God and Man at the Gray Lady, Part Deux
Verum Serum proffers "A Score of Religious Questions" for the New York Times to ask President Obama:
I posted a link this morning. After reading Keller’s piece calling on more careful examination of people’s religious beliefs I have to agree with Ace, he may regret this.
Keller takes pains to assure readers he is not calling for a new litmus test, he just has questions. Funny this is only coming to him now that the race is on and it’s GOP candidates that are front and center. I don’t recall him demanding this much insight into Obama’s relationship with Wright or Pfleger. In fact, I seem to remember the NY Times apologizing for blowing those stories.
Contrary to what Keller seems to think there are still many religious questions that one might ask of the President, not all of which will endear him to particular segments of the electorate. Here’s a sample of questions Keller might ask the President (but which, notably, he hasn’t).
Read the whole thing, and then check out Tina Korbe at Hot Air, who spots the Archbishop of Philadelphia reminding his parishioners that the "news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith:"
Christians (and presumably non-Christians, too!) “make a very serious mistake” if they turn to news outlets like The New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and MSNBC for “reliable news about religion,” the incoming bishop of Philadelphia told a crowd of young people in Spain last week. LifeSiteNews reports:“Being uninformed about the world and its problems and issues is a sin against our vocation as disciple[s],” Archbishop Charles Chaput told his audience during a special World Youth Day session in Madrid. And yet, he went on to note, the Christian believer is faced with a unique challenge in finding accurate sources of information on key issues.
“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only of Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals and other religious believers,” he said.
“And with relatively few exceptions, the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness, and bias against traditional Christian belief.” …
“These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith,” he said. “These are secular operations focused on making a profit. … They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach God’s truth.”
In case you have any doubts as to the accuracy of Chaput’s criticisms, the latest example of the double standard at play in the columns of at least one NYT writer (who just happens to be the executive editor!) might help to resolve them.
Of course, no one asks that the NYT or MSNBC demonstrate “sympathy” for the Catholic or any other faith — but a fair shake would be welcome.
As Rod Dreher wrote in 2003 in "The Godless Party," the hollowing out of religion amongst liberal elites, beginning in the 1960s and '70s as the New Left replaced the old FDR through LBJ liberals, is one of the great missing stories in the MSM:
The bias of the news media against religious conservatives is by this point a dog-bites-man story of the first degree. Everybody knows that pro-life marchers and churches who resist gay “marriage” aren’t going to get a fair shake from the newspaper, and we’ve gotten used to that. But the importance of this phenomenon is both broader and deeper than individual stories. In a media-driven society, the press sets the terms of public debate, and in so doing establishes the narrative that will inescapably influence the way society thinks about and acts on issues and challenges.
Anti-religious media bias has profound implications for the future of American politics, or so say social scientists Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio in “Our Secularist Democratic Party,” an important article published in a recent issue of The Public Interest. The Baruch College researchers say that the parochialism of journalists is blinding them to one of the biggest stories in American politics: how the Democratic Party has become a stronghold of fervent secularists, and how secularism “is just as powerful a determinant of social attitudes and voting behavior as is a religiously traditional outlook.”
Among political journalists, the dominant paradigm—what you might call the “official story”—holds that religious conservatives bullied their way onto the American political scene with the election of Ronald Reagan, and rudely brought into the political arena the culture war that had been raging since the 1960s. That’s exactly wrong, say the authors, who attribute the “true origins of this conflict” to “the increased prominence of secularists within the Democratic Party, and the party’s resulting antagonism toward traditional values.”
Until relatively recently, both major parties were of similar mind on issues of personal morality. Then came the 1972 Democratic Convention, at which secularists—defined as agnostics, atheists, and those who seldom or never attend religious services—seized control of the party and nominated George McGovern. Prior to that year, neither party had many secularists among its delegates. According to a comprehensive study of survey data from the Democratic delegates, the party was badly split between religious and moral traditionalists on one side, and secularists on the other. They fought over moral issues: abortion, women’s rights, homosexuality, the traditional family. What the authors call a “secularist putsch” triumphed, giving us what Richard Nixon mocked as the party of “acid, amnesty, and abortion,” and instigating—with help from the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973—the long march of religious and moral conservatives to the GOP, which became the party of traditionalists by default. “What was first an intra-party culture war among Democratic elites became by the 1980s an inter-party culture war.”
In 2004, then-senatorial candidate Barack Obama told the attendees at the Democratic National Convention, "We worship an awesome God in the blue states." I'd like to hear more about what the president thinks about Him, how Obama both came and left Rev. Wright's Church, and the president's thoughts on faith today. The questions that the Verum Serum blog offers seem like they'd be a great starting part, and a great way to remind readers that, while the New York Times is "of course" a liberal newspaper, as its former ombudsman wrote in 2004, they still at least make an effort to report news, and not just act as the dead-tree equivalent of MSNBC.
I'll bet Times readers would also like to know more about Obama's faith and how it influences his politics. So why not ask him?
Update: From Michelle Malkin, "Here’s a handy little video guide to Barack Obama’s various men of bad faith–a quick blog cheat sheet with all the poison preachers in one place, each accompanied by a trademark demagogic YouTube clip, for easy reference and ranked in order of unhingedness. It’s getting crowded in the crazy uncle attic, sweetie."
(And for those who don't remember Obama's "sweetie" gaffe, here's a quick flashback.)