When it comes to social issues, you can expect to get mostly one side of the story from CNN's reporting – the liberal side. On Thursday morning, that trend continued as anchor Kyra Phillips sympathized with a Catholic school teacher fired because she was using sick days to receive in vitro fertilization, a practice condemned by the Catholic Church.
Phillips started off with this jab at the Church: "Well, in vitro fertilization is a godsend for millions of infertile couples who long to have children, but the Catholic Church says it's a sin." So tell us where you really stand on this, Kyra. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy and the California governor's race two years later (when he uttered the immortal line to the media, "You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore") the former vice president knew he must reinvent himself to run for president again in 1968.
Thus was born "the new Nixon," an attempt to transform himself from "the old Nixon" the public didn't like, into a warmer, softer, more approachable person. As it turned out, the "new Nixon" was simply the "old Nixon" with a new coat of political paint.
So, uh, have you heard that the Catholic Church is working up a "crackdown" on nuns? Of course you have, as time and again the media have been repeating the charge. Well, today Sally Quinn, the agnostic editor of the Washington Post's On Faith feature, joined in the fun with her April 24 screed about "A Catholic 'war on women.'"
From start to finish, Sister Sally poured forth bilious attacks on the Catholic Church. Here's how she opened her screed:
When conservative televangelist Pat Robertson sees God's wrath against sexual sins as the cause for devastating natural disasters, it's roundly mocked by the liberal secular media. How dare Robertson presume to speak for God, many huff. But the Left's double standard is no more evident than yesterday when the Washington Post's website published an Earth Day "On Faith" column by a liberal theologian who chalks up "climate change" to God's anger for our "sin against the planet."
Don’t you hate it when the Catholic Church gets all, you know, Catholic? Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger does. In her April 19 column, “The instructive timing of the Vatican’s crackdown on nuns,” she twisted the Catholic Church’s critical doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) into a story of a power-hungry male Catholic hierarchy attempting to crush the more sophisticated Christian consciences of poor, defenseless nuns.
Henneberger huffed, “After a lengthy investigation by the office formerly known as the Inquisition, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been signed up to oversee a forced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in this country.” Henneberger quoted one of her Catholic friends: “Only do what Jesus told us to do,” in their hospitals, schools, and orphanages, “so no wonder they’re in trouble.”
Reuters reporter Andrew Stern grossly distorted the nature of a Vatican document released on Wednesday which raises theological concerns about American religious orders. Regarding the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Stern wrote that the group said it was "stunned" that "the Vatican reprimanded it for spending too much time on poverty and social-justice concerns and not enough on condemning abortion and gay marriage." Yeah, and that's just the lead paragraph of his biased article, "Nuns group 'stunned' by Vatican slap," which I found on page A2 of today's Washington Post.
Stern described the Vatican document as a "stinging report" that "reprimanded American nuns for expressing positions on political issues that differed, at times, from views held by U.S. bishops." But a review of the actual document shows no concern at all with partisan political matters, nor does the tone strike one as "stinging." Indeed, to this non-Catholic, it sounded rather pastoral and doctrinally-focused. Here's a link to the full item, with key excerpts below (emphasis mine):
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops speaking out with concern about the Paul Ryan/GOP budget plan is a "step in the right direction," according to liberal MSNBC host Alex Wagner.
Catholics "are not a monolithic voting bloc," MSNBC host Alex Wagner reminded her panel on her Friday Now program. "There are a lot of Catholics in the country, and I could name a few, who think that the Church, you know, has been far too vocal on issues that don't matter and not nearly vocal enough on those that do." Apparently to Wagner, the USCCB's pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and anti-ObamaCare contraception mandate are those pesky, inconsequential policy matters that the bishops waste their time on.
Charlie Rose did his best to forward liberals' talking points about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, during an interview of House Speaker John Boehner. Rose played up Mitt Romney's endorsement of the Ryan plan and how the former governor "talked about, perhaps, abolishing H.E.W. [sic]- I mean, HUD, as well as Department of Education."
The anchor even went so far to tout how "Catholic bishops today said that the Ryan budget fails to meet moral criteria and disproportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable, which sounds like the President." By contrast, Rose didn't even bring up Nancy Pelosi's notorious dissent from Catholic doctrine during a recent interview of Boehner's immediate predecessor on PBS.
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty touted how "liberal religious leaders said the Republican [budget] plan...was an affront to the Gospel, and especially Jesus's command to care for the poor." At the same time, Hagerty avoided mentioning the left-wing ideology of two critics of the proposal: Peter Montgomery of People For American Way, and liberal academic Stephen Schneck.
The correspondent did, however, clearly identify Ryan as a "Wisconsin Republican" and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention as part of a "conservative resistance to taxation." She also highlighted how "for other religious conservatives, the Bible is a blueprint for robust capitalism," and cited evangelical radio host David Barton as an example.
Liberal radio hosts were furious with the Catholic League for mocking Hillary Rosen after she attacked Ann Romney for not working. Their tweet said “Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.” This was seen by liberals as signaling Rosen’s children adopted with former partner Elizabeth Birch were “less valid, less worthy of respect” and homophobic.
On Friday, Bill Press confused the Catholic League with the nation’s bishops (they are not connected), but on Thursday, rabid atheist Mike Malloy was nudged into erupting about "child-raping" Catholics and their scummy "Nazi pope":
April 15, Tax Day, fell on a Sunday this year. American taxpayers get a two-day reprieve on the deadline this year thanks to Monday being a public holiday in the District of Columbia. But all the same, it was the perfect occasion for the Washington Post's On Faith feature to give readers a liberal homily on taxes.
Liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite had the honors. "There’s nothing more hypocritical today than the kind of political gamesmanship we have about paying taxes," the former Chicago Theological Seminary president groused, explaining:
Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Here, where Titanic, the massive White Star Line luxury liner, was built -- the joke for years has been, "It was fine when it left here." This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship "Not even God himself could sink...." and the centenary is being observed in diverse ways.
There are solemn remembrances. A "Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic" is scheduled for St. Anne's Cathedral and there's a Titanic Commemoration Service and Unveiling of the Titanic Memorial Gardens at City Hall.
According to Muslim comedian and CNN regular Dean Obeidallah, Rick Santorum speaks the language of "the Taliban" when he talks about the intersection of church and state in America. On CNN Sunday night, liberal host Don Lemon decided to have a religious discussion for Easter Sunday, and his first question was about the separation of church and state.
Obeidallah has attacked Santorum in the past, and found a way to bring him into the discussion. He referred to Santorum "saying the Bible and our laws must comport," adding later that "He was saying the same things honestly that the Taliban would say, that religious scripture and the laws of that state must agree." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Newsweek's Andrew Sullivan got a much-needed education about religion and politics from not one but two evangelical leaders Sunday.
The first came from Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention who in the midst of a heated debate on CBS's Face the Nation told Sullivan, "Any fusion between evangelicalism and Republicanism pales in comparison to the point of anemia compared to the black church and the Democratic Party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When ABC’s Jake Tapper held up Andrew’s Sullivan’s “Forget the Church, Follow Jesus” Newsweek cover story on how, as Tapper described Sullivan’s premise, “American Christianity is in a ‘crisis,’ it’s too focused on politics and policy, too little on spirituality,” Pastor Rick Warren took the opportunity to air “a little personal gripe.”
He contended: “I think it’s disingenuous that magazines like Newsweek know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover, but it’s always bait and switch. They never tell the stories, never tell the stories of what good the church is doing.”
On Wednesday's NBC Tonight Show, host Jay Leno asked Meet the Press host David Gregory if Mitt Romney's religion would be fair game in the general election: "...with Obama....you know, 'Oh, he's a Muslim. He's not a Christian.' Do you think that Romney will get the same thing about his faith that Obama got?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Gregory acknowledged Romney potentially becoming the Republican nominee would be "a huge moment for religious tolerance in the country," he then argued: "But I think it's an issue, I mean, I think a lot of people have questions about the Mormon faith. There's a lot of ignorance about the Mormon faith. And let's be honest, this is the core of who Mitt Romney is....And yet, he doesn't talk about it."
Cherry, herself a lesbian writing in the HuffPost Gay Voices section, launched her piece with a provocative and ridiculous claim: “Visions of a queer Christ are on the rise as Easter approaches this year – because the conventional Jesus is no longer enough.” The article supplemented that ‘vision” with a depiction of Jesus on the cross with the word “faggot” at the top, instead of “INRI,” like it appears in the Bible.
Even in this campaign, reporters have sneered that conservatives like Rick Santorum are seeking a theocracy like Iran or a Christian version of Sharia law. We've gone all the way back to the MRC's founding in 1987 to remember this bias over the years.
It doesn't take a special occasion or a holiday on the Christian calendar for Washington Post's On Faith feature to pound the pulpit for liberal political positions, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Take for instance how regular On Faith contributor and liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite used her April 1 blog post as the occasion to insist this Holy Week that Christians everywhere should put away their guns.
Brooks Thistlethwaite is no stranger to using holy writ to preach liberal political views --as our archive on her writings illustrates -- and she returned to the well once again to twist Scripture to service her political agenda:
ABC seems to delight in playing the part of the snake in the Garden of Eden. The fifth episode in its Christian hate-mongering series “GCB” unleashed some forbidden fruits of its own, with more religious slurs and a few racial digs.
Sunday’s sacrilegious episode included a knock on African-American churches, when character Cricket performed an overly dramatic rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Her daughter’s friend commented that Cricket “doesn’t even sound like a white woman.”
On Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, as he interviewed Rick Santorum, CNN host Morgan suggested that America needs more gun control, and pressed the GOP candidate on whether it is "caring" for him, "as a Christian," to undo ObamaCare if elected President. (Video below)
If it’s an important Christian occasion, you can predict National Public Radio will seek out an atheist expert. In 2008, NPR marked Good Friday by interviewing John Dominic Crossan, who believed the body of Jesus was not resurrected, but was perhaps eaten by wild dogs.
On Palm Sunday, NPR found it was the perfect day for atheist scholar Bart Ehrman, who has a new book out titled "Did Jesus Exist?" NPR weekend All Things Considered anchor Guy Raz was a big fan: “There are probably few people in the world who know more about the life of Jesus than Bart Ehrman. He's a New Testament scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where his lectures are among the most popular on campus.” Raz was such a fan he even told Ehrman later that he had bought his lectures on tape:
Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS saw a ridiculing of the Catholic bishops and Republicans for their stances against contraception and the HHS mandate. The liberal panel was quite hostile to conservative Christians when the discussion came to religion and contraception.
The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan ludicrously accused the Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders of using their opposition to contraception for political gain. "My concern is that the Church and the churches have become politicized," he quipped. He insisted that the bishops want to make Obama a "one-term president" in the wake of the HHS birth control mandate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
“Thousands of atheists, agnostics and other non-believers turned out in the US capital on Saturday to celebrate their rejection of the idea of God and to claim a bigger place in public life,” wrote Agence France-Press of the “Reason Rally” on the National Mall March 24, 2012.
The Reason Rallyers carried crucifixes with profane statements on them, and signs like “So many Christians, so few lions.” They cheered the headline speaker, militant British atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins stressed that, “I don't despise religious people. I despise what they stand for ...” But he went on to exhort the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for believers and their faith.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts recounted Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba, ABC's Christiane Amanpour on World News and NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News both noted reports that dissidents had been detained and prevented from meeting the Catholic leader, while the CBS Evening News failed to mention their plight.
New York Times reporter turned columnist Frank Bruni is on a nasty streak. He devoted his long Sunday Review column, "Rethinking His Religion," to a former classmate with a pat liberal morality lesson that seemed a lot like an invasion of patient privacy, then attacked Newt Gingrich and insulted Gingrich's wife. James Taranto at Best of the Web explained:
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has some insufferable friends. Yesterday he spent nearly 1,500 words profiling one of them, a classmate at the University of North Carolina whom he knew at the time as a conservative frat boy who "attended Catholic services every Sunday in a jacket and tie." Bruni, who is gay, "kept a certain distance from him" under the assumption that the young man, whom he does not name in the column, would be hostile to the future Timesman because of his sexual orientation.