Gushing journalists Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts met Pope Francis on Wednesday and thrilled over the fact that a gay magazine has made him "person of the year." The Good Morning America anchors traveled to the Vatican for "Christmas With the Pope." According to Elliott, "[Pope Francis has] ushered in a kind of truce in the culture wars."
He touted, "And both Time magazine and the leading gay magazine, The Advocate, have named him their person of the year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Elliott offered tremendously positive coverage, narrating, "He walks the streets, poses for pictures, embraces the sick and is not afraid to have a bit of fun." ABC wasn't always so friendly. On March 14, correspondent Terry Moran warned, "Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
In a flourish of exaggeration, CNN's Piers Morgan compared Rush Limbaugh to the devil and conservatives to Genghis Khan on his Tuesday night show.
"Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis which is, you know, it's like watching the devil incarnate taking on Mother Teresa," Morgan said in his interview with Ann Coulter. He also took a shot at Limbaugh, Coulter, and other conservatives who are unhappy with Pope Francis's popularity with liberals. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, levied charges against free market capitalism, denying that "economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world" and concluding that "this opinion ... has never been confirmed by the facts." He went on to label unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny." Let's look at the pope's tragic vision.
First, I acknowledge that capitalism fails miserably when compared with heaven or a utopia. Any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. However, mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist on earth. For the common man, capitalism is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires.
Tuesday's Good Morning America simply didn't have its facts straight in their rush to portray Pope Francis as a crypto-liberal. Amy Robach hyped that the pontiff "removed an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage from a powerful post within the Church. Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke...was head of the Vatican's highest court." Robach then asserted that "this move is seen as reinforcing the Pope's vision for a more inclusive church."
However, Cardinal Burke is still the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the equivalent of the Supreme Court for the Catholic Church. The Pope actually declined to renew the Wisconsin native's membership on a different consultative body at the Vatican – the Congregation for Bishops. [MP3 audio of Robach's news brief available here; video below the jump]
I'm interrupting my series on Common Core State Standards for public schools to join the appeal to Iran and North Korea for the release of American hostages like imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini and missionary Kenneth Bae. And I'm also calling upon President Obama and Congress to step up their action, stand for religious freedom and fight for the release of these godly men, whose crimes were nothing more than exercising their faith.
For those who haven't followed the news on these men of the cloth, pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years by an Iranian court last January for starting house churches in the 2000s, an era in which they weren't even regarded as a threat to Iran's security.
The latest version of Newsweek sounds like it’s going to be even more liberal than the The Daily Beast version. The group hoping to re-launch the print edition has an article on their website called “Is Pope Francis a Socialist?”
Their answer is no, but they’re so impressed with the new pope that they’re channeling the idea that somehow pope photos will replace Che Guevara as a revolutionary icon:
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg praised Pope Francis as a "voice against the tyranny or the hegemony of global capitalism" during a discussion of whether the Pope should be chosen Time's "Person of the Year." Goldberg:
Time magazine's left-leaning reasons for choosing Pope Francis its 2013 Person of the Year were apparent in the cover story written by Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias. Chua-Eoan and Dias trumpeted how supposedly, "in a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church...above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors." The two later underlined that the Pope's "vision is of a pastoral—not a doctrinaire—church."
Despite their emulation of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's reasoning for giving President Obama the Peace Prize in 2009 – to nudge along liberal "progress" and hoping that "somehow" doctrines will change – the writers grudgingly acknowledged that the Bishop of Rome doesn't sound like he will bring the change that the left hopes for:
Time's editor Nancy Gibbs -- who, last we checked, was a woman -- announced today that Pope Francis would be honored as the magazine's 2013 Person of the Year. This, of course, is the perfect excuse for the sort of folks who get their knickers twisted over these sorts of things to complain that, yet again, a man was named for the honor. As insult to injury for left-wing feminists, the man in question holds an office which only men can exercise, not to mention that Francis affirms the male-only priesthood is a settled matter.
On Monday, Terry Mattingly of GetReligion blog revealed a glaring error made by Time magazine in its online poll of readers about who should be their Person of the Year. The magazine had to issue the following correction regarding its one-sentence description of Pope Francis: "An earlier version of this post suggested that Pope Francis rejected some church dogma. He does not."
Whoever made this correction didn't give a completely accurate portrayal of the original post, as it didn't use this "some" qualifier: [screen cap below the jump, via Mattingly's Google cache link]
An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.
She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln foresaw a "new birth of freedom" in his Gettysburg Address, the folks at MSNBC are busy celebrating abortion.
From Chris Jansing to Thomas Roberts, to liberal darling Alex Wagner, the all-liberal network has chosen November 19 as the newest abortion day at the “Lean Forward” network. Perhaps the most obnoxious abortion segment on MSNBC on November 19 was during Now w/ Alex Wagner, where the MSNBC host featured liberal comic Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, to promote Monday's online abortion fundraiser for the women of Texas and a new campaign she was calling “From V To Shining V,” the "v" presumably standing for "vagina." [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Lean Forward network took a half-hearted stab at being fair and balanced on Tuesday. During the 11 a.m. hour, Thomas Roberts invited on two women to discuss the vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representing the obvious pro-abortion side was frequent MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon.
Representing what Roberts called “the church side” was Sara Hutchinson of, wait for it... Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice lobby group. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Typically, Washington Post “On Faith” founder Sally Quinn touted tattooed progressive minister Nadia Bolz-Weber, the one who boasts about her new book “Pastrix” in an Amazon video: "the first word in the book is s–t.”
Her book claims also include “I wrote it for people who listen to This American Life" on NPR, and "I wrote it for people who know the difference between American cheese...and actual cheese." Quinn should have a tongue in her cheek as she finds it amazing, amazing that Reverend Nadia could draw 800 people to a service....after a major writeup as a alternative-Christian "superhero" in The Washington Post:
The press has been obsessed with the fate of Obamacare's contraception mandate ever since religious, corporate, and other litigants began challenging it in the courts.
So what explains the fact that a search on "Korte" at the Associated Press's national site and at the New York Times return nothing and nothing relevant, respectively? Or that there are only nine stories at Google Newsin a search on “Korte contraception court” (not in quotes), only two of them from establishment press outlets, on the Friday Appeals Court ruling in Chicago in Korte vs. Sebelius? That's easy. It didn't go the "right" way, and the ruling appears to have been significant. Excerpts from Joe Palazzolo's coverage at the Wall Street Journal, one of those two establishment press outlets, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
If it’s Friday, HBO’s Bill Maher must be attacking conservatives as well as people of faith.
On the most recent installment of Real Time, the host did a lengthy segment accusing religious conservatives of being hypocrites saying, “There's always a good, moral, Christian reason to tell everyone you meet to f--k off and die” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS and ABC on Thursday and Friday offered respectful tributes honoring "America's pastor," Billy Graham. The networks, which are often hostile or dismissive of religion, all featured segments on the minister's 95th birthday and played clips of what has been announced as his final sermon. (However, NBC's Today allowed a mere 24 seconds to the topic.) World News correspondent Dan Harris observed, "Throughout his life, it's been the Gospel that has sustained him."
The journalist oddly related, "...In private, he's a surprisingly humble man, married to the same woman, Ruth, for more than 60 years." But Harris also included ample footage of Graham's final sermon, featuring the pastor leading his worldwide audience in a prayer: "I invite you to come into my heart and my life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and savior, in Jesus's name, amen." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
There really is nothing MSNBC’s Ed Schultz won’t say about conservatives.
In response to a viewer question “What do Christian values mean to Republicans,” Schultz said Tuesday, “It's just a stepping stone, a footstool, to get exactly what they want in the political arena. They hide behind their plastic Jesus” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC congressional reporter Luke Russert granted an interview to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and agreed with Brody's suggestion that the media can bite people of faith if they wear their faith on their sleeve too obviously.
"I think that's absolutely accurate," said Russert, saying snark is valued in religion coverage alongside stereotypes: (Video and transcript below)
In today’s television world, anything goes. We’ve seen shows about everything from sewage treatment, meat slaughtering, trash collection, and prostitution houses. Yet for all the unvarnished look at life that “reality” shows bring to viewers, there is one thing that is apparently too hot for television: praying to Jesus.
According to Phil Robertson, star of A&E’s mega-hit series “Duck Dynasty,” the producers of the cable program deliberately removed his and other family members’ references to Jesus in prayer.
CNN's routine marketing lie is that they're the centrist network that doesn't take sides. In July, CNN's Belief Blog promoted Muslim creative-writing professor Reza Aslan's book about Jesus. CNN contributor Stephen Prothero wrote a Fox News-"correcting" article titled "What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus" and they published Aslan's own piece on "Why I Write About Jesus."
But when it came to Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Jesus," CNN's Belief Blog posted an article titled "Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'". Oh, yeah, CNN never takes sides. The author is a liberal author named Candida Moss, who has written a book attacking the "myth" that the early Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire. She mocked O'Reilly's grasp of facts:
The Little Sisters of the Poor sued over ObamaCare's birth control mandate on Tuesday, claiming the law forces them to violate their consciences. However, CNN ignored these nuns after boosting the liberal "Nuns on the Bus" tour last year that slammed the Ryan budget.
"We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government's program to provide access to abortion inducing drugs," said Sister Loraine Marie, the superior of one of the congregation's provinces. The Becket Fund, which filed the lawsuit, said the congregation will not be exempt from the mandate and faces millions of dollars in fines.
By now a clear pattern is developing in how the liberal media cover Pope Francis. Step one: the pontiff makes frank, off-the-cuff comments in a speech or an interview which contains statements easy for the liberal media to misconstrue. Step two: the media do what they do best, misconstrue and spin the pope in order to hail him as a liberal who will reform the church in a leftward direction on the unholy trinity of concerns for the secular left: abortion, sexual ethics (particularly on homosexuality), and women in the priesthood. Step three, liberal activists within the church are given platforms in secular media outlets to caution that, no, Francis is not the liberal you hope he is, at least, not yet, but that with some gentle prodding maybe he can be won over.
The bishop of Rome's interview with La Civilta Cattolica -- accessible in English here at the Jesuit magazine America -- is the latest instance where we see this pattern playing out. Witness how Time magazine today gave a platform to liberal nun Sister Simone Campbell, who explained to readers "What Pope Francis Thinks About Women in the Church." Campbell began:
The September 19, 2013 article “Pope Francis: Church cannot be 'obsessed' with gays, other bans” on The Chicago Tribune’s Web site notes:
In a remarkable change from his predecessor Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder, Francis said that when homosexuals told him they were always condemned by the Church and felt "socially wounded", he told them "the Church does not want to do this".
Contrary to what a typical reader might conclude, Pope Benedict wasn’t expressing a personal opinion on homosexuality. What he said comes directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
On Friday, Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press shamelessly construed Pope Francis' denunciation of abortion and euthanasia as an "olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church". Winfield ballyhooed how the pontiff "issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn".
The Bishop of Rome advised a group of Italian gynecologists to "recognize, in the fragile human being, the face of the Lord...Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ....And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the 'culture of waste' proposes!"
CNN's Chris Cuomo turned a discussion on Pope Francis' recent interview into an ugly personal attack and sharp lecture of his guest, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, on Friday's New Day.
The fracas began when Cuomo lectured Donohue on the Pope's statement that the ultimate focus of the church is "salvation" and not one particular moral issue. He said "it really sounds like you're one of the people [Francis] is sending this message to, to be fair, Mr. Donohue, isn't it?" Cuomo clearly had a bone to pick with his guest. [Video below the break. Audio here.]