When it's Sunday on National Public Radio, it must be time to announce the Catholic Church is out of step with modern times. On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR granted a soft-soap eight-minute interview to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the front-runner to succeed Michael Bloomberg as Mayor. NPR touted: "Christine Quinn has a notable biography. She's from an Irish family, she's Catholic and gay."
She's so "Catholic" that her "wedding" to Kim Catullo last year featured her walking down the aisle with her father to Beyonce's "Ave Maria," which is just another love song, not the actual Hail Mary hymn in any way. Her partner marched down the aisle with her dad, too...to Bruce Springsteen. NPR anchor David Greene asked as one of the "most powerful gay women" in America, if she shouldn't just leave the church that won't accept her homosexuality:
Time magazine is shooting straight at Mitt Romney’s religion. On the Time Ideas blog, the conservative-bashing psychoanalyst Dr. Justin Frank has an article titled “The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort With Lying.” That root, he says, is Mormonism.
Dr. Frank is agitated that Romney would “lie” about Obama’s economic record: "But this pattern of lying and not acknowledging it, even when confronted directly, has persisted and led me to look for other sources of Romney’s behavior and of his clear comfort with continuing it. I think much of this comfort stems from his Mormon faith."
Yesterday the Southern Baptist Convention elected their first black president, an historic moment for an organization that got its start defending slavery in pre-Civil War America.
CNN Starting Point host Soledad O'Brien interviewed Fred Luter Jr., who will be installed as president Wednesday evening. The interview on the main was fine, but towards the end, contributor Margaret Hoover pressed Luter as to whether he would champion as a "civil rights" cause, "inclusiveness of gay Americans," referring it seems to same-sex marriage. Luter answered in the negative, citing the Bible's teachings on the definition of marriage. It's then that O'Brien retorted that his stance put him in opposition to President Obama, as if to suggest that were a scandalous position for him to be in:
On CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Carol Costello reported on "Nuns on the Bus:"
"Normally, you see nuns working in their closely knit communities and religious orders. But a group of nuns in the United States, they are hitting the road," she reported. "They are taking a bus on nine-state tour. They are protesting the Ryan budget cuts they say will hurt the poor the most. The nuns are in Milwaukee today and that's where Ted Rowlands is. So the nuns are jumping into the political fray."
Funny, but they’re not making much noise about using government to discriminate in favor of their lifestyle. One Canadian activist even declared: “We’ll only take away charitable status from the buildings where the priests live and where the people pray.”
So here's how it appears to me and I suspect many other news readers, never mind the real motivations. At the Associated Press, when you're covering situations like suicide bomber attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria yesterday, you hold out as long as you can in speculating about who is responsible, even though Islamist Boko Haram terrorists (and only Boko Haram terrorists) have claimed credit for previous attacks in that country, and even though no other religion on earth generates large numbers of people who claim to be its adherents who are willing to blow themselves up so they can kill as many infidels as possible.
Then, once the inevitable claim of responsibility arrives, you treat it as old news (the bombings were a whole 24-36 hours ago, y'know), focus your headline and coverage on "Christian" reprisals instead (even though there is no element of Christian doctrine which sanctions random reprisals), and identify who carried out the attacks as late as you possibly, so it will end up not making most broadcast and many print reports. Here are excerpts:
It would appear that the establishment press is determined to portray a "both sides are at fault" equivalency as much as possible in Nigeria where almost none exists.
Earlier today, Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler pointed out that a brief initial Associated Press item from Lagos would cause a person, in Poole's words, to "come away mystified as to why these churches were subject to apparently random 'violence.'" He specifically objected to the vagueness of a sentence claiming that "Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria." Later more detailed dispatches from Reuters and the AP aren't much more helpful, especially as they both fail to tag the principal perpetrators of the violence, the Boko Haram, as the terrorists that they are.
Perhaps the most common justification for government intrusion into people's lives and into the economy at large is the notion that "doing something" is better than preserving limited government.
The usual rejoinder from the right is that capitalism has done more to alleviate poverty and is therefore a more efficient way of helping raise living standards than socialism or its related ideologies. While that answer has the advantage of being true, it is often unpersuasive for those looking for an answer to a moral question. That is the task at hand for Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and center-right thinker in his excellent new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.
Saturday’s Washington Post religion page was completely spoiled by liberal "On Faith" editor-in-chief Sally Quinn, whose column bizarrely connected the hot "mommy-porn" trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey" to religion and even to Mother Teresa.
"I think the "Fifty Shades" phenomenon is about religion," Quinn proposed. "Not religion in the conventional sense of the word, but in how we are redefining faith practices today as more and more people -- especially women -- shun man-made traditions yet continue to yearn for religious experiences." What?
The conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition is in the middle of a three-day "conference and strategy briefing" in Washington, D.C., which proved to be a sufficient justification for MSNBC's Martin Bashir to bring back anti-conservative-Christian hatemonger Frank Schaeffer to denounce the meeting as essentially a congress of an American Christian Taliban.
"I think what you have to understand when you look at the religious right in action these days is that they speak in Orwellian doublespeak. They say the opposite of what they mean. They talk about faith and freedom, the conference should really be called Politics and Bondage," Schaeffer, the prodigal son of the late famous evangelical theologian Francis Schaeffer snarled. [MP3 audio here; video is posted after the page break]
A day after asking if the Catholic church is waging a "war on women," CNN teed up liberal Sister Simone Campbell by asking if Rome is being "dictatorial" in its recent dealings with American nuns. After a group of U.S. nuns has been targeted by the Vatican for reform, CNN has shamelessly been promoting the nuns' side of the story with no guest to represent the church's side.
Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien mentioned her colleague's absurd "war on women" question from the previous day and asked Sister Campbell if she agreed that "Rome is essentially remaining dictatorial, non-collaborative, but the American Catholic Church is not." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN is friendly to Christianity -- as long as the priests, ministers and religious play into the network's liberal agenda. If Christian guests stand up for traditional marriage, however, they can expect a muchcolder welcome if they even make it on air.
So it was no surprise that CNN has been promoting a dissenting nun's struggle with the Vatican, and making clear that it is siding with wayward American nuns after the Catholic Church has announced a reform of the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR). Anchor Christine Romans tossed softball after softball to liberal Sister Maureen Fiedler on Tuesday's Starting Point, and mocked the Vatican's criticism of the LCWR.
"Let me ask you, women can't be priests. Women – if you follow church teaching, can't use contraception," Romans stated before noting the irony of the prominence of statues of Mary in Catholic churches. "[W]omen in the church when you look at some of the teachings, is there a war on woman within your church?" she asked Fiedler. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday, conscientious Americans participated in 164 coordinated noontime rallies in support of religious freedom, but those demonstrations were ignored by the liberal broadcast media, NewsBusters contributor and Media Research Center analyst Matthew Balan noted yesterday. At the same time, networks have played up conflict over a Vatican investigation of feminist nuns. NewsBusters publisher and MRC founder Brent Bozell reacted to the double standard in a statement this morning:
The bias beat goes on, and it's getting more obvious as outrage against Obama and his mandate spreads to every corner of America. To ignore these coordinated protests across the country is bad enough. But then to hype what a few über liberal nuns and their hundreds of supporters - hundreds! - are doing to dissent against the Vatican's supposed 'inquisition' is unbearable.
Via Breitbart, we learn that the Independent Film Channel (IFC) has a new sitcom in the works they’re touting/warning is the "most violent sitcom ever made." It’s called Bullet In The Face. Then comes the politics.
In addition to the “unrestrained shootings, peppered with wildly offensive language, IFC is apparently concerned that the use of a crucifix as a backscratcher and dialogue grouping Dick Cheney in with the likes of Hitler and Stalin will be misconstrued as something more than an attempt at some very dark, inappropriate humor." This kind of story is usually more of an advertisement than a warning.
Donald Trump on Monday had some harsh words for Bill Maher's incessant attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism.
Appearing on Fox News's On the Record, the real estate mogul said, "If a conservative Republican made a like statement about somebody else's religion, there’d be hell to pay. It’ll be all over the place. It would be the end of that person's career as you know it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed true to their liberal slant and ignored the 164 rallies across the United States on Friday against the federal government's abortifacient/birth control mandate under ObamaCare. Religious leaders and conservative politicians, like former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, addressed the tens of thousands of pro-religious freedom activists who attended the rallies. But the Big Three apparently didn't think this was worthy of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
By contrast, CBS played up the supporters of a group of left-leaning Catholic nuns during four on-air segments between May 30 and June 1, 2012. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews hyped how "hundreds of Catholics have rallied behind the sisters," and that "protests in support of the nuns have been held in almost 50 cities."
Todd Kaufman at the Sports Page in Dallas notes that Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports writer Randy Galloway sounded bitter when Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton talked about getting a big new contract after this season ends -- not just for himself, but to help a "hurting world."
It's always hard for a baseball fan to see your team's highest-wattage star headed for the clubhouse door. But the disdain for the God talk ought to seem more impolite in the Texas metroplex, where ABC puts the "GCBs." Kaufman writes:
National "Public" Radio has barely touched on the 43 Catholic organizations that filed lawsuits against the Obama administration, but it continues to be a noisy sounding board for leftist nuns and their supporters. On Friday, NPR offered more than 14 minutes of air time to the left-wing forces.
On the afternoon talk show Tell Me More, NPR devoted nine minutes and 47 seconds to a segment they titled "Born to Be Wild: Catholic Nuns Hit the Road."These "wild" nuns were celebrated for opposing the Paul Ryan budget with a bus tour. Once again, NPR's honored guest was Sister Simone Campbell of Network, the "social justice lobby." Martin asked Sister to get out a club (or a ruler?) and whack Ryan:
You don’t have to be Catholic to find the liberal media often sounds intentionally clueless when it writes about the Catholic Church publicly identifying for people both inside and outside the church what its teaching is.
When the church makes an announcement that perhaps someone who supports abortion, homosexuality, and masturbation isn’t really anywhere on the planet of Catholicism, liberal journalists have a fit. In Saturday’s Washington Post, (anti-)religion columnist Lisa Miller was so exercised she found someone to say the Vatican sees wayward nuns as comparable to Islamic terrorists (sort of like the Rosie O’Donnell character in An American Carol):
MSNBC's complete lack of a standard for moonlighting progressive activism surfaced again this week with a new video weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry made for the "Americans for Marriage Equality Campaign" run by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay lobby.
The video, posted on YouTube on Wednesday, urges joining up with HRC: "I cannot imagine how in 2012 our government is still denying equality to committed and loving couples just because they are gay or lesbian. Join me and a majority of Americans who support marriage equality nationwide." (Video below)
Chalk another one up for media anti-Catholic bigotry.
Syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich, working for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, created a cartoon bashing the Catholic Church for controlling women. The cartoon features a wizened old bishop in a confessional, saying to a woman that “The contraception debate’s about controlling you.” The cartoon has the caption “Confession” at the bottom.
Sister Margaret Farley probably would have had Sally Quinn's respect when she endorsed same-sex marriage in her 2006 book Just Love, which has recently been denounced by the Vatican as unsuitable for use in Catholic theological or moral instruction due to its various departures from Church teaching.
But by golly, it's the Church's rebuke of Farley's defense of masturbation that Quinn thinks is her ticket to convincing her audience that the Church has lost its mind. From her June 7 On Faith blog post "Fifty Shades of Catholicism" (emphases mine):
Last month 43 Catholic institutions across America joined together to defend the First Amendment and filed a total of twelve lawsuits against the Administration in order to protect the right to freedom of religion on behalf of all Americans.
This is the most significant religious lawsuit in U.S. history and Christian leaders all across America have joined in support of the Catholic institutions. This lawsuit is not a single action by a few “out of touch religious leaders,” as the liberal national media would like to portray it.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, comedian Chris Rock alluded to the Mormon Church's controversial history on race from several decades ago as he asserted that "Mitt Romney's crew" had "believed black people were the devil until 1978." Rock:
The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.
The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:
CNN took some shots at the Vatican on Thursday when touting a dissident nun's book that made the Amazon.com best sellers list. "The nun who wrote a book about sex should be thanking the Vatican for condemning it," anchor Carol Costello quipped.
Exactly why CNN thinks this is news is uncertain, unless it wants to advance a liberalreligiousagenda. Just the other day, a regular contributor to CNN's religion blog came on and blasted the church for declaring the nun's book "Just Love" to be not in conformity with Catholic teaching – even though the nun herself admitted the book was not an official expression of church teaching on sexual ethics. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Barber’s asserted that “economic development is the key factor responsible for secularization.” His argument is simple: “The basic idea is that as people become more affluent, they are less worried about lacking for basic necessities, or dying early from violence or disease. In other words they are secure in their own existence. They do not feel the need to appeal to supernatural entities to calm their fears and insecurities.”
On Wednesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a condescending tone toward labor union members who voted for Governor Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin as he recounted NBC News exit poll numbers showing that a significant chunk of union voters supported the Wisconsin Republican.
A baffled Schultz relayed the numbers and recounted the decision of some union members to vote for Walker, using a mocking tone of voice: