Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak told Dennis Prager that the media should honor American faith during times of crisis, lamenting broad disparagement of religious convictions by news outlets during the coronavirus outbreak.
America can draw strength from spiritual resources to take on national challenges, said Pollak on Thursday’s edition of Dennis Prager’s show, carried on the Salem Radio Network.
I’d like to see a focus on what we can do to help one another. The biggest challenge is that the churches, synagogues, and mosques are closed. This is a new challenge, because in the United States we’ve always been able to draw on our spiritual resources to confront national challenges, and this is something we can’t do in our traditional setting, anymore, so people are turning online.
Pollak praised Prager’s role in helping people through the crisis by bringing faith into the public sphere in a non-threatening way:
It’s where, I think, you have a particularly important role to play, because there’s no public intellectual who’s done more to connect faith and politics in a very open and accessible way than you have, and that’s exactly what we need. We need people to point to the spiritual lessons of the past and remind us that we can overcome this, that there are things we can do for one another, and that this is a test we will come out of stronger than before.
Pollak highlighted My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell’s call for Americans to pursue spiritual development during the coronavirus outbreak while speaking at the White House on Monday alongside President Donald Trump. “I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word, read our Bibles, and spend time with our families,” said Lindell.
The news media “went into a tailspin over” Lindell urging American to read the Bible, observed Pollak, “but that’s exactly what we need, not because I believe the Bible is a book of magic spells … no, because there are lessons in the Bible.”
Pollak added, “We have Passover coming up and we commemorate the ten plagues — and I’m and in no way comparing the United States to Egypt, in fact I’m doing the opposite, I’m comparing us to the Israelites — but we forget that at least according to one interpretation, the Israelites suffered the first three of the ten plagues together with the Egyptians.”
“The Israelites, too, had to shelter at home and shelter in place,” Pollak continued. “That’s what the Passover meal is all about, is having indoor time with your family, staying inside, being careful, observing the rituals very carefully, and sheltering in place until the time for redemption came. What the [Passover] story reminds us is that even in those dark moments, redemption is something that is coming and can come if we do the right thing.”
Pollak stated, “Those sorts of spiritual insights need to be out there, need to be available to us, and that’s what I see the president trying to do when he talks about people who are stepping up and making a contribution, and that’s what I’d like to see more of.”
Pollak concluded with a hope for news media not to exploit the conroavirus outbreak for political or partisan purposes.
“I’d like to see the media not exploiting this for the election,” Pollak wished. “I’d like to see the media not exploiting this to try to deplatform conservatives — which is what they were [already] doing, anyway — and this is now the latest pretext to try to push people off the air.
“There are some conservatives who’ve changed their minds about this, [and] we should celebrate that. We should celebrate people looking at evidence and coming to different conclusions, rather than saying, ‘Oh, well because you were too optimistic about something, you need to be off of your show.'”
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.