On Wednesday, outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins ran to the defense of the all-too-common practice of aborting Down Syndrome babies in a series of posts on Twitter. Dawkins endorsed the New Republic piece of fellow atheist Jerry A. Coyne, which slammed the Catholic Church for its "medieval morality" of opposing abortion, and added that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area....You'd think the Roman Church would have lost all influence."
When pro-lifers challenged his support for this form of eugenics, Dawkins replied, "Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings." He later asserted that such abortions are the only moral option (Twitter post below the jump):
Michelle Duggar, of the popular TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” is under heat again from the media for publicly sharing her conservative religious views.
Earlier in the week, residents in Fayetteville, Arkansas received robo-calls from the famous mother, in which she warned families to protest a new anti-discrimination bill that went before the city council Tuesday night and passed. The ordinance prohibits employers or businesses from discriminating against transgenders in issues of housing, employment and public restrooms. In the robocall, Michelle Duggar warned parents that the new law would allow men to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, possibly endangering women and children.
Vox's Max Fisher shamelessly invoked medieval history in a Monday post about Pope Francis. Fisher highlighted the pontiff's support for action against ISIS's "unjust aggression" in Iraq, and hyped that "there is good precedent for this...between 1096 and 1272 AD, popes also endorsed the use of Western military action to destroy Middle Eastern caliphates. Those were known as the crusades; there were nine, which means that this would be number 10."
The former Washington Post journalist immediately set the tone with the title of his post: "News from 1096 AD: Pope endorses military force to destroy Middle Eastern caliphate." Fisher continued in this vein in his lead paragraph:
Thursday's CBS This Morning stood out for zeroing in on the plight of Catholics in China, as it covered Pope Francis's trip to South Korea. Seth Doane noted the Pope's overflight of the communist country, and pointed out how "that's significant, because the last time a pope wanted to fly through Chinese airspace was in 1989, and Beijing refused the request." The Pope at that time, St. John Paul II, took a vocal stance against the communist regime in his native Poland.
Meanwhile, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today touted the Pope "making history" with his trip, as he is the first pontiff to visit South Korea in 25 years. Both newscasts also hyped the temporary Popemobile – something that CBS This Morning left out of its coverage: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday Morning, MSNBC and Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart brought a guest on his MSNBC show to discuss the targeted killing and persecution of Christians in Iraq at the hands of the ultra-Islamic terrorist group ISIS. The guest, Mark Arabo, who serves as the national spokesman for the Chaldeans, (the sect of Iraqi Christians facing ISIS’s terror), told Diaz-Balart that the actions of ISIS are that of “a full-blown genocide” in targeting 400,000 Christians in Iraq.
When asked by Diaz-Balart for his take on the actions of the Obama administration so far in Iraq, Arabo said that he and the Iraqi community in Southern California near San Diego (which is the second largest in the country) first “sounded this alarm from San Diego eight weeks ago and we’ve been as clear as we are today: This is a full-blown genocide.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
At night, the children’s channel called the Cartoon Network transforms into the badly named Adult Swim channel, a parade of juvenile “satirical” sludge like old repeats of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” cartoons. How many parents know this? Or know these shows rarely miss an opportunity to sock it to “organized religion” – especially if that religion is Christianity?
Sadly, in the second quarter of 2014, the juvenilia on Adult Swim made it the number-one television network on basic cable for adults 18-24, 18-34 & 18-49 and also for males in those age brackets. Its mockery has made fans.
The Big Three networks steered clear of labeling the Islamist group ISIS "terrorists" on their evening newscasts on Friday. Instead, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News labeled the genocidal radicals "militants." NBC Nightly News used the more benign "rebels" in their coverage of the group's latest attacks on the Kurdish part of Iraq.
The closest that a journalist at ABC, CBS, or NBC got to using the "terrorist" label was Scott Pelley's teaser at the very top of CBS Evening News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday, the al Qaeda spinoff group the Islamic State seized numerous towns in northern Iraq that are home to much of the country’s minority Christian population, sending tens of thousands of them fleeing further into the Kurdish-dominated region to avoid the unforgiving and deadly extremist group. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their Thursday morning news shows, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC provided their viewers with information on this story.
Meanwhile, CNN and its morning show, New Day, did cover the story with not one but two stories during its three-hour show. First, it aired a full, 3-minute-and-1-second report from CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson at the top of the 6:30 a.m. half hour and then a 21-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday's Good Morning America, hosts Dan Harris and Amy Robach seized on Pope Francis advising against proselytization in a Sunday interview with Argentinian magazine Viva. Harris observed: "...he talks a lot about respecting other people's believes and not proselytizing." Robach gushed: "That's fantastic....there's a reason why he's the people's pope." George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "A lot of wisdom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The morning show anchors skipped the Pope's full quote, in which he commented on the best method by which to draw people to the Church but didn't abandon the effort to gain converts: "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes. 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you.' No. The Church grows by attraction, not proselytizing."
On Friday, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the news that Meriam Ibrahaim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, fled Sudan with an Italian diplomat on an Italian jet to Rome Thursday and received a blessing from Pope Francis in a private meeting at the Vatican.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning did cover the story and provided a 29 second news brief at the conclusion of the 7:00 a.m. half hour. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “And an extraordinary turn of events for a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death in Sudan. Well, she is now free and this morning, she's on her way to the United States after meeting with the pope. Meriam Ibrahim flew to Rome Thursday after being allowed to leave Sudan. She and her family had a private moment with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ibrahim faced execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian. The decision was overturned last month. Ibrahim has in-laws in New Hampshire.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
While Stephen Colbert usually regulates his humor to bashing Republicans, on the July 24 edition of The Colbert Report the Comedy Central comedian actually made a joke both his liberal and conservative audience could enjoy.
As Colbert’s faux conservative personality expressed his outrage over the “transparent Hollywood attack on Republicans” in HBO’s latest episode of the explicit vampire series True Blood, he joked “we should not be surprised at all that vampires are Democrats. After all, they scream when they see a cross.” (See video below)
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS's takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Yousef Younan III, along with Fox News Channel's Father Jonathan Morris, detailed ISIS's anti-Christian pogrom on Wednesday's Fox and Friends: [video below the jump]
When the New York Times starts praising religious activists, you know there's a deeper agenda at work. National religion reporter Michael Paulson, whose reporting is preoccupied with gay marriage and the church, praised denominations of all stripes that lined up on the Times' side of an issue -- granting amnesty to the streams of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border illegally, while fighting conservative "anger," outrage," and "hate talk."
Billy Hallowell at The Blaze passed along a Billboard magazine interview with classic rocker Tom Petty, who’s now 63 and writing protest songs about the hot issues of...2002. His new album “Hypnotic Eye” carries a bonus track called “Playing Dumb” that attacks the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Is he playing dumb that the church hasn’t made any strides in correcting the problem? A Georgetown study found of the nearly 40,000 priests in the United States, there were 34 allegations made by minors in 2012.
But then, Petty doesn’t think much of religion overall, saying "No one's got Christ wrong more than the Christians."
It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development.
Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage.
These days, if a former NFL coach makes a vague statement about an openly gay sports player who was fawned over by the media, he can expect to be called a “homophobe” and “bigot” for not getting aboard the pro-gay train.
Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and current NBC sports analyst, told The Tampa Tribune, “I wouldn’t have taken him [Michael Sam]. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”
Dungy elaborated, "It’s not going to be totally smooth...things will happen.” For this cautious statement, Dungy was attacked by the media as homophobic and discriminatory.
Sally Quinn founded the “On Faith” section of The Washington Post, and she’s shown a repeated pattern of loathing conservative Christians, especially Sarah Palin.
In Saturday’s Post, she went there again, trashing Sarah Palin as selfishly ruining our political culture, insisting she recommends a “long long silent retreat for her.” Rather typically, Quinn was cooing over a feminist Buddhist lecturer named Tara Brach:
Gay playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick was assigned by The New Yorker to mock the Hobby Lobby decision and those religious freaks who support it. This came naturally, since Rudnick wrote the satire “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” in which God makes Adam and Steve, along with the first lesbians, Jane and Mabel. In the script’s introduction, he writes “I believe in what human beings can do when you give them fifty bucks to guy some cheap red polyester velvet. Some people need more, something with vengeance and commandments and jihads.”
In a perfectly arrogant example of the self-congratulating secular superiority of The New Yorker and its readership, Rudnick apparently found it hilarious to merge tacky crafting with tacky religious metaphors:
On Thursday, Reuters's Carey Gillam underlined that the "embattled" Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Missouri is under "scrutiny," as she covered a former church employee's lawsuit against his diocese. The litigant, Colleen Simon, asserts that "she was wrongfully fired from her salaried position as a pastoral associate after her marriage to another woman was mentioned in a local newspaper."
Gilliam spotlighted how Simon filed her suit less than a year after an arbitrator ordered Bishop Robert Finn and his diocese to pay $1.1 million to the victims of a priest who sexually abused children:
CBS put on an anti-religion jeremiad early Thursday morning on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: a feminist musician who likes “wearing and making something Satanic since music is so not right now.”
Piano-banging rock singer Kristeen Young made her late-night TV debut, accompanied by Foo Fighters stars Dave Grohl and Pat Smear. She sang the song “Pearl of a Girl” that criticizes Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, but most gratuitously proclaims about Jesus “I wish the virgin would’ve had an abortion.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Every so often a liberal pundit argues that even though Paul Ryan considers himself Catholic, his beliefs (on economics, at least) are closer to those of Ayn Rand than those of the Vatican. In a Friday piece for AlterNet, atheist writer CJ Werleman, author of books such as God Hates You. Hate Him Back, made a similar but far broader charge, claiming that Republicans in general routinely “conflate…Rand’s Atlas Shrugged with the Bible.”
In his article, Werleman discussed findings from a recent survey in which respondents speculated about the positions Jesus Christ would have taken on current political issues. Werleman opined that 80 percent of Democrats were right to think that Jesus would have backed universal health care (“it’s hard to imagine Jesus would deny care to those who lack the financial means to enjoy the comfort of our for-profit capitalist healthcare industry”) and declared that overall, the poll results showed that “Democrats align themselves more with the values of Jesus than [does] the proclaimed party of Jesus, the GOP.”
The July 11 edition of ABC’s The View began with a discussion on a Kentucky bank teller fired from her job for violating the “high ethical standards” of US Bank. Her transgressions apparently were wishing patrons to “have a blessed day” after her interactions with them and, on at least one occasion, chastising a customer for taking the Lord’s name in vain.
While co-host Sherri Shepherd, a professing Christian, spoke to the discretion needed when Christians “are commanded to go out and tell the good news,” to others, guest panelist Sunny Hostin of CNN strangely brought up the “history, in our society” of people hiding “behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On his July 9 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually pressed abortion-rights absolutist Stephanie Schriock about the implications of her support for Democratic legislation to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. But Matthews put the EMILY's List president on the spot by asking if her position amounted to telling religious employers that they simply have to swallow their religious scruples in order to not run afoul of the law. Bullying religious Americans over their sincere beliefs is hardly a picture one wants painted of one's self, so Schriock sought to avoid the questions and double down on talking points. Here's the relevant transcript (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break; emphases mine):
Adam Ragusea provided little balance on Wednesday's Morning Edition on NPR, as he covered a homosexual man's lawsuit against his former employer – a Catholic school – who let him go after he announced his planned same-sex "marriage" on Facebook. Ragusea played just one soundbite from a conservative legal scholar, and failed to include any from the local Catholic diocese or the school.
The Georgia Public Broadcasting correspondent touted how the supposedly "beloved" music teacher "has hope that he may be among the last generation of people who risk losing their job because they're gay." He also zeroed in on an ongoing lawsuit in Washington, DC that may give the educator ammo in his own litigation:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who is known for softball interviews with pro-abortion activists, appeared distraught during her Andrea Mitchell Reports program on Wednesday, July 9 at the chances of a Democratic bill meant to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby passing Congress.
Speaking with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), one of the co-sponsors of the legislation, Mitchell fretted that the bill “can get through the Senate, but it’s not going to get through Congress.” [See video below.]
Michael Eric Dyson successfully filled in for Ed Schultz on the June 8 edition of The Ed Show by continuing the tradition of blaming America’s problems on Republicans and ranting about their heartlessness. For this show, Dyson chose to focus his opening monologue on blasting “the party that claims to believe in family values and Christian charity” that also calls for Obama to tighten border security and deport illegal immigrants crossing the border.
Dyson stated that “maybe it's time for people of faith to come forward to show conservatives what true compassion means.” He completed his attack on conservative devotion to religion by asking his liberal viewers to text their answer to his poll question “is compassionate conservatism dead?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Liberals have been spewing absolute nonsense since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and several other businesses that filed a suit against the HHS contraception mandate. Salon’s Paul Rosenberg is no different, except the fevered, high-pitched whine of his hysteria makes one suspect that, whatever he pays his drycleaner, it ain’t enough.
In a July 8 piece at Salon, Rosenberg actually tried to make the case that “right-wing propaganda about “‘religious liberty’” is a smokescreen to hide the fact that conservatives are pushing for “the advancement of theocracy,” or as Rosenberg put it “ religious dictatorship.” Yes, because SCOTUS didn’t find an absolute right to free birth control in the Constitution, we’re headed for inquisition, forced conversions and heretic burnings, and all the other theocratic nightmares of the dark days of … 2008.