As the mouthpiece for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fox News has been stalwart in its validation of the bishops' opposition to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act - the bishops' views on poverty and immigration, not so much. And owing to their lawsuit against this mandate, the Little Sisters of the Poor have become poster children for Fox News to use as a means to reinforce the Catholic right wing and GOP narrative that Pres. Obama hates the one true Fox church. (Roger Ailes' Catholic wife is a big award winning Catholic fund raiser.) So who better to reinforce this message, in a fair & balanced way than a Catholic priest. And while Father Gerald Murray doesn't get the Fox face time that Fox first stringer Fr. Jonathan Morris gets, he is every bit as ideological and partisan as Morris. Last Wednesday, the non-partisan (just kidding) Jeanine Pirro provided Murray with a pulpit from which to preach the Fox gospel of hate.
Given that Fox News is also a mouthpiece for the anti-choice movement, Murray's "pro-life" creds are impeccable as he gave a homily at the funeral of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a Jewish pro-choice doctor who, under an Opus Dei priest, converted to Catholicism and subsequently became a major player in the anti-choice movement. As I said, Murray doesn't have a regular gig on Fox but he is dragged out whenever Fox needs to push its and the bishops' agenda. (And now that Fr. Morris has admitted that he has a married gay sister, will Murray now become the propaganda primate?)
In 2012, he was part of Megyn Kelly's all male, all right wing panel which discussed how the Catholic Church is under assault by the evil president. Murray brayed about - wait for it - religious liberty. Last April, he again appeared on Kelly's show where he and Kelly advanced religious right/Fox outrage over the Easter sermon, about intolerance towards gays, given by an Episcopal priest at a service attended by the President. Murray said that gay marriage is sinful and it's really the gays who are intolerant - a meme used, by Fox, in its defense and deification of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson who was defended, on Hannity, by, drum roll please, Fr. Murray because homosexuality is "disordered." Recently, Murray validated Bill O'Reilly's f**k the poor gospel.
So as part of Fox's crusade to show that Obama is waging jihad against the poor nuns (who are exempt from the mandate but refuse to sign off on their exemption), Fox GOP hack and one of a multitude of Fox conservative Catholics Jeanine Pirro brought in Murray for more scolding of the president, well, because religious freedom. The divorced Pirro introduced Murray as her friend.
Murray launched into the agitprop with a clever bon mot about how "if you like your religion you can't keep it." Pirro roared with laughter. He continued "that is a horrible message" from the President. Given that the Catholic bishops spend millions to try to impose their theology on gay marriage and abortion, his comment, that "we do not live in a country where the government tells us what to believe...," was laughable. He portrayed the nuns as victims of a cruel government. Pirro, an attorney, didn't "understand why the president would do this" and asked if "he looks like a bully."
Given that the Catholic Church wants to deny reproductive rights to American women, Murray's comment that this is "a real war on women" was ridiculous. He then totally misrepresented the mandate vis-a-vis the churches and nuns who, unmentioned by Murray, are exempt. Pirro and Murray accused the President, who has gone to great lengths to appease the Church, of lying to the Church and - wait for it - Cardinal Dolan. Pirro lied when she described the mandate as a requirement to "provide contraception" when it is coverage for this. Murray God blessed Justice Sotomayor who merely granted a stay on this case. He described the mandate as "absurd." He compared the mandate to requiring workers to join the NRA and predicted that the mandate will be struck down by SCOTUS because - religious freedom. Pirro got in the last smear with the comment that for Obama, in "lying to the Catholic Church, that's pretty much as low as it goes."
What's low is that Fox continues to lie about and misrepresent the case in order to play to Catholic sympathy and, thus, further hatred of the President who has more than accommodated the Catholic Church. The President is not singling out the nuns. It is the nuns who, in refusing to invoke their exemption are bringing suit. The administration is fully within its right to defend its policy as not a burden on the nuns whose insurers, The Christian Brothers, won't be covering birth control. In exposing Fox News' bogus claim about Obama waging war on nuns, Jon Stewart asked the question that nobody asks on Fox - If the Church is forced to pay wages to workers, who use the money for birth control, why is the mandate such a problem. Anyway...
This false prophet Murray does not deserve the title of “Father.” This clown, just the rest of the cafeteria Catholics, have no problem rubbing elbows with other cafeteria Catholics.
If the devil was a millionaire he would attract people from the Catholic church as well. Yeah, we said it.