Sunday, December 25, 2005

Media coverage of religion

Over at NewsBusters, Tim Graham was talking about media coverage of religion. I think that the media coverage of religion is just as biased and lazy and agenda-driven as everything else that they do. I dug out a couple of things that I wrote earlier this year, and I agree now with what I said then.

I wrote about the media attitude towards the Catholic Church (of which I am not a member) a couple of times this year, the first time on the death of JPII (actually referencing an MRC Cyberalert.)
One of the predictable responses to the death of the Pope is being played out in the Mainstream (don't call us liberal) media. As documented by the Media Research Center, ABC and NBC are essentially lobbying for a less "doctrinaire" Pope. Katie Couric was quoted as asking an American Cardinal "Polls have showed that 60% of American Catholics want priests to be allowed to marry, and 64% want women to be allowed to become priests. Can we expect that the new Pope will institute some of these reforms?" I don't watch, so I can't vouch for the quote, but it sure sounds plausible.

The New York Times obituary spoke of how "John Paul's extraordinary effort to cleanse his church's conscience ... and his steadfast resistance to changes in church teachings on birth control, priestly celibacy, the ordination of women and other issues were among the fundamental traits of his pontificate." Today's times features an opinion piece from Thomas Cahill which derides the pontificate of John Paul II as "almost the polar opposite of John XXIII, who dragged Catholicism to confront 20th-century realities after the regressive policies of Pius IX."

...the point is clear. The Catholic Church needs to change its position to remain relevant in the modern world. We know better. The liberal modern world is right, John Paul II was wrong, the Catholic Church is wrong, if it feels good, do it. Etc.

And then this is what I wrote on the selection of Benedict XVI (Media attitude - Oh no! The new Pope's Catholic!)

There is a profound desire on the left to have a church that conforms to their lifestyle, rather than imposing onerous restrictions that they don't want to deal with. I'm reminded of a line from "The Wanderer", a song written by Bono, but sung by Johnny Cash on U2's Zooropa album.
I stopped outside a church house

Where the citizens like to sit

They say they want the kingdom

But they don't want God in it

That's what I see in most of the coverage. People want cheap grace, they want to consider themselves good people, religious people, but don't actually want any external judgement or constraint on their behavior.

Nothing that I've seen in the last 7 months makes me want to change a word of it...



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