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Fox News Chaplain, Father Jonathan Morris, Sermonizes About "Sacrilegious" Doritos Ad

Reported by Priscilla - January 23, 2011 -

The "fair & balanced" Fox "News" is "America's Newsroom." So being "fair & balanced," you'd think that they would provide balance to topics of interest to a cross section of America, a country that is religiously diverse. But it appears that the "America" of "America's Newsroom" belongs to the Roman Catholic Church - given that, apart from a rare appearance by the evangelical Joel Osteen, the entire religious commentary comes from a Roman Catholic priest, Father Jonathan Morris. Lauren Greene is a "religion correspondent" for Fox and she does a webcast (actually interesting) that relates to religious issues; but she appears on Fox "News" far less frequently than Morris, a Fox "general news contributor," whose boyish face, well manicured jazz hands, and Catholic perspective is featured on "Hannity," "America Live," and the Fox Business Network. Morris also has a weekly sermonette gig on Sunday's Fox & Friends. During the past month, Morris has preached on nine occasions getting in a sermon on Christmas Eve and Christmas. And while Mike Huckabee and Kelly Wright are ordained ministers, their function is not religious but related to general news reporting and analyzing. While Huckabee does discuss religious issues on his program, the focus is far broader than Morris'. But again, America has many religious denominations. Why is Fox focusing on just one? Could it be that mainstream non evangelical churches are gay friendly and abortion tolerant and that their female clergy don't fit well with the right wing patriarchy? Are Jews too liberal? (Although Fox & Friends did interview a rabbi after the Tuscon shootings). Would an Orthodox priest be too exotic? Obviously a Muslim Imam would be way too exotic! But why no resident evangelical pastor for the 26% of the population who identify as evangelical? I guess there are some conservative Catholic sheaves that need bringing in and Father Morris is doing it and doing it in accordance with the Fox meme of maligned/persecuted Christians. This morning he talked about a "controversial" commercial that isn't going to be played on the Super Bowl - but one that speaks to Fox "News" parishoners!

Earlier this month, the "controversial" dropped Dorito ad was a topic of conversation on Megyn Kelly's "America Live." Liberal Leslie Marshall and right wing Lars Larson (not even Catholic) discussed it and now it's back for more, as Steven Colbert said, during his take on the ad, "outrage." Despite the fact that the Doritos "communion" ad isn't going to be played at the Super Bowl, Clayton Morris asked if this ad, which was part of a contest sponsored by Pepsi, had "gone too far." He did note that the ad was eliminated because it was "deemed offensive." Morris described the ad and asserted "that there was an obvious lack of sensitivity." He said that advertising companies wouldn't do racist, anti-Muslim or anti-Jewish commercials because "it's wrong" and that if something "sacrilegious" works it doesn't mean that it is "good." On the side of the chyron (again, for an ad that didn't even make it into the top ten entries for the context) - "Snacking in Church, Priest Gives Out Pepsi and Doritos in Ad" - was "Going to Far." To Clayton Morris' question of whether this ad would provide the Super Bowl with a reference to religion, Fr. Morris said that "there is a time and place for something that's not good" and this isn't good. Alysin Camerota played the only Catholics are persecuted meme with a question about whether ad execs would "mock" the Muslim and Jewish tradition "and the answer would be no because they feel they can with Christianity." (Subtext -Those damned heathens getting special treatment!) Fr. Morris reiterated that this is wrong because it's sacrilegious. (Hey, Padre, this isn't the Vatican, This is a secular country with a First Amendment. And BTW, Larry David, Woody Allen, and Jon Stewart (all Jewish) provide satire based on Jewish culture. The "Daily Show's" "Yahweh or no way" sketch mocked all religions.) The Rev said that the "good news" is that the ad won't show because "ordinary people" said it was "wrong." The little priest got very intense when he asked executives "even if it works... is that is what you want to do with your lives and your company. Shame on you."

Comment: There's rich irony in Morris' admonition, on a network devoted to the gospel of free enterprise, to ad executives who care only about the bottom line. And more irony in that Bill O'Reilly supported the Tim Tebow anti-choice Super Bowl ad which many women objected to. But regarding this failed ad - Steven Colbert says it right: "On behalf of the 1.5 million Catholics worldwide, I want to thank Megyn Kelly for providing our only chance to be properly outraged." And now, he can thank Father Jonathan Morris, pastor of the parish otherwise known as Fox "News." It's all so "Religulous."

Dominus Vobiscum, Y'all!!!

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