Fox News' close connection to the most conservative elements in the Catholic Church is underscored by its stable of Catholic priests, such as Fr. Jonathan Morris, Fr. Gerald Murray, and Fr. Frank Pavone who reliably parrot rightwing (and Catholic) talking points. But the frequent presence, on Fox Business and Neil Cavuto's show, of the Ayn Rand defending, anti-union, anti-safety net Fr. Robert Sirico, shows that Fox is also very close to extreme free market advocates who are very close to the Koch brothers. Earlier this month, Cavuto hosted Sirico, along with another guest, to peddle a right wing message which, as Newshounds Brian reported, seems to be a very big Fox deal; i.e. how American multiculturalism and secularism is contributing to the growth of ISIS. Funny, there was a time, in America, when those in power thought that Catholic immigrants were a problem
While Fox News does have women who host their own shows and a few minorities who appear as panelists (there are no African-American prime time solo hosts), it does seem to have a problem with multiculturalism and atheism. Rather than celebrating the American melting pot of cultures and religions, Fox seems to aspire to a colorless, Christian monolithic state which vilifies anything and anybody perceived as different. As our Brian reported, Neil Cavuto has taken this antipathy towards multiculturalism and atheism to a whole new level in blaming it for the rise of ISIS. But this isn't the first time that this meme has been expressed on Cavuto's business show. Earlier this month, Cavuto promoted this propaganda message with different guests.
On September 4th Cavuto started by lamenting how "we are losing our core as a Judeo-Christian western power." He wanted to know if the movement away from "Judeo-Christian values is fueling ISIS." He introduced Fr. Robert Sirico who is president of the Acton Institute, a right wing think tank "which promotes laissez-faire economics and public policy within a Christian framework." It is funded, in part, by the Koch brothers and the wealthy DeVos family. And despite his vow of poverty, Sirico, who believes that God favors a free market, earned $190,472 in 2011-12.
Sirico bemoaned that young men, who no longer have "the idealism of the Judeo-Christian culture," seek other "absolutes" such as ISIS. Retired Navy Captain Chuck Nash talked about how when he "was a young lad," he was taught about how when people came to American they became "one;" but now it is "various parts" and that's bad. Cavuto quoted MLK's wingnut niece Alveda King who no longer thinks that America is a Christian nation which, of course, it never was. Sirico said that "the notion that Judeo-Christian culture is intolerant is complete fallacious" - a ludicrous comment given the homophobia and general hate emanating from that quarter and which is reinforced on Fox. He opined that multiculturalism is "a very dangerous game" that "promotes" Balkanization." (LOL, Balkanization is what Fox News thrives on!) Nash blathered about how, unlike immigrants from Christian countries, Muslim immigrants are from countries with values that are "antithetical" to America's.
After Cavuto referenced how religious affiliation is decreasing worldwide while secularism is increasing, Sirico spoke of how, up until twenty years ago, the American "ethic" was "built on Judeo-Christian values and a "sense of tolerance." (Uh, slavery and Jim Crow, anybody, anybody). He cited the diversity of his Brooklyn boyhood which wasn't "mandated by any state apparatus and yet there was a common core...that joined us together, an ethos that bound us together in a common cause, common culture" which we need to "re-promote." He chided the churches for failing to do so because, he claimed, of a "cowardice to our own ethical system" and a "loss of confidence in our own civilization."
So if we just get back to church and stop with the divisive ethnic celebrations (screw you St. Patrick) everything will be hunky-dory. Thanks Neil Cavuto for setting me straight!