No one would mistake CNN as a champion of Christianity, but Chris Cuomo's latest diatribe against Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) crosses a line -- even for them. Maybe the network bosses have decided they don't want the big slice of viewership that the church represents. If not, then they've got an uphill climb proving otherwise, especially when they let their junkyard dogs use their airtime to attack faith.
It started as a monologue against Donald Trump (like every other segment on CNN). But the conversation took a turn when Cuomo started bashing Republicans who'd announce that they would refuse to certify the election results. "Those who remain [after Trump is gone], the Kevin McCarthys, the people in the House, the people in the Senate, the man he called Lyin' Ted, the man he called Little Marco..." Then, Cuomo broke with the president's labels and started using his own, calling Senator Rubio "Mr. Bible Boy." "You know, he's got a Bible quote for every moment -- he just never speaks truth to power or acts on any of it in the interest of his own state or of this country."
Not surprisingly, the backlash was intense on social media from people who took the mockery personally -- and rightly so. "Serious question," one user asked Cuomo. "What traits do you exhibit that could possibly make someone believe that you're a Christian?" Others agree, insisting that if Cuomo shared Rubio's faith, he wouldn't "act [this] way." Rubio, to his credit, didn't let Cuomo get away with it, firing back: "The verses I tweet are usually the ones chosen by the Catholic Church for that days mass," Rubio wrote. "But the fact he thinks words written thousands of years ago are relevant to current events proves the Bible isn't just a book, it's the word of God. AMEN."
Unfazed, Cuomo took the vitriol farther, tweeting early Wednesday morning, "People who put 'Christian' first in their bio tend to be the nastiest people I encounter here," he tweeted early Wednesday morning. "I don't give a pass for being a member of my religion... no one gets a pass." Interesting, since I don't think anyone at CNN would even dream of calling Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) a "Bible boy." Maybe because the only people the media is interested in marginalizing are people of orthodox faith. Either way, it's an incredible double standard -- and a symbol of just how comfortable CNN is in its contempt.
Ironically, the pushback to Rubio's Bible postings was a subject he and I talked about right before Christmas "Washington Watch." It's not as if Cuomo's objections to Rubio's tweets were new. The senator has been maligned -- and even challenged by activist groups -- on his Bible posts. I asked him why it was so important to him to share those verses every day.
"It's the first thing I try to do every morning, if it's possible. [If] it speaks to me, I share it with people. I always tell [my followers], it's voluntary. You don't have to read the tweet. You don't have to follow me if it offends you. But I do two things by design. The first is, I deliberately try to take from the Old Testament, simply because I want it to apply to the broadest audience possible [like our brothers and sisters in] the Jewish faith. For them, it's scripture as well. But often times, around Christmas and Easter and so forth, I will go into gospel. Second[ly], a lot of people -- and this I get a little chuckle from -- they think that there's some sort of hidden message in there. And I would say 80 or 90 percent of the days, it's straight from either a devotional or frankly, the Catholic reading for that day of the daily mass. And it's just right out of there.
It speaks to how relevant [the Bible is]. It's an amazing, amazing book. I mean, the Bible is amazing about the lessons that it has about human nature that apply in many cases, you know, 5,000, 4,000 years. And in the New Testament, over 2,000 years after those words were written, [it shows] how people can take those words and extrapolate and apply to some contemporary issue. And when people get upset, I say, 'Hey, don't get mad. I didn't write the Bible. I just believe in it.'"