With the Pope endorsing excommunication for politicians who support abortion, journalists might do well to bone up on what excommunication really is all about.
Reported Time magazine's Jeff Israely on May 9:
During an unprecedented 25-minute on-flight press conference, Benedict
left little room for interpretation: pro-choice politicians not only
should be denied communion, but face outright excommunication from the
Church for supporting "the killing of a human child."
Wow, sounds grave. It is, but a proper understanding of excommunication is as a "medicinal" not "vindictive" measure in Church discipline, according to the online Catholic encyclopedia New Advent:
In going on Paula Zahn's CNN show this evening, was Al Sharpton's goal to quell the controversy surrounding his comments about Mormonism, or to inflame it? If the former, he failed miserably. If the latter, he succeeded admirably. Far from retracting his earlier allegation that Mormons aren't real believers, he repeated it, adding an allegation of racism for good measure.
Let's recall Sharpton's original statement, that in going on the Zahn show he presumably was seeking to explicate. Debating Christopher Hitchens recently, Sharpton said:
"And as for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway. So don't worry about that. That's a temporary, that's a temporary situation."
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
A while back, Brent Bozell pointed out how NBC had systematically removed all Christian themes from the popular "Veggie Tales" cartoon show. I wonder how the good folks at NBC would feel about this video from Palestinian TV which uses a Mickey Mouse-type figure to teach suicide bombing to young children.
Update 11:44. Video link removed as it was overwhelming LGF. I'll have a workaround in a moment. See story below:
The Hamas Television is using a clone of Disney’s Mickey Mouse to teach
children to hate Israel and America, and aspire to Islam’s inevitable
and impending world domination.
An April 4 CNN.com article helped peddle the recent “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond,” written by acclaimed “Hotel Rwanda” star Don Cheadle and former Clinton administration official John Prendergast, who is now a “human rights activist” and an advisor to the Soros-financed International Crisis Group.
In this Aspen Steib article, there is no mention of the 22-year civil war that devastated Southern Sudan when Arab Muslims targeted black Christians and Animists or the Bush administration’s efforts to end the wars in both Southern Sudan and Darfur. Cheadle’s intentions are probably good, but this article ignored many issues. Darfur’s crisis is complex, and this article’s approach had one note: it's Bush's fault.
Cheadle and Prendergast detail what they think what needs to be done (emphasis mine throughout):
"It is urgent that President Bush act ... to confront the Sudanese regime for the atrocities that it is committing and perpetuating to bring this genocide to an end once and for all," they write.
I'm really blessed as an evangelical Christian to have Bill Redeker at ABCNews.com to tell me that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are "evolving."
The evangelical movement has long been considered a powerful political
entity. An estimated 65 million Americans consider themselves
conservative Christians. Their anti-gay, anti-abortion views are well
known as is their support for mostly Republican political candidates.
But times are changing.
there are evangelicals speaking out on global warming and supporting
adoption. Neither would have been endorsed only a few years ago.
Really? I must have missed the sermons all those years about how adoption is not Christ-like, despite the Bible using the adoption analogy to describe Christ's relationship with His Church.
And what about global warming? That's not really a concern germane to biblical ethics, although , yes, many evangelicals that happen to be conservative and Republican are likely to be skeptical of the theory of anthropocentric global warming.
Print accounts of the House of Representatives turning into Pelosi Palace, passing a so-called "hate crimes" expansion act to please the gay left, don't seem to notice there is a left side on the debate over this bill. There are "civil rights groups" on one side, and "conservatives" on the other. That apparently would make them an "anti-civil rights" group.
In The Washington Post, reporter Jonathan Weisman quotes Speaker Nancy Pelosi using words from the Pledge of Allegiance to back the left wing, not to mention Ted Kennedy and Steny Hoyer, but none of them are described as liberals. Weisman can't even call the bill's backers "gay advocates," just "advocates," as if idealistic blandness (and not ideological severity) defined the left, while these idealists were opposed by the staunchest of conservatives:
"Did a violinist in a red dress quash detente between Iran, USA?"
Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki exchanged pleasantries with
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during regional talks in Egypt this
week, but reports suggest that he didn't stay for dinner Thursday night
because of concerns about the way a female violinist was dressed.
have been told by one of the U.S. State Department officials, who did
not want to be named, that as soon as Secretary Rice walked in,
Manuchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, left. But then
[Mottaki's] excuse was that there was a lady violinist who was wearing
a sexy red dress -- she was wearing a shawl on it -- but he was
objecting to the fact the lady was wearing a revealing red dress," says
Mahtab Farid, a reporter with Radio Farda, a U.S. government-funded
radio station that broadcasts in Farsi.
Al Gore's prophecy tour of doom hit a snag the other day. Apparently, he caused a stir among some atheist environmentalists for stating that he believes in creation science. Amazingly, no one in the media has picked it up. The irony is especially delicious since many on the left are making fun of some of the GOP presidential candidates for having the same belief.
One liberal Canadian blogger who was at a Gore presentation reports Gore's act of blasphemy:
The slide I found particularly interesting/shocking/sad, was his new(?)
slide containing a graph of human population growth over the past
couple hundred-thousand years. It started off good. He pointed at the
beginning of the graph, showing the population of humans on Earth from
200,000 years ago, and referred to the “rise of humans." Cool beans. So he believes that Homo sapiens evolved from other hominid ancestors, right? Nope.
New York Times reporters can'tstand it when President Bush actually has the nerve to speak in front of supportive crowds, and neither did the headline writer to reporter Jim Rutenberg's Thursday story, "Outing Finds Bush in the Thick of Softball Season." The text box reads: "In a challenging time, the president turns to a friendly audience."
That "friendly audience" would be the Associated General Contractors of America. Rutenberg, as if in disbelief, quoted chapter and verse the often-religious, positive bent of some of the audience questions to Bush.
It's commencement speech time again at colleges and universities across America. Goshen College is one of the few to have already graduated its class of 2007, and CBS producer Greg Kandra took notice. Kandra plugged a speech by the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis* at Goshen College:
In the days to come, we'll be reading a lot of snippets from
commencement speeches. 'Tis the season. Some will be hilarious. Some
dreadful. A few will actually say something that make you put down your
morning coffee and think. This speech is one of those.
Print it. Save it. Share it. It's worth it.
So I'm following Kandra's advice. I printed it (should I buy a tree-offset too?) and I'm sharing it with you. Unfortunately it contains the usual liberal platitudes you hear in a college commencement speech. Here's a sample:
"Man Who Claims to Be Prophet Muhammad Alive and Well in Hoboken, Says It's Cool to Eat Pork"
Imagine that headline on ABCNews.com. And imagine the story included no Muslim imams or scholars to denounce the charlatan. Well, that's pretty much what ABC did today on an old story front-paged on its Web site today (see screencap on the right), only the religion in question was Christianity (and the fake Jesus in the story lives in Houston).
Here's the headline for the March 6, 2007, story by Jim Avila (yes, the dateline is correct, this story is over a month old):
The New Yorker is "a magazine that is not seriously edited," writes George Weigel in his latest column ("The New Yorker spins the pope"). Weigel reached his stinging conclusion after examining a recent article ("The Pope and Islam") from Jane Kramer, who pens a "Letter From Europe" feature for the magazine. In addition to citing the piece for falsehoods, mis-readings and errors, Weigel zaps Kramer's article as a "lengthy tantrum" and "a wailing wall for left-leaning Vaticanisti, disgruntled Curial bureaucrats, and Italian Catholic activists unhappy with Benedict XVI's challenge to Islam."
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
As we've noted in an earlier post, Rosie O'Donnell and ABC couldn't work out a contract renewal for her slot on "The View." But when I read the "exclusive" story this morning by ABC News's Monica Nista, I noticed the reporter left out any mention of Rosie's numerous controversies such as her 9/11 conspiracy theories, her suggestion that the British hostage crisis in Iran was a conspiracy, her "ching-chong" gaffe, or her swipe at "radical Christians" being just as dangerous as "radical Muslims" like Osama bin Laden. Instead Nista focused on an a feud with rival network NBC's "Apprentice" host Donald Trump:
The left is famous for its general intolerance and suspicion of religion, especially in the public sector. Yet, increasingly, an exception seems to be made for Islam.
Scott at Power Line caught another instance of this in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune where the normally anti-religious editorial page is oddly favorable to a local college's installation of a foot-washing basin for Islamic students:
It's worth remembering that
this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion.
A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to
wash his or her feet. [...]
Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which
incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long
string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to
endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices
of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the
cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their
private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the
Update at bottom of post: other bloggers reactions.
In a column this afternoon, Politico's Roger Simon took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) for giving a public prayer for the victims of the Virginia Tech gunman "in Christ's name.":
Does John Edwards include Jews in his prayers? Or Muslims? Or Hindus? Or any other non-Christians?
He didn’t the other day. The other day, in order to commemorate those killed at Virginia Tech, Edwards led a prayer “in Christ’s name” at Ryman Auditorium, which bills itself as “Nashville’s Premier Performance Hall.”
Edwards has a perfect right to pray publicly or privately any way he wants to. But people who are not Christians often feel left out of prayers like his.
"For Hollywood's sake, he needs to return." "I miss Harvey Weinstein." "[T]he movies he made were full of class." So says Patrick Goldstein in an April 17, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times.
"[T]he movies he made were full of class"? Harvey Weinstein is best known as the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of Miramax Films. (He now heads something called The Weinstein Company.) But he is also known as a producer of a string of Catholic-bashing movies.
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
The latest Pulitzer Prize awarded to the New York Times wasn't so honored when it originally came out -- by conservatives or even by some liberals. Andrea Elliott's three-part series exploring Islam in America through the imam Reda Shata of the Bay Ridge mosque in Brooklyn was powerfully critiqued by Washington Times columnist Diana West:
Both the New York Post and the New York Sun have already pounced on the most egregious flaw of omission: not a mention, in 11,000-plus words, of the day in March 1994 when a man walked out of that same Bay Ridge mosque and, inspired by the anti-Jewish sermon of the day (delivered by a different, unidentified imam), armed himself and opened fire on a van carrying Hasidic Jewish children. Ari Halberstam, 16, was killed. The Times series, as it happened, concluded on the 12th anniversary of his death.
The Washington Post produced two very different takes on Monday in stories about motivating school children to pay attention to threats looming in their future. First, there was an urgent front-page story about the need to educate children about the cataclysmic vision of a world destroyed by global warming – "the atomic bomb of today" – with absolutely no one skeptical of the almost religious claims of hellish destruction in the very near future. One campus activist asked: "What's the use of a college degree when Wall Street is under water?"
Second, in stark contrast, came a story on the front-page of Metro about selling the religious message of Jesus along with free pizza. But this article was stuffed with skeptical students who were offended by the evangelizing – even as they snagged the lunch. "The free food they like...The praying they don’t."
Darragh Johnson’s front-page story was headlined "Climate Change Scenarios Scare, and Motivate Kids." Its beginning underlined just how dramatically young children are being frightened about their world ending around the corner:
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s "Real Time," appeared on the April 16 edition of "The View" to voice his opposition to all religion. Maher asserted that "pretty much all religion" is bad and all religion is "childish destructive nonsense." Co-host, Joy Behar inquired "What about people who just like to go to church, you know, the old ladies in my neighborhood who used to go and light a candle?" Maher responded likewise.
"They are certainly better than people who fly planes into buildings, yes. But they are enablers for some thing that is worldwide and winds up killing more people, distracting us from more good works."
According to Maher’s logic, the Salvation Army, Father Joe’s Villages, and church going conservatives who donate more to charity than secular liberals, are all "distracted from more good works."
Two weeks ago, we reported (in this NB post) that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles publicly objected to coverage of the priest abuse scandal by the Los Angeles Times. Two articles by the Times in the second half of March contained false information, contended the Archdiocese. One of the articles was cited as being particularly "insulting to all Catholics." Rebuttals to the Times were printed in the archdiocese newspaper, The Tidings, the largest diocesan paper in the United States. (Here and here are the rebuttals.)
Is the Times now retaliating against Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for calling the paper out on its falsehoods?
You know you must be watching PBS when Good Friday is a time to interview promoters of gnostic gospels and leftist preachers who equate the persecutors of Christ with "rugged individualism." On this Good Friday, April 6, Charlie Rose interviewed Princeton professor Elaine Pagels and Harvard professor Karen King, who explored with Rose how the "Gospel of Judas" shows parallels between early Christian martyrs and modern-day Islamic suicide bombers. Leftist Rev. James Forbes of New York’s Riverside Church carried the anti-individualist message.
Rose began with the professors by promising "some fascinating new information about Judas and Jesus. The New Testament presents Judas’ actions towards Jesus as the most infamous of betrayals. The long-lost Gospel of Judas tells a very different story. It shows Judas as Jesus` favorite disciple and willing collaborator."
The Washington Post Style section on Friday featured a front-page story on the gay-left group Soulforce and their so-called "Equality Ride" to conservative Christian colleges trying to stir up fights and publicity. Hanna Rosin's story was headlined "Young, Gay Christians On A Bumpy Bus Ride."
This is unfortunate timing, no? Deirdre Imus, the wife of ex-MSNBC personality Don Imus, is featured in a symposium on page 92 in this week's Newsweek lecturing to evangelicals that they shouldn't be behind the curve on global warming the way they were on civil rights for blacks in the 1960s:
Environmentalism is the civil-rights issue of the 21st century, and one doesn't have to look too far back to see that evangelicals sat on their hands when it came to civil rights for blacks. I refuse to sit on my hands and allow the evangelical heritage to be sullied again, because the very reputation of the evangelical witness is at stake. It's crucial that we not make the mistake of our fathers.
Newsbusters senior editor Tim Graham wrote earlier today about how the Washington Post chose to focus on religious controversies in its obituary of cartoonist Johnny Hart.
Not to be outdone, Post magazine humor columnist Gene Weingarten found room to slam Hart's Christian faith in his online chat today. A reader/chat participant did seem to egg him into it, but all the same it's rather tasteless to besmirch the man's faith in an ostensible celebration of the man's artistry and sense of humor. Portions in bold are my emphasis:
VA: For four months you leave us, and now you think you can just walk
in here like nothing happened? At least offer us a poop joke and some
words about Johnny Hart.
Gene Weingarten: I tried to write an
appreciation of Johnny for today's paper, but failed. It was coming out
nasty, and that was bad. [continued below jump...]
Brian Fitzpatrick of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute has compiled a handy road map showing Americans all the sights where the media have unloaded truckloads of doubt about Christianity during the weeks leading up to Easter. It's called "The Easter 'Hit' Parade." For example:
A History Channel program scheduled for Easter Sunday will question whether the Bible is God’s complete revelation to mankind.
The current – Holy Week – issue of Newsweek teases readers with the headline “Is God Real?,” and features a debate between a prominent evangelical pastor and an outspoken atheist.
An April 3 New York Times article dismisses the story of Moses parting the Red Sea as a “myth.”