Former Time.com writer Keith Wagstaff has just joined a different magazine, The Week, but he’s still sounding like the old employer. He has a new piece posted on Yahoo! News titled “Was Mother Teresa actually sort of a jerk?”
Catholic-bashing is a much more acceptable journalistic pastime than snarky revisionist histories of hallowed liberals like Thurgood Marshall (honored as a saint by the Episcopalians.) Wagstaff began, "A new study claims the beloved nun might not have been as helpful to the poor as she could have been."
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?
This sounds like an obvious jazzy story for national news. Last September, the Empire State Building drew controversy (at least in anti-communist circles) for honoring the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution in China with red and yellow floodlights. But now, as Lou Young of WCBS-TV reports, the same brass at the Empire State Building refuse to honor saintly Mother Teresa with blue and white lights, the colors of her religious order. "It's kind of hard to be against Mother Teresa," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
The lighting would consist of a simple tribute in blue and white, the same colors used for a Yankees World Series win or an Israeli Independence Day. In this case it would be the colors worn by a crusader for the poor and a candidate for sainthood, the venerable Mother Teresa. Yet the people who own the Empire State Building said they won't pay this simple tribute in blue and white for the 100th anniversary of her birth this coming August, and they refuse to offer an explanation to people who made the application....
CBS 2 tried again Friday to see if we can get an answer for them, but every time we've asked it's been simply, "No comment." Then, they asked us to leave the building.
For some atheists, a person should not be honored for decades of humanitarian work if she also happens to be a professing Christian.
That's the only conclusion one can draw from the recent uproar of the Freedom From Religion Foundation over the U.S. Postal Service's commemorative stamp featuring 1979 Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa.
"There's this knee jerk response that everything she did was humanitarian," griped FFRF spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor, according to a Jan. 28 Fox News article. "And I think many people would differ that what she doing was to promote religion, and what she wanted to do was baptize people before they die, and that doesn't have a secular purpose for a stamp." She also asserted that this is part of the Roman Catholic "PR machine" to "make [Mother Teresa] a saint."
Just to clarify: the Church does not consider a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service a necessary step to sainthood.
In all the brouhaha last week over the incendiary comments made by Barack Obama's pastor the media seemed to forget to partake in their traditional Holy Week Christian-bashing excercise. There were a few entries in the "Easter Hit Parade," like the Comedy Central show "Root of All Evil" which my boss, Brent Bozell, wrote about in a column recently, and an episode of "Law and Order" which featured another Christian-stones-someone storyline.
I suppose it's good news that there was less faith flagellation courtesy of the liberal media, and yet at the same time it's sad that I was expecting to find it at Easter time. But the fact remains that Christmas and Easter are generally times when the media attacks on Christians are more pronounced.
‘View’ co-host Joy Behar followed up her anti-Catholic "saints are crazy" line, noting she "got in trouble with the Catholic Church." Though she emphasized it was "not all but some," she still called them "nuts" and "psychotic," and added that "not all of them deserved to be saints." Behar also added her opinions how crazy people in medieval Europe would be able to escape punishment by saying they were saints.
"I mean, let’s say that you were a person in those days, right? And you were hearing voices, and maybe you were mentally ill, but you were not stupid. As they say ‘I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.’ So you said to yourself, ‘let’s see, if people think I’m crazy they’re going to put me in a dungeon. If I pretend to be a saint, they’ll name a church after me.’"
According to "View" co-host Joy Behar, those sainted by the Catholic Church are no more than mentally ill individuals who heard voices. On the January 9 edition of "The View" Behar, who considers prayer a "distraction," suggested that there are no longer any saints due to modern medicine.
"I have a theory that you can’t find any saints any more because of psycho-tropic medication. I think that the old days the saints were hearing voices and they didn’t have any thorazine to calm them down. [laughter] Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can’t find a saint any more."
Mother Teresa died ten years ago this week, just days after Princess Diana perished in a car crash, displaying a very interesting comparison in media reactions. Princess Diana, molded by so much positive publicity over the years into a "secular saint" when she died, drew superior coverage, both in amount and in tone. Mother Teresa's publicity was also very positive over the years, of course, but the media seemed more willing to solicit harsh criticism of her life, even at the time of her death. Brent Bozell chronicled that story in his column ten years ago:
What's your nomination for today's Dumb Headline of the Day?
Here's mine, from the August 27 blog entry by Chicago Tribune religion reporter/blogger Manya Brachear. The topic was Mother Teresa's diary and how some entries revealed a fear of being distant from Jesus: