How dare Catholic bishops use their teaching authority to speak out in favor of religious liberty! That was the thrust of University of Dayton theology professor Vincent Miller’s November 8 post on CNN’s Belief Blog (which has a tendency to attack conservative ideas) titled “Catholic Bishops’ Election Behavior Threatens Their Authority.”
Miller complained that: “The Catholic Church was well within its rights to conduct its campaign on religious liberty, but its “Preserve Religious Freedom” yard signs were clearly designed to be placed alongside partisan candidate signs.” He continued by bewailing the supposed partisan nature of the campaign: “The technically nonpartisan nature of the Church’s religious liberty campaign was further drowned out by a small chorus of strident bishops who left no doubt about how Catholics ought to vote for president.”
AP Story on 'Innocence of Muslims' Detainee's Sentencing Fails to Mention Its False Use by Obama in 'Explaining' Benghazi Attack
Now that their guy will be in the White House for another term, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has apparently commenced its "Cleaning up Benghazi" project -- as, naturally, has the Obama administration.
As part of that effort, the wire service's Greg Risling, reporting from Los Angeles at 6:14 p.m., made only the vaguest of references to how the film "roiled the Middle East" and "sparked violence ... killing dozens," without mentioning how it was dishonestly leveraged by terrorists as cover for protests and violence, and of course without mentioning how Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and so many others in his administration spent well over a week -- despite clearly knowing better -- citing the film as the cause of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens. Excerpts follow the jump (saved here in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
Shortly after 1:00 a.m. during MSNBC's election night coverage, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ridiculously claimed that Democrats are more tolerant of Mormonism than Republicans and blamed the "Bible-thumping side of the Republican party," which he asserted is "where anti-Mormon feeling resides," for political analysts discussing Mitt Romney's Mormon religious beliefs, in spite of polls showing Republicans more inclined to accept a Mormon President than Democrats. O'Donnell:
Remember the good ol' days when folks in the media were fond of telling us that conservative evangelical Christians would exhibit anti-Mormon bigotry and fail to vote for Mitt Romney simply because of his religion?
Well now that conservative evangelical Christians seem by-and-large on board with the Romney/Ryan ticket liberal CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero has turned the tables and criticized conservative evangelical leaders with, essentially, denying their faith by being pro-Romney. From his November 1 post, "My Take: Billy Graham and Ralph Reed are putting politics before God" (emphases mine):
Back in April, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged Gov. Mitt Romney with being a liar, went on to quote Mormon doctrinal texts, and strongly hinted that the Republican presidential candidate was in danger of hellfire. In early December 2011, Bashir hinted at a similar pronouncement of anathema on GOP candidate Herman Cain.
But now with just five days left until the election, Bashir is infuriated by a TV ad cut by former Baptist minister and ex-governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) which simply reminds Christian voters that God is watching their vote and that their choices at the ballot box ring through to eternity. "Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?" Huckabee asks in the spot. Bashir, no biblical illiterate he, erroneously took this to be a suggestion that Huckabee was suggesting the "unpardonable sin" was casting a vote for Obama. Both a review of the full context of the ad [embedded below the page break] and a basic understanding of the relevant biblical text Huckabee alludes to shows it's nothing of the sort. [MP3 audio of segment here; video excerpt of Bashir segment also follows page break]
CNN: 'Anti-Obama' Mailer 'Cherry-picks' Obama Speech; Yet CNN Article Itself Misrepresents General Thrust of Mailer
Updated below | An election season mailer linked to Focus on the Family and sent out to evangelical Christian voters in Iowa unfairly quoted President Obama out of context, CNN's Political Tracker blog complained this morning.
Yet in Peter Hamby's blog post -- Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’ -- the CNN.com staffer glossed over the fact that the other charges waged in the mailer are spot-on about areas in which the president is sharply to the left of religious conservatives on abortion, same-sex marriage, and a religious exemption for the contraception mandate (emphasis mine; see mailer photo below page break):
Not content to restrict the ongoing firestorm surrounding Senate candidate Richard Mourdock to the media, CNN's Newsroom turned to liberal comedienne Tina Fey to bash the Indiana Republican some more this morning.
"Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock better watch out," CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello warned, teasing the story at the top of the program. "Tina Fey is coming after them. Why the comedian says their rape comments will make her lose her mind." [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
In her rush to condemn U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite -- no stranger to criticism here on NewsBusters -- took the Indiana Republican's recent comments on abortion out of context and subsequently offered up readers a theology which, if followed to its logical conclusion, demeans the humanity and God-given dignity of persons living today who were conceived because of rape.
Here's how the Center for American Progress senior fellow began her October 24 "On Faith" column at WashingtonPost.com:
You know Obama supporters are getting desperate about their candidate’s electoral prospects when they start to play the anti-Mormon card.
In an October 23 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Barbara Reynolds launched a broadside against Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, arguing that he has become the “face of Mormonism” in America and complaining “I find it strange that the media are not opening up a dialogue concerning Romney and his faith.”
With less than two weeks before the November election, it appears as though the media have found their newest manufactured controversy to smear Mitt Romney and other Republicans running for elected office.
Following comments made by Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana, NBC News’ Luke Russert disgustingly tried to twist Mourdock’s comments and tie them to the Romney campaign. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
Tim Graham pointed out earlier on Thursday how Whoopi Goldberg forwarded a misunderstanding on ABC's The View during an interview of Ann Romney - that Mormonism "doesn't allow you to go fight" in the military. Mrs. Romney corrected this false statement: "No, that's not correct....We have many, many members of our faith that are serving in the armed services."
Goldberg could have just consulted Wikipedia, as the website lists four Mormon recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award for valor - one from World War I, two from World War II, and one from the Vietnam War.
Pastors -- almost all of them conservative Christian ones -- who participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" on October 7 are not free-speech crusaders but rather simply "rebels" against sensible U.S. tax policy, Yale law professor Adam Cohen complained in an October 16 TIME Ideas blog post. Cohen groused that The participants are trying to bait the IRS into coming after them so they can mount a legal challenge to the politics ban. So far, no luck, though they show no signs of quitting.
Cohen -- who once insisted the First Amendment's free speech guarantees are "vague"-- complained that pastors of tax-exempt churches issuing approval or condemnation of political candidates or legislation from the pulpit would in some way constitute a government subsidy of that political view. That's a popular view among liberals but it is a fundamentally-flawed premise that only makes sense if you believe that tax monies fundamentally BELONG to the government in the first place.
The hottest ticket on Broadway continues to be "The Book of Mormon," a musical that pokes fun at the Mormon faith in particular and Christianity in general. It is also full of profanity and blasphemy. If there was a show called "The Book of Muhammad," the Eugene O'Neill Theatre probably would have been burned down by now. New Yorkers are selective when picking their targets.
Now there's a new musical called "Scandalous," about a colorful, some would say corrupt, evangelist named Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Foursquare Church. In the early part of the 20th century, Aimee was more famous than any TV evangelist today. She combined a considerable amount of show business with an equal amount of religiosity and packed them in at her Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, which remains in operation today, long after her death.
In her October 9 column “Ryan v. Biden: the Catholic ‘Thrilla in Manila,’” Washington Post “She the People” columnist Melinda Henneberger made a common journalistic error when discussing the Catholic Church, introducing a false dichotomy between “liberal” Catholicism’s emphasis on social issues and “conservative” Catholicism’s emphasis on pro-life issues. Predictably, she came down hard on “conservative” Catholics and “Fox News bishops” for “unwittingly whittling away at their own influence with the increasingly secular Democratic party.” (And, needless to say, that’s the only influence that matters at The Washington Post.)
But the Catholic Church has not altered her moral teaching. It’s Democratic politicians that have changed and increasingly embraced policies directly opposed to Church teaching, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Henneberger herself noted the Democrats' enthusiastic embrace of abortion at their convention just over a month ago.
Remember that scrap of papyrus the media were screaming about that claimed that Jesus had a wife? Scholars are lining up to dismiss it as a forgery. The Smithsonian Institute canceled its planned documentary on the subject after scholars expressed doubts about its authenticity.
But the media, so quick to report on a scrap that CBS reporter Allen Pizzey argued “challenges the very foundation of Christian thinking,” weren’t so eager to report on the mounting evidence that the scrap of papyrus was a forgery.
“Those who came here insulting Islam and the Koran, I will take revenge on them,” said a Taliban suicide bomber with a chilling smile. Moments later he drove a truck loaded with 10,000 kg of explosives into U.S. Forward-Operating Base Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan, killing two U.S. soldiers.
It was all captured on a Taliban propaganda video narrated by an Al Jazeera reporter. (Video below.) It’s currently available for anyone to see on YouTube. More shocking, the Taliban have their own YouTube channel, though it is mostly dormant.
Sounding less like a supposed foreign policy expert and more like someone who's been listening to way too much late, late night left-wing radio, Zbigniew Brzezinski claimed to see the outlines of a "conspiracy" in the making of the anti-Mohammed movie trailer.
Saying "it's not an issue of freedom of speech entirely," Jimmy Carter's former National Security Adviser suggested on Morning Joe today that the makers of the movie could be held "liable" for the deaths of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. He recommended that the United States should "investigate and crack down" on "evil forces" such as those people behind the movie. View the video after the jump.
Matthew Archbold reported for the Cardinal Newman Society that actress Rosario Dawson was welcomed at Saint John’s University in New York to speak out for voter registration, even though the actress came to the Catholic college as a co-founder of the group Voto Latino. But the group itself clearly promotes feminist views at odds with church teaching.
Dawson’s group claims to be “nonpartisan,” but the website boasts, “If we are going to fight back against the assault on women we must be impolite. In fact, we must be downright vulgar and unreasonable in defense of our bodies, our health and our choices.”
On 'Morning Joe,' TIME's Richard Stengel Compares Radical Islamists to Tea Party; No One Protests Swipe
Corrected from earlier | Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on the September 27 Morning Joe to give viewers a preview of the latest issue of the magazine, the cover story of which is devoted to Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. At the tail end of the segment, teasing other articles in the issue, Stengel plugged Bobby Ghosh's interview with Mohammed Abdel Rahman, the son of Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheikh" serving time in a federal prison for his role in aborted 1993 bombing plot targeting the World Trade Center.
"We have a great piece by Bobby Ghosh, who's been on here before about the rise of the Salafis, in the Middle East, they're the Tea Party of Muslim democracy, and that's a fantastic, insightful story as well," Stengel noted. Neither Joe Scarborough not co-host Willie Geist threw a penalty flag at Stengel's unnecessary roughness, comparing the Tea Party to radical advocates of stringent Sharia law. [MP3 audio here; video at bottom of post]
Time's Padgett Uses 'Jesus Wife' Papyrus as Excuse to Bash Catholic Church for Celibate Male Priesthood
He's a liberal Catholic who thinks the Catholic Church needs to just give it up already with its silly fixation with defending the sanctity of life for the unborn. He also once compared the Church's bishops to Southern segregationists. So it should come as no surprise that Tim Padgett -- who is previously on record as dissenting from the Church on the celibate male priesthood -- should use the "Jesus wife" papyrus discovery as a fresh opportunity to attack the Church on the issue, working in a swipe at the Vatican for its rebuke of theologically-errant nuns for good measure.
From his September 25 TIME Ideas blog post (emphases mine):
Will the media notice this act of journalistic bravery? Alex Green, the student editor at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, defied his own university and exposed the details behind the resignation of a professor who was arrested for "attempting to meet 'with a minor child'" at a gas station.
Green's story was spiked from The Triangle, the student newspaper at the Christian college. The school's president, Dr. Stephen Livesay wouldn't allow it to be published. The website Romenesko.com recounted what happened next: "Still, Green was determined to get the word out. He printed his story and a sidebar and distributed them on Monday." In an interview with the website, Green explained, "I placed them around campus and at the doors of dorm rooms and at public areas around the school."
The Innocence of Muslims trailer that has sparked deadly protests overseas is crass, intentionally offensive, and grossly inappropriate. That much is clear. As crude as the video may be, however, Google did the right thing in not removing it from YouTube because its content is not, in itself, what the law would call an “incitement to violence.” Its message did not urge others to participate in violent conduct, but was used by a violent and irresponsible faction as an excuse for more violence.
Furthermore, new media giants like Google, Facebook or Apple should not censor content on their platforms because of pressure from the government, or because of groups that might be offended by controversial yet lawful viewpoints.
While CNN's ratings continue to slump, reaching record lows, its hosts and anchors seem intent on alienating what few socially-conservative viewers they may have left. Morning talk shows like Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien generally prefer to have roundtable discussions with maybe one token conservative panelist while the rest of the gang predictably parrots liberal talking points and espouses left-of-center convictions on policy issues.
Take for example how televangelist and author Joel Osteen was treated during his Thursday morning appearance to promote his new book. Guru Deepak Chopra joined in on a conversation about the health and wellness of our mind, body, and soul. Chopra was completely ignored as soon as the topic transitioned to the matter of gay marriage. All attention was given to the pastor, who had the temerity to, as Christian pastors tend to do, stick to Biblical teachings on the matter. (audio available here; video below)
Does one fragment of papyrus “about the size of a small cellphone” contradict centuries of Christian tradition that hold that Jesus was not married? The credulous news media seem to think so – they are publishing stories with titles: “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,’ “New Early Christian Text, Indicates Jesus May Have Been Married.”
The New York Times reported that a scrap of papyrus “smaller than a business card,” translated by Harvard professor Karen King, includes this phrase: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” The rest of the papyrus was cut off – but it was apparently enough for media outlets. CNN’s Belief Blog, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the broadcast networks, and numerous other outlets blared headlines questioning Jesus’ marital status, including: “Text Reignites Debate: Did Jesus have a Wife?”
While the Innocence of Muslims is still being blamed for the riots and murders in the Middle East, the national news media has no problem running a speculative story that disrespects the teachings of the Christian faith. New "evidence" now suggests that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene after all, but the artifact in question dates back to the 4th century A.D.
This all began when Harvard historian Dr. Karen King received a tiny strip of papyrus from an anonymous collector. After translating the Coptic script thereon, she found two phrases, one which reads, "Jesus said to them my wife. Elsewhere on the paper it continues, "She will be able to be my disciple."
ABC and CBS News brought it up on Thursday evening, but could only afford to allot a few seconds of coverage. NBC Nightly News did not mention it at all. All three network morning news broadcasts devoted significant attention to the story, and predictably worked in references to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel.
This week we learned what really gets the liberal media in a ... well ... rage. It isn't the act of perpetrating violence upon the innocent. No, it's calling out that rage for everyone to see. In Liberal Land, words speak louder than actions.
The media on the left side of the aisle took more umbrage with a Newsweek article titled, Muslim Rage, than they did with the incidents that demonstrated that rage - the killing of four Americans in Libya, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and the hoisting of Islamist flags on sovereign U.S. soil. Outlets like Think Progress called the Newsweek cover, which featured an image of a group of obviously agitated Muslims, Islamophobic. Newsweek for their part did not apologize for their portrayal of events in the Middle East saying:
NYT Cairo Reporter Apologizes for Free Speech: U.S 'Feels Limited...From Silencing Even the Most Noxious Religious Bigot'
Is the First Amendment up for debate? On Monday's front page New York Times Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick soft-pedaled the extremism that caused Muslims in several countries to violently protest America on the pretext of an amateurish film uploaded onto Youtube: "Cultural Clash Fuels Muslims Raging at Film – Devout Values Conflict With Free Speech."
One would hope that "free speech" would emerge the clear winner with a Times journalist covering the story. But Kirkpatrick played the "context" card, sidestepping the clear attacks on free expression demanded by Islamic extremists to the point of sounding apologetic for free expression.
In Covering Reax to Dowd's 'Neocon' Rant, Politico's Byers Buries Obama Campaign's Supportive Tweet in Final Sentence
Call it "Politico Protection."
Clay Waters at NewsBusters has already exposed the passive-aggressive anti-Semitism in Maureen Dowd's Sunday rant ("Neocons Slither Back") at the New York Times. So did Politico's Dylan Byers, who nonetheless thought that the Obama campaign's tweet supporting Dowd's column via its "Truth Team" (and, by inference,their endorsement of her "neocon puppet master" premise) was so unimportant that he didn't mention it until his final paragraph. Excerpts from Byers weakly headlined item follow (HT Twitchy):
Forget the Letters of Paul. It’s time for the Gospel of RuPaul, at least for the Huffington Post, which celebrated a drag queen take on faith. HuffPo's surrealist theology was fully displayed in a Sept. 16, 2012, article, titled “What I Learned About Drag Queens From the Gospel.”
Rev. Wil Gafney, an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadephia, preached a truly crazy sermon to her congregation, which HuffPo found too good to pass up. Her sermon referred to transgender TV personalities such as RuPaul as theologians. “Drag queens like RuPaul, Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale are some of my favorite critical gender theorists and theologians,” she said.