"Hot on the heels of Kucinich's declaration of support for health-care reform, the Associated Press is reporting that Catholic nuns are urging Democratic lawmakers to support health-care reform," Newsweek's Katie Connolly informed readers of the magazine's The Gaggle blog this morning.
"This is a major break with the church's bishops, who have strongly opposed the legislation on the grounds that some federal subsidies may end up funding abortions," Connolly gushed, later closing her blog post with the conclusion that "[a]t the very least, the letter damages the validity of [pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart] Stupak's argument."
Both Connolly's post and the underlying AP story failed to delve into this, but the letter in question was not simply cobbled together by apolitical nuns. It was pushed out to the media by a group with a left-wing agenda, reports CatholicCulture.org:
Stephen Kurczy of the Christian Science Monitor tried to dispel "persistent myths" about St. Patrick in a Monday article on the patron saint of the Irish, but ended up forwarding outlandish claims. Kurczy even went so far to inaccurately contend that "Patrick...isn't even recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as an official saint."
When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching. (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...)
So to whom did Sullivan turn for complaints about Beck's characterization? Some theologically conservative Catholic theologian? A conservative Protestant theologian like Baptist seminary president Al Mohler or Presbyterian theologian R.C. Sproul?
Nope. She highlighted two stalwarts of social gospel-oriented liberal Christianity:
The most striking thing about Peter Baker's story at the front of the New York Times Week in Review, “Is Failure Forgivable?” is the photo illustration that takes up the entire top half of the page, a photograph taken by the Times's Damon Winter and illustrated by free-lance designer/illustrator Nola Lopez.
At first glance the symbol in the center certainly looks like a Christian cross, and the religious effect is heightened by the halo effect of the sun around Obama's head as he is giving a speech, presumably on health care. If the cross is meant as a medical symbol as used by the Red Cross (a symbol itself derived from the Christian symbol), the execution is vague and open to interpretation.
And the word “Forgivable” in the print headline is certainly a hint toward religious subtext, intentional or not, though honestly it's hard to see what the point of the photo illustration is.
On ABC last Wednesday, both World News and Nightline featured a report filed by correspondent Dan Harris in which he linked the activities of some American evangelical Christian pastors with anti-gay hatred and attempts by Uganda’s parliament at passing death penalty legislation to punish homosexuals in the African nation. Each of the reports focused on the extreme views of American pastor Scott Lively and Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, without including the views of more mainstream American evangelical leaders.
On World News, anchor Diane Sawyer teased: "Gay terror: Have some American evangelical ministers helped threaten the lives of homosexuals in Africa?" She later plugged the report again: "And still ahead on World News, a death threat for gays. It happened after American evangelicals delivered a potent message."
In the version of the report that ran on Nightline, Harris made a point of mentioning Pastor Rick Warren as being a "one-time friend" of Pastor Ssempa. And, though Harris’s reference to Pastor Warren as a "one-time friend" perhaps implies a falling out between the two men, the ABC correspondent could have more directly informed viewers that Pastor Warren released a statement last October declaring that he had not associated with Pastor Ssempa since 2007.
Furthermore, last December, Pastor Warren released a video message for Christians in Uganda in which he attacked the proposed anti-gay law as legislation "I completely oppose and I vigorously condemn," as he went on to declare, "The potential law before your parliament is unjust, it’s extreme, and it’s un-Christian toward homosexuals, requiring death penalty even in some cases."
Bloggers and activists on the left are furious when anyone suggests that the religion of Islam leads to violence. But on Thursday, bomb-throwing secularist Barrett Brown on the Daily Kos (and also on the blog True/Slant) compares the Catholic Church – unfavorably – to the atrocities of Stalinism and Maoism.
He even wrote, more broadly, that "Next to the Christian God, Stalin was a piker" – in that, Stalin only killed your body, while God torments the souls of unbelievers like him for eternity. Brown argues that the Catholic Church was a remarkable slaughterer without modern technology:
To smile upon the Church for reigning [sic] in its excesses is to smile upon the Soviet hardliners for reigning in its own. Both were dragged into an age of individual liberty by way of other ideologies. Look back upon the road on which they were taken, and one sees the marks made by fingernails grasping frantically at the ground in an effort to stop the process.
NBC’s "Law & Order" programs are long-established and all over the schedule. But the sex-obsessed vice cops of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are a breed apart. They exist to be socially provocative, which is to say, to rattle, to disturb. Viewers at home probably weren’t ready for the plot that aired on NBC on March 3. These script writers are so revolting that they become almost comical.
As you read what follows, you decided how closely this mirrors anything resembling the world of reality.
Someone was strangling prostitutes to death and leaving prayer cards behind. The first suspect was a perverted man whose wife proclaimed he had converted to Christianity and overcome his sinful ways. The cops quickly discovered the man dismissed his wife as a "prude" and he was cheating on her with a variety of young girls, because "it’s not a crime to want a little variety" in his sex life, including "toys, role play, and threesomes." Despite his ardor for sexual gunplay as well, this so-called Christian was not the strangler.
NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has consistency working in its favor: the biggest "victims" are its depictions of conservatives and Christians.
Part of "SVU's" appeal is its ripped-from-the-headlines storylines, but the program's writers frequently use these storylines to promote liberal agendas and to bash Christians.
Three different episodes have aired since February 10 and all promoted a liberal agenda. In the past month, audiences saw Christians portrayed as kinky sex addicts and murderers, heard propaganda that supports the idea of special punishment for hate crimes based on sexual orientation, and heard the detectives on the show refer to the abortion debate as "pro-choice or no choice."
CNN's Kate Bolduan aired a slanted report on Catholic Charities of Washington's decision to no longer offer benefits to spouses of new employees on Saturday's Newsroom, playing four sound bites from proponents of same-sex "marriage" and none from opponents. Bolduan also omitted the liberal affiliation of one of the homosexual "marriage" advocates.
During the report, which first aired 11 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour (and reran during the 1 pm Eastern hour on Monday), the correspondent noted how homosexual couples could get their civil marriage licenses in DC starting on Tuesday, and that there was "controversial fallout" from the move: "Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, just announced it will no longer offer health benefits to spouses of any new employees or current employees who aren't already covered under its plan. As a result, the nonprofit is effectively avoiding having to give benefits to same-sex partners, keeping with the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage."
It’s quite striking to see the degree to which traditional Islam has come under ferocious attack from the anti-religious impulse in Hollywood and New York and other bohemian centers in America. It is clearly anti-Islamic religious bigotry. Take a look at just some examples over the last year alone.
January: The Source Weekly, a weekly arts publication in Bend, Oregon, featured on its cover an image of Mohammed holding a child with President Obama’s head crudely posted on its body. Muslim protests were greeted with this dismissive response: "What is printed is printed, and we will not apologize."
February 12: The NBC sitcom "30 Rock" poked fun at Muslims when the Alec Baldwin character attempted to ingratiate himself with his beautiful Muslim girlfriend by fraudulently going through the motions at her mosque.
Having closely examined this week's slanted coverage by the Washington Post of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington's decision to end spousal health care benefits, GetReligion.org's Mollie Z. Hemingway zeroed in on the heart of the media bias present in today's piece, "Catholic Charities' health-plan change called 'devastating'"*, which begins with a former Catholic Charities officer lamenting the organization's decision to not grant health insurance to spouses of future employees in order to avoid having to cover same-sex couples married in the District of Columbia:
The narrative on this story could be framed as one where the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to be able to continue serving the poor here in DC against an oppressive government crackdown on religious freedom — even changing its benefits structure so that it won’t be in violation of church teaching. Instead, it’s basically framed as a choice that the Archbishop decided to make so as to mess with gays. The power to frame a story is huge and largely unseen by readers.
The Washington Post was curiously silent about the ideological and/or partisan bent of blogs that prompted its coverage of a controversial statement made last Thursday by Virginia Delegate Robert Marshall (R), who suggested, the Post reports, "that women who have abortions risk having later children with birth defects as a punishment from God."
Kunkle noted that Marshall couched his controversial comments in reference to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University that "was published in 2008 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health and suggested that there is a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight in children born to women who have had an abortion."
"Few seized on the remarks at the time Marshall made them," the Post's Fredrick Kunkle noted in his page B2 February 23 story, "[b]ut outrage built on social networking sites and political blogs after some Virginia newspapers picked up the story from Capital News Service, a program at VCU's School of Mass Communications."
But which blogs, exactly? It's not a stretch to imagine it was mostly left-wing or Democratic blogs seeking to hype a controversy to make Virginia Republicans -- who control the House of Delegates -- look bad, particularly in an election year in which the Democratic majority in the state senate is in jeopardy.
Yet Kunkle failed to inform readers which blogs tipped him off to the story and what political axes they have to grind.
Pop singer Elton John is blaming Parade magazine for his remark in Sunday's edition that Jesus Christ was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man.
"Parade magazine did a kind of a sneaky thing and put it on their website that I said this," John told Chicago's WGN-TV.
According to John, he made the comment "as part of the conversation during the interview," but he apparently didn't think this was going to be included in the article.
"I don't really want to cause a controversy, and I didn't know it was going to be a sidebar to an article that was a great article, and I think Parade have been a bit sneaky about that" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
In his Feb. 19 "Washington Sketch" column, Milbank declared Marco Rubio, an opponent of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's GOP Senate primary "the anti-Crist." Get it - "anti-Crist," as in "anti-Christ?"
Vice President Joseph Biden's very public wearing of ashes, a Lenten practice for Catholics, on Wednesday led to several befuddled reactions from the mainstream media. Sky News's Kay Burley had to apologize after confusing the ashen mark for an injury. More egregiously, ABC News's Karen Travers omitted the past controversy over his support for legalized abortion, and portrayed him as a devout Catholic.
The Vice President bore the ashes on his forehead as he introduced President Obama at a White House event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the so-called Recovery Act. Burley asked Greg Milam, Sky News's US correspondent, about the mark as they monitored Biden's remarks: "What's happened to his head? I'm sure that's what everybody's asking at home." After a short pause, Milam replied, "Yes, I don't know. It's a simple answer. Maybe we'll get a chance to find out a little later." Burley then remarked, "It looks like he walked into a door, doesn't it? I'm sure that's one of the questions that the networks will be asking him." (video clip above is from Thursday's Morning Joe on MSNBC; audio available here).
Last May, The Washington Post highlighted Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity Washington University, for a speech lashing out at the "snarl of hatred" of pro-life protesters of President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame. McGuire is the cover girl of Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine, and her vicious liberal speech is a mere footnote in a puff piece by education reporter Daniel de Vise.
The cover said "The soul of Trinity: For two decades, Pat McGuire has been consumed by turning a Catholic college into a model for urban higher ed." [Italics theirs.] As is typical in the Post, McGuire is a raging liberal, but the reporter never uses the L word. They simply suggest that at some point, she found the "right" side of history:
Picking up on the story, "Hannity" substitute host Tucker Carlson had Bozell and fellow signatory American Papist blogger Thomas Peters on the Friday, February 5 show to discuss Knox's record of anti-Catholic rhetoric, including his refusal to apologize for saying that the Pope's opposition to condoms was "hurting people in the name of Jesus."
Harry Knox is not exactly a household name, and the media elite have no interest in making hime one. The media are in the controversy-making business, but not when Barack Obama picks "spiritual advisers" who think condoms are holier than the Pope.
Some could say Bush's faith-based initiatives office didn't get much ink, either. But back in July 2001, the networks picked up and promoted gay-left groups like Knox's group (the Human Rights Campaign) in complaining about the Bush faith-based initiative. They made the Salvation Army a target of political criticism. (Here and here.)
UPDATE (11:57 a.m. EST):Brent Bozell is confirmed to appear on "Hannity" tonight to discuss this. He should appear around 9:10 p.m. Eastern time.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has joined Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) and a coalition of Catholic leaders today in an open letter to the White House demanding that President Obama fire Harry Knox (depicted at right*), an appointed member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
This week Knox once again boldly and shamelessly showcased his hatred for the Catholic faith, its teachings and leader by reaffirming his belief that the Pope “is hurting people in the name of Jesus” by not promoting the use of condoms as a means to control the spread of HIV. As first reported by the MRC's CNSNews.com who documented the attack with video footage, Knox reaffirmed the charge he made against the Pope in March of 2009 by declaring “I do” when directly asked by CNS News if he still stood behind those words.
The outrage has spurred Catholic leaders from across the country to convene and issue the following open letter:
When tens of thousands gather in Washington to protest legalized abortion, The New York Times has in recent years mostly ignored it – which seems especially odd when they spotlight tiny liberal protests as newsworthy. It happened again on Thursday, as the Times ran a photograph of about ten protesters of the National Prayer Breakfast – outside the Capitol Hill house of "The Family," the secretive evangelical group that sponsors the event.
Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein offered a story loaded with liberal Prayer Breakfast critics, and no supporters. (A spokesman for "The Family" offered several comments on the group and its secrecy, but not on the breakfast.) The headline was "Prayer Breakfast, Long a Must in Washington, Draws Controversy." She began by suggesting the breakfast is a longtime networking event of "scrambled eggs and supplication."
She then described how Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), described only as an "ethics group" and a "government watchdog group," advocated that government leaders should not show up, and that C-SPAN cameras should go away, all because of the "a combination of the intolerance of the organization’s views, and the secrecy surrounding the organization."
In his book "The Courage to Be Catholic," author George Weigel surprised readers by insisting that the very secular and liberal Boston Globe and the New York Times had done the Lord’s work in rooting out the story of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.
Weigel is correct, and never mind that the newsies at the Globe and the Times were relishing making the Church cringe. But these secular liberal media outlets will not tell the story when the American bishops allow the donations of Catholics to be diverted to fund abortion-rights activism, even if most Catholics view abortion as the most horrific form of child abuse. The media almost unanimously celebrate abortion as the summit of women’s "liberation," and so the treatment is just the opposite. The press is refusing to cover this scandal.
The American Life League and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry have been demanding reform of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They charge that no less than 50 organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are in some capacity engaged in pro-abortion or pro-gay causes.
In the Groundhog Day edition of the Washington Post, liberal, pro-choice sports columnist Sally Jenkins took direct aim at the National Organization for Women (NOW) for its campaign to keep a pro-life ad featuring Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother from airing during Sunday's Super Bowl.
Jenkins slammed NOW, mocking it as one of the few "Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep" (DOLL) that is coming off more "pro-abortion" than pro-choice with its anti-Tebow crusade (emphasis mine):
ABC’s Devin Dwyer recycled the tidbit from Terry Moran’s Nightline interview with Obama last July where Obama said he keeps the faith by getting daily devotions on his BlackBerry.
No one in the ABC piece is allowed to question if Obama now has a phobia about church attendance due to his 20-year membership in the church of radical-left Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dwyer can’t even bring himself to mention Wright’s name, only that Obama quit "Chicago’s embattled Trinity United Church of Christ." He couldn’t get any more specific than that.
If Christians in the military were emblematic of George W. Bush, would the media suggest that this great Pagan Opening is symbolic of the Obama era?
From an offical Academy press release:
The Air Force Academy chapel will add a worship area for followers of Earth-centered religions during a dedication ceremony, which is tentatively scheduled to be held at the circle March 10....
Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, NCO in charge of the Academy's Astronautics laboratories, worked with the chapel to create the official worship area for both cadets and other servicemembers in the Colorado Springs area who practice Earth-centered spirituality...
The Super Bowl is a cultural phenomenon. It’s not only watched by godzillions of people worldwide, it’s the only televised broadcast where the audience tunes in not just for the game, but for the commercials. The top-dollar, high-profile advertising space has led to some unforgettable commercials over the years.
Sometimes the ad is so remarkable it becomes a word-of-mouth sensation before it even airs, before anyone has even seen it. It’s happened again this year.
CBS has decided to accept an ad from a politically involved group and caused a firestorm with the radical Left because that group is proudly Christian.
The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family plans to air a commercial featuring Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, who will tell the story of how doctors told her she should have an abortion, and she refused that exercise of "choice." Pam Tebow was a missionary in the Philippines and had contracted dysentery, and the medicine had a chance of causing birth defects.
For some atheists, a person should not be honored for decades of humanitarian work if she also happens to be a professing Christian.
That's the only conclusion one can draw from the recent uproar of the Freedom From Religion Foundation over the U.S. Postal Service's commemorative stamp featuring 1979 Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa.
"There's this knee jerk response that everything she did was humanitarian," griped FFRF spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor, according to a Jan. 28 Fox News article. "And I think many people would differ that what she doing was to promote religion, and what she wanted to do was baptize people before they die, and that doesn't have a secular purpose for a stamp." She also asserted that this is part of the Roman Catholic "PR machine" to "make [Mother Teresa] a saint."
Just to clarify: the Church does not consider a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service a necessary step to sainthood.
Discounting the pro-life argument of a planned Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad featuring Tim Tebow's mother, Joy Behar told the audience of the January 26 "View" that the Florida quarterback just as easily could have been a "rapist pedophile." [audio available here]
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell called on the CBS television network to stay the course in planning to air a life-affirming Super Bowl commercial featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, who was pressured to abort him during her pregnancy, after a bout of opposition has arisen among left-wing activist groups:
Radical leftist groups like the National Organization for Women have the gall to claim that this life-affirming ad is "extraordinarily offensive and demeaning." I have to wonder, what is so offensive about celebrating the decision of a mother to have her baby?
Bozell added that "CBS has the opportunity to make this a game-changer for network television," an "opportunity to show balance and fairness -- and simple decency" and "to stand against liberal liberal political censorship."
The top of the Metro section in Saturday’s Washington Post carried the headline "Defiantly devout" to describe women who’ve attempted to ordain themselves Catholic priests. Inside, the headline was "Faithfully, if not obediently Catholic."
Would the Washington Post describe Joe Lieberman as a "defiantly devout liberal"? Or remember how the Dulles Area chapter of the National Organization for Women decided to endorse Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court? Was that "defiantly devout" feminism? If liberals would suggest that's a "rogue" NOW chapter that doesn't count, how does it explain this story?