MSNBC's Martin Bashir has plenty of opinions when it comes to faith and politics. His typically-leftist perspective on these issues is often corroborated by a panel comprised of like-minded individuals who tend to agree with his every whim. Tuesday's show proved no different when Bashir delved into the Catholic Church and its ongoing debate with the Obama administration over the infamous contraceptive mandate.
The segment commenced with clips showing Cardinal Timothy Dolan weighing in on the ongoing battle and the potential service cuts that Catholic leaders may make as a result of the regulatory change. Additionally, Dolan also maintained that the church didn't want this fight and that leaders simply hope "to be left alone to do the work that Jesus asked" of them.
"If these mandates kick in, we're going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate," Dolan said. "As part of our religion -- it's part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. We'd have to give it up, because we're unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by -- guess who -- the federal government."
Bashir, of course, wasn't buying into Dolan's commentary. The television host responded by bringing up the $2.9 billion that Catholic Charities received in federal funding back in 2010 to showcase the tight fiscal relationship that exists between the government and the church.
"They don't seem to bristle at the hand of government when it comes to money, do they?," Bashir later commented.
Throughout the segment, Mother Jones’ David Corn, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and Democratic strategist Krystal Ball joined in to share their opposition to the church's views on the mandate.
"There's no satisfying them on this issue and clearly they've decided to use this threat as an attempt to essentially bully the president and the administration into getting their way," Ball claimed.
Corn, though, had some of the harshest commentary regarding the church's handling of the situation.
"It strikes me as just not very Christian, if I can say so, to get out there and say, 'We will not be providing services if you force us to do these things -- or if there's a mandate," Corn said. "Would Jesus take his fish and a loaf and go home?"
Watch the dialogue, below: