Yesterday, Fox News host Bill Hemmer brought on Father Jonathan Morris -- a Catholic priest and Fox News contributor -- to analyze President Obama's statements about why he became a Christian. And the discussion was not pretty. Morris claimed that while Obama's answer was "pretty good" if "charitably interpreted," he added that "it was not how the average Christian in the United States would answer that question."
Later, Hemmer told a flat-out falsehood to purportedly explain why a large percentage of people incorrectly think Obama is a Muslim or don't know whether he is a Muslim or a Christian. Hemmer falsely claimed that "in modern-day politics, [Obama's] the first president that has chosen not to go to church every week," contrasting Obama with -- among others -- former President George W. Bush. In fact, Bush did not regularly attend church as president and never picked a church to attend in Washington. Neither, for that matter, did former President Ronald Reagan.
Here's Morris critique of Obama's comments:
MORRIS: You know, not too bad. Charitably interpreted, pretty good. But it's not how the average Christian in the United States would answer that question. "I'm a Christian by choice." "It was the precepts of Christianity -- of Jesus Christ that attracted me." The precepts. That's not how the average Christian would respond. Christianity for most Christians who have it as a big part of their life, it's a falling in love not with precepts. Who's going to fall in love with the Ten Commandments? It's the falling in love with -- or the getting to know personally -- a person named Jesus of Nazareth.
If this critique of Obama's statements about faith sounds familiar, recall that Glenn Beck has said: I think [Obama] is a Christian that Christians don't recognize."
As for Hemmer's comments, as we've pointed out, both Bush and Reagan reportedly did not attend church regularly as president.
But getting back to the larger picture, this segment shows one Fox contributor claiming that Obama's interpretation of his faith is "not how the average Christian in the United States" would put it. But later in the segment Hemmer attacked Obama for not being public enough about his faith. Obama just can't win.