If the constant media haranguing of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker over his religion tells us anything, it’s that the political media absolutely loathe what they perceive as authentic Christianity.
First, there was the ambush against Walker about whether he believed in evolution. Then, there was the question from two Washington Post reporters about whether Walker believed President Barack Obama was a “real Christian.” And over the past couple of days, writers from several outlets have begun to mock Scott Walker’s habit of praying to God for guidance.
It’s easy to see why they’re doing what they’re doing: they think Christianity is a wedge issue. Just get a candidate to confess that he actually believes what the Bible says, and the American people will turn against him and never look back. Oh, a candidate believes the 3 billion base pairs that comprise the human genome didn’t arrange themselves randomly? Throw him in a lake and see if he’ll float. A politician won’t opine on whether a man who cynically used Christianity as a shield for a blatant same-sex marriage lie is a “real Christian” or not? Burn him at the stake. A governor who claims to seek God’s divine guidance via prayer didn’t write down every single prayer and file it away so know-nothing progressives could one day FOIA proof of his super silly prayer life? He’s obviously not fit for higher office.
Yes, that last thing actually happened. Because Scott Walker noted that as a Christian he seeks God’s guidance and comfort through prayer, a leftist non-profit demanded that Walker’s office provide copies of all correspondence between Walker and God:
The Office of the Governor in Wisconsin has no record of communications between Gov. Scott Walker and any deities, according to the office’s legal counsel.
While it’s on the record that the governor is communicating with higher powers like billionaire and political kingmaker Sheldon Adelson, that’s where the paper trail ends.
In a 1990 interview with the Marquette University yearbook, he said, “I really think there’s a reason why God put all these political thoughts in my head.”
God apparently isn’t putting them on paper, however. David Rabe, assistant legal counsel for the Office of the Governor, responded on Feb. 13 to Susterich’s open records request with this: “Pursuant to the Public Records Law, we are responding to let you know that this office does not have records responsive to your request.”
Haha, get it? That stupid Godtard said he prayed to God, but there’s no proof he did. And if he actually did, God never answered him because LOL OMG what kind of idiot prays about stuff, right?
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which submitted the public records request to Walker’s office, announced the results of its inquiry on Feb. 16. It was a complete dud. Beyond some play in the leftist online fever swamps, the story went nowhere. That is, until Greg Sargent of the Washington Post and Taegan Goddard, a liberal blogger who writes for politicalwire.com, decided to give the story some oxygen earlier this week:
I see conservatives will not allow us to poke gentle fun at fact that so many GOP prez hopefuls claim God told them to run
Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 24, 2015
Gov. Scott Walker's office was unable to provide any transcripts of his conversations with God http://t.co/R8dcqhNpqR
Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 24, 2015
Goddard went even further on his website, saying that the lack of written correspondence proves that “Walker Has Not Communicated with God”:
After he received considerable pushback on Twitter for his mockery of Walker, Goddard doubled down, saying, “I don’t pretend I can talk with God. But perhaps Scott Walker can.”
He later deleted his tweets mocking Walker, claiming that it was all just a silly misunderstanding and he totally didn’t mean to offend anybody. Right.
What’s especially curious about Sargent’s and Goddard’s skepticism about religion and prayer is that it never surfaces when prominent Democratic politicians publicly affirm their faiths. There’s zero evidence that Sargent has “poked fun” at liberal Democrats who publicly discuss their faiths. Take President Barack Obama, for example, who spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. And what did he have to say about prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast, which, in case you hadn’t noticed, focuses on prayer?
But no matter the challenge, He has been there for all of us. He’s certainly strengthened me “with the power through his Spirit,” as I’ve sought His guidance not just in my own life but in the life of our nation.
Oh my gosh. Did Obama just admit that he seeks God’s guidance in his job? That he asks God to help him direct the nation? Stop the presses. This is a scandal. And what about that time Hillary Clinton, widely believed to be the Democratic frontrunner for the presidency in 2016, admitted that she, too, prays to God? It gets worse: there’s also evidence that Hillary doesn’t just believe in prayer, she also believes in the Holy Spirit. Not only that, Hillary once claimed that she personally felt the Holy Spirit’s guiding presence:
Q: What does that look like for you, and how do you feed that personal relationship with God? Some people talk about prayer, talking to God. Some talk about reading the Bible and experiencing God that way. What does that look like for you?
Senator Clinton: It has looked like the connection that I felt like I made as a child but just kept growing and was always present in my life. I believe in the father, son, and Holy Spirit, and I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions in my years on this earth. I pray, I read the Bible, I read commentary on scriptures, I read other people’s faith journeys. That is, for me, at the real core of how I keep feeding my faith. And, I was lucky because, as I said at the faith and politics event, I was taught to pray and I inculcate it as a habit in my daily life.
I look forward to the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s expose that official White House and State Department visitor records show no sign of the Holy Spirit ever personally visiting Hillary.
Surely all this stupid prayer talk from stupid politicians who believe in stupid things like God attracted the ire of enlightened thinkers like Goddard and Sargent, right? Right?
Wrong. When challenged on the topic, they just refused to answer. Was the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stupid and misguided to pray for God’s wisdom? What about Barack Obama? What about Hillary Clinton? Are they stupid, misguided theists just like that backwards hick Scott Walker?
Question for @politicalwire: MLK Jr. once prayed that God would "Help us in the moment of difficult decision." Do you think he was stupid?
Sean Davis (@seanmdav) February 24, 2015
Hillary has stated that she's experienced "the presence of the Holy Spirit on many occasions." Was she lying, @politicalwire @ThePlumlineGS?
Sean Davis (@seanmdav) February 24, 2015
Crickets. After being pressed, Goddard did eventually say, “I don’t know,” which, if the media response to Scott Walker’s answer about Barack Obama’s faith is any indication, is a scandal in and of itself.
That's what Walker said about Obama's faith and it was the end of the world. RT @politicalwire @seanmdav I said I don't know. Do you?
jon gabriel (@exjon) February 24, 2015
The media’s religious treatment disparity makes perfect sense once you consider a few things: 1) rather than just reporting the news, the real goal of many so-called reporters is to protect Democrats while attacking Republicans, and 2) many of these reporters themselves actually doubt the religious authenticity of the Democratic politicians they so admire (that dynamic alone explains why Obama received little pushback during the 2008 campaign when he claimed that his faith required him to oppose same-sex marriage; when non-Democrats do the exact same thing, they’re attacked as hopeless theocratic bigots who hate civil rights).
Why do they ask probing theological questions of Republicans, but not Democrats? Because they think Republicans will defend core theological principles if they’re attacked, and because the reporters believe those defenses will alienate the Republicans from the electorate. It’s why Hillary will never, ever, ever be asked if she believes Christ was literally born of a virgin and literally rose from the dead after three days and then literally ascended into heaven, where he literally decides whether you will go to hell or not. It’s why Barack Obama will never be asked how his Christian faith informs his belief that there’s nothing wrong with butchering a perfectly healthy and viable 38-week old baby in utero.
Many professional political reporters simply don’t want to embarrass Democrats by putting them in a position to affirm sticky issues of faith. They know that voters to some extent expect their politicians to believe in a higher power who guides them, so they’ll let vanilla affirmations of faith slide as long as they come from the right politicians.
Hillary needs to showcase her softer, more spiritual side? Perfect, they can help her with that. Obama needs a graceful way to oppose gay marriage so he can avoid alienating a religious voting bloc? By all means, that’s his right. Affirmations of faith are fine, just so long as D.C. media don’t think the liberal politicians making them really believe in all that silly God talk.
When Scott Walker punts on a religious issue, he’s a “weasel.” When Obama refuses to answer a very simple biological question about when human life begins, he’s just a smooth, savvy operator.
To far too many media types, religious talk is great, just so long as you’re not a Republican who actually believes any of it.