A couple of items in the news confirmed what religious conservatives have known for a long time. First, liberal journalists aren’t very religious. Second, they are ignorant about religion. Third, they believe, according to Paul Waldman who wrote on The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog, that “religious conservatives” are trying to “secure special religious privileges in realms like commerce and politics.”
The first two are true, the third is false. Religious conservatives are trying to decrease the authority and power of government while working to get our political leaders and judges to recognize that they are not gods.
Religious conservatives are not trying to “secure special religious privileges.” They are trying to retain the religious privileges that are theirs as an endowment by God (see the Declaration of Independence), not a gift from the State to be given and taken away on a whim, and protected by the First Amendment.
They have seen how groups like the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have been working to remove every vestige of religious expression from public life contrary to the founding of our nation’s Christian heritage.
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones claims that “journalists worry not about appearing biased” when they ask religious questions “but rather about getting overmatched by politicians who are well-versed in Scripture, exegesis, and so on”:
“[M]ost mainstream reporters aren’t very religious themselves and don’t think they can keep up their end of an interview about faith. When the Rev. Jeremiah Wright says ‘God damn America,’ that’s catnip for the press: it’s not really about religion, it’s about somebody saying something outrageous and then tallying up the responses. Easy peasy. But a serious discussion about the ins and outs of various faith traditions and how different candidates ended up where they did? It’s sort of like talking about the details of handgun design. There’s a serious chance of a liberal journalist embarrassing himself badly.”
This is probably the first time I have ever agreed with anything that someone from Mother Jones has written.
Years ago, religious matters were front page news, and the people who wrote on the subject knew their stuff. A skeptic like H. L. Mencken is a case in point. Consider his obituary of Rev. J. Gresham Machen who was a professor of Greek at Princeton Theological Seminary and a staunch defender of the Christian faith. “Mencken . . . held the utmost respect for Machen, even lamenting that he ‘never had the honor of meeting him’ personally.”
When Jimmy Carter announced that he was a “born again Christian” (John 3:3-8) in a Playboy interview (Nov. 1976), the media scrambled to find out what he was referring to even though Chuck Colson’s book Born Again was published in 1976 and ” Time magazine named [Colson] ‘One of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America.'”
The amount of ignorance among the media was so bad that Billy Graham wrote the book How to be Born Again to help them understand a doctrine that is fundamental to Christianity. Apparently the rest of America was also ignorant since the first printing of 800,000 copies was old out in a flash.
If the media can’t understand or are ignorant of the basics of a religion believed by billions of people, why should we trust them with other subjects like global warming/climate change, science/evolution, economics, and the new Iran deal? Of course, we can’t.