As a writer and research analyst for MRC Culture, Sarah Stites reports on faith, entertainment and LGBT issues. Ever since ADF represented her in a religious liberty case, she has been passionate about defending first amendment freedoms. Prior to MRC, she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Management Partners.
Latest from Sarah Stites
As one of the most iconic moments in American history, D-day always gets media commemoration. But here’s something that many mainstream outlets won’t highlight: former president and liberal darling Franklin Roosevelt firmly believed that God guided the U.S. in its dark hour in order to preserve “our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”
These days, politics is always in fashion. At tonight’s Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) Gala, there’ll be talk of both pleats and protests, raglan and resistance. The event – usually tame on the political front – will this year highlight radical feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and actress and Black Lives Matter supporter Janelle Monae.
When the Kremlin banned Jehovah’s Witnesses from publicly practicing their faith in Russia, the big three broadcast networks remained silent. Now, as religious freedom violations escalate, the silence shamefully continues. Late last month, members of Russia’s FSB security service raided a private residence where a Bible study was taking place.
For Father Douglas al-Bazi, the terms “genocide” and “persecution” don’t even begin to describe the horrors his people have faced in the Christian community of Northern Iraq. And yet, the media are still reticent to use to g-word. At the World Summit for the Defense of Persecuted Christians earlier last month, al-Bazi talked with MRC Culture about torture, forgiveness, the decimation of his people and the need for action, not words.
According to some liberal media outlets and activist groups, crisis pregnancy centers are misleading, coercive and dangerous to women. Now, because of this false narrative, one such center is facing a lawsuit that strikes at the very core of freedom of conscience and speech.
Although the liberal media often downplay attacks against the faithful, a new report released this week presents incontrovertible proof that the U.S. government is increasingly hostile to religion. In “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America,” First Liberty Institute listed more than 1200 government-initiated attacks on religion in 2016 alone. The report divides these cases into four spheres – the public arena, the schoolhouse, churches and ministries and the military.
The ISIS cancer is slowly metastasizing into Southeast Asia, but you wouldn’t know it from the lack of big three network coverage. While last week’s terrorism in the Philippines got a total of one mention from ABC’s Good Morning America, the Manchester bombing was mentioned in twenty different network broadcasts.
The Trump administration has given late night TV new life. But for all their digs at the president, Stephen Colbert and his ilk aren’t doing much better than POTUS at bringing the country together.
On Friday morning, the media exploded with news of the fourth major ISIS attack against the Coptic community in a span of 6 months. But Egyptian-American preacher Michael Youssef says Coptic Christians are more passionate than ever about their faith. And that’s something the liberal media aren’t talking about.
While some media critics have stressed the importance of accurately representing minorities and LGBT folks on entertainment TV, there’s a whole other subset of America that isn’t being portrayed with the nuance it deserves: veterans.
Feminist writers have recently pushed for more and better representations of abortion on-screen. Now, they’re cheering on ABC’s remake of Dirty Dancing as just the movie we needed. “Dirty Dancing is, was, and will forever be a movie about abortion,” wrote Harper’s Bazaar contributor Kaitlin Menza. In the classic film set in 1963, protagonist Baby covers for dancer Penny, who is suffering from complications after a pre-Roe v. Wade illegal abortion. That fact is integral to plotline, as it sets the stage for Baby getting swept off her feet by dance instructor Johnny.
In southern Virginia, racial tensions are simmering over the fate of Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue. But one local African American farmer is not with the liberal protestors; in fact, he thinks they’re a big part of the problem. When white supremacist leader Richard Spencer led a rally in Lee Park, a “Love Trumps Hate” group counter-rallied. Afterwards, Chris Newman, owner of Sylvanaqua Farms, took to Facebook with a brutally honest wake-up call for the progressive protestors.
Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy is not here for the media’s comparisons of America and the dystopia of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Gilead is more like Saudi Arabia. And she should know. After living in Britain for fifteen years, Eltahawy moved to Jidda, Saudi Arabia as a teen. That experience, she reflected in a May 24 New York Times op-ed, “traumatized” her “into feminism.”
Hallmark is now selling cards for people in the midst of gender transitioning. According to Glamour, the brand has a new card under the subset “Encouragement: Transgender/Transitioning” within its broader line of “LGBTQIA” cards.
Gender “confirmation” surgeries are becoming more popular in the United States, according to a May 22 report. However, based on media coverage of the news, you wouldn’t know that the procedures are medically controversial. On Monday, the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported 3,200 facial, chest and genital reassignment surgeries in 2016 – a nearly 20 percent jump from 2015. This is the first year that this statistic has been published, Time public health writer Alexandra Sifferlin noted.
As of now, straight men aren’t accused of homophobia for their lack of interest in dating other men. But straight men who aren’t interested in transgender women? They’re transphobic. When 30-year-old fireman Bryce Powers, a contestant on The Bachelorette, answered a question about his biggest date fear, he sparked a firestorm by responding: “The chick is actually a dude.” Naturally, the PC police had no sympathy for Powers, who had quite the media blaze to put out.
Commencement addresses from presidents and vice presidents are newsworthy, but what the networks choose to focus on differs wildly based upon whether the individual is liberal or conservative. Despite the controversy surrounding President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame University in 2009, the nets focused heavily on the content of his remarks. Not so for Vice President Mike Pence, who delivered this year’s May 21, keynote. While ABC correspondent Amy Robach briefly mentioned the subject he discussed – the suppression of free speech on campus – the other networks focused solely on the dozens of students who walked out of the address in protest.
The pro-choice movement is often illogical. Here are ten examples of the irony that abounds among its proponents. After liberal director Joss Whedon (famous for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, among others) produced the short pro-Planned Parenthood film “Unlocked,” the abortion provider encouraged girls to “Watch. Share. Slay.” The use of the millennial lingo “slay” was gruesomely fitting, yet the irony was lost on the organization.