Religion is something that should never be poked fun at. Faith is a beautiful thing — whether it be Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Bah’ai, Hinduism, or really anything. Nobody in the media should ever use religion qua religion as a point of attack. That would be obvious bigotry.
Oh, except Christianity! You can totally use Christianity as a joke. Particularly if it’s evangelical or Catholic! Why, just think of all those funny little jokes you can make about Irish people and how all the priests wear funny uniforms. It’s hysterical!
And let me tell you, it’s not just Joy Behar making fun of those wacky people who somehow think Christ was crucified and died for our sins and rose on the third day, or that you can have a personal relationship with him through prayer like it says in that silly little book they have in all the church pews.
No, now MSNBC hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi are getting in on the fun, too. And it all has to do with Larry Kudlow, the newest member of the Trump administration.
Kudlow, an economist who’s been a fixture on CNBC for years, was selected as the replacement for Gary Cohn, who resigned last week after failing to persuade President Donald Trump to drop his new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
The move was an interesting one since, as CNBC reported, “(w)hen Cohn left, Kudlow expressed his disappointment with the move and Trump’s tariff actions. However, he has appeared to warm to at least some targeted trade actions.”
“We don’t agree on everything, but in this case I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I want to have different opinions. We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point.”
Ironically, Cohn’s departure was an occasion for some controversy regarding what the media said was religiously sensitive language, since some news outlets called the administration’s use of the term “globalist” to describe his views as a bit of crypto-anti-Semitism for reasons so labyrinthine and tenuous they’re not even worth recapitulating here.
Kudlow was born Jewish, but converted to Catholicism in 1997. So, when Kudlow mentioned God during his final sign-off from CNBC, it was totes cool to for the MSNBC hosts to make fun of it.
Ruhle and Velshi were talking with CNBC’s John Harwood about Kudlow’s economic views when things took a bit of a turn.
“If you noticed when Larry Kudlow spoke on CNBC yesterday, he ended by saying, ‘However things work out, it will be God’s will,’” Ruhle said.
“That’s an interesting way to talk about being the national economic adviser to the president,” Ruhle said through a frown. “God’s will?”
Velshi, meanwhile, responded with a laugh.
And, when it came up later in the segment whether or not Kudlow had the ability to “represent real data” to the president (who, of course, is the mental age of five and can’t understand “real data” unless it’s presented to him in crayon with a lollipop), Ruhle hit at Kudlow’s Catholicism again: “Well, as Larry Kudlow says, ‘It’s God’s will,’” she said.
Yes, and that’s part of Christianity. Things can go right. Things can go very wrong. In the midst of both situations, there is a part of God’s plan for you in there. This is of course a grotesque oversimplification, but I don’t think a whole lot of laborious apologetics is required to present this concept cogently. The point is, it’s a central tenet of the faith.
Now, do I have a problem with a well-delivered joke delivered at my faith? Not at all. Heck, I remember Father Ryan having a whole stock of them to tell the flock that stuck around in the parking lot after mass. (My personal favorite involved the Pope being given billions of dollars by KFC to change the words of the Lord’s Prayer to “Give us this day our daily chicken.” He broke it to the College of Cardinals thusly: “All right, I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. First the bad news: we’re dropping the Wonderbread account.”)
However, the problem when the joke is the religion itself. What MSNBC did to Kudlow was, more or less, just point and laugh. Get it? He believes in that whole man-in-the-sky thing! Hysterical! Or not.
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