Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No better than pirates 

If Liberals as a whole truly believe that the central tenet of a religious belief is a bunch of absurd crap, then why wait until after the elections to say so? In naval warfare in the sailing age even pirates flew their true colors at the moment of engagement.
He should live up here, where we have alternatively people hiding their beliefs or deciding it matters so much that they're refighting the Reformation.* (Mitch takes up that cause today.)

We had Michele Bachmann on our show shortly after the taping of the debate in which Pat Kessler dropped the nativist question on her. Here's how she described it (about 20:40 mark on the podcast of the second hour of the Final Word on 10/28 from our Townhall podcast center):
I just completed a television debate that will be shown tonight at 10:30 on WCCO television tonight ... this morning in the Star Tribune on the editorial page there was a section from bloggers and it was printed as though it was fact that my church and myself believe that the Pope is the Antichrist. Now this is almost falling of the chair laughing it's so patently absurd it's just funny. But you know the StarTribune, they put this in as if it is just fact. well Guess what? Here wr are having a serious debate ... here's the bias of the media. Here's Pat Kessler, from WCCO TV, very first question out of the chute to State Senator Michele Bachmann, he says, "The StarTribune reported today that you and your church believe that you and your church believe that the Pope is the Antichrist. Could you please comment on the divisive nature of your political statements that are intertwined with religion. DO you think it's important for you to be speaking about religion and politics and your statements that the Pope is the Antichrist." This is the very first question out of his mouth.
Jeff Kouba relates this as well, who was on the air with us at the time (he transcribed from the broadcast of the debate, not Bachmann's recollection. And Bachmann tells us that Kessler asked the question of Wetterling, asking her to discuss it as if it was true.**

The biggest problem I have is the lack of seriousness with which religion is taken. The Reformation really did happen; the split between Luther and Rome was real and had serious consequences. (When you can breathe after the elections, watch Luther and see what he thought of the pope.) The Lutheran and Catholic churches have wrestled with its consequences ever since and will continue to do so; Kessler's question is jawdroppingly unserious in its failure to understand history.

Can one possibly ask that question without thinking that someone's religious belief is absurd crap? Let Kessler say so then, rather than sit on a set with Larry Jacobs afterwards wringing their hands wondering whether this will cost Bachmann the Catholic vote. Let the StarTribune say so then, rather than endorsing one candidate because she's not the "extremist". I mean, if you really cared about what Catholics think, would you so ignore them on social issues? Or is this reporting just another attempt to suppress values voters who might decide that Wetterling doesn't hold theirs?

Would that they had the courage of pirates, to say they are pirates! Instead they hide, for they can do no other.

*--I love the STrib finding some online group from Massachusetts called "Catholics for the Common Good" to come out demanding an apology from Bachmann for something she didn't say. The InquiSItion, let's begin...

** -- Listen to our whole broadcast, to hear how Wetterling stormed off the set of KSTP radio, where in an impromptu debate she made a rather embarrassing faux pas on property taxes and left abruptly during the following commercial break, breaking a set of studio headphones in the process. Jeff has details of this as well; I've heard the recording and it's accurate up to the point they go to commercial. According to my sources, Bachmann's description of Wetterling's departure underplays the tension of the moment and the interaction between Wetterling's handlers -- chiefly campaign manager Corey Day -- and the three candidates during the commercial break in which Wetterling departs. That's the story we were trying to get from Bachmann, before all this Reformation stuff broke out.