For Immediate Release
August 30, 2011
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610-584-1096,
Archbishop Says Mainstream Media ‘Not Trustworthy’ Reporting on Religious Issues
Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network Says Christians Must Research Important Social Matters to Intelligently Defend Their Beliefs
Philadelphia, PA—Today’s mainstream news outlets do not "provide trustworthy information about religious faith," says Philadelphia ‘s incoming Archbishop Charles Chaput.
The former Archbishop of Denver told more than 10,000 young people at a gathering in Madrid, Spain, recently that media outlets like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN and MSNBC fall short when it comes to reporting on American moral battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage and other important issues that have led to public smears and legal threats against Catholics, evangelicals, Protestants, Mormons and those of other faiths.
"And with relatively few exceptions," he said, "the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness and bias against traditional Christian beliefs. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith — and sometimes they can’t provide it, either because of limited resources or because of their own editorial prejudices."
"The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network commends Archbishop Chaput for his strong stance on media bias against religion," said Colin Hanna, president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network and Let Freedom Ring. "While the mainstream media can be a valuable source of breaking news, I think many have probably learned that we cannot rely on these media outlets alone to bring us the coverage we need about religious happenings both in the U.S. and around the world.
"As Christians, it’s our own job to actively learn about important issues that need our attention, intelligently research them and make our minds up for ourselves about how we will pray, take action and defend our positions and our faith on these vital social issues. These matters are just too crucial to leave up to a twenty-second news brief."
Archbishop Chaput went on to say that the U.S. media reports very little on the persecutions Christians face in other countries or violence against believers in places such as Iraq, Syria, Tunisia , Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Archbishop Chaput also warned that it is dangerous for democracy to force religion out of the public square. "Forcing religious faith out of a nation’s public square and out of a country’s public debates does not serve democracy," said the Archbishop. "It doesn’t serve real tolerance or pluralism. What it does do is impose a kind of unofficial state atheism. To put it another way, if we ban Christian Churches or other religious communities from taking an active role in our nation’s civic life, we’re really just enforcing a new kind of state-sponsored intolerance — a religion without God."
Chaput was named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He will begin his post on September 8.
The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the "salt and light" to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues; examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in our political process on a non-partisan basis.
The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a project of Let Freedom Ring, Inc., a 501 c(4) non-profit organization.
For more information about Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network visit www.papastors.net.
To schedule interviews with Colin Hanna, President of Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network and Let Freedom Ring, contact Deborah Hamilton at [email protected] , 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.
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