April 13, 2009

(H/t Heather)

Now here's a shocker: Tara Wall of the Washington Times -- owned and operated by the world's most powerful theocrat, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- thinks America is a "Christian nation."

Wall's appearance today on CNN's Reliable Sources was briefly countered by both Howard Kurtz and David Corn:

KURTZ: Tara, why are some pundits on your side of the spectrum saying that perhaps Obama doesn't believe in a Christian nation, when he was clearly just saying that America is a pluralistic society?

WALL: Well, you know, his idea to forge ahead on this idea of religious neutrality, he essentially threw Christianity under the bus the same way he did Reverend Wright. I mean...

KURTZ: Threw Christianity under the bus? Where is that...

WALL: Well, listen, the point is the history -- let's revisit our history here. This one dollar bill, all of our dollar bills say "In God We Trust." We are a country -- wait. We are...

KURTZ: It doesn't say, 'In Christianity We Trust.'

WALL: We are a country based on Judeo-Christian values. Our laws are inscribed based on Judeo-Christian values -- our Constitution.

CORN: You can go back and look at Thomas Jefferson.

WALL: And the point is, at the same time -- listen, because we are a Christian nation, we welcome all religions. We are a free country; we welcome individuality.

KURTZ: Let's let David in here.

WALL: These are things that he can certainly communicate in communicating his message of religious neutrality without essentially saying we are not a Christian nation. That's completely false.

KURTZ: David?

CORN: I know this is a media show, not a religious show, but this debate comes up again and again, whether we are or are not a Christian nation. It's not in the Constitution. You can go back and look at some of our founders, including Thomas Jefferson...

WALL: I have.

CORN: ... and he doesn't call us a Christian nation. In fact, his relationship to God is kind of on the iffy side, let alone his relationship, if he had one, with Jesus Christ. And so, you know, here you have these people on the right, Lars Larson, Sean Hannity, again and again focusing, oddly enough, on the Christian end of the remark. You know, they cut off his quote when he said we are not a Christian nation.

WALL: Because he says we are not a Christian nation. And that's false.

CORN: He says we're not a Jewish nation and we're not a Muslim nation.

KURTZ: Right.

WALL: But we are a nation...

CORN: We have no official religion in this nation.

WALL: We are a nation based on Judeo-Christian values, and there is nothing wrong with asserting that notion while, at the same time, embracing all religions as we do. And why people come here to flee religious persecution, because we are based on...

But what's perhaps most amusing about Wall's appearance was watching her head explode at the thought that none of these crazy right-wing memes making Obama out to be a radical trying to destroy America are sinking in with the American public -- voiced by Chrystia Freeland, of the Financial Times:

KURTZ: Chrystia, what about the -- hold on now. What about the business about, did Obama appeared to bow to the Saudi king, and was that a terrible thing, that it also seemed to be -- factor into some of this criticism?

FREELAND: Yes. No, definitely. And I think, again there, as it happened, one of the things that I, not being American, find most attractive about the United States is that this is a country based on opposition to the monarchical principle. So I think American leaders in general should not be bowing to monarchs.

But having said that, again, what I thought was interesting was that was very much a right-wing fringe criticism. And I think one of the things that we're seeing right now in terms of the polarization...

KURTZ: I've got to move on.

FREELAND: ... of the American debate is the right -- really grasping at these straws that are not overall being picked up by the American people.

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