Religious double standards on the front of Thursday's New York Times: "The Pope, the Clerk and Culture Wars Revisited." During his U.S. tour, the Times celebrated Pope Francis's liberal tone on economic, environmental, and immigration issues. But when he reaffirmed his belief in religious freedom (and the Church's opposition to gay marriage) by secretly meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail instead of issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, the Times adopted a puzzled, chiding tone, fretting that the Pope was reigniting the U.S. "culture war."
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein took a strange angle on Pope Francis's upcoming visit to the United States in her front-page report Sunday, using the liberal pontiff's first trip to America to bash American-style capitalist hegemony and the country's supposedly arrogant, insular view of itself. Goodstein assured readers that the Pope "is not opposed to all America represents. But he is troubled by privileged people and nations that consume more than their share and turn their backs on the vulnerable."
Strange new religious respect: The formal release of Pope Francis's long-anticipated encyclical on global warming dominated Friday's New York Times, which avidly covered it from both environmental and religious angles -- quite unlike the paper's hostile treatment of the Vatican's stands on abortion and birth control. Laurie Goodstein, the paper's chief religion reporter, seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing political conservatives "fuming" about the document's hard critiques of capitalism, while breathing not a word about the encyclical's condemnation of abortion.
There is a grievous double standard at the heart of the New York Times' coverage of stories at the intersection of free speech and terrorism. The paper has self-righteously refused to reprint "offensive" cartoons of Muhammad, while refusing to admit why: not out of respect for people of faith, but for fear of reprisal. The proof? The same paper has eagerly reprinted offensive anti-Christian art, such as the infamous "Piss Christ" and a dung-clotted "painting" of the Virgin Mary.
Laurie Goodstein spotlighted that "the Vatican abruptly ended its takeover of the main leadership group of American nuns" in a Thursday article for the New York Times. Goodstein played up that the final report of the supposed "takeover" was a "far cry from three years ago, when the Vatican's doctrinal office...issued a report finding that the [nuns] had 'serious doctrinal problems.' It said the sisters were questioning church doctrine on homosexuality and the male-only priesthood, and promoting 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.'"
On the front page of the New York Times sat "Religion Laws Quickly Fall Into Retreat," a label-heavy (14 "conservative" labels) 1,500-word story on Indiana's controversial religious freedom law. The Times' coverage has also been consistently slanted with both that labeling bias and scare quotes surrounding the term "religious freedom."
Protests are usually designed as attention-grabbers, publicity-seeking events. But liberal reporters cannot be dragged to a conservative protest. Thursday’s “March for Marriage” was blown off by The Washington Post and The New York Times. Attendance too small? The Post has written 10,000 words glorifying three anti-nuke protesters. The Times thinks four illegal aliens hiking is a hot protest story.
Only pro-gay news is news. Friday’s Times led the National section with “Presbyterians Allow Same-Sex Marriages,” complete with happy color photo. Friday’s Post wrote a story previewing the Obama administration’s move to include same-sex couples in family-leave policies (updated version online).
Every January tens of thousands of people participate in the March for Life in Washington at the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. And for five years in a row the New York Times failed to run a single story on the march in its print edition (it marked the 2011 march with a couple of photos on page 12).
This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper's National section, on page 9.
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein, in Atlanta to cover the annual meeting of Roman Catholic bishops, "Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama's Policy on Birth Control Coverage," portrayed the church as on the defensive over its fight for religious freedom, as did the story's text box ("Acknowledging criticism, even from some Catholics"). It was embellished with a photo not of the bishops but a small group of protesters in support of liberal nuns censored by the Vatican.
At least Goodstein didn't put the phrase "religious liberty" in scare quotes, as she did with "religious freedom" in a February article hostile to the church's opposition to Obama requiring religious institutions to provide birth control.
One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.
So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn't that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and religion reporter Laurie Goodstein profiled GOP candidate Rick Santorum for the front of Sunday's New York Times and seemed uncomfortable with the candidate's brand of strong Catholicism: "From 'Nominal Catholic' to Clarion of Faith – In Santorum's Religious Journey, Wife and Family Were Key."
The Times described how Santorum's dinner-table discussion with his future father-in-law led him on his path of strong anti-abortion and Catholic convictions.