christmas song out of their heads, but they are celebrating.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, comedian Bill Maher praised Jimmy Carter as "a better proponent of what Democrats actually believed in," and asserted that it was "fantastic" when Carter bragged about never taking military action against anyone during his tenure, as the HBO host complained about the modern day Democratic party. Maher: "He was a better proponent of what Democrats actually believed in. He was saying the other day, I heard him on 60 Minutes say that during his administration they never fired a shot, not a bullet, not a missile. He said, you know what, I thought, as the world's superpower, we had the obligation to be the peacemaker. I think that's fantastic. What a choice that would be for a voter because we don't have that kind of choice."
Host Behar complained: "And the tragedy is that Jimmy Carter has been vilified as the worst President in the United States history, practically, besides George W. Bush, of course, and it's really not very nice for people to say that."
During a discussion of Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell in which Maher took shots at her religious beliefs, he declared, "I need someone in the Senate who believes that global warming is real and the Earth is not 6,000 years old," leading Behar to add, "I know. It's true. I mean, maybe they should be given an IQ test before they can even run."
Maher also voiced support for raising taxes on the wealthy, claiming that increased taxes "healed" the economy in the 1990s. Attacking the credibility of supply-side economic theory, he dismissed the benefits of cutting taxes on the wealthy as he declared that the wealthy would use their money to purchase more boats, seemingly oblivious to the fact that middle class people build boats and therefore benefit financially when they are purchased by the wealthy. Maher:
Since Bill Maher released a video of Christine O'Donnell saying evolution is a myth, the Left and their media minions have been falling all over themselves ridiculing the Republican senatorial candidate from Delaware.
Throwing some deliciously cold water on the attacks Tuesday was the Weekly Standard's P.J. O'Rourke.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball," O'Rourke told the perilously liberal host after he showed O'Donnell's remark, "I`ve got some problems with evolution myself."
"I look around at, say, Democrats and I say, 'That`s evolved?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ann Coulter on Monday explained to Larry King why so many Americans think Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" with Professor Marc Lamont Hill, Coulter pointed out how odd it is that this number has increased since Obama was elected, "Usually the truth moves in the opposite direction."
She continued, "The answer is because he seems foreign to them, that he's pushing this European health care system on America, that he doesn't listen to the American people, that he doesn't cite God when he mentions the Declaration of Independence. He seems alien, and I keep telling them, 'No, he's not a Muslim, he's an atheist.'"
This led King to ask, "Do you need to believe in God to govern?" And that's when the fun started (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the actor Richard Tillman – brother of former Army Ranger and former NFL player Pat Tillman – appeared as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday promoting the film "The Tillman Story" about his brother’s death in Afghanistan, host Maher played a clip from Pat Tillman’s funeral in which Richard Tillman mocked the religious references made at the funeral by speakers Maria Shriver and John McCain. Maher went on to praise Richard Tillman as having "a lot of balls" for his words as there was also moderate applause from the audience.
Maher set up the clip: "But, you know, they had Maria Shriver and John McCain... Speaking there, and Maria said, "Pat, you are home. You are safe." And McCain said, "You will see Pat again when a loving God reunites us all with our loved ones."
Then came a clip of Richard Tillman speaking at the funeral while nearly crying: "Thank you for coming. Pat’s a f------ champion and always will be. Just make a mistake, he’d want me to say this. He’s not with God. He’s f------ dead. He’s not religious. So thanks for your thoughts, but he’s f------ dead."
After applause from the audience, Maher responded, "That’s a lot of balls, my friend."
As liberals tumble over each other extending apologies to Muslims for any American that would even whisper idly about burning a Koran, they should start apologizing for the Daily Kos. On Friday night came a plea from the atheist blogger "qinkilla" to burn all the religious texts, to keep people warm:
I am fine with the Koran being burnt, but only if the Bible and the Torah and any other religious document is included in the prodigious torching. If you've watched the Denzel Washington movie "The Book of Eli" you'd probably think that a braille copy of the Bible could save humanity. Well, in this country, we've got one of 'em in just about every hotel and motel room - and things just aren't getting better.
I believe sans religion, we'll all be better off....So here's my plan. We spend the next month gathering up all the religious documents in the world -- after all, it's time to let the invisible man go - and we allocate them to cold places, so they can be burned for a good cause...heat.
CNN on Friday disgustingly advocated for a watered-down, more politically correct version of Christianity.
Highlighted at its website was research from a Princeton theology professor on the state of Christianity among teenagers. The study found that American churches have fallen for PC feel-good morality that's afraid of confrontation - and the result is a generation unable to distinguish Christianity from simple theism.
The author of the study, Kenda Creasy Dean, said the process was "depressing" as she interviewed one Christian after another describing God as a "therapist" who exists to validate their "self-esteem." Worse yet, many of them could not give a coherent explanation of the Gospel, content with a general belief that God wants them to "feel good and do good."
And in MSM newsrooms across the fruited plain, there was much rejoicing. Incessant pressure to water down Christianity has finally paid off.
CNN reporter John Blake wrote a piece on the sad phenomenon with no introspection as to who might be causing it:
“Bible Schmible!” That’s essentially what an article on the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog by Susan Jacoby (aka. The Spirited Atheist) said about the moral and legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Jacoby approvingly quoted Judge Vaughn Walker’s recent opinion overturning California’s Proposition 8’s restriction of marriage to a union of a man and woman.
“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Walker had written. Jascoby called it a “historic sentence,” but admitted she didn’t have much hope the Supreme Court would uphold Walker’s decision.
“The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” she wrote.
It's not often you see an obituary as snarky and bitter as the one written by British columnist Johann Hari announcing what he called the "slow, whining death of British Christianity" in the UK edition of GQ and online at The Huffington Post.
Citing an unlinked ICM study, which is not available on the organization's website, Hari called on reader to "put your hands together and give thanks, for I come bearing Good News. My country,Britain, is now on the most irreligious country on earth."
Hari called Christianity, "superstition," "weak," "cruel," and based on "intimidation." He predicted that, "As their dusty Churches crumble because nobody wants to go there" and predicted that "the few remaining Christians in Britain will only become more angry and uncomprehending."
While he mentioned Judaism and Islam twice, Hari focused his ridicule on Christianity and the Church of England. He used the survey to call for an end to government support for Anglicanism.
The atheists at the Daily Kos blog just keeping lobbing bombs. On Friday, the blogger with the handle "Something the Dog Said" protested the protests against the Cordoba Center mosque at Ground Zero. After predictably assigning the anti-abortion shooters to the Christian conservative camp, the Kosmonaut actually said the Muslims are "a pale reflection" of radicalism compared to Republicans:
In the end it is just the SOP of the Republican Party. Find and issue and whip up hysteria, without consideration of the long term affects or what might be lost by the tactic. It is just another of the legion of reasons why the modern Republican Party can not be trusted with the government of the United States or any single state for that matter. The radicalization they claim will come from mosques is just a pale reflection of the radicalization that has occurred in the ranks of their Party. If there is a group to fear, it is Radical Republicans, which is basically to say the most of the Republican Party at this point.
The "Spirited Atheist" of The Washington Post, Susan Jacoby, predictably trashed Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston as not only "poster children for the dumbing down of America" and as "most middle-class American parents' worst nightmare," but proof of what happens when religious people show off their contempt for book learning:
Although the children of politicians are generally off-limits, Bristol is an exception for two reasons. First, she has made herself into a public figure not only by sharing her personal life with the world but by her loopy performance as a spokesperson against teen pregnancy. (I wonder how it promotes the message that teen pregnancy is a bad idea when a young woman is financially rewarded and glamorized by the media precisely because she was a pregnant teen lucky enough to be the daughter of a famous mom.)
Second, Bristol was used by her mother as an asset to placate the religious right-wing base of the Republican Party during the 2008 campaign. She was a living demonstration of Sarah Palin's opposition to abortion: Look at my teenage daughter, she made a mistake and did the right thing by having the baby. The only more shameless aspect of Sarah's campaign was her constant exhibition of her Down Syndrome son. Look at me, I didn't have an abortion like those terrible elitist women who make fun of me for not reading books.
For all the daily talk on the Daily Kos that conservatives are dictatorial, their cast of bloggers isn't without grand designs for social control. Take this post: "Time to begin working for the death of religion (a rant)." The diarist "BlueMoon" expressed no attempt to disrupt free speech, but the "end of organized religion" must be attempted:
However, the time has come to begin work to actively disrupt official organized religion of all stripes. Yes, I know there are many good christians. But when I hear of another moral pronouncement coming out of the Roman Catholic church, I am ready to splutter.
The church of pedophiles that brought you Cardnal Law and the current head, Ratzinger dares open its filthy mouth again? To preach about morality?
The Reverend Phelps dares picket servicemen's funerals? And tell us all that "Heath [is] in Hell?" And call Lady Gaga a "proud whore"?
A variety of crazy wackos calling themselves the "Tea party" peddle vicious racism masquerading as christian faith.
Someone get Lee Greenwood on the phone; he's going to want to know about this.
In a front-page Style section report July 5, The Washington Post breathed a sigh of relief that Independence Day gives Americans a break from those God-heavy holidays like Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.
"He's got the whole world in his hands?" To one atheist, it's more like ‘He's got the whole world under his thumb."
David Smalley, the editor of American Atheist magazine and a self-described "civil rights activist," wrote in a personal blog post June 7 that Christian daycare "a form of child abuse."
"In short, by starting your child off in a Christian environment, you are heading them down a path of forced ignorance," Smalley wrote. "At least let your child begin in a secular world, and if he or she chooses Christianity after an age of accountability, then so be it. But forcing them to learn things as fact that you don't even know to be true is a form of child abuse: inducing psychosis with thoughts of good and evil watching over them, as if they are constantly being graded or evaluated."
Smalley further stereotyped and generalized religion-based childcare by suggesting "it's bad for positive self-esteem, and slows social development later in life."
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Viacom's Comedy Central is developing an animated show practically designed to offend Christians. But the network's handling of recent controversy over depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad illustrates a stark double standard in how the entertainment media deal with issues of religion.
Comedy Central announced it is developing the script for an animated show tentatively titled "JC." According to the network's release, the show is about Jesus Christ "wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow to live life in [New York City] as a regular guy." The announcement described God as "all-powerful yet apathetic" and said the show would be a "playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb."
The show promises to stand in sharp contrast to the network's treatment of another religious figure: Muhammad. In 2006, Comedy Central censored a segment of "South Park" that depicted Muhammad. In April of this year, the network added audio bleeps to the second of a two-part episode to cover any mention of the prophet, as well as an end-of-show speech about freedom of expression and giving in to intimidation. The first episode of the story arc featured Mohammad hidden inside a moving truck and a bear costume.
This censorship came in response to a threat from a radical Islamic website, based in the United States, which warned that "South Park" creators would face violent retribution for "insulting" Muhammad by featuring (although not showing him) on the episode.
Tavis Smiley has apparently been asleep for the last ten years. That, at least, is the only logical explanation for his claim that Christains engage in terrorism far more often than Muslims. He also thinks the Tea Party is a comparably dangerous force to radical Islam.
"There are so many more examples of Christians who do that," Smiley claimed, referring to terrorism, "than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country where you live and work." He was discussing terrorism with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born writer and former member of the Dutch Parliament.
Ali claims it is her mission to "inform the West about the danger of Islam," but Smiley was more concerned with the danger posed by Tea Party protesters, who "are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people." None of those claims are true, but then again the segment was replete with falsehoods (Full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Greg Hengler).
On Friday night's Real Time, HBO talk-host Bill Maher berated conservative (and fellow atheist) S.E. Cupp for her new book Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity. “Liberals are not atheists any more than conservatives are. Michael Moore is religious! Chris Matthews is religious! Al Sharpton is religious!” Maher went so far as to insist the liberal media has “never” attacked religion:
MAHER: But this is your premise, that the liberal media is attacking religion.
Daily Kos may be an almost official stop of the Democratic Party -- today's top ad demands you help the Arizona Democrats fight the new immigration law -- but it's certainly not a religious website. In fact, last Friday, the blogger "HumeSkeptic" declared that all religions pale in comparison to earth worship:
In so far as all morality is fundamentally based on preservation, betterment and continuation of life, there is no higher morality than environmentalism.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Watch the latest business video at &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;http://video.foxbusiness.com/&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;video.foxbusiness.com&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;It is virtually impossible to separate economics from politics, and politics from a society's culture - but is economics inherently intertwined with religion as well?
Fox Business Network (FBN) anchor Stuart Varney thinks so. On FBN's April 14 broadcast of "Varney & Co." Father Jonathan Morris joined the show's panel and explored the question.
"Do you think that Europe's paganism - it's turn away from Christianity - has anything to do with Europe's economic decline?" Varney bluntly asked the priest. "Can you link this secularism - what I call ‘paganism' in Europe- directly to economic decline?"
"Certainly Europe is much more secular than the United States, and all of a sudden you lose hope," Morrison said. "If you lose hope in what life is all about, you're not going to work very hard. On the other hand, if you have hope that what I'm doing today matters tomorrow - and I'm building a life and I'm building my family and we're going places - and there's something beyond this life? You're going to be hopeful, you're going to make money - you're going to build the culture of life and goodness."
No, hell hasn't frozen over but, yes, the Huffington Post now has a religion blog. The Huffington Post, a Web site devoted to rankling conservatives and pushing a liberal agenda, announced on Feb. 24 that it was launching HuffPost Religion.
Huffington Post's co-founder, Arianna Huffington, claimed it would simply be "a section featuring a wide-ranging discussion about religion [and] spirituality," but the numbers prove that it is more of an attack on traditional Christianity than a discussion.
The site didn't waste any time throwing punches. In its first two weeks, it churned out articles by a liberal nun calling Catholicism sexist; a Rabbi claiming that Judaism will "stagnate and cease to be meaningful" unless it participates in the "green movement;" an avowed atheist comparing those who believe in God to a 7-year-old still believing in the tooth fairy; a science writer warning being religious could lead to "dangerous side-effects" such as "the crusader jihadist mentality;" and a neuroscientist calling those who believe in "obsolete religious ideas" a "lunatic fringe."
HuffPost Religion is the religion blog that hates religion, but the faith it abuses the most is Christianity.