Got news? State Department edition

virgen_de_guadalupe2I thought I’d wait to write this post until I saw mainstream media coverage of one particular aspect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. And then, thousands of stories about the visit to Mexico later, I realized that the press wasn’t going to be covering it.

Which, assuming this story is true, says a lot about the media. Here’s how Catholic News Agency reported the most recent diplomatic gaffe:

During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

You can read more about Guadalupe here, but Roman Catholics believe that the beautiful image was miraculously imprinted on the cloak of a 16th-century peasant. It is Mexico’s most popular and important religious image and the basilica that houses it is the second-most popular Catholic shrine in the world.

Here are the details of the exchange:

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”

Now, it’s one thing to not know what the Catholic Church teaches about Guadalupe. But it’s another for the State Department not to have briefed Clinton prior to her visit. Of course, those are political considerations.

Here’s what I’m wondering: Why was this story not deemed newsworthy? I’m sure some people would say that it’s just bias — that if, say, a Bush Administration official had said it, we’d be hearing all about it. I’m not sure. I suspect that it’s more likely we’re seeing the media’s ignorance of Mexico’s religious heritage and her most important religious picture.

The reader who sent this story in thought the faux pas was certainly worthy of at least a line or two in coverage of the visit. I agree.

This being Catholic News Agency, it’s also worth noting how the story ended:

This evening Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to receive the highest award given by Planned Parenthood Federation of America — the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization’s founder, a noted eugenicist. The award will be presented at a gala event in Houston, Texas.

You can read more mainstream media coverage of that award here. It doesn’t look like Sanger’s controversial views were deemed worthy of mention.

Image via Wikimedia commons.

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  • http://mikedelongsantafe.blogspot.com/ MDSF

    It doesn’t look like Sanger’s controversial views were deemed worthy of mention.

    It’s a fine line. Should Martin Luther’s antisemitism be mentioned every time Luther’s name comes up?

  • http://www.bravelass.blogspot.com Kamilla

    Ah, I see the problem. The folks in the Obama administration think the Goldie Hawn movie, “Protocol” was a primer.

    Yep. That about explains it.

    Kamilla

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    MDSF,

    I think Luther’s less than admirable views on any number of subjects are well known and, when not, definitely worthy of mention. In fact, it comes up a lot. Sometimes gratuitously, sometimes not.

    But I can’t tell the number of times intelligent, educated people knew absolutely nothing about Sanger’s views. Indeed, swore that it couldn’t be true.

    For a “human rights” award to be given in this eugenecists’ name to a prominent cabinet official . . . seems like it might be a time to mention it. Maybe not. Probably not, in fact. Still, just interesting to contemplate how the media handles things, what it chooses to highlight, etc.

  • Carl Vehse

    Hot Air has the story of Hillary’s latest fubar, “Obama’s not the only amateur, apparently”.

    The Catholic News Agency story also reports: “Leaving the basilica half an hour later, Mrs. Clinton told some of the Mexicans gathered outside to greet her, ‘you have a marvelous virgin!’”

    This is another example of the 0bama administration doing an excellent job of demonstrating the Peter Principle.

  • http://gsclnm@msn.com Phil

    In reply to MDSF,

    Sanger’s eugenicist efforts were a natural part of here greater work. Luther’s anti-Semitic writings were not only incidental, but even at variance with his general theology. Now, if one wanted to bring up his objections to indulgences, or penance, or purgatory, that would be germane.

    Phil

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    George Orwell well described how the media handles all the embarrassing and damaging facts about Margaret Sanger and her role in creating Planned Parenthood–he called it “the memory hole.” The last thing Planned Parenthood wants is to have their millions of our tax money going to them endangered by the truth of their virulently–but little known very recent racist roots.
    As a retired history teacher I am dismayed at how little prominent people –like Hillary–apparently care whether they get their history correct.

  • hoosier

    I must say, that CNS report was pretty atrocious. No mention of Tonantzin, syncretism, or anything else. Only a bald assertion that the image of the virgin is “miraculous” and is associated with “numerous unexplainable phenomena.” That last is pretty hilarious. Presumably they’d like to explain those phenomena as the work of God (or is that God!, to quote the rector), but of course they can’t, since they declare the phenomena unexplainable.

    So, Mollie, why didn’t you mention the appaling lack of journalistic standards exhibited by CNS? Do they get a pass because they’re a specialty religious service? They did a thinly veiled hit job on a cabinet official, which they have every right to do. But if this had appeared in Newsweek, and had been about, I don’t know, John Ashcroft, you’d have hit the roof. They even went out of their way to find a particularly unflattering, bug-eyed picture of the Sec’y of State.

    And I’m sorry, a report about Clinton’s visit to this shrine, followed by a mention of the Sanger award? It read like a non sequitur to me. But maybe that’s because I’m a godless heathen who finds the idea of divinely painted virgins and unexplainable phenomena utterly ridiculous.

    But I am curious about the standards to which this website holds the religious press. Seems like they maybe don’t get secular cutlure, or at least anthropology.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Hoosier,

    Are you referring to the CNA report or was there a CNS report as well?

    To answer your questions . . . this site looks at mainstream media coverage of religious news and not the religious press itself.

    If niche or religious or political outlets are covering something that the msm is inexplicably avoiding, we will take note of that. But, again, that’s a mainstream media issue and not a religious press issue.

  • Joe

    I don’t see why the mainstream media needs to rehash the Sanger legacy just because it is an anti-abortion movement talking point.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Do abortion supporters not care about eugenics? Do only abortion opponents find such views noteworthy? Really?

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Joe,

    I deleted your last comment because it was rude. I’ve also put you in moderation.

    Feel free to respond again without the personal insults. I encourage it.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Joe,

    Another thing, you refer to the historic fact of Sanger’s eugenicist views as a “talking point.”

    Sanger’s views on eugenics may be a pretty darn good talking point for abortion opponents. But that doesn’t mean that, just because the mainstream media has been historically hostile to the pro-life movement, it should neglect to report these facts.

    And, I might add, I actually didn’t argue that the eugenicist past needed to be included or even should be included. Far from it. I simply noted that her views weren’t deemed newsworthy. And in my follow-up comment, I said the occasion of the award might be a good time to report on it, maybe not, and, in fact, probably not.

    Particularly if you’re going to be rude to me, I ask you to read what I’ve actually written.

  • http://www.followingthelede.blogspot.com Sabrina

    Nothing posted about this on CNS yet, Mollie.

  • dan

    Ms. Clinton should of thrown a bone to the progressives and told the Mexicans their worship of religious symbols is offensive and archaic.

  • Max

    As others have mentioned, Sanger’s views were also the policies she promoted. She wanted fewer members of, what she regarded to be, inferior races to exist. That’s not a ‘talking point’, it’s the foundation of her work.

    For whatever King’s faults, he didn’t go around preaching the extermination of whites as a means of establishing racial equality.

  • Fisher

    Ah yes. One more item for the ever-growing ‘can you imagine if Bush had said that?’ bucket.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    “Assuming this story is true.”

    That’s a big assumption.

  • Mina

    “Assuming this story is true.”

    That’s a big assumption.

    Yeah…because the Catholic press lies all the time and would just make up [ed. -- expletive deleted] about Hillary!

    :::rolling eyes:::

  • kevin

    Dear Dexter – You have some kind of evidence the CNAS story isn’t true?? Please share the link. Otherwise you are assuming. And thats a big assumption.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com M. Simon

    Peter Principle? Does that mean Hillary is Petered Out? Perhaps Slick Willie can offer us a bit of advice on the subject.

    ==

    One must recognize that Sanger’s views were held by the most Progressive folks of that day. Eugenics was mainstream thought. The Austrian Corporal seems to have discredited the whole idea. Except now the ultra-greens think that the number of people currently living on earth is unsustainable. Insufficient lebensraum or something. And of course they are the most Progressive people of our day.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Mollie, et al.
    RE: Why?

    Now, it’s one thing to not know what the Catholic Church teaches about Guadalupe. But it’s another for the State Department not to have briefed Clinton prior to her visit. Of course, those are political considerations. — Mollie

    Probably because Hillary already ‘knows it all’.

    RE: Reminded

    This report reminds me of Al Gore and then President Clinton visiting Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello.

    While in the library there, Al Gore looks up at the busts of the Founding Fathers—set on a shelf running around the library near the ceiling—and asked, “Who are those guys?” President Clinton is seen rolling his eyes at the fact that Al Gore can’t recognize George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, etc., etc., etc.

    Looks like Hillary is bringing some ‘baggage’ from the previous Dimocratic administration with her. And we thought Bill had it all.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Ignorance is when you don't know something and someone finds out.]

  • http://rub-a-dub.blogspot.com MattK

    I’m no fan of the Sec. of State. In fact, I regard her as an enemy of humanity. But, I’m not surprised she didn’t know the origin of the image. I’m a native Californian and see that image every day, but until just now had no idea that the Roman Catholic Church holds it to be of miraculous origin. But that in no way excuses the MSM from reporting on it. They are all in bed with her and her boss.

  • http://fkclinic.blogspot.com Nancy Reyes

    there is even more irony:

    Our Lady of Guadalupe is pregnant…the belt is tied high, as India women tied their gowns when they were expectig a child..and for that reason, she is the patron of the pro life movement…

  • dhmosquito

    The fact that State did not prebrief Clinton as to supposed origin of the image follows a pattern; why didn’t Administration staff research the type of DVD that was playable on British equipment, so PM Gordon Brown could view the 25 movies that were given him as a gift by Obama? [also AFAIK not reported in MSM.]

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  • Michael

    “Why was this story not deemed newsworthy? I’m sure some people would say that it’s just bias — that if, say, a Bush Administration official had said it, we’d be hearing all about it. I’m not sure. I suspect that it’s more likely we’re seeing the media’s ignorance of Mexico’s religious heritage and her most important religious picture.”

    I am certain that you are wrong.

    This sort of “denialism” has been going on so long now I’m fed up with it. It’s now to the point of being dangerous in the extreme because we will not squarley face the enemy that is already in the field routing our side – the side of good, decency, America, etc.

    The Media is nothing more than the propaganda wing for the enemy.

    May I invite you to consider that the enemy kills babies and has slavery and servitude in the cards for those members of the herd who survive their first culling.

    We should say what these people are, and fight them (I almost said treat them) accordingly.

    Yours,
    Michael

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    On my way to church, here, I tried to quickly cull some amazingly off-topic comments about our Sec. of State, abortion, etc.

    This is not the forum to express hatred for the secretary, support for abortion, opposition to religion, etc.

    Discuss MEDIA coverage.

    Also, please tone down the language. Some of you sound like drunken sailors!

    And please also try to be charitable to those with whom you disagree — be it the media or folks on the opposite side of a given issue.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Mollie
    RE: It’s the Media, S—-s

    Discuss MEDIA coverage. — Mollie

    A hopeless cause. They’ve sold their soul. They are latter-day forms of the Pharisees that Christ rebuked when He walked the Earth last.

    I recommend treating them the same way He did, embarrassing them for their faithlessness. Not that it will help them, but it will point out to others their rank hypocrisy…..which is what Christ seems to have despised the most about the Pharisees.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Blind guides.....who strain at a gnat and yet swallow a camel. -- some 'Wag', around 2000 years ago.]

  • Mark

    The Roman Catholic Church’s teachings are defined by the Holy See, and the beliefs of pious individual Catholics should not be conflates with the Church’s teachings. Even the Pope’s own merely personal beliefs are not “the Church’s teachings.” The Church approves the beliefs in the Marian apparitions at Guadalupe as pious but it is misleading to say all Catholics believe the image there was miraculously created. It’s not doctrine, just pious belief.

    That said, if Clinton didn’t know that the story says the image was miraculous, she didn’t know anything at all.

  • FW Ken

    Mark hits an important point in all of this. While certain dogmas are obligatory upon Catholics, all the Church does with respect to visions and the like is weed out the spurious ones. “Approved” visions are still not obligatory in the same sense as, say the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

  • Donald Campbell

    Media Coverage…
    Nothing to see here, move along…

    Honestly, why *would* the media cover this?

    1)The media are our betters, constantly lecturing us about diversity and appreciating other cultures… Although I do not consider myself overly religious (my last church attendance was 2 years ago for my Mother’s memorial service), I was aware of the ‘backstory’ of the origin of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That I, the typical American has more knowledge of Mexico that our Liberal Elite does not fit the ‘Media Narrative’.

    2)Oppressive white culture… When the story is about Mexicans being abused at the border, or in chicken factories, the fact that the US ‘stole’ California and Arizona, and it is their right to have them back… This coverage they are always on top of. To print an article that reminds Americans that Mexicans are devout Catholics, and express religious feelings that we would be better without, again this does not fit the ‘Media Narrative’.

    3)Finally, the ‘smart diplomacy’ of the Democrats over the BusHitler… What, Hillary’s State Department can’t spell ‘reset’ in Russian… Hillary’s State Department didn’t brief her on the essentials of Mexican Faith… Again this does not fit the ‘Media Narrative’.

    If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t print!

  • L.Davis

    The media doesn’t consider this a diplomatic misstep because it’s OK to demean Christianity these days, especially Catholism. It happens every day on television, in sitcoms, movies, and in most newspapers. Hoosier feels compelled to dismiss the mystery of the Virgin because it’s OK to do so and not be criticized for it. She would not, however, ever do such a thing to followers of Islam. As with the press, it just might result in violence or personal threats.

  • Julia

    I certainly hope that Clinton’s protocol chief properly briefs her on the significance of icons if she ever visits an Orthodox church or cathedral and decides to comment on them to her hosts and the press.

    This is not so much about religion as it is about the significance of the places somebody representing our country visits in an official capacity.

    The supposed miraculous picture is confirmation to Mexicans and other American Catholics with native heritage that God values them as much as the white conquerors, and that the Virgin Mother has a special place in her heart for them. This aspect of the Guadalupe story is crucial to understanding the significance of the picture – politically. The picture is tied up with Mexicans’ sense of self-worth and equality with gringos.

  • Julia

    I should have said “Mexicans and other New World Catholics with native heritage”.

  • hoosier

    … Sorry to confuse CNS with CNA and, apparently, CNN. (CNN=target of this site; CNS + CNA = mirrors to hold up to msm but never to challenge).

    However, I think this raises another question. tmatt sometimes claims that, in this country, we need a non-partisan press-for-all, not a European-style press, where each segment of society has its own outlets. But if that’s the case, why only point out the failings of the msm (and the occasional triumphs, I must give you your due), which is what this site seeks to promote? Is it some kind of tough love? Perhaps it makes some logical sense to point out the failings of the msm in order to try to improve it, but when you then point to blatantly religious organs that have picked up on something the msm missed that you think it should have covered, you implicitly legitimize those sectarian outlets. CNA (or CNS, whichever one is linked to above) looks like it has your imprimatur for covering something that CNN missed, and yet you (or at least tmatt) claims that what this country needs in its press is a better CNN, not a proliferation of CNAs. I think you undercut this argument by linking to CNA in attempting to shame the msm.

    … I’m a little curious about Mollie’s claim that the religious and partisan press get a pass here. If that’s the case, why all the scorn heaped on Newsweek? You and your coGRs have basically decided that Newsweek is a partisan mouthpiece, so why not leave them alone?

  • Julia

    Atheist From Fark:

    I have heard of the Virgin of Guadalupe also but didn’t know it was supposed to be a miraculous painting.

    But you aren’t the US Secretary of State officially visiting Mexico on your country’s behalf.

    If Secretary Clinton goes to Japan and visits the Kamakura Bhuda, I hope she gets briefed on who the heck the Bhuda is – so as not to mystify or insult the people she is visitng on our behalf. She doesn’t have to believe in the Bhuda’s teaching to be informed and respectful.

    If she visits an Indian reservation in her own country and partakes in a ceremony with a peace pipe – I hope she has been properly briefed on the significance of the peace pipe and the decision to share it with her.

    After all, aren’t we supposed to be more sensitive to others’ cultures these days?

    • http://www.getreligion.org/?p=2 Douglas LeBlanc

      Atheist From Fark is gone, by the way, for refusing to provide a valid email address. We mean it, folks. Flout that rule and your comment disappears.

  • Jerry

    And please also try to be charitable to those with whom you disagree — be it the media or folks on the opposite side of a given issue.

    Amen. It’s too bad that you have had to moderate this topic so closely, but it’s the way the world is right now.

    There are many other places on the net where bile and invective are welcome and encouraged so there is plenty of scope elsewhere for those who feel called to that mode of expression.

  • dalea

    The story leaves out the origins of Guadelupe in Native American religion. Originally, she was the Aztec Goddess Tonantzin, an aspect of Coatlique the Snake Goddess. Her festival was around the Winter Solstice. The shrine Hillary visited was built on the site of the Temple of Tonantzin. Press coverage almost never touches on the RCC’s incorporation of Pagan practices and deities. Instead, we have an endless stream of reporting that amounts to little more than RCC press releases printed without any editing, and certainly no fact checking or question asking.

  • dalea

    The ghost in the story is that Guadelupe is a very major Goddess among Dianic Pagans. Feminist liturgies refer to Our Sister Guadalupe, where she is a stand alone figure, needing no Jesus or institutional church. The question would be why did Hillary perform an act of Feminist Goddess worship?

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    If anyone has evidence that the Catholic media report is wrong, please pass the URL along.

    MZ expressed her doubt about the accuracy of the story. It’s in the post.

    This is PRECISELY why we wish the mainstream press covered these kinds of stories. We want to read about the highly symbolic mistakes of people on the left and the right.

    Here’s an interesting example: Google Quayle and potato and you get some interesting reading.

    Now search for Gore, Monticello and bust and you’ll find all kinds of confusion about a not-so famous gaffe by another vice president. It’s hard to find out exactly what happened, in large part because the mainstream press didn’t think that these error symbolized something important (line Quayle’s error).

    Oh, MZ’s views on abortion are well known. Please focus on the content of her writings about journalism.

  • Dave

    I’m down with the interpretation that if a Bushie had stubbed his or her toe in this manner it would have gotten MSM coverage.

  • Carl Vehse

    Re: the media, Chuck Pelto (@28) notes: “A hopeless cause. They’ve sold their soul.”

    And, as if there were any doubt, NewsBusters posts a cornucopia of evidence daily on its website.

    “Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.” – Thomas Jefferson, obviously being optimistic

  • FW Ken

    An interesting interpretive commment, both in terms of content and process. I would argue this isn’t without journalistic significance, which is, perhaps, why it’s a mercy the mainstream sources limited their inclusion of Sec. Clinton’s visit to a visual prop, rather than attempt commentary:

    From Julia:

    The supposed miraculous picture is confirmation to Mexicans and other American Catholics with native heritage that God values them as much as the white conquerors, and that the Virgin Mother has a special place in her heart for them. This aspect of the Guadalupe story is crucial to understanding the significance of the picture – politically. The picture is tied up with Mexicans’ sense of self-worth and equality with gringos.

    From dalea:

    …the origins of Guadelupe in Native American religion. Originally, she was the Aztec Goddess Tonantzin, an aspect of Coatlique the Snake Goddess. Her festival was around the Winter Solstice. The shrine Hillary visited was built on the site of the Temple of Tonantzin. Press coverage almost never touches on the RCC’s incorporation of Pagan practices and deities

  • MJBubba

    Put me down with Michael (#26), Chuck P.(#28), Donald C.(#31), L.Davis (#32), Dave (#41), and Carl V.(#43). The mainstream media, which our GetReligion crew want to reform, is a hopeless cause. We follow GetReligion because we cannot trust the media to fairly inform us. Until new media acquire the ability to collect facts rather than just pass along facts gathered by others, then the MSM is the media we have to follow; we are stuck with them, even though we have come to see them as the enemy. This sorry situation is bad for America, if you want America to continue to be a safe home for conservative people of faith.

  • http://mikedelongsantafe.blogspot.com/ MDSF

    Mollie –

    Thanks to your response to my comment yesterday.

    I might humbly suggest that the right link regarding to Catholic News Service’s linking Clinton to eugenics would be to a Planned Parenthood position regarding abortion as a eugenics strategy. If no link exists then CNS is engaging in a smear.

  • hoosier

    I still wanna respond to L.Davis’ smear of my good pseudonym that I do not find Islam just as absurd as I find Catholicism. This person has accused me of something grossly unfair and positively untrue. …

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  • Dave

    MJ (#45), with respect please don’t sweep me into a “we” with other comment providers. I hold my opinion stated at #41 in this one instance. I do not generalize it into sweeping theories about the MSM. Bush was seen, not without reason, as a boob who continually stubbed his toe on reality. The MSM has an entirely different frame for Obama. I just regard this as a fact, one subject to possible change as Obama’s performance evolves.

  • bob

    #16, Exactly. If Sara Palin had said it, oh, boy, it’d be an instant unfunny skit on SNL. Wonder if it will be now? Can’t wait for Hilary to see the Shroud of Turin….

  • Joe K

    Dalea #38, you bring up interesting historical background (as usual) regarding the Aztec origins, but more relevant is the dominant Catholic culture of last couple hundred years, including today.

    Catholicism has historically adopted pagan practices or transformed pagan sites into their own (nothing new, there). It’s an intriguing factoid that nicely fits into the lifestyle/tourism section, but doesn’t make sense to weave into article about Secretary Clinton’s visit.

    Fr. Barron, Word On Fire, posted a short youtube video (2:34) about his visit last month to Mexico City, and he also mentions the Aztec history.

  • http://rub-a-dub.blogspot.com MattK

    Wow! This isn’t close to being one of the more interesting posts on this blog, but has a lot more comments than the average post. I wonder what that means.

  • jeff

    You won’t find this story in the American MSM, but you will find it in the Mexican press. Several Mexican newspapers reported Hillary’s comments.

  • dalea

    JoeK, what I tried very ineffectively to bring up is that Hillary’s visit appeals both to Latino voters in the US and to feminists. She did very well among Latinos, sometimes over 70% in the primaries. Among feminists, particularly Dianic Wiccans, devotion to the Goddess Guadalupe is very much a feature of anti-patriarchal action. That the media jumped in and attributed this as a Christian themed visit says more about the media than the event. The media are 100% in the pocket of Christianity.

  • Julia

    One last comment from me.

    Joe K’s link to Fr Barron is of a visit to the Cathedral in downtown Mexico City.

    Here’s Fr Barron at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe which is not downtown. The Basilica is rather new and the restored original church is next door. Not discussed here is that this miracle picture is credited with converting the native Mexicans to Christianity. So – the entire Guadalupe story is central to how Mexicans see themselves.
    It it wasn’t miraculous, it’s just another picture.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9QmxmZBSR4&feature=related

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  • http://decentfilms.com SDG

    “The media doesn’t consider this a diplomatic misstep because it’s OK to demean Christianity these days, especially Catholism.”

    I’m not so sure this is it. I seem to recall mainstream media coverage of President Bush’s gift to JP2 of a 10 Commandments walking stick, and whether that was a gaffe inasmuch as the commandments were given in the Protestant enumeration — which, from a secular media perspective, would seem to be pretty inside baseball, certainly as much so as, if not more so than, the origin of the Guadalupe image. (How many people have no idea there are different ways of numbering the commandments?)

    OTOH, (a) President Bush was bigger news than Sec. of State Clinton, and (b) the Pope is/was bigger news than the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. So it’s hard to know whether this is a typical case of media religion ignorance or media preferential treatment for Dems over GOP.

  • J. Johnson

    Who cares? Just because someone doesn’t know the ins and outs of silly mythologies does not make them a bad person or unintelligent. That’s like getting mad at someone from Asia for asking how Santa Claus gets down the chimney.

    Personally, I’m glad she didn’t know this – it leaves more room in her head for important things. What kind of supreme being draws a picture to demonstrate his omnipotence? Maybe for his next miraculous demonstration he will create a nice picture frame out of popsicle sticks and dry macaroni.

  • http://decentfilms.com SDG

    “Personally, I’m glad she didn’t know this – it leaves more room in her head for important things.”

    Yes, I’m sure that’s it. Thanks for letting us know where you’re coming from.

  • Dave

    J Johnson, it doesn’t matter whether you or I think this mythology is silly. What’s important is that millions of Mexicans take it very seriously, and flubbing it may be at best a gaffe and at worst seen as a snub or insult.

    A proper parallel would not be “someone from Asia” but the Foreign Minister of a significant Asian country, like China or Japan, not knowing that people in America tend to be busy Easter morning. (Or during the Super Bowl…)

  • http://vjmorton.wordpress.com Victor Morton

    “Personally, I’m glad she didn’t know this – it leaves more room in her head for important things.”

    Even better, thanks for letting us know how scientifically ignorant you are (there’s such a thing as “room in the head” in any sense relevant here?).

  • Sarah Webber

    And here I thought the only topics on GR to garner Neanderthal comments were sex-related. Apparently Hillary Clinton is equally attractive. Who knew?

  • Jimmy Mac

    I hope you all know as much about Francis Asbury as you expect Clinton to know about OL of Guadalupe.

    One person’s religious traditions are another’s obscurity.

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    MDSF, way back at the top:

    Luther’s views on the Jews should be mentioned everytime you are writing a story about Luther and the Jews.

    And when you write a story about Sanger and abortion, you write about her core convictions linked to abortion.

    So, yes.

  • FW Ken

    Were I a cabinet official making a visit to the General Conference of the Methodist Church, I might take a few minutes and Google up some information on Methodism. I would almost certainly avoid the line attributed to Charles Wesley after his brother John ordained Asbury and Thomas Coke to episcopal leadership of American Methodism:

    Yes, John laid hands on Francis, but who laid hands on John?

    I know, the analogy is a bit askew, but so is comparing a pioneering preacher with the purported miraculous tilma of San Juan Diego.

    It’s amazing that after all of these comments, some of you folks seem to hate the Catholic Faith so much that you can’t even see the point, well stated by Dave in #60. A gaffe ignored by the mainstream media (supposedly in the clutches of Christianity), except as a photo op.

  • bob

    Perhaps Mrs. Clinton will be in Saudi Arabia and in an offhanded sort of way ask “Hey, what’s so special about Mecca, anyway? You gotta be a Moslem to go there, right? What’s that all about?” It won’t make the news.

  • Jimmy Mac

    FW Ken: there was no attempt to do a direct comparison between Asbury and OLG.

    The point was stated and is not restated: One person’s religious traditions are another’s obscurity.

    There are millions of people throughout the world for whom Catholicism’s arcanities are irrelevant at best.

  • Jimmy Mac

    S/B is “now” restated …..

  • Franklin Jennings

    I’m in full agreement with Jimmy Mac.

    Why should the chief diplomat of New Rome be expected to know more about the cultural context of New Rome’s closest neighbors than the guy who does my drycleaning?

    That’s just silly, and no reasonable basis for state craft. We have the guns, we have the jobs Mexicans want. Why should we show them the respect of sending them diplomats who take them seriously.

  • http://www.GetReligion.org Mollie

    For those interested, this report from Newsbusters says that Clinton fully embraced Sanger and praised her when given the award.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2009/03/29/hillary-says-pro-life-anti-democratic-papers-only-say-she-champions-wome

  • FW Ken

    UPI posted a story on the Guadalupe visit dated 3/30.


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