On Michael Voris and Church Militant: USA Today Doesn’t Get It

USA Today ran a lengthy piece on Michael Voris, Saint Michael’s Media, and Church Militant under the headline, “Right-wing fringe group building multimedia empire near Detroit.” The piece was written by Robert Allen, of the Detroit Free Press, which is owned by Gannett, the parent company of USA Today.

It’s almost surreal to read a piece written with faux journalistic objectivity and disinterestedness when it is obviously the work of one interested party in the culture and religion wars attacking another via the genre of print journalism.

Here is a little taste:

Church Militant, a fringe group claiming to be Catholic but denounced by the church, broadcasts pro-life, anti-gay, anti-feminist, Islam-fearing content on its website, churchmiltant.com, and through social media using production studios that rival those at local TV news stations.

Anyone can call anyone a fringe group. It’s cheap and easy. Big media, of course, reserves to itself the right to define what normal is, which puts any dissenting opinion on the fringe. Abortion advocating feminists and homosexualists would constitute a fringe to you, if you consider a Christian Social Order to be normative. But in USA Today’s new normal, those hyphenated adjectives that modify Church Militant’s content are a small litany of boogyman words designed trigger a code red in their more liberal readership.

Now here is a lesson: When you do a hit piece on someone, you shouldn’t just write it yourself with no expert opinions. That would be too transparent. It would look like you’re writing an op-ed piece, which you are, but you don’t want to look like you are. So journalistic integrity would demand an expert opinion. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is here to help:

Mark Weitzman, based in New York for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, describes Church Militant as “radical traditionalist Catholics.” He said such organizations are a small movement “with some influence and the ability to make a lot of noise.”

They espouse beliefs that God’s promises to the Jewish people were stripped away and assigned to Christians after the coming of Jesus, resulting in ideas that are theologically — not racially — anti-Semitic, Weitzman said.

If his words were accurately summarized by the journalist, Mr. Wiesenthal has attacked every single Christian who believes what Saint Paul wrote in Galatians 3:29. But this point of Catholic orthodoxy is branded “supersessionism” and “replacement theology” by those who don’t like it.

And there it is: they don’t like it. Evidently the questions of whether God’s promises to the Jews were fulfilled in Christ, and whether the Mosaic Covenant still abides are theological questions. For the Catholic Church (not just fringe groups), they are both questions that have been definitively and infallibly answered in the affirmative and the negative respectively. But Mr. Weitzman does not believe that, and he does not like it. So, in his position as an expert at a human rights organization, he gets to call someone with whom he disagrees on this point of theology, “theologically — not racially — anti-Semitic.” If he were consistent, he must say the same thing of every Father and Doctor of the Church as well as all the New Testament writers. But the journalist gives him a pass on that because, as a progressivist, he is singing from the same hymn sheet as Mr. Weitzman, his hand-picked expert.

Due to time constraints, I will have to limit myself to these few thoughts on the piece. But let me finish with one piece of advice. Every time you read the name Steve Bannon in one of these kind of news pieces (he’s mentioned three times in this one), have this chord progression in your head. It really helps.