Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Faith-based News

The current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review has a revealing story about the alternative universe of faith-based news that evangelical Christians have created.

This alternative universe has not grown up over night. It has been growing for more than thirty years. It is one of the biggest reasons why so many evangelical Christians have no grasp of reality on matters related to church/state issues, WMD's, and other political issues. FOX news directly competes for the attention of these viewers and the rest of the mainstream media have followed suit. That is one of the reasons why newscasting has slanted so far to the right.

Fortunately, the internet provides a lot of unfiltered and uncensored information. If you know where to look, it is possible to learn a lot more about what is happening in the real world than ever before. Most evangelicals, however, are blind to these sources. Even when they see them on the internet, the information doesn't fit their frame of reference and they refuse to accept its veracity. As Lakoff says, "Frames trump facts."

Some day, I trust, the faith-based scales will fall from their eyes and facts will begin to inform frames.


Ceres said...

Great post! I like to come here for my religious news. I am still reading, just not commenting too much.

Greek Shadow said...

Unfortunately the scales did not fall off the eyes of the German population until the they were forced at gun point to walk through the death camps. Not even years of the stench of baked human flesh could get them to fall off.

Eric Lee said...

I just finished reading that piece from CJR yesterday, actually. Great piece. It would probably work well next to David Brock's The Republican Noise Machine, because much of the power structures are the same.

I think the phrase "cognitive dissonance" would fit well to describe your last point there.


TammyJo58 said...


It is truly sad that Christians, or anyone else for that matter, do not have the ability to listen to a news report or read an article in a newspaper or magazine and be able to make a judgement about whether it sounds credible or not. If Christians need "special news" then I submit that they have been "unplugged" from the "power source" that enables them to discern truth from fiction - the Holy Spirit. I shouldn't be suprised by this, but I am. One of the basic beliefs that Baptist have held in the past is the "priesthood of the believer." It seems as though some of our convention leaders have decided that this is very inconvenient. You don't have to look any further for evidence of this than the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, where they might as well have said, "Don't let the Holy Spirit be your guide - just ask us." Praise God there were those out there who saw the new BFM for what it is.

Too many Christians rely on "man" for their guidance, and not on the Word, the Spirit, and prayer. It begs the question, "Are they relying on this same "man" for their salvation. I submit that no "man" or institution can be a substitute for the one true God.

God Bless,