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.
When liberals and their media allies have an agenda to push, they’ll use any tool at hand. The left often rails against the presence of religion in civic life, mocking conservative Christians as “Taliban” agitating for theocracy. But other times, they find faith to be a handy weapon to bludgeon conservatives. And they’ll go so far as to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to justify any liberal cause, no matter how outrageous.
In 2010, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry summed up this strategy in her call for “re-imagining the Bible as a tool of progressive social change.” Huffington Post contributor Mike Lux embraced Harris-Perry’s advice, writing that the Bible embodies “all kinds” of “liberal, lefty, progressive values.”
The Washington Post's religion writers have been hard at work of late to boost the religious left's push for more stringent gun control legislation. On Thursday, for example, Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein treated readers of the paper's Metro section with a puffy front-page item celebrating the pulpit-pounding for gun control from the likes of the dean of the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, a self-described "left-wing Democrat." Hall has cravenly lumped gun control in with the message of the Christian gospel, using liberal applause lines like "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
As I argued yesterday, the Advent season is exploited every year by the liberal media to tweak faithful Christians, using the holidays as a hook for liberal political and religious themes or to advance ancient heresies. Ditto with the Lenten season.
Well, the latest example comes from David Gibson of the Religion News Service, who has picked up on a new complaint from a feminist scholar, Margaret Miles, which boils down to essentially this: How come we never see depictions of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus? I kid you not.
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, Advent and Lent seem to be the times of year that the liberal secular media loves to tweak devout Christians with attacks on historic, orthodox Christian teaching. The latest example is the media being abuzz over Irish playwright and novelist Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary."
The "silent, obedient, observant" Mary of Scripture that has "echoed down" through church history is ripped apart by "the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin" who "puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version" of the Mother of God, gushed Karen Long of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a December 7 Religion News Service piece accessible at the Washington Post's "On Faith" section.
Ah, the holiday season. It's that time of year when the liberal media loves to use Jesus and the Virgin Mary to push liberal talking points if not outright push the envelope. So while NPR is busy promoting a new novel that presents the Virgin Mary as a skeptic who believes her son Jesus was a fraud, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry went a safer but equally trite route, using the story of Jesus's nativity to erroneously lecture viewers that Jesus was the son of a single mother and that, as such, we should celebrate all kinds of families, not just the "1950s Leave It to Beaver"- style nuclear ones.
Jesus Christ would favor a tax rate as little as 50 percent and as high as 100 percent. So really, President Obama's preferred tax rates are a bargain. That's one of the big "idea" of Erika Christakis's August 14 Time magazine Ideas blog post, "Is Paul Ryan's Budget 'Un-Christian'?"
Christakis has a master's in education but apparently hasn't a clue about exegeting Scripture, nor does she seem to care. Jesus is just a convenient figure to use to make a flawed political talking point:
MSNBC's Martin Bashir -- who attends a New York City church pastored by a conservative minister who signed the pro-traditional marriage Manhattan Declaration -- yesterday maligned the Holy Bible in an attempt to defend President Obama from the charge that his support of same-sex marriage contradicts biblical teaching on matrimony.
The incident came in an interview with Dr. Robert Jeffress after the Dallas-area Baptist minister affirmed that he "absolutely" agreed that defending same-sex marriage "contradicts" the teaching of Scripture. "I think the president is violating the very teaching and words of the Jesus he says he follows," Jeffress noted. That's when Bashir sprung his "have you stopped beating your wife, yet"-style gotcha question:
April 15, Tax Day, fell on a Sunday this year. American taxpayers get a two-day reprieve on the deadline this year thanks to Monday being a public holiday in the District of Columbia. But all the same, it was the perfect occasion for the Washington Post's On Faith feature to give readers a liberal homily on taxes.
Liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite had the honors. "There’s nothing more hypocritical today than the kind of political gamesmanship we have about paying taxes," the former Chicago Theological Seminary president groused, explaining:
Here we go again. Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is once again twisting Christian scripture to push a liberal economic agenda.
You may recall the liberal theologian and Center for American Progress fellow last month contorted The Lord's Prayer into an argument for government to "forgive" students loan debt contracted between private parties. Now the Chicago Theological Seminary professor is charging that Jesus was a first century "occupier" having "occupied" the Temple when he drove out the moneychangers. What's more, the reverend argued, one of Jesus's most haunting parables -- the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 -- is a condemnation of the banking system (emphasis mine):
The American Family Association is conducting a “Naughty or Nice” campaign noting which major retailers sound hostile in avoiding Christmas in their seasonal sales. Somehow, on his Monday program, leftist radio host Thom Hartmann yelled that this made him sick and that the AFA is “promoting blasphemy.” He threw the B-word repeatedly.
Citing the Gospel of Matthew, Hartmann also insisted that Christianity and welfare statism are synonymous, and that the House Republicans are terrible Christians because they propose “Oh, we’ve got to cut these social safety net programs – which is the essence of what Jesus Christ said you’ve gotta do to get into Heaven! And instead replace them with tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.” Hartmann began by asserting the AFA thinks Jesus is a liar, but the AFA’s Bryan Fischer drove Hartmann crazy by refusing to take the bait and fight:
Novelist and infamous liar James Frey has a new novel out, "The Final Testament of The Holy Bible," which he pompously holds forth as a "theoretical third volume of the Bible" that conceives of a second coming of the Christ in the person of "an alcoholic bisexual living in the Bronx who impregnates prostitutes, titillates priests and becomes the ultimate seducer himself," John Murray of the Irish newspaper the Independent noted in his review.
So why does writer and musician Michael Lindgren -- in his May 16 review for the Washington Post -- hail Frey's novel as "an honest attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus to their radical conclusions"? Indeed, Lindgren adds, "in doing so, [Frey] has created a chronicle that, despite its contradictions, moves to its own inner spirit."
But one suspects Frey's inner spirit is one filled with disdain for orthodox Christianity, particularly Catholicism. One vignette revealed by Murray but left out of Lindgren's review:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Americans named President Obama as their No. 1 hero, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King, in a new Harris poll.
Others in the top 10, in descending order, were Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.
People were asked whom they admired enough to call their heroes. Those surveyed were not shown a list of people to choose from. The Harris Poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive.
This question was first asked in a Harris Poll in 2001. In that survey Jesus Christ was the hero mentioned most often, followed by Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, John F. Kennedy and Mother Teresa.
Journalists often fret about Big Business. Yet their coverage leans so pro-union that they won't give the business side of the story - even when they ARE the business.
The writers' strike has cost the networks millions in lost ad revenue from the lack of new primetime and late-night shows. But now that late night lives again, the coverage is all about "awareness" of the writers' guild and the strike.
Once the late-night comedy shows returned January 2, a new controversy arose: guests who dared to cross the picket line to appear on the writer-less shows. One of those was Baptist preacher and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"I don't think Jesus would cross the picket line, no, I'm almost positive Jesus would be on our side," one striking writer said to CBS's January 3 "Early Show."