While Fox News claims to be "America's Newsroom," the America it represents is very different. The America outside Fox News is religiously diverse, with a growing number of people identifying as "not affiliated." But Fox News' religious perspective is mainly conservative Christian with the majority of the commentary coming from Fr. Jonathan Morris, a former member of the disgraced Legion of Christ, who, unlike other religious contributors, makes frequent appearances on Fox Business and Fox News where he has a weekly gig on Fox & Friends. During the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, his baby face was an ongoing feature of the coverage. In addition to being a loyal mouthpiece for right wing talking points, Morris also provides "inspiration" for the audience such as this morning when he talked about the "meaning of Christmas" which was, of course, a very Catholic Christmas and a very Fr. Jonathan Christmas.
As the chyron read "Reason for the Season, Teaching the True Meaning of Christmas," Jesus BFF, Gretchen Carlson talked about how Christmas isn't just about opening presents. She introduced the preening Fr. Jonathan Morris who, BTW, is the only official clergy contributor listed on the Fox personalities list. (Rev. Jacques DeGraff isn't on the list although he does make appearances such as when Bill O'Reilly tried to convince DeGraff and another African-American pastor that they should hate Planned Parenthood.)
While Protestant, non-denominational, and Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas, the photo montage behind Gretch and Morris was of Catholic masses. (God forbid that a woman priest be shown behind an altar!). Morris proceeded to talk about the "true meaning of Christmas." He talked about a "fabulous" Morris Christmas tradition when the kids had to pray before the Creche which represents the true meaning of Christmas; i.e. "God made man who redeemed us." Gretch talked about the Swedish tradition of acting out the Nativity.
Morris got all dewey eyed as he spoke of how, when he was visiting a hospitalized parishoner (Morris's daytime job is at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral), he asked the nurses if they knew of any patients that didn't have any visitors so that he could visit them in keeping with the hospital "tradition" that he started. Morris then recounted how when he walked in the room, the dying patient got angry. (Certainly would have been my reaction.) While the staff wanted to leave, Morris stayed despite the man's anger which was causing his IV's to rip out and his arms to bleed. Morris prayed that the man would experience peace.
After Morris then got down on his knees and folded his hands in prayer, lo and behold the man calmed down.(blood loss?) He then told the man about how much Jesus loves him after which the man repeated the words that Morris told him about Jesus. When the nurses returned, Morris asked the man to say a prayer and he put his hands together and led a prayer with those in the room.
Morris said that it's people like this "for whom Jesus came" and how Christmas is about redemption. Gretch, all chocked up, said that "we should all be thankful that you're in the position you're in as well, that you could bring him that peace." Morris said that "he got me on my knees" and that "he couldn't handle another human being in his presence" but that the Baby Jesus allowed him to realize that God loved him. Gretch said "wow" and "powerful story coming from Fr. Jonathan Morris one of the most respected people in all of Fox News for sure in NY City and around."
As the "Church Lady" would say "isn't it special" that Fr. Morris was able to bring Jesus to a dying man. Meanwhile, Morris is the mouthpiece for a political party that seeks to destroy the safety net for those who are still alive. Where was Morris during all the Fox denunciations of the food stamp program and comments about how the poor just want free stuff. While it was nice that Fr. Morris was able to comfort a dying man, the real meaning of Christmas has much more to do with the living and how we treat them all year. Other clergy might say that. But on Fox, the "most respected" Fr. Jonathan Morris is the one true Fox priest who, metaphorically speaking, gets down on his knees for his boss and special friend Roger Ailes.
And who needs Christian Broadcasting when you've got Fox News!