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My take on religious leaders as talk show panelists [View All]

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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:37 PM
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My take on religious leaders as talk show panelists
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I'm speaking only of the "Christian" religion, since it dominates the political scene here.

For example, this morning, both Meet the Press and ABC's This Week w/Stephanopolos had a panel of four (supposedly "balanced") members debating religion & politics. They both had one African-American male, and no females (what did you expect?).

Progressive/liberal panelists on MTP were Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners. There was only ONE on ABC - Rev. Tony Campolo. Campolo did pretty well at holding his own, but on MTP the fundamentalists characteristically talked over the others and were allowed to dominate the conversation.

Predictably, on both of them, the conversation quickly centered around abortion and same-sex marriage. Seems like it ALWAYS does! And on both shows, the progressive/liberals brought up the fact that the Bible/Jesus say more about how we treat the poor than about sexual issues. Their points quickly get drowned out, since the other panelists don't want to discuss THAT issue. The sexual issues trump the economic issues EVERY TIME!

Of course, the host is largely responsible for this problem. They usually allow it to drift this way and do not know enough about the Bible to challenge the hard core right-wingers.

IMHO, the talk show hosts could have a more truthful and beneficial (and ground-breaking!) discussion if they would include and press on the following topics:

1. End-times "Armageddon theology" and its implications for foreign policy

2. Including economic and environmental issues as moral issues

3. The tendency to confuse patriotism/nationalism with religion (the Bible calls it "idolatry"), including the moral implications of war and empire-building

4. The encroachment of Dominionism/Reconstructionist thinking & theology into U.S. politics

The progressive/liberal panelists can easily argue and debunk the right-wing views on these issues if the talk show hosts will allow them to make as much noise as the other panelists.

One more idea/suggestion to these programs:

Next time, insist that panelists (for once) steer clear of "sex-based" religious issues!

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