Christian Conservative Groups DEMAND Apology for Przybyla’s Smears

February 29th, 2024 2:46 PM

Last week on MSNBC’s All In, Politico investigative correspondent Heidi Przybyla publicly displayed her lack of knowledge of the American Founding by stating that Natural Law did not originate from a higher power. Clearly ignoring essentially every founding document of the U.S. Additionally, she falsely assumed that Christian Nationalists were the only subset of Christianity that derived their belief in Natural Rights from a Creator. This spectacular picture of ignorance prompted the presidents of the Family Research Center and the Catholic Vote to send a response letter to Politico demanding an apology from both Przybyla and the news outlet itself.

NewsBusters' associate editor, Nicholas Fondacaro, covered this story last week, notably reporting how embarrassing it was that Politico’s “democracy investigator” couldn’t seem to recall that the most popular founding document declaring Natural Rights asserts in its second paragraph: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

The letter from FRC’s Tony Perkins and the Catholic vote’s Brian Burch also referenced the Declaration of Independence in objection of Przybyla’s statements, writing:

[Przybyla] not once acknowledging that our own Republic was founded on the belief that our rights come from God, not earthly kings or government. This understanding of the origin of human rights is clearly articulated in the Declaration of Independence.

It is indeed bold of Przybyla to admit that she didn’t know anything about the connection between Christianity and America’s founding. Yet it was even bolder to claim that Christian Nationalists were the only Christians whose faith influences their perception of politics, and to also assume that other Christian groups who weren’t “extremists” would agree with her false reports. 

Both Presidents of these Christian, conservative organizations were extremely concerned with the potential violence against Judeo-Christian groups as a result of Przybyla’s inaccuracy. “Comments like Ms. Przybyla’s can and often do have life and death consequences for faith communities,” they wrote, citing the statistics of increasing attacks against places of worship:

In 2023, American places of worship experienced more than double the amount of violence than the year prior, according to a recent report on hostility against U.S. churches. Last year, a shooter targeted a Christian day school in Nashville, killing three nine-year-old students and three staff. Since May 2020, Catholic churches have endured more than 400 attacks – from having rocks and bricks thrown through their windows to arson, firebombing, and a growing number of incidents involving property defacement and destruction resulting in tens of millions of dollars in damages.

The violence against these churches was purported by such false and exaggerative language used by Przybyla. Specifically addressing Przybyla’s history of sparking anti-Christian ideas, the organizations wrote:

Ms. Przybyla’s statements are representative of a consistent pattern of singling out Christian organizations and individuals, as evidenced by her recent articles targeting efforts to support a Catholic school and her selective interpretation of sources to advance an anti-Christian ideological agenda.

To further highlight this point, the letter used the example of increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S. to explain how influential public platforms like social media and news organizations can be to spread propaganda. 

The last paragraph of the letter called for an apology from Przybyla and Politico to the religious communities they have offended, reemphasizing that “Rhetoric like Ms. Przybyla’s, which demonizes religious groups, is profoundly dangerous. It can motivate disturbed individuals who may be predisposed to commit violence against faith communities.”

To read the full letter, click here.