Face the Nation panders to faith

June 22, 2015 • 12:00 pm

Reader Doug sent me a link to the segment of “Face the Nation” with the note:

Did you see Face the Nation’s segment on Charleston?  A long, shockingly fulsome ode to Christianity disguised as a news talk show.  It starts at 1:50.  Of course, they don’t ask why “god” allowed this to happen.  Really disappointing.
Judge for yourself; I didn’t find it so disturbing because the discussion of religion was limited.  Here’s PBS’s summary:

PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill, Washington Post’s David Ignatius and Michael Gerson, and radio host and author Hugh Hewitt discuss the shooting in Charleston, political fixes to address violence, and the power of forgiveness.

Click the screenshot below to go to the 15-minute segment. There’s a very short ad at the beginning.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 9.56.15 AM

25 thoughts on “Face the Nation panders to faith

  1. from wikipedia:
    “] Gerson is considered to be a leading figure of the evangelical intelligentsia movement.”

    (Those 2 words are mutually exclusive). But, No surprise that religion dominated that broadcast. A bunch of faithists – all too common on PBS, and NPR. Sadly.

      1. I’m not sure I’d go that far. They provide a great source of general news in a way that the networks (*choke*) don’t, and they provide drama and comedy worth watching. I’d prefer they were all atheists, but…

        1. Their drama and comedy is always kept within a very narrow mainstream range – to not offend, to not challenge.

          The general news? A finely polished facade of faux impartiality is their stock in trade. Sometimes they don’t even bother with the facade e.g. what NPR broadcast during the lead up to the gulf war. There was a reason that referring to it as National Pentagon Radio became de rigeur among some of the more sentient listeners.

          Same thing with their coverage of Israel’s most recent “mowing the lawn” in Gaza -note how much airtime was given and the amount of representatives they had on from one side versus the other. Same thing with the Russia/Ukraine coverage.

  2. I always wonder what it means “love your enemy” and to “forgive someone”. In this context, if it doesn’t mean that this crime should go unpunished then its a gratuitous gesture, an empty statement, void of any meaning.

    1. I find that kind of disgusting. These snivelling fools trying to prove their Christian cred by being more ‘forgiving’ than the guy next door. Spineless.

      There is a place for forgiveness, even in cases where death was caused by carelessness. But that has no place here other than some hyper religious sham.

    2. Yes, the meaning of forgiveness is an interesting question. I think it has to mean that your bear them no ill will, and are prepared to carry on as though the event had not occurred; clearly not the case here.

      Also I think it is important to note that forgiveness has to be asked for, and can only come with repentance. How you forgive someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven?

    3. If I were a victim, and could a victim be aware, I’d be thinking, WTF do ya mean, “forgiveness?!” I was fucking killed, man!

  3. Parsons seem to creep out of the bushes to preach forgiveness when dealing with racist crimes against blacks, but for crimes against whites and property, the rhetoric usually gravitates to hell and brimstone.

  4. I believe it was the normal mush you get on network television news or almost all news. Political pundits are not going to answer or fix any of the tough issues. They are paid to do something else and it is boring to watch.

    They all know, without a doubt, nothing is going to be done about guns in this country. Nothing is going to be done about racism either. They will finally take down the flag there in South Carolina and everyone will move on and wait for the next young male with a gun or five.

    What would convince me that the U.S. was actually going to do something? Get rid of the second amendment for starters. Or maybe just as likely — let’s take that amendment literally, right down to the bone. In 1790 the only guns were muzzle loaders. So lets adjust the 2nd amendment to specify, you can have all the muzzle loaders you want.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Everything that will be done will be symbolic and useless.

      White US Terrorists will continue to attack blacks, guns will proliferate even more (watch for classes in Charleston on ‘self defense’ and the ‘open carry’ movement to move to urban centres.

      If I hadn’t written off the American South before, I certainly have now.

    2. Do you really expect that you can do something as drastic as removing one of the bill of rights without the rest collapsing as different poloitcal forces try to enforce their own agendas?

      Once you pull the 2nd, there will be much less political will to protect the first, the fourth, the fifth….

      1. Jay: as a 2nd Amendment activist myself (a view that I understand, and accept, is not popular here), I must say that the 4th Amendment is already pretty much history. Like most of the rest of the BoR (even the 8th!), it has been under non-stop assault for over 40 years by the insane, idiotic War on Some Drugs. And while I don’t do any criminal defense work myself, I have esteemed colleagues in other states (including a past-President of the Utah criminal defense bar) who have presented good evidence that the 6th is also largely imaginary. So the collapse of the rest of the BoR may not be the best argument for upholding the 2nd.

        And Randy: I assume that the “muzzle loader” argument was just trolling in a moment of ire. Please correct me if I’m wrong. In the 1790s, the government also only had muzzle loaders. And any number of statements from the Founders establish that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to give citizens parity in firepower with the government. Hence the requirement (expressed in exactly those words by SCOTUS in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)), that only MILITARY weapons were protected by the 2nd A. As for the argumentum ad absurdum that this licenses personal use of nuclear submarines, well…maybe SCOTUS may have to revisit Miller.

        If it is your intent to argue that citizens should be outgunned by the government, then by all means, MAKE that argument. I think that you’re wrong. First, the “the Founders couldn’t have anticipated technology” argument is silly on its face. In 1790, the most devastating technology available under the 1st Amendment was the printing press. Are you arguing that the 1st A does not apply to the internet, radio, and television?

        But more importantly, all of the hoplophobia, and no one ever mentions getting guns out of the hands of cops–statistically the most violent among us. With rates of domestic violence that make the NFL look like choirboys. And rates of violent crime–especially GUN crimes–far in excess of CCW permit holders.

        And no one ever mentions the fact that the darlings of the anti-BoR movement are surrounded by ARMED guards wherever they go. Do you really think that Barbara Boxer is going to give up HER security detail? Explain to me again why the cops and politicians get all the guns they want–no questions asked–but somehow you’re not good enough for equal protection under the law.

        1. Does anyone think that I’m exaggerating about how violent and out-of-control cops are, and their propensity for committing crimes with guns? See http://www.real-time-with-bill-maher-blog.com/index/2015/6/26/when-cops-act-like-pigs#commenting=. Note how this ISN’T being reported in the press. And I can come up with such examples every day. ALSO not being reported in the press. You need to know where to look…like here: https://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/police_corruption_report.pdf. Or here: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/jun/24/weeks_corrupt_cops_stories.

          And then ask yourself why you aren’t reading these stories in your local newspaper. And why you’re not seeing them on the evening news.

            1. Thank you, Diane, G.

              I’ve found Balko’s writings here and there, usually by googling something specific, but I’ve got to find a way to get some sort of subscription that sends me a heads-up whenever he pens a new essay.

              Suffice it to say that he doesn’t appear–ever–in our local paper here. But then, this is Ventura County, where the sheriff’s department and the prosecutors get everything that they want, and the rest of the county services fight over the scraps. (I’m not speaking philosophically here–there’s a specific ordinance that says pretty much that.) And where I’ve heard potential jurors say, in the courthouse halls, things like this, with no trace of irony: “Well, if he wasn’t guilty, then why would the police have arrested him in the first place?”

              No, Mr. Balko’s writings wouldn’t be welcomed in the VC Star.

              1. Balko is pretty amazing–he tracks down and exposes so much. I’d imagine you could subscribe to his columns via the Washington Post, but that might mean you’d have to subscribe to the WaPo itself (which I do). I haven’t read “Dispatches from the Culture Wars”–Ed Brayton’s blog over at FTB–for years, but when I did he frequently covered police brutality/criminality as well.

                I agree with you that it’s a very unknown but critically important subject. You could also check to see if Balko is syndicated anywhere else. (Or request that your local paper carry it–Ha!)

  5. The piety that’s been on parade is to be expected, I suppose, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. Martha Raddatz was no better – It seemed like the program was a commercial for the Church. I’ve been continually frustrated by the characterization that somehow the surviving families of these poor people are all going to be OK and are better than you and me because they have Jesus, etc.

    The church happened to be where these people were shot, and that was indeed horrific. But somehow this idea that they are better off being killed there any more than any other murder location reminds me of the idea that ‘martyrs’ for Al Qaeda get 72 virgins in Heaven. It’s not been stated as explicitly, but I’m constantly hearing about how great this church is, how it has ‘roots in the community’ (whatever that means).

    While I’m disgusted by the vile views and actions of Dylann Roof, I’m also annoyed by this inability for people in the Southern US to separate the Church from life. It’s almost as if they were Medieval peasants.

  6. Gwen Ifill’s father was a pastor. In his era, church was one of the few places blacks could organize.

  7. I personally find the concept of “forgiveness” a false concept. No sane person can “forgive” a transgression like what happened in Charleston.

    You can get to the point where you can put a hurt aside, _and move on_, and perhaps that’s what some people call forgiveness, but I don’t.
    Putting aside a hurt so that you can move on is rational. “Forgiving” or “loving” someone who has hurt you so badly is psychopathy.

  8. I love how everybody claims they are looking to god for their strength to forgive and that this whole matter only deepens their faith in a loving god. Where was that loving god when they were all praying and sitting like little ducks in that church? If he couldn’t be called on to help them at that moment what makes them think he’s about to do anything now? Religion is the wackiest hoax ever pulled by humans on other humans.

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