One of the many manifestations of the media’s bias is its tendentious treatment of the Catholic Church. Seeing the Church as a historic impediment to the advance of liberalism, the media tends to favor whatever weakens her. Hence, liberal revolutionaries within the Church, who seek to throw her teachings into disarray, can always count on favorable treatment from the media. Reporters accord the motives of these revolutionaries a respect they rarely grant conservatives, who are often depicted as hidebound weirdos.
The more liberal the Catholic, the more sympathetic the coverage. One can almost say that in the media’s eyes the only good Catholic is a bad one — that is, a Catholic who rejects the teachings of the Church. The latest beneficiary of this bias is Joe Biden, who conforms perfectly to the media’s conception of a useful and nonthreatening Catholic.
The puff pieces about his “faith” continue to pour out. The Washington Post recently wondered, hopefully, if Biden’s dissents from Church teaching might “redefine” Catholicism. CNN headlined a treacly piece on Biden’s churchgoing: “Biden’s Catholic faith will be on full display as the first publicly churchgoing president in decades.” What Catholic faith? He opposes Church teaching on multiple issues, but the piece treats that as a minor detail. The piece reads almost like a press release from the Biden campaign.
Conservative Catholics never receive such fawning coverage. Reporters don’t equate their policy preferences with “compassion” or cast their devotion as laudable. Instead, their fidelity is presented as evidence of extremism. The media reserves its toughest questioning not for renegade Catholics but for those in whom the dogma “lives loudly,” as Amy Coney Barrett found out.
The media exploits the heterodox confusion within the Church to make Biden’s irregular faith seem normal. CNN found a liberal Jesuit to praise it: “For Joe, faith is both a private devotion — he prays regularly, he goes to church. But it’s also public. He’s open about and proud that he’s a Catholic,” said Fr. Kevin O’Brien, a friend and spiritual adviser to Biden and his wife Jill.
O’Brien, now the president of Santa Clara University in California, was heading up the campus ministry at Georgetown University when he met the Delaware senator more than a decade ago. Biden regularly went to Mass at Georgetown’s chapel or at nearby Holy Trinity parish when in Washington, a practice he continued during his eight years as vice president and which some around him say he’ll continue as president.
O’Brien is Biden’s kind of priest. A few years back, he made news for saying, “I don’t think Jesus would care much about whether we say Merry Christmas or not.” O’Brien feared the greeting might offend other religions. He urged Catholics to avoid “confronting” others.
One wonders if he will give that same counsel to Biden, whose administration is shaping up to be one long confrontation with Catholics. Secularists are licking their lips at the prospect of his anti-Catholic presidency, taking hope from his promise to renew the Obama-era harassment of the Little Sisters of the Poor. But they hope he goes even beyond those measures. As the Religion News Service reports, the “Secular Democrats of America” are clamoring for a new dawn of secularism:
The group offered several recommendations to help “reframe” concepts of patriotism in ways that are more inclusive. Among them were encouraging politicians to avoid terms like “God and country”; promoting non-theistic and humanistic chaplains in the military; including nonreligious representatives at interfaith gatherings; and suggesting the use of the country’s onetime unofficial motto “E Pluribus Unum” — Latin for “out of many, one” — instead of the motto adopted in 1956, “In God We Trust,” which the group argues excludes nontheists and polytheists.
Meanwhile, transgender groups are lobbying Biden to discriminate against religious schools that don’t accommodate their agenda. Biden, who has said transgenderism represents the “civil rights” issue of our time, is likely to entertain the proposal. He sees no conflict between his faith and such affronts to the natural moral law.
The media demands the “separation of church and state” but approves of the marriage between liberalism and religion, which has shriveled as a result. What has the media burbling about Biden’s faith is not its devotion but its emptiness, a porousness that lends itself to left-wing politicization.