Wednesday

Christian news organizations skew truth

This just in from Crosswalk Religion News:

Unborn Children Counted for White House Tours

Unborn children receive security clearances at the White House, even if they have no protection elsewhere in D.C., Baptist Press reports. In an email newsletter sent May 7 to members of Congress and other recipients, the White House Visitors Office outlined the process of registering unborn babies for tours. "We have received a number of calls regarding how to enter security information for a baby that has not yet been born," wrote Ellie Schafer, director of the Visitors Office. "Crazy as it may sound, you MUST include the baby in the overall count of guests in the tour. It's an easy process." The email went on to describe the process of entering the unborn child's security information, and stated that "once the baby is born, you should send an email to the [Visitors Office] with the tour request ID number, the baby's given name, their actual birthday and gender." Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee said it was "ironic that President Obama's staff recognizes the existence of unborn babies for purposes of providing security within the White House -- yet there is no indication that President Obama has any problem with the fact that throughout the District of Columbia, abortion is now legal for any reason up to the moment of birth. Notably, the newsletter provides no guidance on what the staff should do if an unborn baby is first registered for security purposes, but then aborted."

When I got this, I forwarded it to my husband who thought it sounded ridiculous. He checked it out on Google and found an article from PolitiFact. I admit, because I do not agree with the Obama administration on most points, I was duped into thinking that this was another point of hypocrisy.

I encourage you to read the full article at the PolitiFact hyperlink, but what happened in a nutshell was that Baptist Press printed a press release from the National Right to Life organization without checking out the facts. This press release was not a news article. The facts were pathetically misconstrued to push National Right to Life's agenda, which even though I am a pro-lifer, I find that practice repulsive. Both news organizations - Crosswalk and Baptist Press - should have checked out the facts rather than furthering outright lies printed by a supposed Christian organization.

I was actually going to blog on another subject today, but I thought this was too important to pass up. In fact, it reminded me of the passage in Romans 3 that reads:

"But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)  Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 'If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?' Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—'Let us do evil that good may result'?Their condemnation is just!"

Isn't there enough negative stuff going on in the world that people can print? Why resort to lies? Was the news in the pro-life world a little too boring? Did they feel like this was a good way to raise funds? That is shameful!

When I worked in the journalism field, I had a deep sense that my words were extremely important. I felt that anything I wrote could skew public reaction either negatively or positively so I needed to by very careful, especially in news articles (There is a place for opinion - it's called the Opinion Page and it must be labeled as such so there is no confusion). In this light I just tried to print the truth. There were times even, when I had to push my personal opinion aside in order to print what had happened so that I didn't skew the truth. That's what a real journalist must do and that's what Crosswalk and Baptist Press failed to do.

I believe that as Christians we should do much better and not give the world a chance to mock Christ. Don't you?