Many of our nation's poorest have just suffered a cutback in their food stamps. But that doesn't seem to be a concern for official Fox priest Jonathan Morris, whose lack of concern about poverty issues suggests that he shares, with his fellow Fox devout conservative Christians, an attitude of Jesus and me and the hell with thee. On Sunday, he used his Sunday Fox & Friends pulpit, for the second time, to express his hopes that the Supreme Court will overturn a lower court decision and allow Greece NY's city council to have public prayer before their meetings - an issue also propagandized by Megyn Kelly. Once again, Fr. Morris, in opining on the issue, did his due diligence in reinforcing Fox's patented anti-atheist narrative. And while, during his last fact free pontification on the topic, Morris denigrated the belief systems of the atheist and Jewish women who brought the original suit, this time he insulted Buddhists. But prayer makes it all good....
Morris explained the backdrop to the case which is part of Fox's "Fight for Faith." He reported that the town has a "tradition of a pastor, usually a Christian pastor because the local community is predominately Christian but then a couple of people complained." He described those who complained as "non theist." Remembering that one is a Jew he quickly added "one of the two was a non-theist another term for atheist who said that we should also have somebody to represent us. Keep in mind what is prayer, prayer is talking to God." He asked "why a non theist would want to do that, I'm not exactly sure."
Morris directed his baby blue's at the camera when he said that "at the core of this case is whether or not a public place, like a courtroom, like, for example before a football game in Kansas someplace whether or not in that public institution whether or not we, people who believe, can express our faith in that way." (The Kansas reference is to a town that is allowing public prayer before school football games which will be challenged based on a past decision that ruled that such prayer is unconstitutional).He claimed that courts have "time and time again said yes as long as you give space for people of different denominations and different religious to express those faiths that are representative of those communities."
Clayton Moore interjected that the community even had a Wiccan give the invocation. Providing some accuracy and context he did acknowledge that "almost every other chaplain of the month during a decade of town board meetings in this Rochester suburb was a Christian, and more often than not called on Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit to guide the council’s deliberations." He added "because there was a steady drumbeat of Christians getting up there month after month after month that's what the atheists have a problem with." This, of course speaks to the Establishment Clause which Fr. Morris ignores and which is the crux of the suit.
Fr. Morris launched into one of his classic qualifier comments: "I would fight for, I would die for the possibility of another religion being able to express their faith in public because that's a principle that goes right to the core of who we are - But what we're seeing right now in the United States are people who are activists trying to shut down that possibility by going after a little town like this, in Greece NY, saying you know what that's not right because the government should not establish one religion over another. That is absolutely the fact but it should be representative of the local community. To have someone come in and say I am Buddhist in a little town that has no Buddhists and to come in and say I have the right to have equal time with you that's the type of activism that I hope the court shuts down and says you know that's not what the constitution means."
So is Fr. Morris saying that if a community is primarily Christian, other religions are not welcome to offer their spiritual thoughts? So do Christians need to suck it up and listen to Koranic verses, before public meetings, if they live in a primarily Muslim area? And how bout a moment of silence so that devout Jews don't have to listen to an invocation about how Jesus saves. Fr. Morris didn't address that option. And another thing that hasn't been mentioned in any of the Fox coverage - the Obama administration has submitted a court brief in support of the city council. (Oh right, that cuts against the Obama as enemy of Christianity Fox narrative.)
Once again, the cute little padre, who provided personal service to the disgraced Fr. Marcel Macial, showed us why his personal service to the GOP, Christian right has earned him Roger Aile's love. And it's ironic, don't ya think, that Fox News pushes a Christian message yet seems so very hateful...