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Theology In The Heartland

Reported by Chrish - September 24, 2006 -


John Kasich can be such a tease. He began his program with

“Has Madonna gone too far? Where is the line of decency? Is shocking, irresponsible behavior threatening to invade our culture and how can we put a stop to it?”
Of course, while doing the preview, the image of Madonna’s “crucifixion” appeared on the screen.

(Comment: it’s scary enough worrying about the possibility of an invasion by Islamofascists and the ongoing invasion by Mexicans. Now we need to be concerned about yet another “invasion.” Armageddon must be around the corner!)

During the 20 minutes that Kasich spent on interviewing a number of commentators on the “rumor” of OBL’s questionable demise (rumors which, according to all the commentators, seem to have been “greatly exaggerated”) there were several commercial breaks that had Kasich mentioning the upcoming discussion of the “offensive” Madonna.

Kasich finally got to the religion section of the show. He interviewed Christine O’Donnell, billed as a “Christian political activist,” and Dr. Britt Minshall, from the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew in Baltimore, concerning Muslim reaction to the Pope’s comments about Islam.

Kasich did not mention that O'Donnell recently lost a Republican primary for the US Senate in Delaware. Her campaign bio mentions her “leadership” as a Bush/Quayle “Youth Leader. Kasich also did not mention that Dr. Minshall’s church affiliation is United Church of Christ - is that because the UCC has a reputation for tolerance , particularly of gays?

Dr. Minshall agreed with Kasich that the Pope’s remarks were intentional – noting that he felt that it was a “brilliant” strategy to force a discussion in the Muslim world about the nature of violence within their faith. O’Donnell stated that the Pope should speak out and that the “wishy washy” reaction of the American churches (which was according, to Ms. O’Donnell, their support of the Pope’s apology) was “increasing the threat of violence to America by empowering violent radicals to continue their attempts to conquer global leaders of democracy like Bush and the Pope.” (Comment: the Catholic Church is not a democracy).

Kasich then engaged in some theological speculation (move over St. Augustine!) by stating the Pope should say to the Muslims that he will be meeting with that “reason without faith is godless, faith without reason is fanatical and you guys are burning down churches.” According to Kasich, the Pope is attempting to “divide” Islam and put them in conflict by saying “you’re either for us or against us.” (Comment: this is reminiscent of Bush’s dualistic false choices that are very decisive and not constructive.)

When O’Donnell said that the Muslims' church burnings would be analogous to Christians in Europe and the US burning churches after a papal comment about violence in Northern Ireland, Kasich added “or bombing abortion clinics.” (Comment: first time I have ever heard a right wing Fox pundit mention this – I’m shocked). When O’Donnell started babbling about how “we cater to the pro- choice movement when we should be catering to the pro-lifers,” Kasich ended the interview.

Finally, toward the end of the program, we had the much-anticipated Madonna segment. Kasich, speaking with Colleen Carroll Campbell of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (a right wing “think tank” whose purpose seems to be justifying neo-con policies within the framework of JudeoChristianity) focused more on the press “harassing” Cameron Diaz and Tiger Woods' wife.

Kasich did mention, “religious groups are up in arms about Madonna on the Cross” and expressed outrage that NBC might air the concert. He questioned, “ how low can people go for more money?” (Comment: ask Rupert Murdoch about that.) Campbell stated that NBC was being hypocritical because they refused to show the infamous Danish cartoon and Kasich responded “it’s OK to attack Christians.” Kasich wondered what could be done about Madonna’s “blasphemous” behavior to which Campbell responded that people could contact the network and its sponsors or just not watch the concert. Kasich concluded by asserting, “individual acts of protest do matter.”

Comment: Kasich doesn’t want the faithful to see the “blasphemous” Madonna; but he had no problem with the right wing smear production “the Path To 9-11.” While he brays about “faith and reason,” he uses every opportunity to showcase Islamic violence; thus fostering more unreasoned bigotry and division. But Fox, like the Bush administration, does not broadcast in color, as their world is very black and white.