Marie Claire

Can journalists at Marie Claire report objectively on evangelicals and sex? Definitely not

Can journalists at Marie Claire report objectively on evangelicals and sex? Definitely not

Marie Claire is the Huffington Post of the women’s magazine set. All opinion, no balance.

What is it about this publication that makes them think that they have an in when it comes to what evangelical Protestant women think? I’ve criticized them before when they did a piece about evangelical females who were secretly gunning for Hillary.

I’m not denying those women existed but the piece was wishful thinking considering that Trump got 81 percent of the evangelical vote. So now Marie Claire has come out with another supposedly tell-all piece; this one about evangelical women who patronize Planned Parenthood.

One thing that shows the magazine's cluelessness right away is the illustration that goes with the piece. It shows an Eve-like figure surrounded by a rosary and reaching for a birth control pill.

Note to Marie Claire editors: Catholics, not evangelical Protestants, pray the rosary. 

Elizabeth* is a 29-year-old stay-at-home mother of four. From a young age, her conservative evangelical parents and pastors impressed upon her the values of the religious right: that a woman's virginity is a gift to her husband, that sex outside of marriage is a sin, that abortion is murder.
Planned Parenthood was the enemy. "My dad instilled in me that we were against that group," Elizabeth says. "He was the kind of guy that would honk in support when people were outside protesting."

The story talks about how she got married, then divorced, then had an ovarian cyst at which point she sought out Planned Parenthood for treatment because it cost the least amount of money. Then:

Voices from the religious right have long been some of the loudest and most vitriolic critics of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides reproductive health services to an estimated 2.5 million women and men in the United States each year. They've called Planned Parenthood a baby-killing factory and a bastion of evil. Evangelical Christians are the most visible aggressor in the fight to overturn Roe v Wade. And this is a social group with hefty political sway: 25 percent of Americans identify as evangelical according to the Pew Research Center, and 82 percent of those evangelicals identify as politically conservative or moderate.

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When will they learn? Media cluelessness about red-state life happened in 2004 and in ...

When will they learn? Media cluelessness about red-state life happened in 2004 and in ...

I well remember the evening in 2005 when Pope Benedict XVI was elected. The news was announced at dusk in a rainy St. Peter’s Square. I was there and I well remember how so many of the Europeans –- particularly the French –- standing close by were swearing a blue streak when the new pope was proclaimed. Many newspapers talked about a climate of fear descending as the world awaited a reign of terror from the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Of course, nothing of the sort happened and Benedict, it turned out, became the first pope in hundreds of years to resign. He willingly give up power. He never did turn out to be the evil genius they accused him of being. And so, when I read all the doom about the coming President Donald Trump, I wonder if the same sort of dire predictions will prove false. (Of course, Cardinal Ratzinger already had tons of Vatican administrative experience.)

I’m also seeing the same wailing and gnashing of teeth that happened in November 2004 when George W. Bush beat John Kerry. The media elites were realizing there was a lot of red-state America out there that they weren’t getting.

Roy Peter Clark’s famous Nov. 4, 2004, “Confessions of an alienated journalist” essay in said it all:

It seems that the Democrats are insensitive to "moral values." This puzzles me because I think that opposing a war, or working for economic justice, or making health care more available in America all derive from a moral vision. Apparently, it is not the moral vision -- the set of faith and family values -- that helped re-elect George W. Bush.
I am now taking seriously the theory that we mainstream journalists are different from mainstream America. "Different" is too pale a word. We are alienated. We may live in the same country, but we treat each other like aliens. Maybe it's worse than that because we usually see and suspect the alien in our midst. The churched people who embrace Bush, in spite of a bumbling war and a stumbling economy, are more than alien to me. They are invisible.

I pitched a piece to Poynter that ran the following month that explained the media’s cluelessness about the other –- and mainly religious -- half of America.

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