The best part of this jaw-dropping display of ignorance from MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Christianity? It comes in a segment called — wait for it — “Pretenders”! Reid argues that Sarah Palin, whose latest book celebrates Christmas, was a hypocrite and a bad Christian because … she put up a Christmas tree! Why, the noted Biblical scholar Reid smirked, that’s a violation of Scripture:
JOY REID, SUBSTITUTE HOST: In “Pretenders” tonight, a merry Palin Christmas. Sarah Palin dropped by Fox & Friends to promote her manifesto on Christmas purity. She brought a treat better than Christmas cookies – family photos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN: In Skagway, Alaska, a little gold mining town where my dad was teaching school and coaching basketball, and that’s my older brother and older sister. And then that was on a college break. We were all in college at the same time my siblings and I home for an alumni basketball game in Alaska.
STEVE DOOCY, HOST: That’s really the key, isn’t it, as we look at another picture of the family. There they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Not so fast, Palin. We learned some important lessons on Monday about all the arbor activity in those pictures. I even had to break out the good book, not hers of course.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Certain parts of the Bible also appear to preach against let’s say, I don’t know, Christmas trees. Here’s Jeremiah 10-10, it reads:
“For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scare crow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, a Christmas purist wouldn’t want to stray from the Bible on Christmas, would she? Everyone celebrates Christmas in their own special way. That could mean being tree-side with the family or even profiting off your [cause?] and commercialism. But if Sarah Palin wants us to believe there’s only one true meaning of Christmas, she can keep on pretending.
Unlike the segment with Michael Eric Dyson, which was an extemporaneous discussion where the guest said something utterly ignorant, this segment was written and produced ahead of time. It apparently escaped everyone at MSNBC, including Reid, that no one buys a Christmas tree and “shapes it with a chisel” into “idols that cannot speak.” No one is worshiping the tree. And unlike the segment with Dyson, Reid and MSNBC produce the Scripture reading where that distinction is actually explicit and clear, and utterly refutes the argument as Reid is making it in an attempt to cheap-shot Palin … and a lot of other Christians over a Christian holy day.
Did anyone at MSNBC bother to research this particular reference from Jeremiah before calling hundreds of millions of Christians idolaters? Did they even bother to read it for comprehension, or did they just do a search at Bible Gateway for “tree” to fit their preconceived argument? And did no editor at MSNBC have even enough of a passing familiarity with Christianity, the Bible, and Christmas trees to think, “Hey, maybe we’ve got this argument wrong?”
Layers of fact-checkers and editors, indeed.
Quite obviously, Reid and her cohorts at MSNBC like to think of themselves as the smartest people in the room. Unfortunately, as Reid has demonstrated all week, they’re just pretenders.
Note: I linked Noel Sheppard and Newsbusters on this, and be sure to read all of Noel’s post, which is well researched. Maybe MSNBC could learn a lesson from him.