On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to comedian Bill Maher on his new anti-religion movie and Maher declared: "Isn't there time for one [movie] for the tens of millions of people who are rationalists, who think like I do, and who are afraid that the Sarah Palins of the world are going to be taking over? We've had eight years of George Bush and a faith-based administration. We can't afford another."

Following that comment, Smith observed: "Here's the thing that was an underlying thought. And this -- a serious thought, I thought. In the movie was you wish that Christians were more -- if they were really going to be Christians, would be more Christ-like?" Maher replied: "Don't we all? I think everybody -- I mean, that's something I don't think is even controversial that the message of Jesus, which is very good. It's about love and, you know, forgiveness. It's certainly not about shooting wolves from an airplane. That gets lost with all the nonsense and the bells and whistles." Smith responded by loudly laughing at the jab at Sarah Palin, who as governor approved shooting wolves as a means of controlling the wolf population in Alaska.

Reporting on a decision by LifeWay Christian Stores to not promote a magazine whose cover story lauded female pastors, Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear stacked the deck against the Christian bookseller, failing to speak to a staffer there for an explanation of a policy decision on a magazine the stores carry on their shelves. Yet if she had done her homework, Brachear may have found ample reason that the book store may have had to suspect the editorial judgment and theological conviction of the magazine in question.

In her September 25 post, "Gospel magazine too risque for rack," Brachear found room to quote the publisher of Gospel Today magazine and a female pastor featured in its September/October 2008 issue. Brachear snarked that the decision by Lifeway to put the magazine behind the counter was much like what convenience stores do to racy magazines:

Rev. Kimberly Ray never thought she'd be on the cover of a magazine considered too risque for the racks. But this month, Ray , the head of Angie Ray Ministries and Church on the Rock in Matteson, joined four other female pastors on the cover of Gospel Today magazine.

Because the article broke Southern Baptist rules about women in the pulpit, Lifeway Christian Bookstores, a chain run by the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled its glossy pages from the shelves and tucked it behind the counter where 7-Elevens normally stash Playboy and Penthouse.

When I was a kid there was a song we sang in Sunday School called, "Everybody Ought to Go to Sunday School." If I could find something to rhyme with "Associated Press reporters," I could probably write a new verse.

Reporting yet another story involving Gov. Sarah Palin's former church, the AP continued its attempts to paint Palin as a closet Pentecostal, as well as to hint that Pentecostals are wacky, far afield from the mainstream of Christian theology.

Anchorage-based AP reporter Garance Burke devoted a September 25 article to a newly surfaced YouTube video purportedly showing Palin being prayed over by a Kenyan preacher who asked God to protect Palin from all manner of evil, including witchcraft.

Burke went on to characterize the Pentecostal church Palin used to attend as simultaneously "conservative" in biblical teaching and yet outside orthodox Christian belief:

Virginia State Police chaplains can't invoke the name of Jesus Christ during department-sanctioned events.

But to the Associated Press and its reporter Bob Lewis, that's not the story. In all too typical traditional media fashion, and in what I believe is the wire service's first report on the controversy, Lewis decided that the real story is that Republican lawmakers are objecting to the ruling by the state's police superintendent, and to Governor Tim Kaine's agreement with it.

Before getting to what Lewis wrote, here is a local report on what has transpired, from Roanoke TV station WDBJ:

Six of 17 Virginia State Police Chaplains have resigned over a request they not reference Jesus Christ at public events.

Instead, they've been instructed by the Superintendent to offer non-denominational prayers, a decision made following a recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Well, leave it to Pat Oliphant, political cartoonist of the Washington Post, to make fun of both God and Sarah Palin at the same time, eh? Back on September 9, with his Tuesday comic, Oliphant featured a God that curses and portrays Sarah Palin speaking in gibberish as if she were "speaking in tongues" because she is supposedly a crazy Pentecostal. Oliphant apparently isn't aware she left the Pentecostal Church six years ago? I'm sorry missed this one back on the 9th, but it is no less outrageous now than it was then.

Take a gander at this disgusting display of anti-religious blather:

An affinity for "strap on devices," "swallowing instead of spitting" and a preference for anal sex are some of the key elements San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford uses to identify what makes an "elitist."  Loathing the Bible is on the list too.

Morford, whose columns regularly trash conservatives and Christians, weighed in on dumb American kids last October, and trashed evangelicals with the following line: "and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait."  His September 12 column, ‘Are You an Elitist? 18 Revealing Ways to Know for Sure' makes that attack look like playground fun.

When Sarah Palin said U.S. soldiers were on a ‘task from God,' former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a historian, knew exactly what she was saying. She was quoting President Abraham Lincoln.

The day after a September 11 interview with Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, aired on ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson," Gingrich blasted the media for its historical ignorance at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. He then pointed out Gibson's interview as a specific example.

"I want to take my limited time today and focus in on - I couldn't imagine a better moment for you to be here than after last night's stunningly distorted interview with Gov. Palin on ABC," Gingrich said. "Stunningly distorted because of one particular set of question, which I want to spend my time explaining and putting in context. I don't know how many of you have seen the original interview or excerpts, but there's a point where Charlie Gibson asks Gov. Palin about whether or not she believed that our soldiers were on a task from God and he quoted one-fourth of something she had said in her church."

PDS graphic by David Lunde | NewsBusters.orgIn yet another case of Palin Derangement Syndrom from liberal feminists in the media, PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe leveled a low blow by comparing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to the radical Islamic regime that harbored al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Monday night featured MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finding fault with Sarah Palin's religious beliefs and some of the teachings of her former church in Wasilla, Alaska, as the two harped on a speech the Alaska governor delivered at the Wasilla Assembly of God last June.

On the first episode of her new television program, the "Rachel Maddow Show," the eponymous host misinterpreted Palin's request that church members pray for American troops, as the Alaska governor expressed her hope that the Iraq war is part of "God's plan," with the MSNBC host claiming that Palin was "asserting" that the war factually is "God's plan."

Maddow claimed that Palin "said that the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq War is a mighty general who's initials are G-O-D." On Countdown, Olbermann and Maddow took exception with Palin's account of a minister who prayed that she would be successful in her political life as they mocked the concept of praying in the hopes that prayers might be answered. Olbermann referred to Palin as "Elmer Gantry" and "Amy Semple McHockey Mom."

As everyone knows, conservatives are a distinctly disagreeable bunch. Mean-spirited knuckle-draggers, pretty much.  It's therefore a shock to come across one who's actually likeable.  At least if you're Chris Matthews.

Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, a guest on this evening's Hardball, observed that the Obama campaign hasn't quite decided how to go after Sarah Palin.  The first line of attack was on the experience issue, but "now they're saying, OK, let's define her as a right-winger. You know, we'll talk about her views on creationism and some of these other extreme views." That elicited this from the Hardball host.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: She's got a lot of--they are pretty far over. For a person that seems very likeable and mellow, she doesn't look like a political zealot.

In a Newsweek Web exclusive, Lisa Miller and Amanda Coyne set out to find something juicy about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's house of worship, Wasilla Bible Church. But finding a "staid" worship environment that "steer[s] clear of politics" and whose main attraction is Biblical preaching, they opted to focus on where the governor used to worship regularly years ago, an Assemblies of God church:

A presidential candidate who shares his or her religious beliefs is "impinging on the Constitution" according to "View" co-host Joy Behar. On the show’s season premiere September 2 the panel caught up on the many hot button political stories from Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter to sharing religion in a public forum.

When Barbara Walters brought up the discussion of Senators Obama and McCain attending a forum with Reverend Rick Warren, Behar declared "both of them needed to say that Jesus Christ was their savior. That is very much impinging on the Constitution in my opinion. Why do we need to know who’s their savior?" Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd disagreed wondering what is wrong with them making such a statement.