Archive for August 29th, 2012

Quinn and Rose

I must begin with a confession: I listen to right wing talk radio. Not a lot; I don’t have the stomach for that. But enough.

This morning I was listening to “The War Room”, a morning program that features Jim Quinn and Rose Tennant. It really is among the worst, and that is saying something. Quinn and Rose- she just goes by the handle “Radio Rose” -combine the gentle courtesy of Mark Levin, the intellectual acumen of Sean Hannity, and the humility of Rush Limbaugh.

They are that bad.

This morning Rose was reporting live from the Republican convention. While I listened she interviewed former governor Mike Huckabee and former RNC chairman Ken Blackwell. They were chatty and at ease with her; Huckabee at least had talked to her before; she has been a guest host on the Hannity program when he was on vacation. She apparently has arrived; these mainstream Republican pols certainly seemed at home talking to her.

Rose Sanno Tennant is a strange woman. While her maiden name and Italian looks suggest a Catholic upbringing I have never heard her mention it (Quinn has mentioned parochial school). What she is now is a vocal evangelical Christian. She can wax pious, going on like evangelicals do about how the Lord has done thus and such in her life, but that doesn’t seem to affect wide areas of her outlook. Here she is on President Obama: “I hate him. I just hate him. Can I hate him, Jimmy?”

One of the regular features on their program is the “Religion of Peace Update”. This begins with a few bars of the gospel hymn “On the Wings of a Dove” followed by an Indian war whoop and an explosion. While most on the right take pains to stress that they are not hostile to Muslims, only to extremists, Quinn and Rose’s hostility to Islam is red hot and out front. They broadly stereotype Muslims as terrorists, never nuancing or noting the tremendous diversity within that faith. Mr Quinn has called Islam a “neanderthal religion”.  Probably the worst thing I heard Rose say was a couple of years ago. She informed the audience that she had coated all her bullets with lard, so that she will be ready when it is time to kill Muslims.

I waited for an outraged reaction and seeing her fired for this blatant hate speech. But nothing of the kind happened.

Nothing like a pious hater.

And now Radio Rose is right at home at the Republican convention, schmoozing with the pols.

Right at home.

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Cardinal Dolan’s Moment

After the initial report that Cardinal Dolan’s offer to deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic convention was declined, it turns out that the Party has invited him to do just that. And he has accepted.

Apparently the Democrats rethought their refusal, and someone saw political expediency in inviting him; I would like to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

This is, I believe, unprecedented. At least I don’t remember a Catholic prelate offering prayers at both national political conventions. And Cardinal Dolan, as the cardinal archbishop of New York City, is sort of the unofficial primate of the American Church.

I wonder what he will do with this historic opportunity. He is going to pray, of course, not offer a speech, but one can be prophetic in prayer.

Prayers for respect for human life from conception until natural death, for example. Or prayers that the concerns of the poor have priority in forming policy. Prayers that America may turn from its nationalistic messianism, prayers that we turn from our warlike ways.

You get the idea.

We will soon see if he rises to the occasion.

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