Thursday, December 01, 2005

Perverting Religion for Political Purposes

An interesting commentary appeared recently in the Tampa Tribune regarding a Catholic school in Queens, N.Y. that fired an unmarried pre-kindergarten teacher who admitted that she is pregnant.

In its conclusion to the short piece the newspaper, which has a history of trouble with accuracy, said this:

“Religious freedom should allow the school to enforce its standards without government interference. But it's hard to imagine that Jesus would want this woman fired. After all, his own mother once found herself pregnant and unmarried.”

On the one hand, the paper graciously allows that the school, a private religious institution, was within its rights to establish and maintain standards that are commensurate with its religious beliefs, and that the school had the right to fire the teacher for her transgression. No problem. But on the other hand, the Tribune makes a clearly outlandish and inaccurate statement in order to rebuke the school for its choice, to wit: that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was unmarried and pregnant, implying that Mary, just like the teacher, had indulged in pre-marital sex and had become pregnant as a result.

Surely the professionals at the Tribune are at least vaguely familiar with the story of Jesus. The Bible is “the Bible” on Jesus, from conception to ascension. It is customary for journalists to back up their stories with sources, and they could easily have consulted a Bible before launching into what appears to be wholly unfamiliar territory for them.

Whether one believes in God, Jesus or the Bible is not the issue here. The issue is the Tribune’s obviously careless attitude towards facts. The Bible tells us that Mary was a virgin (for those of you at the Tribune, that means that she had never had sexual intercourse), and therefore is unambiguously not in the same boat as the pregnant, unmarried pre-kindergarten teacher.

So we have to ask the question, “ did the Tribune really make an error, or did it just twist things around to suit its purposes?” I suspect the latter, although I don’t doubt that there is also ignorance of the details of Jesus’ conception.

It is disheartening, but increasingly not surprising, that a liberal newspaper—like the liberal wife of a former President of the United States who declared that Jesus was a homeless child—would pervert a major component of any religion for political purposes. Yet that is what has happened. Again.

There seems to be no limit to the lengths the Left is willing to go to advance its agenda.

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