The Media & Evangelical Presidential Candidates

I’ve mentioned double standards so often when it comes to media coverage that I’m afraid we can become numb to the ongoing hypocrisy. Yet I must point to another example today.

Remember how outraged the media was when they discovered that candidate Barack Obama was a member of a church where the pastor, Jeremiah Wright, was an advocate of the terrorist organization Hamas and who infamously declared that America should be damned by God? You don’t recall that outrage? Well, neither do I. It never materialized.

Today, though, we are treated to a dedicated investigation of the religious beliefs of Republican presidential contenders. Take Michele Bachmann, for instance. Just what did she mean when she referenced the Scripture that talks about submission in marriage? Does her husband control her every move? Is she just this robot without a mind of her own who does his evil bidding? And when she says that homosexuality does not comport with Biblical morality, she surely must be a member of some fringe group, right? Well, it is true that she has been part of a fringe group all her life; they’re called Lutherans. They broke away from the Catholic Church back in the sixteenth century. True fanatics.

She sent the media into a tizzy again a few days ago when she joked that the earthquake and the hurricane could be a sign from God that Washington ought to wake up to its irresponsibility. All who heard her knew the comment was tongue-in-cheek. Not so the media.

Rick Perry is another candidate who causes the media’s blood pressure to rise because of his evangelical approach to life. Why, he actually participated in a public prayer rally last month. How unpresidential. How “fundamentalist.” Why, doesn’t he know anything about separation of church and state? Then, when a child, egged on by his mother, asked him a question about evolution, he had the gall to question the validity of some of its claims. He said there were holes in the theory. You could almost hear the collective gasp as the media suffered a mass heart attack. Rick Perry is “anti-science”; he’s a backward, neanderthal [using the proper evolutionary term] knuckle-dragger. How could we ever entrust the government to someone so unenlightened?

From the media’s perspective, people such as Bachmann and Perrry—and you could also add Herman Cain and Rick Santorum—are wackos. Yet where does one find true wackiness when it comes to worship?

Keep watching. This theme will continue. The double standard, sadly, is alive and well.