I am not offering a short, pithy treatise on every problem with a proposed solution for each. I have neither the time, word count nor mind to tackle that. What I am offering up are some thoughts on this controversial topic, some bite-sized mind morsels that I hope you will ruminate on, alone and collectively.
What is the role of the media? Many things could be said here: pushing particular political stances, making more money for over-opulent men, etc. Right near the top though would be to give a voice to the world, its people, and its happenings. Doing this with a fair, balanced approach and a touch of healthy bias (yes, there is such a thing) is one of the key tenets of journalism.
Why, then, does the media so clearly favour or disfavour certain groups of society?
The media gives the masses a voice, only to gag some. This is seen with Christians, who are known only for what they are against, not what they are for (or truly believe). True Christian practice and belief is thrown to the wayside in favour of something grossly distorted. That is grotesquely unfair.
In pushing true objectivity aside, the media offers a worldview that simply doesn't make senseâ€""You are allowed to have your own point of view, but only if it agrees with ours." By silencing religion in the public sphere, the media (news, film, TV or print) has become the bigot it strives to destroy. True freedom of speech, where differing viewpoints are permitted and encouraged to have their say, is lost. Does this sound like democracy? Totalitarianism may be more fitting.
Christianity is an historical religion. It is based on events that occurred in real time and space. This means that it can be rationally proven or disproven. The worldview of Christian theism stands or falls on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. If he didn't live, die, and rise from the dead, then it is all worthless. It even says that in the Bible (1 Corinthians 15 verses 16–19). It asks people to question. To investigate. To pursue the objective truth of the world.
By attacking Christianity flippantly and without integrity, the media has created an awful irony: the foundational documents (the Gospels) of the religion and worldview they belittle, better resemble accurate journalism than the skewed, prejudiced nonsense we are often subjected to.
The world is messed up. The media succeeds in demonstrating this. Pain, suffering and misery abound. Now I am one of the first to put up my hand and acknowledge that Christians have had their part to play in human suffering. But is that really all Christianity is about? Can this 2000-year-old religion, with roots even older, really be summed up with words such as obsolete, intolerant, and bigoted?
Christianity offers an alternative to the weary worldview offered today. The prevailing thought is that all of mankind's troubles can and will be solved. By us. When I look at the news, it is quite obvious that we are the problem, not the solution. Hope for healing of our pain and suffering is not to be found within, or anywhere near us for that matter. It is to be found in the pain and death and love of Jesus.
Obviously, we have begun to dip our toes into the intellectual deep-end here. There are many more words begging to be said, but other topics and views need to be heard and read.
After all, this is an opinion piece. You have heard mine. What is yours?
[This article was adapted from one originally published by the author in the Salient magazine of Victoria University of Wellington, October 7, 2013]
Cody Knox lives in Wellington, New Zealand. He works in ICT for the New Zealand government and in his free time he loves to read, write, and run.
Cody Knox previous articles may be viewed www.pressserviceinternational.org/cody-knox.html