Saturday, September 25, 2010

Freedom Doesn't Excuse Media Being Hostile to Traditional Christian Beliefs

On Friday September 24th, Archbishop J. Chaput gave an address to the Religion Newswriters Association on Journalism and the New American Orthodoxy in which he talks about the prejudice in todays journalism. Today, we seem to see a favoritism and the benefit of the doubt given to the religion of Islam while on the other hand we see a bias against traditional Christianity, and in fact a hostility against traditional Christianity.  Isn't it a good idea to approach everyone and their views with a charitable attitude?  Why does it seem like those who ascribe to the liberal point of view, who have turned away from traditional Christianity are unable to do just that - be charitable when giving consideration to others' points of views or different points of views than their own?

 Here is an excerpt of Archbishop Chaput's Address I found at InsightScoop:

One of the worst habits many Catholics had at the start of the clergy sex abuse crisis, including many bishops, was to minimize a very grave problem. But news media show many of the same patterns of denial, vanity, obstinacy and institutional defensiveness in dealing with criticism of their own failures.


Some of the best proof of the problems I’m talking about is published every day by the journalists at getreligion.org. We now commonly see religion coverage that’s illiterate about the subject matter, or narrows the scope of facts or sources to fit an unfriendly narrative—especially when it comes to the Christian faith and its traditional content. Coverage of Islam tends to be equally ill-informed and confused on matters of history; but also more respectful and even sympathetic, as in the recent New York mosque controversy.


In contrast, the Christian story now told in mainstream media often seems to be a narrative of decline or fundamentalism, or houses divided against themselves along predictable lines of sex and authority. It’s a narrative of institutions and individuals that—insofar as they stay true to their historic beliefs—act as a backward social force and a menace to the liberty of their fellow citizens.


Freedom of the press clearly includes the right to question the actions and motives of religious figures and institutions. Our constitutional safeguards for the press developed partly in response to efforts by Puritans like Cotton Mather to have editors and publishers tossed into jail for satirizing local pastors and mocking Christian beliefs in their pages.


But freedom doesn’t excuse prejudice or poor handling of serious material, especially people’s religious convictions. What’s new today is the seeming collusion—or at least an active sympathy—between some media organizations and journalists, and political and sexual agendas hostile to traditional Christian beliefs.


When this happens, the results are bad for everybody.


You can read his entire address here.

2 comments:

Marco said...

We live in interesting times,..as far as the media being hostile, now even CNN is doing a report on what Benedict knew and didn't know about the clergy abuse scandal. The John Jay report that was published how many years ago shows a homosexual crisis, (the victims being male and post pubescant) yet this gets no coverage!!! I always found that peculiar. Christians will always be the red headed stepchild of the mass media,..(Oh, and on a side note, just wondering how old Aisha was when Muhammed became engaged to her? ) Nuff said!

Teresa said...

Marco,

Yes, we do live in interesting times. I heard about CNN doing a hit piece on Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church. That is abominable! You are correct about the John Jay Report's findings. It is so sad how the liberal media distorts the truth and that are diverted so far from reality.