Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Q.E.D.

Mollie Hemingway, at GetReligion, quotes Pope Benedict:
Sadly, in certain countries, mainly in the West, one increasingly encounters in political and cultural circles, as well in the media, scarce respect and at times hostility, if not scorn, directed towards religion and towards Christianity in particular.
and then comments on a Washington Post “On Faith” panel that, in the context of the Brit Hume controversy, was asked "Is there widespread media bias against Christianity? Against evangelicals such as Hume and Palin? Against public figures who speak openly and directly about their faith? Against people who believe as you do?" Her summary of the responses:
And a quick look at the panelist answers is interesting. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield says bias against Christianity is real, but also understandable. Secular Coalition for America President Herb Silverman says the only bias on display against Brit Hume was against pomposity. Gustav Niebuhr wonders what’s the big deal since Jesus said Christians would be persecuted for their beliefs. C. Welton Gaddy says the notion is silly. Atheist apologist Daniel Dennett says it’s about time that the religious were under more intense scrutiny by the media. Professor of Islamic Studies John Esposito says religious bias begins at Fox News. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite says that Palin and Hume are merely reaping what they sowed. Rabbi Jack Moline says that Hume had no integrity. Comparative religions professor Matthew N. Schmalz says it’s Hume who is biased against pluralism. And author and reporter Susan Jacoby says the idea is ludicrous (and that Michael Gerson’s piece in the Post really angered her).

Only one of the panelists, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Muow, agrees that the media is biased against Christians.

So for those keeping score at home, that’s 10 Washington Post/Newsweek “On Faith” panelists saying that the Pope and Brit Hume are crazypants or get what they deserve and one panelist saying he thinks that they have a point.

Maybe this was just a particularly clever experiment from the minds of Meacham and Quinn to prove the point? .... [more]