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.”
Today's "On Faith" page in the Washington Post featured a puzzling contrast that shows the left-wing media's schizophrenia when it comes to traditional religious faith. The paper's religion section editors ran these two items side-by-side: a Religion News Service (RNS) article that was thoroughly positive about Muslim women who want to design and/or model fashionable yet modest clothing, and Post religion writer Lisa Miller's attack on Catholic bishops for their stances on Christian sexual ethics in general and opposition to the ObamaCare contraception mandate in particular.
In "A Muslim fashion statement: Agency connects modesty-minded models with designers," Omar Sacirbey of RNS opened his 23-paragraph feature with the story of Savannah Uqdah, a devout Muslim woman who at one time aspired to be a fashion model but "didn't want to violate Islam's tenets on modesty." As such, Uqdah "shelved her modeling dreams and instead expressed herself through the fashions she wore." But now that modeling agencies eye a lucrative market in fashionable yet modest attire, Sacirbey notes, women like Uqdah are excited at the potential to live out their dreams.
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."
Christmas: a season of generosity, good cheer, preparation for Christ’s birth – and a swarm of lawyers seeking to purge any mention of Christianity from the public square.
Every Christmas, the so-called secular community starts shrieking whenever any mention of religion is brought into the public eye. Lawyers successfully targeted a school’s performance of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Even Christmas trees have too much religious content to suit the self-appointed censors.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
On the Saturday Washington Post “On Faith” page, columnist and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller insisted it was not a news story that black ministers came to the National Press Club and insisted Obama’s support for gay marriage “might cost him the election.”
It’s not a story, Miller insisted, because Rev William Owens is “enough to make a cynic blush...He’s a figurehead in what political operatives call an ‘Astroturf’ campaign...and his threat is not a threat.” Miller complained about the news sites that somehow found this “nearly empty” press conference newsworthy:
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):
The central issue in the fight between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church is the right of the federal government to redefine religious institutions as entities that hire and serve mostly people of their own faith. Secondarily, the fight is over forcing Catholics to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. But one looks in vain for the Church’s critics to even acknowledge this reality. It’s not contraception that is in play—“It’s the First Amendment, Stupid.”
The New York Times says the Obama mandate “specifically exempts houses of worship.” Try telling that to Donald Cardinal Wuerl who runs the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; it is a self-insured entity and thus must be forced to pay for morally objectionable services. The Times says most American Catholic women do not agree with the Church’s contraception stand, but fails to mention that because of the Obama administration’s disrespect for religious liberty, support for Obama has dropped precipitously among Catholic women.
Don’t look for sophistication in The Washington Post’s coverage of the Catholic lawsuits against ObamaCare. Religion columnist Lisa Miller began on Saturday: “Mommy and daddy are fighting, and the anguished children don’t know where to turn.”
“A small group of very conservative bishops has hijacked the church, or at least the public voice of the church,” Miller complained. “The bishops are playing the role of the authoritarian father. In case after case, their message to the faithful is ‘Do it because I say so.’” Mommy, naturally, is represented as the people who support Obama or favor ongoing "dialogue" with Obama:
In Saturday’s Washington Post, religion columnist Lisa Miller brought her usual radical feminism to the table insisting Mary be “heard” as the Vatican insisted that American nuns and sisters actually act like they belong to the Catholic Church.
But this line stood out: “For more than a thousand years, women like Mary have entered religious life hoping to find a safe place where they might receive an education and protection from the oppression of marriage and the dangers of child-bearing.” The oppression of marriage?
When Rep. Bobby Rush donned a hoodie and sunglasses on the House floor as a stunt to publicize his opposition to the handling of Trayvon Martin's death in Florida, McClatchy News Service cooed, "For the 65-year-old former 1960s Black Panther Party activist, an act of civil disobedience never felt so good."
But Washington Post columnist Lisa Miller inflated the stunt way beyond its significance --- comparing it to lynching -- with a white Republican congressman from Mississippi, Rep. Gregg Harper, as the alleged metaphorical hangman for pounding the gavel and calling Rep. Rush out of order:
The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog network bills itself as “a conversation on religion and politics.” But the conversation of “On Faith” more accurately resembles a diatribe justifying liberal politics with religious imagery.
During this past week, Becky Garrison claimed that Christian actor Kirk Cameron was not a Christian because he opposes homosexual marriage, and Lisa Miller declared that “In churches across the land, women are still treated as second class citizens.”
Washington Post religion columnist Lisa Miller has one child, and she seems quite smug about it. She thanks God “I live in a time and place where I can get up every morning and go to work, and with the money I earn help feed and educate my child.” But in her Saturday column, the slams the Republican candidates for their “smug fecundity,” that they turned their women into retrograde doormats who make babies.
“There’s nothing wrong with big families, of course,” she says fruitlessly before saying there actually is. “But the smug fecundity of the Republican field this primary season has me worried. Their family photos, with members of their respective broods spilling out to the margins, seem to convey a subliminal message that goes far beyond a father’s pride in being able to field his own basketball team. What the Republican front-runners seem to be saying is this: We are like the biblical patriarchs. As conservative religious believers, we take seriously the biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply.”
In Saturday's Washington Post, Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller launched into a predictable attack on Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham for daring to imply that Barack Obama might be un-Christian in some way. "Last week, the Christianity police, in the persons of Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham, came forward to discredit the president's religious beliefs." Santorum said Obama had a "phony theology," and Graham was attacked for saying "He has said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is."
See how extremely defensive Miller and her fellow Obama defenders are? This is what the minister could have said on MSNBC. "Is Obama a Christian? Where do you find him on Sunday? He's much more likely to be on the golf course than in church." That would be "policing." Instead, he said he couldn't judge. So has Lisa Miller never found any politician or pastor to be un-Christian? She certainly has.
In "How Obama should fight the ‘war on religion,’" Post religion correspondent Lisa Miller waited all of two paragraphs to mock the Catholic Church. "It seems far-fetched, from my perspective, to think that God should have any opinion at all about contraceptive technology, let alone about which corporate entity should pay for it," Miller snarked. "Yet that is the argument the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops made last week. God doesn’t like birth control, they said. To force Catholic organizations to pay for birth control goes against God and so against the consciences of right-minded Catholics who believe in God."
To Washington Post religion reporter Lisa Miller, evangelical ministers like Rick Warren and Tim Keller should be applauded for their "clinical frankness" about God's design for sexual pleasure within the covenant of marriage in their sermons, books, and even tweets.
On Washington Post's On Faith blog, Daily Beast contributor Lisa Miller teased a piece about Occupy Wall Street with a worthy question: "What would Jesus think about Occupy Wall Street?" Her answer was simple, and predictably liberal: "The Jesus of history would love them all."
In a piece titled "Jesus at Occupy Wall Street: 'I feel like I've been here before,'" Miller portrayed the protestors as wretched outcasts, whom God would embrace because of their misery: "Born with little means into a first century world, the historical Jesus might feel right at home with the very aspects of the occupation that so many 21st century observers consider gross: the tents, the damp sleeping bags, the communal kitchen. Jesus would have sympathy, I think, with the campers' efforts to keep a small space sanitary in the absence of modern plumbing."
The "On Faith" page in Saturday's Washington Post contained an editorial from Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller lamenting how Barack Obama has disappointed his liberal base by not being more vocal against "the mean certainties of the religious right." The headline was "Believers wonder: Where is the old Obama?" As if there aren't a lot of believers who never thought Obama was really into religion -- as opposed to the 75 rounds of golf as president.
Miller complained "The longer the president stays silent, the more he gives the ideologues on the right the opportunity to fill the gap, claiming to be working on behalf of God himself." For support, Miller turned to leftist Rev. James Forbes of Riverside Church in New York, who didn't want to pile on Obama, as Miller claimed, because of the "racism that undergirds to much of the criticism."
Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller wrote a story on "The Fight Over Billy Graham's Legacy," but the most notable thing that comes out of it is Miller's loathing of Rev. Franklin Graham (no relation). Miller clearly believes he's mangling his father's moderation, especially when it comes to Islam:
Franklin — who’s been accused of being a rhetorical and theological bully, saying, for example, that Islam is “wicked and evil”— agrees with the assessment that he is less gentle than his dad. “We preach the same Gospel,” Franklin says, but “Daddy hates to say no. I can say no.” Franklin adds that he is much more engaged in the day-to-day management of the BGEA than his father ever was, and through the efforts of his humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse has much more experience on the front lines of global conflicts, such as those in Rwanda and the Middle East. This perspective, he argues, justifies his harder edge. “I’ve been doing a different kind of ministry,” he says. “That has shaped my views on a lot of things.”
There’s little pretense of media fairness as the 2010 elections approach. Last Thursday, ABC’s World News ran as “news” a video produced by the Obama White House. Diane Sawyer excitedly touted how “we got to listen in on a phone call today,” as viewers saw a brief clip of President Obama talking to a cancer patient who thanked him for the government takeover of health care.
Then on Monday, NBC Universal donated a 30-minute commercial-free interview to Obama, shown not just on NBC’s Today, but on the corporation’s other networks (including USA, SyFy and Bravo). Matt Lauer informed the President how other Democrats (including Bill Clinton) don’t think he’s been “rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks.” Lauer implored: “Do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?”
Are "Mama Grizzlies" who oppose state children's health insurance programs (S-CHIP) and teachers' unions unfaithful to their maternal name? CNN anchor Kiran Chetry joined Newsweek's Lisa Miller Monday in wondering if that is so. Miller appeared on CNN's "American Morning" to feature her most recent piece on "Mama Grizzlies," prominent female conservatives in the vein of Sarah Palin.
"All the candidates that we – whose records we looked at, are against the Obama health plan in general, and yes, the CHIP program in specific," reported Miller, a senior editor for Newsweek. "There are rising numbers of poor children in this country, a quarter of America's children are poor. It seems like a funny way to say that you're for kids, and be against all of these programs."
Miller ultimately concluded that the "Mama Grizzlies" movement will fall short of its political goals, because "the issues facing the country are complex, and bears are not."
"Do we really want bears to solve our problems?" Miller quipped at the end of the segment.
The editors of the mainstream media must think we all have very short memories.
Their latest schtick is to smear conservative talk show host Glenn Beck as a creepy Mormon who has no business influencing evangelicals.
Aside from the disgusting hypocrisy of Mormon-baiting one minute and then bashing Islamophobia the next, these news outlets are also hoping you've forgotten about their recent smearing of evangelicals like Sarah Palin, John Hagee, and James Dobson.
But hey, they shouldn't be held accountable for their own religious bigotry on display in 2008. That was a whole two years ago, and anyway they had a Democrat messiah to protect.
For a flashback at how low the media stooped then, let's review an editorial cartoon shamelessly bashing Pentecostalism that appeared on the Washington Post's website on September 18, 2008:
Journalists have long been puzzled over Sarah Palin’s popularity. In November, Newsweek took a stab at the trend with its provocative cover of Palin in running clothes: “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah Palin: How Sarah Palin Hurts the GOP And the Country.”
Lisa Miller’s thesis is compelling if it is true, but journalists usually rely on hard facts, polls, maybe interviews with political scientists to prove their points. Unfortunately, Miller’s article contains none of these to support her theory that Palin is somehow the new leader of the Christian Right. Instead, she strings together a bunch of anecdotes and quotes to prove what she thinks is happening.
Not this again. There is obviously not enough going on in the world for Newsweek magazine this week because once again Sarah Palin is on the cover.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee was also on the cover of Newsweek back in November 2009, in running shorts. This time she is featured as "Saint Sarah: What's Palin's appeal to conservative Christian women says about feminism and the future of the religious right" in Newsweek's June 21 issue. Palin is depicted with halo on the cover for the story written by Lisa Miller, which attempts to rationalize Palin's convictions about the issue of abortion and her Christian faith.
However, Palin didn't think too highly of Newsweek's gesture. She responded on Fox News' June 11 broadcast of "On the Record with Greta van Sustren."
"Haven't seen it, but if the title and what I hear about the content is any indication of where Newsweek is going, it is no wonder Newsweek is doing so poorly," Palin said. "People are not reading that stuff. It is not relevant. It's not interesting stuff that they are making up and writing and that's why they are going down."
Newsweek's Lisa Miller again lashed out against the Catholic Church in her column on Thursday, defending an excommunicated Catholic nun in Arizona for her "compassionate and impossible decision" in supporting a hospital patient's abortion. Miller also condemned a Vatican cardinal's investigation into American nuns as a whole as "authoritarian meddling."
The religion editor for the dwindling magazine began her column, "Female Troubles," by sympathizing with Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, who ruled with her hospital's ethics committee that a first-trimester abortion which took place in late 2009 was medically necessary:
Earlier this month, in something of a surprise, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix was excommunicated for approving a first-trimester abortion last year at that hospital to save the life of a critically ill patient....The irony here is thick: it has taken years, sometimes decades, to bring sex-abusing priests to justice, but this observant sister, Margaret McBride, was excommunicated in a matter of months for making a compassionate and impossible decision for one of her parishioners.
Newsweek continued its campaign against the Catholic Church on Friday by letting one of the leading atheist (not to leave out anti-Catholic) voices internationally, Christopher Hitchens, spout half-truths and smears about Pope Benedict XVI and the Church. Most egregiously, Hitchens inaccurately stated that Vatican City "was created by Benito Mussolini," thus trying to tie Catholicism to fascism.
Jessica Yellin continued CNN's biased coverage towards Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church, and the sex abuse scandal on Friday's Campbell Brown program. After replaying a report from Tuesday on one dissenting priest's call for the Pope's resignation, Yellin misleadingly asked, "Why is he [the Pope] having such a hard time saying he's sorry?" She also brought on two liberals to discuss the scandal.
Before the replay of correspondent Mary Snow's report on Father James Scahill's public call for Benedict XVI's resignation at 26 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, Yellin, who was filling-in for anchor Campbell Brown, noted that "just yesterday, in a rare reference to the scandal, the Pope called for penitence for the Church's sins. But for some, penitence is not enough." After Snow's report, the substitute anchor read a promo for the upcoming segment, which included the "why is he having such a hard time saying he's sorry" claim.