Media Watch: The Sharyl Attkisson approach
Seeing as the mainstream media with – sadly – the help of the anti-Santorum Matt Drudge – is waging a full-scale assault on Rick Santorum’s social and religious views (which often go together) in an effort to derail his campaign on the implied basis that Santorum is a fringe freako lunatic who would turn America into a theocracy immediately upon being elected President, it’s important to remember that President Barack Obama used his Christian faith, in part, as a strong basis for some of the policies he’s advocated.
You’re thinking “yeah, right”, right? You don’t just have to take my word on it. He admitted during the course of his Presidential campaign that he was a strong believer in spiritual mentor Reverend Wright’s message of “social justice” – which should have been a clue to most Americans as to his belief system. Below are more examples:
March 2008: Then-candidate Obama to a pastor on the issue of gay marriage:
On Sunday in the Appalachian town of Nelsonville, Ohio, where plant closures and the mortgage crisis are rippling through the economy, Pastor Leon Forte aimed his own double barrels at Obama, asking the candidate to explain (a) what he would do about the foreclosure crisis and (b) his faith.
“Your campaign sets a quandary for most evangelical Christians,” Forte, who heads up Grace Christian Center in Athens, Ohio, told Obama. “They believe in the social agenda that you have. They have a problem with what the conservatives have laid out as the moral litmus test about who is worthy and who is not.”
Obama tackled the easy part first -– how to clean up after the burst housing bubble and help struggling Americans keep their homes.
Then he talked about Jesus Christ and his own controversial minister, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. (who has praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan), along with same-sex marriage and abortion.
“I am a Christian,” Obama responded in low tones. “I am a devout Christian. I’ve been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night and try to go to church as much as I can.”
Still, he said, “my faith is important to me. It’s not something that I try to push on other people. But it’s something that helps to guide my life and my values.”
While Obama said he does not believe in same-sex marriage, he argued strongly for civil unions that allow same-sex couples to visit each other in the hospital, let them transfer property to each other and protect them from discrimination. “If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which, I think, is, in my mind, more central than an obscure passage in Romans,” Obama said.
October 2007: Candidate Obama, pandering to a black Christian audience in South Carolina:
During the nearly two hour service that featured a rock band and hip-hop dancers, Obama shared the floor with the church’s pastor, Ron Carpenter. The senator from Illinois asked the multiracial crowd of nearly 4,000 people to keep him and his family in their prayers, and said he hoped to be “an instrument of God.”
“Sometimes this is a difficult road being in politics,” Obama said. “Sometimes you can become fearful, sometimes you can become vain, sometimes you can seek power just for power’s sake instead of because you want to do service to God. I just want all of you to pray that I can be an instrument of God in the same way that Pastor Ron and all of you are instruments of God.”
He finished his brief remarks by saying, “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”
Interestingly enough, from that same CNN piece:
There are times on the stump when Obama even sounds like a pastor himself, referencing New Testament phrases and sometimes saying “I’m not gonna preach to ya!” when emphasizing a point to his audience.
According to the religion-based Web site Beliefnet.com and its “God-o-Meter” tool that measures “God-talk” in the presidential campaigns, Obama invokes religion more than any of his Democratic competitors.
President Barack Obama on Thursday tied his proposal to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to his faith, telling leaders gathered for the National Prayer Breakfast that Jesus’s teachings have shaped that conclusion.
The rich should pay more not only because “I actually think that is going to make economic sense, but for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’” Obama said at the Washington Hilton, delivering remarks at an annual event that every president has attended since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“We can all benefit from turning to our Creator, listening to him,” Obama said. “Avoiding phony religiosity. … This is especially important right now when we’re facing some big challenges as a nation.”
“When I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us,” Obama said, “I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody, but I also do it because I know far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years. And I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
Where was the red-faced outrage from the left over these remarks? Where has the blood-curdling outrage been from the mainstream media over Obama’s tendency not just to use his twisted interpretation of God’s word as a basis for policy but to, even worse, to cast himself in the role of Jesus Christ? Oh, they don’t care – because they believe he’s “The Messiah” as well so it’s “move along here, nothing to see.” The double standards are disgusting but not surprising to anyone who has watched the mainstream cover, coddle, and attempt to rehabilitate over and over again the “healer” image both Barack Obama and his wife disturbingly have tried to portray to the American people.
And let’s not forget other high-profile politicos who have tried to use their warped in interpretation of the Word to justify their policy positions on other hot button issues – like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has done more than once on the issue of abortion. Like Senator Babs Boxer has done regarding the issue of “man-made global warming.” I could go on and on, but you get the point.
An important thing to note here is that it’s perfectly ok to have a belief system that has been largely shaped by your religious background, upbringing, and experiences. It’s also ok for you as a candidate for public office to note publicly that the views you have on a particular issue are based, in part, on your religious influences. In turn, you should expect to be questioned by all sides when it comes to those views if they conflict with the views of voters and/or are particularly controversial. Questioning candidates for office is, of course, ok, too. In turn, candidates need to be prepared to answer those questions, and also need to be prepared for the likelihood that their answers will not please everyone, and will in some cases only lead to more questions.
What’s NOT ok, however, is for left wingers and their allies in the mainstream media to act like only Republicans wear their respective faiths on their sleeves. So-called “progressive Christians” do this as well, and have done so even more frequently in the last several years as they try to win back “faith-based voters” – and as liberals try to justify their positions using backwards interpretations of scripture, the only people who take them to task for it are people like me who get extremely concerned when they hear both candidates and politicos alike assert a Biblical basis for a policy which doesn’t jive at all with what God’s Word actually says. On the other hand, though, Christian conservatives like Rick Santorum are called to task for every faith-based assertion ever made, as if they’re secretly planning to make the United States of America a theocratic state — and the answers they give are never good enough to please their critics in the MSM and the Democrat party (but I repeat myself).
Ultimately, the last thing most of us want to see is a battle over religion between presidential candidates in the primaries, and in the general. But if they are, both sides must be treated equally by both the press and liberal Democrats in order for it to be a fair debate – which is never going to happen. Because it’s ok for liberals to use their interpretation of God’s Word as a basis, in part, to advance a “progressive agenda” of “social justice” (for the cheeeldren!), but it’s “unconstitutional” for Christian social conservatives to do similarly in an attempt to advance a conservative agenda based on traditional American values — “because we must respect the separation of church and state!!!!” …. or something like that.
Is there any issue, any at all out there, on which liberals have not shown themselves to be wildly hypocritical about at some point??