Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson is Bill O’Reilly’s “Culture Warrior.” But, is she really FNC’s social conservative? Six days ago on the O’Reilly Factor, the 1989 Miss America, Presbyterian (PCUS) Sunday school teacher, and granddaughter of a prominent long-time Evangelical Lutheran pastor refused to divulge her abortion view (even though she revealed that she did believe that same-relations were “morally acceptable” and opined on other issues such as adultery, out-of-wedlock children, and the death penalty). However, today she seemed to flash her “Souter” slip to her F&F viewers.
This morning, when Gretchen introduced a headline news story entitled, “Speaker’s Religious Rant,” she exclaimed, “Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, did you hear her religious rant recently? She said the word ‘Word’ about thirty times in fifteen seconds.”* After the May 6 clip of Pelosi ran, co-anchor Brian Kilmeade jested, “Do we have a bell for the ‘Word’? I thought ‘Grease’ was the word up until now.” After Gretchen bowled over in laughter, her smiling co-host and a proud Catholic, Steve Doocy turned serious. “But, what’s extraordinary about that…it’s great that she feels comfortable talking about her religiousness in public. But…if she’s saying that the ‘Word’ should influence public policy and they should follow the Gospel, well, why is she for abortion? News flash: The Bible does not like abortion.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Gretchen decided to qualify Steve’s assertion: she declared, “At least, Catholicism does not.” Steve replied, “The Bible’s talking about, I’d like to see where it says, the Bible does not like abortion.” Changing the topic, Gretch answered, “But, the more important thing to me in this whole discussion is that this signals that people on the far left can’t say the word “God.” You see, she had to say the “Word,” she was just sort of stumbling like “Word, Word, Word, Word. Why? Because people on the far left don’t want to say the word ‘God’ anymore. It’s a bad word! It’s a bad word out there. That’s what I got from that little rant.” “Hmm,” responded Steve succintly.
Since Gretchen seemed to skirt the issue last week on O’Reilly but appeared to address it more today, the author checked the current teachings of her church‘s denomination for some possible illumination. They are certainly well within the “mainstream denominations” vis-a-vis evangelical ones: According to the PCUS 2003 amended “Statement on Post-Viability and Late-Term Abortion,” abortion after viability should occur only “in the rarest of circumstances” e.g., to save a mother’s life, preserve her health (when seriously at risk), or in case of rape or incest. N.B. Like many church members, Gretchen may not subscribe to the teachings of her church or denomination, esp., in this controversial issue, but they may suggest her general inclinations.
Perhaps, Gretchen is wading into the abortion debate. Whether she reveals her position fully is her choice. Until then, her audience may now have an educated guess.
*Fox & Friends – 06/03/10 (@7:10 a.m. ET)