The Fox News network provided almost non-stop validation for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on their opposition to the HHS birth control mandate. This issue was front and center on both the Fox News "opinion" show Fox & Friends and official Fox "news" where Megyn Kelly also provided warm fellowship for the bishop's strident denunciation of the policy. Recently, however, the bishops have criticized the Paul Ryan budget as they feel that it hurts the poor. They have also spoken out against the Arizona and Alabama immigration laws because they feel that these laws infringe on the church's ability to work with immigrants. Apart from Foxpriest Fr. Jonathan Morris' reference to the immigration problem and a question from Fox News' Martha MacCallum's question to Rep. Paul Ryan, regarding the bishops' criticism of his budget, these issues aren't exactly front burner on Fox. Last week, Megyn Kelly hosted, once again, the homophobic, anti-Semitic, and blamer of victims of pedophile priests, Catholic League head Bill Donohue in order to discuss, once again, the bishop's position on religious liberty as it relates to the HHS mandate. Anything else was off the table. Wonder why.
Megyn Kelly, looking very serious, announced that they were getting word "that the United States may soon see a type of public outcry not witnessed for decades; powerful images of priests and nuns rallying in the streets." (Uh, given that the Inquisition has cracked down on an organization representing 80% of American nuns, one wonders if they will be on board with this.) She reported that the bishops were calling for two weeks of protests about what "some critics have labelled a war on religion." (Right wing meme alert). She continued the Fox right wing meme that this could "be emerging as a big problem" for President Obama in the upcoming election." She introduced the uber reactionary and bigoted head of the Catholic League and general scold, Bill Donohue
Kelly immediately framed the issue by noting that Donohue said that the bishops were "furious" about "what they view as an encroachment" of religious liberty and "they're not rolling over on this" because the political narrative has shifted to the war on women. Donohue, with customary braggadocio, declared that this "is the greatest mobilization of the Catholic Church since the Civil Rights movement" and led by - wait for it - Fox fave Timothy Dolan. He ranted about how the bishops "know that this is the greatest threat that we've seen." Kelly wanted to know what the protests would entail. He said that it all depends on the Supreme Court's decision on "Obamacare." He then blithered about how the government's definition of religious groups is too narrow and thus, organizations that service all religious groups will be forced to provide abortion drugs. This, as we know, is a lie which has been frequently advanced on Fox. The mandate covers emergency contraception and does not cover abortion inducing drugs. Kelly didn't provide the correct information.
Donohue then went into a barely coherent rant about how he's an expert on the atheistic ACLU which, he claims, is working with the Obama administration. Megyn smiled gently as he yelled. She asked about possible civil disobedience at the upcoming rallies. A frenzied Bill shouted that it won't be just clergy but hundreds of thousands of Catholic students. Kelly then discussed a Fox poll which showed a dramatic decrease in Catholic support for Obama from 2008. But in looking at the details, it shows that the sample is of 244 Catholics taken from exit polls. The 2012 exit polls would have been from primaries in which most of the voters would have been Republicans -some of whom were, presumably, conservative Mass attending Catholics and that's not exactly a reliable polling mechanism on Catholic support. Donohue did more ranting on how Catholics need to be educated on this and the "more they know, the more they're disturbed." While he said that it just wasn't about birth control, he didn't elaborate on the other issues.
Actually, the only disturbing thing is that Fox "News" allows an unchecked rant from a seemingly disturbed person. But it is interesting that the poverty and immigration issues weren't mentioned. Is Cardinal Dolan no longer calling the Fox shots? Hmmm. And in not talking about these things, is devout Catholic Bill Donohue committing a sin of omission? Hmmm.
You may Live in USA but you will act as if in Rome.
Fox and the bishops have turned the idea of religious freedom on its head by trying to impose religious views through their business ventures. Businesses which will not offer a full range of accepted medical services need to close or be sold off. The Bishops can then use the money to save the poor they helped create by limiting birth control and supporting politicians who target the poor in favor of the rich.
The Bishops had letters against the Obama admin birth control issue read in every church in the country. When they do the same over Republican policies, I’ll take them seriously.