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02/05/2010

The Clintons shunned Mother Theresa and other reductive untruths

by Jeremy Hooper

And now, students, a lesson in the disingenuous way that the Family Research Council and its affiliates will present information so that it unfairly bashes Democrats/progressives/gays/anyone who steps outside their box of acceptability. Here, first check out this, the way Robert Morrison relays the 1994 National Prayer breakfast for the FRC's organizational blog:

Mother Teresa was the 1994 honored speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast. I remember when the leaders of FRC came back from that event. They told us the marvelous reaction of the multitude when Mother Teresa pleaded for the lives of unborn children. She described the killing of the unborn as the greatest threat to the peace of the world. The greatest threat.

This winner of the Nobel Peace Prize had worked her entire life among the outcasts of Calcutta, the poorest of the poor. President Reagan had called her “the Saint of the Gutters.” Many a dying Indian had been cared for by Mother Teresa and her loving Sisters of Charity.

On that day, dais was filled, as it is today, with the rich and the powerful. President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, Vice President Gore, Mrs. Gore were in attendance then. When this frail but fearless little woman strode to the microphone, she had to stand on tiptoe to reach the microphone. But her unforgettable words were greeted by thunderous applause. It came in waves.

The Clintons and the Gores did not applaud. They sat there as if frozen. They appeared to have been turned to stone, like the great statues on Easter Island. None of these rich and powerful people seems to have been affected by the words of the Saint of the Gutters.
Words and Deeds at the National Prayer Breakfast [FRC Blog]

Okay. So with the theatrical recounting of Mother Teresa's slow stroll to the mic, and the unqualified reference to her unforgettable words, clearly Morrison is referring to the appearance as a whole, right? He's making it sound as if the Clintons and the Gores sat in their seats and stewed while the late Catholic icon gave her speech.

Only problem? It's complete and utter bullsh*t! In truth, the Clintons and Gores were very respectful during the event. While we can't find video of it, the news reports from the time ("he thanked her for her 'moving words'") and just plain common sense tell us that the sitting prez, veep, and respective spouses were cognizant of and respectful towards their roles.

The part that they refused to applaud during? Well here, let this 1994 piece from conservative columnist Cal Thomas tell you:

Tying abortion to growing violence and murder in the streets, she said, "If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? . . . Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want."

At that line, most of those in attendance erupted in a standing ovation, something that rarely occurs at these sedate events. At that moment, President Clinton quickly reached for his water glass, and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Gore stared without expression at Mother Teresa. They did not applaud. It was clearly an uncomfortable moment on the dais.
Mother Theresa puts it bluntly to the president [Milwaukee Journal]

So there ya have it: The pro-choice Dmeocrats refused to "erupt in a standing ovation" at the idea that their support for reproductive freedom is sending an unloving message. That's because they don't agree. People don't tend to leap to their feet and cheer when the conveyed rhetoric makes them want to instead *facepalm* their heads in intellectual frustration!

But going back to the modern day: Here we have the Family Research Council yet again taking the waters of fair-minded communication and muddying them. Actually, they're pretty much taking a dump in them. Because they know that whereas the pro-equality, pro-diversity, anti-theocracy folks benefits from transparency, their side best operates in murkiness. So whether it be POTUS and Congress' ability and willingness to multitask or the Clinton's supposed legacy of anti-Catholicism, they will do their best to ensure that their followers know only what they want them to know, not what actually happened. Just the fallacy, ma'am.

It's weakened our discourse, our politics, our parties, and our nation. They need to stop and they need to stop now.

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Your thoughts

so I just commented but goodness knows it won't come through since they moderate closely I'm sure:

Here’s some words and deeds from the proponents of the NPB: the kill the gay bill in Uganda. The “Family” which runs the NPB are the same people responsible for this hateful vile work in Uganda. SO it’s OK to kill gay people but not ok to have an abortion. Hypocrisy and bigotry seem to go hand in hand with you people.

Posted by: ZnSD | Feb 5, 2010 2:01:42 PM

C-SPAN has the video of the 1994 Prayer Breakfast. You can go here http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/54274-1 to request it be posted, and when it is, view it. (Since it's a 1994 program it may have to be digitized from VHS video held at the C-SPAN Archives in Indiana)

Posted by: fritz | Feb 5, 2010 3:19:19 PM

I really must get hold of Christopher Hitchen's book on Mother Theresa. He called it The Missionary Position.

In the meantime, Jesus and Mo will have to do.

TRiG.

Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Feb 5, 2010 5:32:55 PM

Once more with link: http://www.jesusandmo.net/2006/07/12/prune/

Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Feb 5, 2010 5:33:14 PM

I doubt that MT would have received much of an ovation if she had been decrying the adulterers sitting in the audience who had remarried - or who were involved in extra-marital affairs. Or the greed and corruption that defines so many of those in that audience.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 6, 2010 9:02:58 PM

It appears to me that this site only prints views that don't oppose the gay lifestyle

Posted by: Jim Mattern | Feb 24, 2010 6:19:38 AM

It's actually interesting that you see/say that, Jim. Because while yes, this site has an obvious point of view that is pro-LGBT equality (the site is called G-A-Y, for goodness sake!), the truth is that the anti-gay side gets more ink here than the pro-gay groups. We present the anti-gay side's own words and then we challenge them -- it's the gig.

Like in this very post: All of that red text comes from social conservatives (with links to the source material).

And then here in the comments, everyone is free to post. We never bar anyone from commenting (except in the rarest of abusive circumstances).

So in short: If you disagree with the point of view, then please -- challenge. But no one, regardless of ideology, can criticize this site for shutting out the anti-gay side.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 24, 2010 8:27:48 AM

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