Despite the variety of Christian denominations, in the vast area polluted covered by Fox News, the only theology that gets consistent exposure is that of the Catholic Church whose opposition to the HHS birth control mandate was validated in numerous Fox news and opinion pieces. While on rare occasions, Fox interviews non-Catholic clergy, the only religious viewpoint that has weekly exposure (and more) is that of a Catholic priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris who, when initially hired by Fox, was a high ranking official in the disgraced Legion of Christ. He's now just a humble NY parish priest (chortle, sputter); but he continues to get pretty face time on Fox. Last Sunday, during his weekly homily on Fox & Friends he promoted his "Lent Challenge," a spiritual exercise done during the run-up to when Jesus sees his shadow or something. On this morning's Fox & Friends he did the same thing. Is Fox pandering to Catholics or is this something else? Hmmm....
Devout conservative Catholic Steve Doocy and "Fr. Jon," as he's now known on the chyrons, (Fitting that a cute little priest has a cute little diminutive) chatted about the Pope's resignation - no big conspiracies, just bad health. Doocy mentioned that Morris used to live in Rome. (A cushy assignment, disappeared from his Fox biography, as vice-rector of the Legion of Christ's Rome Seminary). I thought that they were going to continue the Fox News Dolan for pope campaign when Doocy asked Morris if there is a possibility that it would be an American. Morris, who probably has an inside scoop, said it's anybody's guess. Doocy segued into how today is Ash Wednesday and "a lot of people looking in may be unfamiliar with Lent." He asked Morris "what is Lent."
Morris explained that Lent is a time to prepare for Easter. As the chyron read "Spiritual Redemption, Steps to Personal Renewal this Ash Wednesday," Doocy said that the nuns in his grammar school instructed the students to give up something. As the chyron read "Gotta Have Faith, Fr. Jon Pledges to Complete Lent Challenge," Morris launched into his promotion of his "Lent Challenge." He explained, as he did on Sunday, about this motivational exercise can improve one's mind, body, and soul. Again, he preached that when you give up something, you should add something. To Doocy's question of how people can find more information, Fr. Jon directed the audience to his website. Doing his best jazz hands and opening up his baby blues even wider, he noted that he will put updates on his Facebook and Twitter for everybody - even those who aren't Catholic. (Uh,huh) Doocy looked lovingly into Morris' eyes as he thanked him for joining them on Ash Wednesday.
My advice to those who want a truly great Lent experience is to give up watching Fox (I can't; but then I don't do Lent) and add a nice "Zeppole," an Italian treat (in honor of St. Joseph) that's only made during this time. But seriously, what's really up with the omnipresence of Fr. Jon? Obviously, the GOP has the fundies in their pocket so perhaps that's why you don't see much of them on Fox. So is Fox trying to secure the Catholic vote which, as a result of the Hispanic population, is still voting Democratic? (Although white Catholics, presumably Fox's audience, are voting GOP). Or is this a convenient arrangement for Ailes' bishop pals to use Fox News as a conduit for their "new evangelization" movement which is about getting Catholics to renew their faith. (Good luck with that!) If so, it's a really sweet quid-pro-quo. The bishops get their message out while Ailes gets more viewers as a result of Morris encouraging his Facebook followers (and you think Fox Nation is an all time intellectual low!) to watch him on Fox News.
This all seems, as the Church Lady would say, "special," but maybe it's just Fox News doing the Lord's work in making their faith based audience happy. Ya think! And I'm sure that Fox & Friends will have a rabbi on during Passover to explain it all. Ya think!
Thanks for reminding me to check in as a lurker: decided a long time ago that I would not start posting on more than one site but yours is definitely a lot of fun.