Commentary: Media allows religion to distort discourse

After reading the Feb. 19 commentaries in the Daily Pilot titled "Obama wages war against Catholic Church" and "Readers should give Muslim column a chance," I am bewildered by the current lack of factual honesty in our public discourse.

The first piece claims President Obama is waging a war against the Catholic Church in his recent attempt to require church-based health-care providers and employers to not force their religious, non-contraceptive policy on all their members and employees but allow them access to contraception benefits as each person sees fit. The Republican right wing is using this subterfuge to advance their overall agenda to defeat Obama in the next election.

What happened to all the Republican wackos shouting that Obama is a Muslim? I guess that pound of slinging mud doesn't suit this topic. The writer goes on to call Obama a "tyrant" who wants to crush the Catholic Church.

Anyone else see the absolute stupidity of this claim? Under the guise of "religious freedom" they want to shove their religious agenda down all our throats. The vast majority of Catholics use birth control pills, but you don't see the church attacking them as they don't want to lose their income.

In regard to the Muslim apologist companion commentary that decries any criticism of the Muslim religion, here again the facts are ignored. Yes, most practicing Muslims are good people, but where are they when members of their religion perform heinous acts against others and society in general? All I hear is silence.

My experience and observation of the facts shows that religion is the source of much of the misery and slavery in the world. The fact that they also do good things should in no way give them a free pass. When will the media institute a policy to fact check articles and stories they publish?

Both the so-called Christian religious right and the Muslims want to establish their own version of an American, Taliban-type society that would push us back into the Middle Ages. Think of all the money we would save on getting rid of education and science if we were controlled only by religious mandates? The separation of church and state has never been under greater threat than today, and I blame the media for allowing itself to be the water carrier for this attack.

MARK OCONNELL lives in Irvine.

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