At the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on Pope Francis expressing compassion toward gay people of faith and framed the comments as a major shift for the Catholic Church: "Making history. We're on the Pope's plane as he makes some stunning comments that sure sounded revolutionary..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later introducing a report on the topic, Williams proclaimed: "To the journalists sitting in the back of his plane flying him back to the Vatican from Rio, the Pope's words today during a surprise airborne news conference seemed, if not revolutionary, certainly newsworthy and historic in terms of the Catholic Church."
While most liberal media outlets have been positively giddy about Pope Francis's off-the-cuff remarks to the media about gay Catholics, Tim Padgett is having none of it, complaining, accurately, that the media have misconstrued the pontiff's comments. But Padgett's beef is not with inaccurate secular media outlets but with the church itself. "Catholic doctrine still vilifies homosexuality, and no amount of priestly 'love' makes that okay," huffed the sanctimonious headline to Padgett's July 30 story, "Pope Francis and Gays: 'Loving the Sinner' Is Still Intolerance."
"As TIME’s Stephen Faris has noted, while the Pope’s remarks might be a welcome and humane sentiment, they hardly represent a break with Catholic church doctrine, which still condemns homosexuality. The Vatican’s catechismal stance regarding the LGBTs in our midst remains the same: The church may love the sinner, but it hates the sin," complained Padgett in a post on the Time Ideas blog. Visitors to the main Time.com page were greeted this morning with a huge teaser headline which prompted readers to check out the piece, tagged as a "viewpoint" entry, not an objective news story [see screen capture below]:
Out of all the things Pope Francis said at World Youth Day, the liberal media were buzzing about his refusal to judge a gay person who "accepts the Lord and has good will" – ignoring that Pope Francis still upheld the Catholic Catechism's teaching on homosexuality.
New Day co-hosts Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan sounded hopeful that the Pope's remark would lead to change down the road. "One thing is for sure, change only comes about through dialogue. So, the fact that the pope is addressing this at all means something," Cuomo said. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Liberals in the media are doing what they do best when it comes to Pope Francis today: misrepresenting him to their hearts’ content.
When asked in a press conference about celibate priests who suffer same-sex attraction, the Pope replied: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” – a view which is exactly in line with Church teaching. But of course, the media had a field day painting this orthodox statement as a sweeping approval of the gay lifestyle.
Bill Maher has said some disgusting things about religion before.
Possibly the most disgusting came on HBO’s Real Time Friday when the host actually said, “God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer” (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Everyone’s happy about the arrival of the future king of Britain – that is, everyone at leisure to take note. Presumably, Middle Eastern Christians have been too busy trying to survive to worry over whether the Duchess of Cambridge was in false labor.
And while the hard-nosed journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC have been knitting booties and speculating on names, Middle Eastern Christians have been attacked by Islamists, prevented from worshipping, driven from homes and villages, beaten and executed.
Disturbing protests from abortion proponents and media glamour treatment for pro-abort Wendy Davis punctuated the debate over the Texas abortion bill. So when a young girl held up an explicit and obscene pro-abortion sign at the Texas Capitol, of course liberals hailed her as a precocious hero for women’s rights.
Tuesday Cain, a 14-year-old Texan, protested the abortion bill in Texas by holding a sign that read: “Jesus isn’t a d***, so keep him out of my vagina.” But instead of pointing out the lack of common decency and moral respect in the offensive placard, leftie site Salon.com lauded Tuesday as “awesome” for her “willingness to stand up for her convictions.”
While thousands of young people gather in Rio de Janeiro this week to celebrate World Youth Day with Pope Francis for the very first time, gay rights activists can’t wait to welcome the pontiff to Brazil – with an offensive gay “kiss-in.”
According to Huffington Post, a gay rights group plans to stage a gay “kiss-in” during the Pope’s World Youth Day appearance. The obscene protest is scheduled for July 25, during the speech Pope Francis will give on Copacabana beach. Gay couples will meet there and kiss each other on the lips to demonstrate their opposition to the Church’s stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.
It seems as though some media personalities never miss an opportunity to slam the Catholic Church. Take for example the July 18 Imus In The Morning on Fox Business, in which host Don Imus took an unnecessary swipe at Pope Francis and the sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church.
Speaking with Father Jonathan Morris, a regular Fox News contributor, Imus suggested that, “because of all the problems the church has had, he [should] get an ice cream truck," presumably making that crack because ice cream trucks are quite the draw for children. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin helped Daily Beast editor Reza Aslan promote his new biography of Jesus, who posited that there is a "chasm between the historical Jesus and the Jesus...taught about in church." As proof of this supposed gap, Aslan claimed that "there is actually no statement of messianic identity from Jesus" in the Gospel of Mark.
Aslan has it wrong. Jesus actually affirmed that he was the Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) in Mark 14: 61-62: "Again the high priest asked him...Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Even NPR pointed out Aslan's false statement in a correction on Monday, but Martin, a former religion correspondent for the public radio network, didn't catch his error during the segment.
Readers are advised to prepare themselves for a rare dose of sanity and reality on television.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, journalism professor Steve Roberts actually said, "What's missing often in TV newsrooms: there are plenty of gays, there are very few people of faith and very few evangelical Christians who in their own beliefs would be against gay marriage. And this has always bothered me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At first glance. Bill Barrow's write-up of Jimmy Carter's speech at his center's Mobilizing Faith for Women conference appears to have covered the facts about the conference and the specifics of the former U.S. president's outrageous attempts at moral equivalency in comparing how the world's religions treat women reasonably well.
But the AP writer left out two important contextual elements: 1) Christianity's historical and ongoing contribution to the improvement of women's status, leading to the indisuptable fact that women today are far better off in countries which have Judeo-Christian traditions than they are in those which don't; 2) government-encouraged or mandated abortion, which has disproportionately prevented women from being born -- the ultimate and final form of oppression -- and which many religions have done far too little to stop.
(UPDATE: "Obama Supports Terrorism" sign obtained at Twitchy.com)
This "Arab Spring" update comes from the Associated Press: "The Obama administration on Friday warned Americans against all but essential travel to Egypt and moved to reduce the official U.S. presence in the country amid fears of widespread unrest." No one could possibly have predicted this type of crisis would be a likely outcome of Hosni Mubarak's overthrow -- ahem, except former U.S. ambassador John Bolton and other people considered ignoramuses by the diplomatic elite.
Conditions on the ground reflect the growing tolerance of a diverse ethnic, religious, and democratically inclined leadership. Uh, actually not at all, as a separate AP report about today's events reveals (excerpts are not intended to describe the entire situation; reviewing the entire report and others from elsewhere will be needed for a fuller understanding):
Offending gays or speaking ill of Muslims is a cultural taboo, but mocking the Blessed Virgin Mary is just good clean fun.
That was the approach the Santa Fe Reporter took when it published its 2013 Summer Guide. The New Mexico weekly’s cover featured a full-page cartoon of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a strapless yellow bikini and sunglasses, sipping a margarita, accompanied by a beer-drinking hiker and a shirtless cowboy.
Those paranoid Christians. Always thinking someone is persecuting them. Pro-gay violence? Christians bullied for supporting traditional marriage? Puh-leeze. Just grow up already. That stuff never happens. Only gays get bullied.
That was the sarcastic approach of comedian Samantha Bee in a fake reporting segment she filmed for “The Daily Show.” Interviewing (controversial) right-wing evangelical pastor Matt Slick, she scoffed at his claim that gay agenda activists are “not tolerant,” and mocked the idea in a satirical exposé of anti-Christian bullying.
In Tuesday's Washington Post, Tom Hundley of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting gave Post readers a textbook example in biased reporting freighted with loaded language. The target was a predictable bogeyman of secular liberal reporters: the Catholic Church.
Hundley painted the constitutional court battle over a "reproductive health law" in the Philippines as a struggle "pit[ting] the entrenched power of the Roman Catholic establishment against a rising tide of modernization and economic aspiration." You read that right. It's progress and prosperity against repression and Romanism according to Hundley.
As we've shown here and here, the New York Times has trouble understanding the central Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. As my colleague Clay Waters noted back in April, even in issuing a correction to a doozy of an error in a story this year, Times editors made another mistake in the correction that referred to the "resurrection into heaven" of Jesus.
Well, the Times has once again demonstrated it needs to go back to Sunday School. Take the June 14 David Brooks column -- " Religion and Inequality" -- wherein the quasi-conservative scribe misattributed a biblical passage by the Apostle Paul to Jesus. The Times dutifully issued a correction, but as you'll see below, it's still deficient (emphasis mine):
And Rabbi Joshua Hammerman thought he had a “Tebow Problem” before. Back in 2011, the columnist at The Jewish Week fretted that the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos might beat his “beloved” New England Patriots in the upcoming AFC championship game. But his wasn’t a fan’s normal pre-game nervousness. It was the hand-wringing of a liberal bigot.
Hammerman imagined that the rubes in fly-over country regarded the “blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states” as the “Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarter back” their “diabolical hoodie-clad coach” and “the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.” Against Tebow, the “poster boy of the Christian right,” they’d be “playing the role of Pilate.” (In the event, the Broncos lost, forestalling Tebow’s Christian fans from “burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants” in celebration, as Hammerman had warned.)
On Comedy Central’s Colbert Report Monday, the anti-bullying advocate said that Vatican City’s healthcare plan doesn’t include birth control “because altar boys can’t get pregnant” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jon Stewart is taking the summer off to film Rosewater, a story about the detention and torture of Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, but “Senior British Correspondent” John Oliver has the helm until Labor Day. While the Daily Show is known for it’s political satire, its hosts have been known to cross the line concerning their antipathy towards conservatives, specifically Oliver’s desire to shoot and kill Tim Tebow. The reason: he’s open about his Christian faith.
The New York Times may have rebuffed Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting with journalists about leak investigations, but they displayed how they really weren’t angry by burying an actual account of that meeting inside Friday’s paper, while the front page carried stories like “A New Step in Wrestling With the Bra.”
Perhaps the most surprising judgment of what was front page-worthy was an obituary for Father Andrew Greeley, as if he were the Cardinal of Chicago. The Washington Post summed him up well: “an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex.” He was also a liberal newspaper columnist. Greeley's “New Deal liberalism” equals newsworthy?
Twisting Bible stories for the gay agenda? Yup, that’s right up HuffPo’s alley.
The Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” blog was all praise yesterday for gay artist Paul Richmond’s schlocky painting called “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise,” which depicts gay couples aboard the Ark. HuffPo lauded Richmond’s work as a “whimsical, gay twist on the biblical narrative.”
The talking heads at HuffPo Live must think the Pope is pretty funny, since much of their short discussion of him on Wednesday at the tail end of a religious segment – was laughs and grins.
Perhaps it’s no surprise after HuffPo misrepresented the Pope’s words on atheists, but when the Vatican’s Rev. Rosica issued a clarification, HuffPo Live host Mike Sacks seemed to have trouble taking it seriously. He grinned as he claimed that the Vatican’s statement “seems to walk back” on what he called Francis’ “groundbreaking homily in which he stated that people who reject the teachings of Christ can be saved after all.”
On Tuesday's Fresh Air on NPR stations from coast to coast, host Terry Gross interviewed author Stephen King on his new book "Joyland," which features a young man in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy and his grandfather, a radio evangelist named Buddy Ross, who insists the disease is divine punishment.
King might have surprised the secular-left devotees of public radio -- not with the usual talk of how organized religion seems like a "theological insurance scam," but by proclaiming he believes in God: "Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design." He had to talk more about his inconsistency and doubts to get back in NPR's secular sweet spot.
Chalk this one up to the absurd. CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday tried to draw a legal parallel between a Sharia Law execution and a Catholic school firing a teacher for violating her contract by disobeying church teaching on pregnancy. Banfield argued both violated the teacher's Constitutional rights.
"Well if it's an Islamic school and they decide to go with Sharia Law and they decide to stone me for this, they can't do that either," Banfield ridiculously argued. "Then don't sign up to be the teacher," responded prosecutor Christine Grillo, who multiple times reiterated that the teacher had violated her contract.
The New Republic has easily demonstrated just how ridiculous The Washington Post's book review of the new Dan Savage is to claim that “reconciliation is at the heart of everything Savage writes and says.”
In "The Waning Power of Dan Savage," Daniel D'Addario dismisses the new book as "a very public act of self-love." Later, he explained "The nadir of American Savage comes when Savage prints a one-act play called 'Jesus and the Huge A--hole,' about religious objectors to Obamacare." Jesus swears like a Savage:
On her Monday show, CNN's Christiane Amanpour celebrated the same "Catholic" Salon.com writer who penned the revolting piece, "So What If Abortion Ends Life?" and who shuddered at an Olympic gold medalist being "so, so, so into Jesus."
Salon.com's Mary Elizabeth Williams is a "pro-choice, liberal Catholic," and Amanpour hyped her "fight" to change the Catholic Church – allowing women to be ordained to the priesthood and thus treated as "equal citizens." Apparently Catholic women are second-class citizens in Amanpour's book.
NPR could stand for Not Pro-Religion. It’s the taxpayer-subsidized network with the Wiccan-priestess reporter. On Friday’s All Things Considered, NPR promoted a new horror movie in which “it’s not the Devil that’s scary.” Instead, “the religious horror is religion itself.”
NPR is pushing an “atheist’s take on Catholic horror.” Those teachings can be “terrifying.” (Disclaimer: NPR reserves the right to spare Muslims all of these criticisms.) The director’s name is Rodrigo Gudino, and reporter Beth Accomando explained the plot: