Politico Reporter Blames ‘Clumsy Words’ for How Her HATE Was ‘Interpreted’

March 1st, 2024 11:22 AM

A week ago, Politico’s so-called democracy investigator Heidi Przybyla flaunted her stone-cold civics illiteracy and anti-Christian bigotry when she suggested that anyone who believed that our rights came from God was a dangerous “extremist” and “Christian Nationalist.” But following overwhelming condemnation, Przybyla published a non-apology on Thursday in which she blamed “clumsy words” for how her hate was “interpreted.”

Przybyla opened her piece, “The Right Way to Cover the Intersection of Religion and Politics” with a screed about the separation of church and state (Click “expand”):

On matters of spiritual faith and the public square, two concepts are embedded deeply in American history and law. The Constitution protects freedom of worship. So, too, does it enshrine the separation of church and state.

In principle, these two concepts are not merely compatible. They are mutually dependent—one ideal is impossible to sustain without the other.

In practice, however, these two foundational values jostle against each other in the political arena. The tension is natural. People typically get involved in politics and public policy debates because they properly believe there are strong moral dimensions to the choices. People’s sense of right and wrong often is shaped by religious conviction. Every important social movement in American history has been powered in part by this dynamic.

At the same time, in a democracy — filled with people of all faiths, as well as non-believers — politics and lawmaking is an emphatically earthly enterprise. No one gets to impose their wishes on others simply by asserting their confidence that heaven is on their side.



“Every person’s spiritual motivations are entitled to respect. Once these motivations take them onto the stage of politics and lawmaking that will affect the lives of fellow citizens, however, they will be treated the same as any other political actor,” she proclaimed. “That means they can expect journalistic scrutiny. They can expect fair and well-reported coverage of their political aims and the tactics used to advance them.”

It took Przybyla eight paragraphs to finally address the reason she was writing the article. “Due to some clumsy words, I was interpreted by some people as making arguments that are quite different from what I believe,” she wrote.

Despite outlets like NewsBusters posting her anti-Christian comments in their entirety, she blamed select “activists” for taking her words out of “context”:

The confusion from my words was compounded when they were wrested from the full context of my appearance. Excerpts of what I said were promoted widely in some political circles by some activists whose primary objection, I feel sure, was not my television appearance but my coverage in POLITICO about the tactics and agenda of political activists who subscribe to a philosophy they call “Christian Nationalism.”

“Christianity is a religion. Christian Nationalism is a political movement. As I said on air, there is a big difference between the two,” she finally admitted in paragraph 10. “Reporters have a responsibility to use words and convey meaning with precision, and I am sorry I fell short of this in my appearance. Among the passages that caused confusion was my attempt to draw a distinction between Christians and the small set of these people who advocate Christian Nationalism.”

She went on to describe how her critics were right in pointing out that America’s Founders did believe in Natural Law and that our rights did come from a higher power above mankind and their presence in the Declaration of Independence; and separately, talked about the ideology of Christian Nationalism. She closed with lines from President Abraham Lincoln about God being invoked by both sides in the Civil War.

This non-apology came hours after the Family Research Center and the Catholic Vote sent a letter to Politico demanding an apology from both it and Przybyla. The organizations pressed the fact that religious institutions in America have seen an increase in violence being carried out against them and that Przybyla’s words could contribute to it.