Rolling Stone Magazine ran an interview by Jeff Sharlet of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, a Catholic convert who may run for president. (This was the issue with Kanye West portrayed as a crucified Christ.) But as detailed by the
Culture of Life Foundation, the interview was full of mischaracterizations and outright biases. At least one of those became widely known, but there are others. Here’s one:
“[Brownback] shakes his head in sorrow, thinking of Sweden, which Christian conservatives believe has been made by ‘social engineering’ into an outer ring of hell. ‘You’ll know ‘em by their fruits,’ Brownback says. He pauses, and an awkward silence fills the room. He was citing scripture—Matthew 7:16—but he just called gay Swedes ‘fruits.’”
Sharlet, who runs The Revealer blog, on which he is supposed to be an expert on religion and journalism, apologized on his blog for intentionally twisting Brownback’s meaning. The pro-gay Human Rights Campaign had demanded that Bronback apologize for the “slur,” but Sharlet explained to HRC “that Brownback had not used the term fruit to describe homosexuals and they withdrew their demand. On his blog he wrote, ‘Brownback did not mean to make a joke, nor did he mean to use ‘fruits’ as a slur. I didn’t think he did, nor did I mean to imply that. But I was laughing at the senator.’”
Culture & Life also points out that rather than providing an unbiased profile of a potential presidential contender, Sharlet fills the article with his own unsupported and biased commentary, asserting that Brownback wants to see a world where the State is replaced by the Church, that he wants a culture repressed about sex, that he opposed the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court because she wasn’t sufficiently pro-life (he’s said he thought she would be pro-life, but she wasn’t qualified for the job), and even that Brownback’s wife boasts that she’s never worked outside the home, when it is very evident that was a practicing attorney after graduating from law school.
If Brownback makes a serious run for the presidency, we can expect plenty more of this.
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