https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/chris-queen/2022/07/09/liberty-counsel-responds-to-rolling-stone-smear-n1611583

Regular PJ Media readers probably don’t read Rolling Stone that often, and I don’t blame them. What used to be a groundbreaking cultural magazine — I used to read its music and pop culture pages all the time in my much younger years — has become just another left-wing propaganda organ.

PJ Media columnist Mark Tapscott brought us two articles this week discussing what Rolling Stone wrote about the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Reporters used an explanation of prayer that is both unbiblical and utterly nonsensical to try to smear a representative of the Christian legal organization Liberty Counsel, suggesting that Liberty Counsel’s act of praying with Supreme Court justices influenced them to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“At the heart of the claimed cause of the problem is the authors’ description of prayer: ‘Prayer is a powerful communication tool in the evangelical tradition: The speaker assumes the mantle of the divine, and to disagree with an offered prayer is akin to sin,’” Mark wrote on Wednesday.

Related: Supreme Court Prayer Calumny Is Classic Illustration of Elite Media Manipulation of Facts

He continued:

Clearly, the Rolling Stone authors’ conception of prayer bears zero relation to the truth. Had they bothered to ask any evangelical, they would have been told in no uncertain terms that only God Himself has that “mantle of the divine.”

And if these authors don’t even take the time to understand how we evangelicals understand the act of praying, why should anybody care that these same authors see a problem with Supreme Court justices doing it with somebody they’ve no doubt listened to during oral arguments over and over?

On Thursday, Mark followed up with a further explanation of how articles like the one in Rolling Stone manipulate the truth to suit a left-wing narrative.

He wrote that “the Rolling Stone authors describe Peggy [Nienaber, vice-president of Faith & Liberty, a D.C. ministry related to Liberty Counsel] as being ‘caught on a hot mic making a bombshell claim: that she prays with sitting justices inside the high court.’ And ergo: ‘This disclosure was a serious matter on its own terms, but it also suggested a major conflict of interest,’ the conflict being that the Dobbs majority cited, among much else, the Liberty Counsel brief.”

Nienaber has since clarified that her time praying with justices took place before the COVID-19 pandemic and that she didn’t get any opportunity to pray with justices in the runup to the Dobbs decision.

On Thursday, Liberty Counsel clapped back in response to the article. The statement, which Liberty Counsel posted on Facebook, reads:

The Rolling Stone article is false. The writers know it is false, but they chose to print the sensational story any way. Since Liberty Counsel assumed the prayer ministry called Faith & Liberty in 2018, there has been no prayer with the Justices. This prayer ministry prays for the Justices, not with them. And the prayer ministry is not just for the Justices and the Court but includes all three branches of government, the nation, and also includes international prayer. The instances referred to in the article go back many years prior to when Liberty Counsel assumed the Faith & Liberty prayer ministry. In fact, it should be obvious that since early 2020, the Supreme Court has been on lockdown due to COVID. Many of the oral arguments have been done virtually. Even those done in-person allow only the arguing counsel and one other attorney. Neither the client, the full legal team, nor the public have been permitted inside the Supreme Court. Arguing counsel and one other counsel must pass a COVID test and wear an N-95 mask. There is no way anyone could have entered the Court to pray with the Justices or the staff over the past 2 ½ years. That fact alone completely discredits the article.

Should we expect Rolling Stone to apologize for its reporting or retract anything? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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