The Hypocrisy of Father Jonathan Morris

Father Jonathan Morris is a Catholic priest and Fox News contributor. He recently freaked out about a “black mass” in Oklahoma City and demanded that the government prevent it from happening “in the name of free speech.” But like so many Christian righters, he claims to be an advocate of religious freedom.

If we suggest that the government is the one who decides who can violate their conscience, my goodness, what have we come to? It comes down to this. Do we believe in the individual’s ability to decide what they believe in? And whether or not the government is going to step in and say, you are not allowed to believe in that. We have a long tradition and that’s the very purpose of the first amendment, a long tradition, the government saying, you know what? We are not able to judge what you decide is right or wrong, but we’re going to respect it. That is the very essential part of our government.

Like so many Christians, when Morris says “religious freedom” what he really means is “Christian privilege.” It’s religious freedom for him but not for anyone else. And this is one of the key differences between humanists and civil libertarians and the Christian right. The ACLU defends the rights of Christians, Muslims, Jews and virtually every other group when they are violated. Humanists fought for the release of Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan and push for the end of blasphemy laws all over the world, laws that frequently are aimed at Christians. But the Christian right legal groups only care about the rights of Christians and will cheer on the destruction of the rights of non-Christians.

That’s why the ACLJ endorsed blasphemy laws in Russia and tried to deny a Muslim group in New York the right to open an Islamic center in a building they owned. That’s why Liberty Counsel screams bloody murder at the imagined denial of rights to Christians while publicly demanding that the government censor a private, ticketed event hosted by satanists because it offends Christians who don’t have to attend anyway. Their position is that non-Christians must be forced to sit through Christian prayers at public meetings of government bodies, but Christians should be allowed to censor events held by non-Christians that they don’t have to attend or watch in any way whatsoever. This is Christian privilege, not religious liberty.

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  • hunter

    Bryan Fischer explained it — weren’t you listening? The First Amendment only applies to Christians.

  • alanb

    We have a long tradition and that’s the very purpose of the first amendment, a long tradition, the government saying, you know what? We are not able to judge what you decide is right or wrong, but we’re going to respect it. That is the very essential part of our government.

    re·spect, verb To allow me to do whatever I want no matter how it affects others.

  • eric

    Bierce said it best:

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.

  • raven

    The hypocrisy goes all the way down. It’s the main contradiction of xianity.

    1. The RCC claims most of the universe’s spiritual power. God, jesus, Holy Spook, Mary, Angels, Sainsts. Powerful wizards known as the Pope and priests plus 1 billion believers who at least provide warm bodies and pay for it all.

    2. Then they don’t do anything with it. They don’t act like they really believe it at all. Father J. Morris and his powerful church can’t even handle one Black Mass by some guy no one ever heard of in Oklahoma City. They want the government and/or the mobs to stop it.

    3. One wonders what the RCC and Morris would do if they were confronted by some real underachieving bottom line demon. Probably demand the US military take care of it.

    FWIW, my cat has as much supernatural power as the RCC, the Pope, and the priests put together. She just doesn’t demand billions of dollars to do anything with it.

  • raven

    The RCC hasn’t been able to get good priests for generations. Even the hierarchy doesn’t look too bright any more.

    In the Oklahoma City babblefest, they showed this. It was a golden opportunity to show what they have, one sent from heaven, if heaven even exists.

    They should have just had a counter Mass/demonstration/party. With a few hundred or thousand people. It would have made the cable news in a heartbeat and the video would be a hit on Youtube. And it is guaranteed that no demons would be called up by the Black Mass.

    Really, they have all the intelligence and imagination of a starfish.

  • John Pieret

    Raven: What have you against starfish?

  • smrnda

    When people whine that their religious freedom is being taken away when their business can’t choose to discriminate against homosexuals and such, they should be reminded that nobody is *forced* to enter into business. Is it Statist tyranny that I would be *forced* to wash my hands if I was preparing food in my own restaurant? No, since I’m not required to open a businesses, it’s not oppression to make me follow rules once it’s open. I could put my religious beliefs (or whatever) above my desire to make money.

  • thebookofdave

    What does God need with a starfish?

  • Michael Heath

    Jon Morris:

    We [the government] are not able to judge what you decide is right or wrong, but we’re going to respect it.

    This is wrong from several perspectives. This guy’s an idiot.

  • DonDueed

    When I read the quote in Ed’s original post, I thought it was from someone refuting Father Morris.

    If taken in that light, it sounds like a clear defense of the Satanists’ right to have their Black Mass without government interference.

    So it strikes me as very odd that Morris is using those very same words to ask the government to interfere.