Fox News has been unabashedly supportive of the American Catholic bishops in their opposition to the Obama administration's birth control mandate which the bishops claim is really about their right to "religious freedom." Fox News has promoted this meme about religious liberty at every opportunity in what seems to be an effort to ensure that aggrieved Catholics vote GOP. Fox's only clergy religion contributor, Fr. Jonathan Morris, has spoken about this supposed violation of religious freedom. He has also discussed the the "non-negotiable" items which Catholic are supposed to use as the basis for voting. Yesterday, during his weekly homily, Morris combined these two issues in a discussion about why southern Democrats are deserting the party. While he tried to be non-partisan, the message was clear. Even the video title, which seemed to be culled straight from an article from the Catholic News Agency, framed the agitprop: "Democrats Leaving Party Over" - you guessed it - "Religious Freedom?"
Fox & Friends back bencher and all around Renaissance woman, Juliette Huddy (whose skirt elevation was, hopefully, not an "occasion of sin" for Fr. Morris!) immediately framed the issue by asking if Democrats are leaving the party "over marriage and religious freedom concerns." The message is that if you're a good Catholic, who is on board with the bishops' concern about "religious freedom," you might want to rethink your party affiliation. She cited statistics which show that the number of Mississippi Democrats have declined by 5% between 2008 and 2011 and asked what's "driving" the numbers. (Uh, the election of Barack Obama?) She introduced the cute, little padre who very dramatically intoned that it's all about the party platform of the Democratic Party. He enthused that, regardless of party affiliation, it's good a thing because when a platform of a party "begins to take on issues that are non-negotiable for yourself, its good that you say that this party no longer represents my core values."
In order to look like he was singling out Democrats, he noted that the GOP should also "be on guard" because when a party becomes a "club," rather than a political force that represents your values," the power of the system is lost. He said that, for many party stalwarts, "all of a sudden the platform switches and I find myself going against my core beliefs." He warned parties not to believe that they can hold people because historically they have them. As with many Morris' homilies, he offered what appeared to be a "fair & balanced" approach in warning that if Republicans take on a hard line anti-immigration stance, many values voters could flee the party. It's worth noting that Catholic "non-negotiable" issues do not include immigration. They are all about abortion, gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell research.
While the article that Fox appeared to have sourced was quite straightforward in its account of how Mississippi and other Southern Democrats switched parties over abortion and gay marriage, Morris was more nuanced. (Maybe he didn't read the article?) But his references to party "platform" seemed to be a dog whistle for Catholics as the Democratic party platform supports a woman's right to an abortion while the GOP platform is anti-choice. The "non-negotiables" are also another convenient Catholic strategy for instructing their flock on how to vote without actually endorsing candidates - wink, wink.
So was the erstwhile Foxpriest instructing the faithful, once again, to vote Republican? Certainly, on the "fair & balanced" Fox News network, Father knows best so it's all good....
I tell lies all day long, and dream up new lies in my sleep. That’s why I support Cardinal Dolan when he sez no alter boys were harmed under his watch. Besides, boys can’t get pregnant so who’s to say anything really went on?
It’s kinda like forcing a Muslim school to serve pork once a week because its part of a well rounded diet.
The Nuns on the Bus tour left Monday for Ames. It is scheduled to finish in Washington on July 2.
The nuns will visit Catholic-sponsored social service agencies and the offices of Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Steve King’s office in Ames, House Speaker John Boehner’s office in Chester, Ohio, and Rep. Eric Cantor’s office in Richmond, Va.
Organizer Sister Simone Campbell and three other nuns received a send-off from about 20 local Catholic nuns, parishioners and the priest from a Des Moines church. Network, a Catholic social justice lobby is sponsoring the tour.
Is the decline in Catholic Church membership caused by the parishoners’ revulsion to pedophile priests and the bishops/cardinals who protect them? Just asking.