Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Why Does Fox News Care About Obama’s Church Involvement?

Reported by Priscilla - April 6, 2010 -

Despite the braying of the Christian right, we live in a secular nation which is populated by those who follow many religions and those who don’t follow any. Recent polling indicates that the number of those who self identify as Christians has decreased. But you wouldn’t know it from watching Fox News which is the news headquarters for conservative Christians – no liberal Protestants or Jews need apply! And despite the recent revelations that devout C Street Christians, like John Ensign and Mark Sanford, have violated at least one commandment, church attendance is very important in Fox Jesus land where church goers are more virtuous than those who don’t. That President Barack Obama has not selected a church seems to be quite problematic for Fox as evidenced by their occasional focus on something that is, clearly, non of their business. Like the special interest groups of the religious right, to whom and for whom Fox preaches the gospel, our Founders instituted the office of “commander in chief” – not “pastor in chief.” But if you watch Fox News you might not think so!

Last summer, good Christian Gretchen Carlson criticized Obama’s conference call, about health care reform, to religious leaders. She said that it was “disingenuous” because Obama hadn’t selected a church yet. Carlson repeated this meme, the following morning, when she criticized Obama for “invoking religion” when (oh, the sacrilege) “hasn’t found a church, yet.” Last May, good Christian Steve Doocy, in criticizing Obama for not holding a public ceremony on National Prayer Day (connected to the Christian right group Focus on the Family), noted that Obama hadn’t chosen a church. Doocy also praised George W Bush’s church attendance despite the fact that Bush did not belong to a DC congregation. Last week, Holy Week, the good Christians at Fox decided to resurrect this inane meme so as to get all the righteous Christians in the audience and in the Fox Nation readership full of not exactly the holy spirit.

Last December, Fox Nation had a thread which asked “Why President Obama Didn’t Attend Church On Christmas?” Naturally it was full of the usual vitriol about Obama as a Muslim anti-Christ. Now that it’s Easter season, the Fox Nation “church police” are back with a thread titled “Obama, I Won’t Join A Church While President.” Obama’s comment, made to Good Morning America’s Matt Lauer, was based on Obama’s belief that his presence, at church, would be disruptive. He added that he preferred to worship in the privacy of the chapel at Camp David. Suffice to say, the thread was full of the usual vitriol about Obama as a Muslim anti-Christ.

On the TV side of Fox Opinion News, Fox & Friends interviewed Stephen Mansfield, an evangelical Christian who has written books about the faith of George W Bush’s and Barack Obama’s faith. (not mentioned by the three Christian amigos). Mansfield discussed his new book about reconnecting to church after having been hurt by something or someone in the church. This would have been an opportunity to mention the hurt suffered by those who were sexually abused by Catholic priests – but mum was the word on that! But it was an opportunity for Gretchen Carlson to reference how Obama, after “the reverend Wright experience,” has “now made the announcement that he really, probably not choose a church in Washington DC but will chose to go to chapel at Camp David.”

During Bret Baier’s evening Fox “news,” Baier reported on Obama’s decision with the visual backdrop of a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama with “Commitment Issues” underneath. (And there’s no bias in Fox “news?”)

But America’s Christian Daddy, Bill O’Reilly, had an entire segment based on the Obama’s decision which I will cover in a separate thread.

Comment: I think there are some New Testament quotes about Pharisees and phony worship. But as I’m not a church member, I guess I’m not moral enough to opine on the topic. All I can say is who cares about whether any public official attends church? Obviously Fox News does!