Is Jeanine Pirro Taking Orders From the Pope?

March 18, 2019
Posted by Jay Livingston

Jeanine Pirro’s comment about Ilhan Omar (D - MN) is a perfect example of the variation on Betteridge’s Law I offered a while ago (here).
Whenever the title of a book or article is phrased as a question, two things are almost certain:
  •     The author thinks that the answer to the question is “Yes.”
  •     The more accurate answer is “No.”
In this case, the question in question is not a headline but part of her commentary about Rep. Omar.

Think about it: Omar wears a hijab. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?

It’s a cheap rhetorical trick. It lets you promote an idea without having any evidence. And if challenged, you can claim that you were not making an accusation, but merely asking a question.

This time it didn’t work. Even Fox News suspended Pirro, saying that they “strongly condemn” her comments, and that the comments "do not reflect those of the network.”

My other reaction to this incident is: how soon we forget.

Pirro is a practicing Catholic. She was nine years old when John F. Kennedy ran for president. At the time, some Protestants argued that if Kennedy were elected he would be “taking orders from the Pope.” It’s the same charge that Protestant ministers made in 1928 against the country’s first Catholic presidential candidate Al Smith. Catholics, so the argument went, cannot be true to their religion and still uphold the Constitution. They are under the control of nefarious non-American religious sources.

 And now a Catholic commentator is making the same accusation against a Muslim that was made, in her lifetime, against her own co-religionists .

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