Last night, CNN and MSNBC spent much time scrutinizing Sarah Palin’s religion. Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on the coverage today:

“Throughout the night, CNN closely examined Palin’s religion, and it did so professionally. By contrast, MSNBC came across shrill.

“Two quotes from Palin got the most attention: (a) ‘Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God,’ and (b) ‘I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built.’ In neither case did any CNN host, correspondent or panelist deride these remarks.

“However, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interpreted the former comment as saying that ‘the commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq war is a mighty general whose initials are GOD.’ Most Christians, obviously, would not agree with that spin. Maddow also wondered why Palin didn’t ‘get up and walk out’ when a guest speaker from Jews for Jesus spoke at her church (a talk the ADL found non-problematic). Barack Obama, we know, did not ‘get up and walk out’ on his own disgraced pastor for 20 years, yet MSNBC never got too worked up about that.

“MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann was worse. Calling Palin ‘Amy Simple McHockey Mom,’ he spoke sarcastically about her religious beliefs, alerting viewers to the news that in Palin’s church ‘they speak in tongues.’ He did not say, as did CNN’s Randi Kaye, that her pastor ‘never saw Palin speak in tongues.’ To its credit, CNN also branded as a ‘hoax’ the rumor—floated by bloggers, as well as by Juan Cole on Salon—that Palin once sought to ban books from a local library.

“The secular left does not understand, or respect, Christianity. In doing so, they not only expose their shallowness, hypocrisy and intolerance, they wind up convincing more and more Americans that the object of their scorn is worth a closer look—if not worth defending.”

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