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Greg Gutfeld's Late Night Catechism Or Father Jonathan Morris Explains It All For You

Reported by Priscilla - November 14, 2010 -

Former altar boy Greg Gutfeld does seem to have a soft spot for Fox's resident Catholic priest, Father Jonathan Morris who does "wholly awesome" catechism lessons on Gutfeld's early morning show, "Red Eye." Despite the diversity of American religious groups, there's obviously only "one true faith" at Fox News as shown by Morris' position as the only active (Mike Huckabee is neither an active minister nor is his function strictly religious) clergy member who is a religion analyst. But I get it. Morris' conservative Catholic proliferations dovetail nicely with the right wing slant of Fox News and what better way to bring in a voting block that is trending Republican (except for Hispanics whose issues are not high on the Fox radar) than to have a cute young priest pontificate for those who were taught that "Father knows best" which is, ironically, the name of Morris' segment. But while Morris' homilies, on the day/evening Fox line-up, are appropriately part of informal chat, his appearances on "Red Eye" are just bizarre. And given that this "comedy" show is geared towards stoners and insomniacs, it's even more bizarre. Hopefully evangelical Christians weren't watching this week's segment because the little padre said something that might not have set well with the Genesis as literal crowd. But as it's Sunday, I thought that you might be inspired by Morris' words of wisdom - then again....!!!!

The format of Morris' homily segment is also bizarre. Gufeld has "virtual" computerized robot people ask Morris questions about faith. The questions, one assumes, are written by either Gutfeld or his writers as there is always a little humorous banter before the actual question. During the Q&A, there is no follow-up discussion of Morris' answers. It's so surreal and just like the Catholic catechism of my youth which was geared to memorizing the questions and answers that could not be challenged. This week began with a question from "Dennis" whose "robot" had a British accent. "Dennis" asked about the veracity of the 100 year lifespans of characters in Genesis. That's when Morris started treading on religious thin ice when he said "If you look at the bible as a science text, you're going to be sorely disappointed." Fundamentalist Christians believe that the bible is an unerring body of truth, or something like that. Morris said that the metaphor of the old age was "God revealing himself to man." The next question was why heaven has gates if God knows who's coming in. Morris got excited and said that "God knows that we're all allowed in heaven and the gates are an analogy" and that the "only one who can keep us out of heaven is us." He described hell as "an option out" of heaven. The next question was about whether hell was a place over which God has "no dominion." Morris said that hell is for those who reject God and enthused about the "unbelievable power of free will" over whether we choose to accept or reject God. The next question was certainly the point where the stoners said "oh wow, man" and the insomniacs went to sleep as it was about reason vs. faith. Morris was so happy about that question that he almost jumped out of his chair. He blithered about "spiritual knowledge." The last question was about free will. Morris said that "without God there is no free wil"l - an answer that atheists like Sam Harris and Christopher Dawkins would have been able to rebut quite well but if Father says it's true than it must be. Right? Morris said that free will makes us special and "Greg must have a lot of free will because he's so special." (Get a room, dudes!)

Comment: Wonder if the robots will ever ask questions about why the Catholic Church thinks that abortion and same sex marriage are "intrinsic evils" as opposed to priestly pedophilia. Or why, if the first "priests" were married Jewish men, can't women be priests? Or why, if married Episcopalian/Anglican priests can become Catholic priests, can't Catholic priests get married? Or how bout "social justice" - a Catholic concept that conservative Fox talkers (who claim to be religious) absolutely loathe. How bout the fact that Catholic European countries provide health care for all their citizens and the US doesn't. Nah, Morris will just continue to do the Baltimore Catechism thing for folks that probably won't remember a word of what he says. And as long as Morris relegates this sermonizing to 3AM, who really cares!

And one more thing, while I'm sure Morris is nicely compensated, by Fox, for his sermonettes (enough to buy some lovely Orientals (rugs, that is) for the rectory), it's quite a quid-pro-quo for Fox because the little father promotes his upcoming shows on his Facebook and Twitter. Morris gets alms and Fox gets ratings. It's all good.

Go in peace. Thanks be to Fox.