Wednesday, May 09, 2007
abc has lost its freakin' mind! kirk cameron, really???
A peeve of mine is that mainstream media refuse to cover religion in a meaningful and informed way. My prejudice against mainstream media grows when things like ABC's recent Nightline sinks the conversation to yet a new low. Nightline squared two atheists up against Kirk Cameron (yes, Left Behind - Growing Pains - Kirk Cameron) and Ray Comfort. This show did nothing more than give exposure to a particular kind of conservatism and belittle Christianity as a whole.
It's clear that Kirk Cameron has found some kind of meaning and purpose in his life since his conversion as a teenager. It was his conversion to evangelical Christianity that was a major part in the dissolution of his television show. However, the media continue to turn to voices like his as representative ones for the entire Christian community, leaving out the millions upon millions of voices of people of faith who can hold science and religion together, faith and reason together. Why don't media turn to the bishops of our great Protestant faiths or the pastors and the laity of congregations that have been engaged in ministry for hundreds of years to represent Christian ideals? Where is Bishop Janice Huie of my denomination when national media want a religious comment on a situation, theological concept, or crisis? Why don't the media invite Walter Brueggemann onto their television shows? Where are the great professors of our theological institutions? Where are the voices of preachers like Barbara Brown Taylor or James Forbes?
Mainline denominations in general and progressive Christians in particular are silenced by the media who turn to the most salacious voices in our communities for the exploitation of ratings. I've been heartened of late with the Human Resource Coalition's addition of faith-based resources on their website along with Step It Up's inclusion of faith communities in its work. Additionally, Jim Wallis has given some attention to progressive voices in his efforts as well. Even so, there is a lot of work that we need to do to make our voices heard.
There are many mainline and progressive churches and individuals of faith who are touched by the Holy Spirit. We believe earnestly in a God of love and justice. We worship this God with our whole hearts and with the entirety of our lives. We offer God all that we have and all that we are. But we have become too quiet and too passive. The gospel of the Christ we know and follow is worth sharing. It is worth us getting upset over the hi-jacking of our faith and the media that promote this theft.
ABC has lost its freakin' mind with this latest step into "religious conversation." I hope it finds sanity someday and invites the leaders and voices from mainline and progressive Churches. What a great day that would be!
Update: Just FYI, the articles on the ABC website that round out this issue for them include: "Searching for a Manly Jesus," "Rick Warren: Purpose Driven Strife," "Speaking in Tongues: Word of the Lord," "The Porn Pastors: XXXChurch.com," "I Don't Want My MTv," "Joel Osteen: Pastor of Prosperity," "Jerry Falwell: Fire and Brimstone" and much more. Gross.
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