It is certainly interesting how something is either resolutely praised or cursed, based solely on one’s perspective. If you’ve been following any of the elite press’ coverage on President Biden’s faith you know how true that is. We are usually reminded what a dangerous brew faith and politics are. We are told how certain politicians and Presidents should just keep their faith to themselves. Separation of Church and State and all that.
But the elite press is clearly very excited about President Biden’s faith. It is as if they cannot get enough of it.
They celebrate him as “the most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century” as the New York Times put it this weekend. CNN noted that Biden’s “Catholic faith will be on full display” during his time in office and they mean that in a very good way. They approvingly quoted Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) saying, “Joe’s faith isn’t just part of who he is, it’s foundational to who he is.”
The Gray Lady’s piece praised the new President’s faith as “ascendent” and described Biden as “a president who has spent a lifetime steeped in Christian rituals and practices.” Apparently, being “steeped” in such religious belief is now desirable and commendable. The Times also celebrated how Biden’s “Catholic faith grounds his life and his policies” but failed to note he is at distinct and mortal odds with that very faith on the central and historic Christian issues of sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage, and the nature of humanity in male and female as created in God’s image.
So why are so many journalists in the elite media so proud to see Biden wear his faith on his sleeve and eager to have all of us know about it? It’s not a difficult question.
The Times explained precisely why they now cheer President Biden’s particular brand of faith in the Oval Office. That’s because Biden holds a decidedly “different, more liberal Christianity…” which they admit is a welcome contrast to those “white evangelicals laser-focused on ending abortion and guarding against what they saw as encroachments on their freedoms.” And The New Yorker praised Biden’s very public faith because, as they put it, this new President might be able to “save American Catholicism from the Far Right.” And this is precisely because of the kind of believer the President is, “Set the rosary aside, and old-school Joe Biden is the kind of flexible, independent-minded Catholic…”
Of course, this means perspective makes all the difference. The elite media is not opposed to faith, or even Christian faith. Or even Christian faith that one practices publicly. They are just happy when that faith is missing certain teeth. We all know what those specific teeth are, all too well.
Elite journalists celebrate that Joe Biden famously rejects out of hand many of the very important beliefs that faithful Catholics and Christians believe. With President Biden in the Oval Office, The New Yorker is even wholly comfortable employing powerful Christian terms like “salvific” to describe what President Biden’s impact could be on America. Yes, applying that word to what a pro-family, conservative candidate might do for our nation would clearly get you branded as a “Christian Nationalist” to be sure. But if we are talking about a President Biden, faith-talk is just one of the things that makes him so exciting and hopeful.
Mainstream journalists through the years have regularly praised the Christian faith of more liberal Presidents, and famously so. President Carter is regularly hallowed for his personal faith.. He is never called a bible-thumping busy body. We were reminded how important Christian faith was to both Bill and Hillary. The mainstream press was very clear in letting us know that Barack Obama, that new and little known senator from the Land of Lincoln, was very much a good Christian man.
And now their absolute praise of a President having a personal faith that animates and directs his daily life and decisions is back again with Joe Biden. That is only because he has the right kind of faith. A distinctly liberal one.
President Biden’s “Cafeteria Catholic” approach where you pick and choose the beliefs that suit your individual tastes, are what allowed the Times to praise the new President because, “In his inaugural address, Mr. Biden rooted himself and the country in a Christian moral vision.” Does anyone believe The New York Times or any other mainstream media outlet would ever praise a conservative candidate, be they Republican or Democrat, for rooting “the country in a Christian moral vision” if they were not ardently pro-abortion and pro-LGBT?
The Left is certainly not opposed to faith. Make no mistake about that.
But they have clearly demonstrated that it is a certain kind of faith they are opposed to, one that takes the scriptures seriously when it comes to certain issues like abortion, sexuality, the definition of marriage, and what it means to be male and female.
Photo from TOM BRENNER/REUTERS