For the second day in a row, the principal religious perspective being provided for the Fox News audience is Catholic, via Fr. Jonathan Morris who is the only clergy who appears with regularity on the network. Obviously, there are many folks who are comforted by the words of a Catholic priest; but, the reality is that there are others who, for whatever reason, do not seek solace in religious faith - or if they are religious, their ways of coping with grief are not those of the Catholic Church. But Fox News clearly has a Christian and very Catholic bias which, I believe, is being shown in Fr. Morris' homilies during which he focuses on the need for people to connect with God, which isn't always the answer - and as such, how appropriate is that for a "Fair & Balanced" news network?
The Fox religious message was clear and, considering that the shooting happened during Hannukah, which ends tonight, very Christian. While there are so many issues that need to be addressed, the chyron read: "Faith After Tragedy, Restoring Trust in God This Christmas Season." Dave Briggs asked "with Christmas just one week away, how do you restore everyone's faith in God." (So Briggs thinks that "everyone" has "faith in God?")
Fr. Morris spoke about how, after the tragedy, supporting the families of the victims is important and noted that he will be going to Connecticut. Ordained minister and Oral Roberts grad, Kelly Wright (who is an anchor, not a religious contributor like Morris) talked about the father of one of the victims who forgave the shooter. Morris said that this act stems from the man's belief "that there is an ultimate judge who is God." He noted that it's easier to forgive when one realizes "ultimate judgment" which is "a gift of faith." He added that "we should be praying for everyone who doesn't have that, in these tough times to get that because it's a profound and wonderful thing."
Briggs wanted to know the role of faith in healing and preventing further tragedies. Morris acknowledged that there are many factors involved in these shootings including "a culture of death" (code phrase used by pro-lifers to describe legal abortion) "including video games and other things." He then preached about how when "the soul goes dark," the other factors are triggered. After saying that if you are not loved, you can't be loved, and "if you don't know that you are loved by God...then it's going to be very hard to love yourself and to love other people." (So those who don't believe in Fr. Morris' god are dysfunctional?) Wright agreed that if people loose their "god given purpose," they can't deal with the "darkness."
Morris "challenged" the audience with his admonition: "At this Christmas when we know that all these families are suffering...get down on your knees...before opening gifts...and to say a prayer...and if you don't believe, a moment of silence... but above all to say thank God for my life and my loved ones..."(If you're not a believer, why would you thank God?) He bet that some of these families will be doing this.
Alisyn Camerota responded "that's so beautiful." Morris previewed his sermon in which he will talk about how "God allowed his son to be murdered and stood by and cried." Wright referenced how MLK wanted "the church to be the conscience of America and the world." (MLK wanted the church to oppose segregation. He also supported the separation of church & state). Working in the requisite right wing/Fox News message, Morris claimed that "the culture is more godless than before, in the US and it comes down to making decisions, am I going to live joyfully today, I think that joy comes from contact with God and relation with God and loving others and being loved."
While Fr. Morris' Christian words might be inspirational, to some, shouldn't a "Fair & Balanced" news network provide some other religious and non-religious perspectives? And it's ironic, don't ya think, that Morris is talking about love on a station that loves to hate those whom they do not love? Just saying...