Fox & Friends Calls Obama’s Use of Scripture Repugnant and Out of Bounds

You have probably noticed by now that Sunday is a day on which I particularly enjoy taking the Religious Right to task for hypocrisy and ignorance of the Bible, and just plain un-Jesus-like mean-spiritedness. I think of it privately as my “Sunday sermon.” Today is one of those days. As always, it’s a target rich environment out there on the Religious Right, but I think you will appreciate what follows.

Do you remember just the other day, on November 19, when Fox & Friends appealed to Chuck Norris: “Chuck Norris’ point was, remember the time when American presidents weren’t afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981.″ Cue Reagan’s Christmas speech that year and Bethlehem and Wise Men and Christmas trees and the love of Jesus.

Just two days later, on November 21, President Obama is quoting the Bible. Speaking of immigration reform, Obama said,

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”

Were Elisabeth Hasselbeck and her cohosts happy? No. They were outraged. It’s “repugnant” proclaimed Tucker Carlson. “This is the Christian left at work, and its repugnant.”

That’s right, progressive Christians. You have no right to the Bible or to anything it says. Or more importantly, to anything the Religious Right imagines it says.

Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:

Whoa, first you say he doesn’t express his Christian faith often enough, and when he does, you say it’s repugnant?

The president was “invoking scriptures,” we are told by Steve Doocy, “which I believe had to do with feeding the poor and the hungry and nothing about visas.”

Charles Krauthammer was brought on to say, “I find the president’s audacity here rather remarkable.” Krauthammer, far from the most astute or even honest observer, went on to claim that the president didn’t make this announcement earlier because it would have hurt Democratic chances in the midterms. Why did he do nothing, Krauthammer asked, back in 2009 and 2010 “when he had control of the White House, the House, and the Senate?”

Carlson went on to say, “For this guy specifically, the president who spent his career defending late-term abortion, among other things, lecturing us on Christian faith? That’s too much. That is too much.”

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the cohost assigned the role of saying things nobody else is stupid enough to say, was not sure how to respond and pulled out Proverbs on the issue of listening to counselors. Obama has those in the White House but Hasselbeck insisted the Bible must be talking about Congress! And she was pretty sure, kinda maybe, that scripturally, Obama’s quote was “not what the scholars behind the Bible would interpret as proper use, perhaps.”

Carlson just could not get over it, complaining, “But to quote scripture? That is totally out of – I mean that is out of bounds!”

According to this feckless trio, Obama was trying to use scripture to guilt people into doing something. Boy, we’ve never seen that before in the entire history of Christianity! Why, it’s…it’s unprecedented!

My entire life growing up Christian was one long, relentless tale of guilt. This is the one thing former Christians will tell you they are happy to be finally free of. And for good reason: if you go back and read the writings of the Church Fathers, Tertullian and others, you will see that guilt pervades their thinking. Guilt over pretty much every worldly thing you can imagine. Women should feel guilty for attracting the stares of men; men should be guilty for wanting to have sex with women. You name it, there is guilt over it. And shame.

Here is a president who isn’t finding guilt and shame in scripture, but hope, and compassion. The things we have seen far too seldom in the long history of Christianity with all its genocides and crusades and pogroms and inquisitions and witch burnings.

What is out of bounds is these people pretending to be Christians and followers of Jesus. Far from using the Bible to kill people like the Bush administration, Obama is using the Bible to help people. You know, like Jesus did.

These are people who like to throw around Jesus’ name like it’s a holy hand grenade, but they don’t know the first thing about acting like Jesus told people to act, and not to act. Like don’t be hypocrites.

First and foremost, there should have been some love on display, because Jesus said to love your enemies and they quite clearly consider Obama an enemy. In the second place, if they sincerely believed the president misquoted the Bible, they should have forgiven him, because Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

But Hasselbeck and her clown-car cohosts just love lobbing stones at everyone who passes by, displaying thuggish behavior all out of character for somebody who claims to follow Jesus. In the hands of Fox News, the sign of the cross has become nothing but a gang sign for racists.

36 Replies to “Fox & Friends Calls Obama’s Use of Scripture Repugnant and Out of Bounds”

  1. Well…
    There are Christians, and there are Christians.
    Americans lean towards the first.
    It affords them an opportunity to hate on outsiders.
    Christianity only embarrasses them.

  2. They’re just expressing their HypoChristian analysis. How else can one tell if a non-conservative’s use of any particular passage from the bible is “Fair and Balanced”?


  3. Well, I thought the use of Scripture was perfect: we all were once “strangers” here. In fact, I thought the whole short speech was simply amazing. President Obama gave his reasons for announcing this particular executive order, he explained in detail what it would cover and what it would not, and he addressed the better part in each of us.

    I certainly spent some time afterwards thinking about how my ancestors struggled when they first came to this country back in the 19th century and the hardships they had faced before making the voyage. And I thought about the harrowing life of those children who are US citizens but whose parents, who gave them the opportunity of citizenship here, are not.

    I believe that President Obama’s heartfelt and simply worded speech, although not shown by Fox or by CBS or ABC or NBC, should have a place in history along with the Gettysburg Address. And one day it will.

  4. I’m a Catholic, and I disagree with what this writer says about the Fathers of the Church.

    Nevertheless, I agree with him that the religious and political Right are being hypocrites when they complain about Obama’s use of scripture. To hear them tell it, you’d think they hold the copyright on scripture, and that people owe them money every time they quote it.

  5. Once Elizabeth left the View her stupidity and ignorance was really exposed. Barbara did a hell of a job hiding her lack of knowledge of anything. There’s no difference between Elizabeth, Bachman, and Palin. They are all stupid asses.

  6. On the contrary. Please read, or re-read, Tertullian, particularly “On the Veiling of Virgins” and “Exhortation to Chastity.” We are talking here about “shame” not just for sex, but the human condition itself.

    For a good general source detailing sex-related guilt, I recommend Peter Brown’s “The Body & Society: Men, Women & Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity” (Columbia University Press, 2008).

  7. Because we have the Fishers and the Bartons, we are used to quasi christians who lie for a living complaining about others christianity

    Koocy, Dilmeade and the nearly naked girl in the middle. Who could ask for a better scenario for saturday night live?

  8. In the eyes of much of the conservative right the “I got mine so screw you” mentality is reason enough to deny the opportunity of citizenship to newcomers.

  9. In the hands of Fox News, the sign of the cross has become nothing but a gang sign for racists.

    Looks like I have a new signature.

  10. Last time I checked, no one had to get permission to quote scripture.

    If Pres. Obama said breathing is good, the idiots at Fox would encourage everyone to start holding their breath.

    They are idiots.

  11. Fox & Friends is worse than the bottom of the barrel. F&F is the scummy mud found underneath the barrel.
    You’ve successfully illustrated the Christian Right’s idea that God is only for them and the rest of us are going to hell anyway and can be treated accordingly-Christianity as an exclusive men’s club.
    Their rationale that they’ve announced their love of God and now can do anything they want is repugnant.

  12. Well said as usual.

    One thing though:
    United States of America is the land of immigrants AND the ancestors of slaves they held captive and ruthlessly abused and murdered.

    Why is slavery left out? Embarrassment? Guilt? Shame? Ignorance? Doesn’t matter?

  13. These gop christians are the same christians who used the Bible for their specialized interests. By using the Bible they can justify any wicked thing they do.

    The whole faux news group are shams, racist, bullshitters, liars and jokes.

  14. Why wasn’t the picture of the Fox people an actual video of them saying what your article states they are saying? I was disappointed about that, otherwise, an OK article.

  15. If Obama got down on his one knee and invoke the Tebow’s Tebowing, Fox News would have the mother of all hypocritical outrage.

  16. Fox will politicize anything – even scripture, in order to bash Obama. Their hatred of him knows no bounds.

  17. “This is the Christian left at work, and its repugnant.”

    I always thought that Jesus Christ was a nice man, and that he forgives ignorance. I think he would find this statement unforgivable. I do, and I’m not even one of his fans.

    Doesn’t she have a book burning she needs to attend? BTW, TYVM, Barbara Walters, for lending this wicked vermin the air of legitimate intellectualism.

  18. In addition to all of this, aren’t they trying to deliberately curtail Pres. Obama’s First Amendment right to free speech? They’d yell like stuck pigs if they were the targets.

  19. The President obviously didn’t get the Memo that specifically states that the Wingnuts OWN the Bible.

    Ronald Ray-Gun quoting Scripture is Good.
    President Obama quoting Scripture is BAD.

    The Wingnuts will then spend the next month
    telling the World that there is Nothing RACIST about that double standard.

  20. What SUMPTUOUS irony! …Seems a black man can’t even quote relevant scripture without FOX News blowing out their a$$ gasket.

  21. I was watching the live stream of the President’s speech the other night. As soon as the “verse” came out of the President’s mouth, I knew the idiots would have their feigned indignation at the ready. And in usual fashion, they did not disappoint.

    They are so predictable!

  22. Hi Derrick, I liked your post and I decided to look up embarrassed. Here is what I found; “verb 3rd person present: embarrasses
    cause (someone) to feel awkward, self-conscious, or ashamed.”

    Here are some very interesting “synonyms: mortify, shame, put someone to shame, humiliate, abash, chagrin, make uncomfortable, make self-conscious” : mortify, shame, put someone to shame, humiliate, abash, chagrin, make uncomfortable, make self-conscious; discomfit, disconcert, discompose, upset, distress; informal show up, discombobulate.” I think discombobulate is my favorite in this context.
    Just another example of how President Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. These people on Fox remind me of trained attack dogs.

  23. I just wish the citizens of this country could get along without ANY religion at all. God is a concept, nothing more. Billions of people worldwide are worshipping fake deities and adhering to the multi-edited writings of those from a few thousand years ago (before there was plumbing or modern medicine).

    Invoking some religious wordcraft is just a way to appeal to the masses that have been brainwashed by religion-not the smartest demographic within the populace.

    Why don’t we have a 3rd political party called the “Logic and Pragmat

  24. Can’t help but notice Dizzy Lizzy doesn’t show her biceps on Fox.
    It didn’t matter if it was 15 below zero on the View, she was going sleeveless.
    Always had her arms plastered to her sides to accentuate the muscles.
    Old Roger must not get turned on by muscles.

  25. From the hypocrisy,lying, hatred, bearing false witness, words and deeds of the right, one can get a SMALL sense of what the political atmosphere was like when Jesus walked the earth.
    Not comparing Barack Obama to Jesus, just the similar heart condition of the people.

  26. No Charles Krauthammer! The Audacity is YOURS!!!! You Idiot!! I suggest that the entire Fox&Fiends crew go take a airborne fornication in a rotating deep fried dough ring!!!

  27. This is getting downright pathetic and sick. When the President quotes from the Bible and he gets attacked for it by the sociopath haters at FOX….something is wrong in this country, or should I say with the minds of Republicans who claim to be Christians and Patriots. it is shameless how they carry on at FOX. The angst is overbearing and disgusting. Who watches these morons? And why? Carlton Tucker and Hasselbeck are the ones out of bounds, and the other idiot on the sofa too.

  28. HH..Crescent Cross and Crying Star, how I wonder just how far, you will go to rule the Earth, Guilt us to our graves from birth. sung to Twinkle Twinkle little star.

  29. As far as I’m concerned the Reich Wing can HAVE Christianity in any form they chose! Let them have it all! Hell I’ll gift wrap the crap and give it to them for Saturnalia! and Sowhein! Let them have all the fantasy they want! Let them swim in it till their fingers and toes get all pruney!

  30. For a reason in his mind, Origen one of the most revered fathers of the early church, castrated himself to take away that sinful part of his body.Of course, there are things to be ashamed of as humans. Hipocrisy, lying, greed, accumulation, opressing the poor of the land, lack of compassion, injustice, and so on. Our conservative friends, that use to believe that they have the exclusive of faith, are guilty, but not ashamed all of those “values”.

  31. Marketing schemes, aimed at subconscious emotions such as fear, hatred, divisiveness, and tribal exclusiveness, and the worst of our primitive instincts now trumps conscious reason in our political world. Advertising big-bucks funding has purchased our political debate and reduced it to emotional sound bytes – emotibytes, if you will. Such is the way of the oligarchy.

    It’s easier to criticize than create. Whatever Obama does, spin it the other way. If that doesn’t work, shout, “Benghazi!”

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