Bozell Column: John Edwards Maligns Faith

In every electoral cycle, the liberal media informs us that the Democratic Party will fight fiercely for the votes of religious Americans and refute the ugly, even slanderous caricature that the Democrats are the party that mocks God, prayer, and everything most Americans hold dear.And then, suddenly the alleged caricature has a name. Meet Amanda Marcotte.Marcotte is a hater – to be precise, a hater of the Christian religion and how it apparently warps society with its oppressive myths. For some mysterious reason, John Edwards, just a few years removed from being inaccurately hailed by coddling correspondents as a Southern centrist balancing the John Kerry ticket, hired Marcotte as one of his official bloggers.The novelty of the 2008 presidential campaign is the apparent necessity for every campaign to have an official blogger or two. The problem, it seems, is that Edwards never seemed to read – let’s hope he never read – a thing his sneering new employee wrote over a period of months. It was all summed up in one outrageous alleged joke from last summer:Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology. In other words, Christianity is for kooks. It’s a knee-slapper to imagine that a "morning-after" abortifacient pill would cause embryonic Jesus Christ to be expelled from Mary’s womb. Bill Donohue at the Catholic League waved the red flag of anti-Catholic bigotry, based not only on this passage, but others where Marcotte called Pope Benedict a "dictator" who wants to consign unbaptized babies to the fires of Hell.But Marcotte’s joke isn’t merely anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian. The virgin birth of Jesus is a miracle believed in by 79 percent of Americans (as much as that displeases the New York Times, and presumably, the Edwards for President campaign). Was Edwards trying to lock up that massive Atheist Vote?Every Democrat in the race ought to be asked if this hatred is acceptable in the Democratic Party. Don’t count on our secular and "objective" media to find the Democrats at fault here. In a few weeks, we’ll be hearing again how they’re just as devout as the Other Party.For his part, Edwards issued one of the most demonstrably stupid statements ever released by a major presidential candidate. Of Marcotte and another feminist Edwards blogger, Melissa McEwan, who blogged against President Bush’s "wingnut Christofascist base" before being hired by him, Edwards declared: "They both said it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word." Edwards cannot possibly be that devoid of brain waves. You cannot logically believe that people calling Christians ‘Christofascists" or blaspheming God himself "didn’t intend" to malign someone’s faith. Edwards did not fire them. He kept them on, insisting his campaign shouldn’t be "hijacked" – by that outraged 79 percent of Americans. His decision maligned their faith.Edwards’ friends in the media responded in classic fashion. They were slow to notice, and when they did, there were no Holy Spirit sperm jokes to be found. Instead, reporters vaguely referred to "sometimes vulgar and intemperate writings." The average American has no idea how offensive Marcotte’s writings were.As an example, CNN ran an early story carrying an on-screen graphic noting there were accusations these bloggers were (in quotes) "anti-Catholic." This is a bit like suggesting that the KKK is merely quote-unquote anti-black. There were refreshing exceptions. Some media liberals were not just bothered, but disgusted by the comments. Kudos to columnist Mark Shields and reporter Nina Totenberg, who decried Marcotte and Edwards on the talk show "Inside Washington." Shields spoke for many Americans when he said "if she had written similarly about a Jewish person, an Islamic person, a gay or a lesbian, she would be banished to the outer darkness." Amen.Just imagine Edwards hiring a blogger who wrote repeatedly on the Internet that 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy, or that the Holocaust was a myth. Would Edwards say that blogger didn’t intend to "malign" the Jews? Days after the controversy broke, Marcotte quit the Edwards campaign – after writing another blog post mocking the Virgin Birth. She hates Jesus Christ more than she loves John Edwards. But the "Christofascist"-trashing McEwan is still drawing a salary as Internet coordinator. Will Edwards keep her? Will the media remain disinterested? The media’s own hostility to religion does not leave room for optimism.

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center