Chris Matthews purports to be a Catholic.
What the fuck does that mean? She had some similarly dismissive line about Matthews’ religion in chapter 4 of her book, which was too small an issue to bother with at the time, but this pattern is odd.
Chris Matthews was raised Catholic, attended a Catholic high school and Catholic college. He continues to profess a belief in Roman Catholic Christianity. He is Catholic, for all meaningful purposes.
But because Matthews disagrees with what Cupp, an avowed atheist, thinks Catholics should think, she wants to read him out of the Church. This, after having told her interviewer: “I want them [the media], when they do talk about God, to be a little more respectful of the fact that 90% of this country believes in God and 80% is Christian.”
Matthews’ pro-evolution views are entirely within established Catholic doctrine. Cupp never mentions that the Pope has endorsed evolution as good science, that Church leaders have rejected creationism, nor indeed that most Catholics are pro-evolution, as are a slight majority of mainline Protestants. More generally, American Catholics tend to be more liberal than non-Catholics. A majority of Catholics voted for President Obama in 2008. In other words, Cupp’s media attacks on Matthews’s faith are – by the asinine standards she set for herself – disrespectful of Catholics. She’s not only apparently unaware of Catholic doctrine, she’s prepared to read any Catholic out of the Church simply for disagreeing with what she happens to think Catholics ought to believe.
Cupp says that she’s “getting my masters in religious studies,” so I hope some of her professors set her straight. Perhaps they’ll also have her read some of the New Testament, so she’ll know what Christianity is based on. Doing so would stop her saying stupid things like this:
Mediaite: Do you think Obama meeting with Billy Graham done anything to quell concerns that Christian Americans have?
Cupp: No. He’s met with rabbis, he apparently gets private sermons up at Camp David. All of that is fine. Much is private and not for public consumption which is odd in and of itself. The fact of the matter is the president is continually elevating atheism to the status of other faiths when they have nothing to do with one another. He’s constantly trying to preach superiority of science over faith.
In reverse order:
- Sometimes science is superior to faith. I know which one I want the President to apply in trying to block epidemic flu, for instance. But I can’t think of a time when the President has set science above faith; it’s more like he puts them on different shelves.
- Atheism does not “have nothing to do” with religion. By some standards, it is a religion. But as a friend likes to say, calling atheism a religion is like calling baldness a hair color. To say that atheism has nothing to do with religion is like saying baldness has nothing to do with scalps.
- Finally, it is not “odd” for the President to be religious in a way that is private and “not for public consumption.” It’s how things ought to be.
I mean, was it “a slap in the face” when some guy 2,000 years ago said:
Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
What about when that same dude was all:
Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
As Cupp may learn some day, Jesus was pretty averse to the idea of his followers praying in public and making a big deal out of what should be private devotions. Cupp, who is (again) not Christian, presumes to say what “religious Americans” think (as if there were some uniform set of views on President Obama among all religious Americans), and to decree that private devotion – devotion of exactly the sort Jesus demanded of his followers – is “odd in and of itself.”
All that’s odd is her acceptance of politically conservative talking points as accurate statements of Christian doctrine. They aren’t. Hopefully NYU’s religious studies program will set her straight about America’s religious diversity.