Saturday, May 07, 2005

Faith-based News

Here's a good article on something that ought to be obvious, but very often isn't: Christian broadcasting is enormously influential on the political life of this country. An issue like the Terry Schaivo case can simmer for years in Christian media, completely ignored by the mainstream, until it bursts out suddenly into view, and everybody else wonders where it all came from.

This used to be true of right-wing media, too. Oklahoma City wasn't a great shock to folks who had been following the right-wing press and/or broadcasting because although Waco had virtually dropped out of sight in the mainstream, it had *never* been forgotten on the right, and there was an entire industry of videos, books, etc. about how it was a frightening example of government oppression. But, with the dominence of Fox News, I don't think it's quite so "underground" anymore.

There's another aspect to the Religious Right that this article notes in passing, too: That more than a few evangelical and fundamentalist Christians are dedicated to living in a safe and hermetically-sealed world of their own. They associate only with other Christians like themselves, send their kids to Christian schools ( or homeschool), then send them off to Christian colleges, where they will meet and marry one of their own. For some of these folks, the only place they encounter non-Christians, or even liberal Christians, (or even conservative Catholics) is at work -- and those that work in these Christian-oriented information and educational industries don't even do that. They can even now plug into a satellite network that carries *only* Christian broadcasting. It's no wonder that they see liberal, or even moderate viewpoints through a lens of stereotypes that present them as self-evidently ridiculous.

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