On Easter Sunday, President Obama attended a service given at a Washington Episcopal Church. During the sermon, Rev. Luis Leon criticized what he felt is intolerance on the part of leaders of the religious right. As the mouthpiece for the religious right, Fox News wasted no time in bashing the priest, the pro-gay views of the Episcopal Church, and the president for not publicly denouncing the priest. While there was the requisite whining on official Fox opinion (The Five), official "fair & balanced" Fox News launched a propaganda fest with Megyn Kelly doing three segments which validated the religious right. Even Fox's flagship "fair & balanced" "news" show, Special Report got in on the act. What made it even more interesting is that Bret Baier, as did Megyn Kelly, use commentary from Tony Perkins, the head of the hate group, The Family Research Council in order to Rev. Leon and the gay affirming beliefs of the Episcopal Church. It's ironic that Fox, in trying to prove liberal intolerance, is embracing the theology of hate!
On Monday, Bret Baier began his "fair & balanced" report on the "controversy" by claiming that "the silence of President Obama and his top aides" over Leon's sermon "is speaking volumes to many who are very offended" because "Easter Sunday is traditionally filled with messages of celebration..." (Kapow - got in zinger on Obama after only 7 seconds!) There was rich irony in Baier's comment that the sermon focused on "division" which is what Fox "News" is all about.
Ed Henry reported the back story, describing the service as "anything but joyous" with the priest "unleashing an attack on conservatives as the first family looked on." (Note the use of the inflammatory "unleashing an attack," which plays into conservative victimhood, rather than something more neutral like "criticized.") He quoted the controversial section of the sermon which included the very accurate comment about how the "captains of the religious right" want gays to be "back in the closet." (Or just pray away the gay?)
He played commentary from Tony Perkins, who is not an ordained minister and who once gave a speech before a white supremacist group, who accused Leon of not adhering "to the word of God." In summarizing Leon's message, about how conservatives want to turn back time, Henry mentioned that Leon is a supporter of same sex marriage. Perkins was shown accusing Leon of being divisive about "what is very clear about scripture" and that "God's word is authoritative for Christians" - in other words, the Episcopal Church is wrong and Perkins' anti-gay theology is right - which is just another iteration of God hates fags. There was no attempt to provide theological counterbalance.
Anyway, as the "Church Lady" would say, "isn't is special" that Fox News embraces, as an authoritative source for true Christianity, a man who heads a group that traffics in homophobic lies and smears about the LGBT community such as
- Falsely claiming that gay men are more likely to molest children
- Comparing gay activists to terrorists and labeling them pawns of the devil
- Applauding Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill, calling it an effort “to uphold moral conduct
"Fair and Balanced" at its best.
Oh yeah. Glenn Beck is no longer there to peddle conspiracy theories….