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Richard Rider

Is the press biased? Is the Pope Catholic?

by Richard Rider

Jaded cynic that I am, still I was stunned by the biased “news” story today in the nominally centrist SAN DIEGO U-T. It’s an awesome demonstration of how liberal bias in media is so strong that the reporters and editors don’t even think of it as bias.

The “news” story below is an ode to Pop Francis — especially for his calls for social justice and drastic environmental restrictions because of global warming. But the story interviews only the usual cabal of left wing activists who back the progressive agenda. The number of people at the staged Pope’s cheerleader gatherings (watching him on TV or holding press conferences) number in the dozens at best — not the hundreds, let alone thousands.

Read the headline and the sub-headline below. You’d think all of San Diego was enthralled by the Pope and his economic message. Of course, that’s not the case — not even close. I find such dishonesty breathtaking.

Not a single dissenting opinion was presented, in spite of using two reporters to assemble this propaganda piece. The story touts “dialogue,” but zero dissenting dialogue is presented.

The message is clear — always read MSM reports with a critical eye. The liberal bias is DNA-based — the progressives in media can’t help it, let alone see it. As Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:24

Dialogue, inclusion, environment focus win raves of locals


Pope Francis’ focus on the environment, poverty and human dignity during his first visit to the United States is resonating with San Diegans.

Examples of that connection occurred Thursday at a gathering in downtown San Diego and another in Encinitas.

About 40 people gathered in the early morning at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Encinitas to watch the broadcast of the pontiff’s address to Congress.

Shirley Shetula, 81, of San Marcos said she felt inspired by the pope’s message of dialogue and inclusion. She said he brings a spiritual dimension to political debates on topics such as the need to care for the environment and the right to life.

“What’s new about him is that he is all-encompassing,” Shetula said. “He includes everybody. He’s so open and that resonates.”

The Encinitas viewing party was organized by the North Coast Eco-Alliance, a grass-roots group that promotes discussion about the environment and hosts Encinitas’ annual EcoFest.

David Ahlgren, a spokesman for the organization, said he was impressed by the pope’s ability to connect with people from many backgrounds.

“He’s so humble and says things that are so easy to adopt and grasp,” Ahlgren said. “He creates a transformational experience for people. So you listen to him and the next day you do something in response — you are transformed.”

The audience watched the broadcast on a large projection screen in the church’s parish hall. Pope Francis drew strong applause during several points in the speech, such as when he spoke about treating others as you would like to be treated and about protecting human life.

“The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us,” he said. “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

The pope’s comments on climate change and the environment especially resonated with Mark Patterson, the local artist who created the Surfing Madonna mosaic in Encinitas as part of an effort to raise awareness about the health of the world’s oceans.

“He was right on. He hit it out of the ballpark as far as I’m concerned,” Patterson said after the event. “It inspired me to think about things much more deeply. The idea that we’re all one family is really important …”

Pope Francis’ emphasis on taking better care of the environment also inspired a gathering at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown San Diego.

The San Diego Coalition to Preserve our Common Home — a mix of religious leaders, ecologists and social- justice activists— held a news conference after the pope’s speech to emphasize the need for greater environmental stewardship.

Its members stood on the cathedral’s steps and praised the pope for saying things such as, “It seems clear to me … that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to our future generation.”

The pontiff was building on the encyclical he issued in June, which seeks to deal with climate change and environmental degradation in many ways.

“In this country, we’ve had such a hard time dialoguing to come up with policy,” said Kent Peters, director of the Office for Social Ministry at the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

“I think (the pope) is calling for us to break that logjam and to figure out how to keep political parties vibrant even though you’re compromising and talking to someone in the opposition …

“We’ve got a touchstone — the encyclical, which will be there for all of human history. Many of our Catholic parishes are already doing very serious energy audits and working with (San Diego Gas & Electric), installing solar panels where it makes sense.”

Rabbi Shai Cherry of Solana Beach said, “I was overwhelmed by (the pope’s) knowledge, by his sophistication of the different facets of this problem and by the range of sources of wisdom from which he pulls.

“I think the first thing he’s calling for is a change of consciousness,” she added. “Our lifestyles will need to change, and will need to reflect the real cost of resources and the real scarcity of resources in a way that the market has not yet adjusted to.”

The Rev. Frank Placone-Willey, minister of Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Santee, said: “If we are to love one another and love ourselves, loving the Earth has to be part of it. I think (the pope) is calling for that repeatedly. He’s talking about loving the Earth, as well as acting with care— with each other as well of ourselves. None of that can be left out of the equation.”