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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One News Now: obama's Scriptural Misinterpretation

Media silent on Obama's controversial interpretation of scripture

Jim Brown and Chad Groening
OneNewsNow - 3/5/2008 10:00:00 AM

Conservative media watchdog Bob Knight says the national media virtually ignored Democratic presidential frontrunner Senator Barack Obama's recent use of the Sermon on the Mount to justify homosexual civil unions.

Senator Obama (D-Illinois) boldly declared in a campaign speech recently that states should legalize "same-sex unions" for homosexuals. "If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount," says Obama. "Which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."

Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute, says the major television networks and most major newspapers did not report on Obama's remarks, which Knight says amount to a severe distortion of scripture. "You've got a presidential candidate invoking the Sermon on the Mount to justify an issue position ... that contradicts 2,000 years of church teaching -- and the media snore through it," he remarks.

And as to Obama's contention about an "obscure" passage in the Book of Romans? "Number one, it's not obscure," responds Knight. "It's well known by millions of Christians. Number two, it's not the only word in the Bible about this topic."

There are several reasons, Knight believes, that the press chose to gloss over the senator's revisionist interpretation of scripture.

"Number one, they may be biblically illiterate themselves -- so they really don't know how much he's stretching scripture or distorting it," he argues. "Number two, they probably agree with his point of view since most of them are pro-gay activist. Or number three, they feel that he's the candidate they like and they know that this could be quite controversial if people found out about it -- so they're not talking about it."(Which do you think it is? Vote in related poll)

In general, adds Knight, the media have been "remarkably uncurious" about Obama's view of moral issues. "He's said a number of shocking things," says the pro-family spokesman. "He's defended his stance on abortion. He's now promoting homosexuality by citing the Sermon on the Mount."

Knight says he found it amusing the Dallas Morning News carried a story on Obama's speech -- mentioning he took great pains to say he was not a Muslim, but entirely ignoring his comments on civil unions.

The media watchdog suggests that if former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had cited scripture to back public policy, it would have been reported heavily by the media. Knight cites as an example the Huckabee "floating cross" debacle and the ensuing media coverage. "[Reports about that] were on all the networks; it was all over the media," he points out. "But here's Obama actually citing scripture to take a very controversial stand on a hot issue, and they don't even find that newsworthy."

The only major print media outlets that covered Obama's civil union comments, notes Knight, were the political blogs of the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times.

Read a related OneNewsNow perspective: "The gospel according to St. Barack?"