Heaven help Jesus if he was to try to get heard on mainstream media today. Watchdog group Media Matters for America has conducted a study, “Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in the Major News Media,” that has found that conservative religious leaders have been three to four times more likely to have been “quoted, mentioned, or interviewed” than spiritual progressives like Jesus.
God have mercy if Jesus tried to say on live television that you cannot serve God or Mammon. You safely can say greed is good like John Stossel but you had not better say that the measure of a man’s life is more than his net worth. Mercy on the messenger who says you should not covet.
Listening to Mammon’s Syndicated Media (otherwise known as Main Stream Media) you would get the strong impression that the only issues religious voters have are abortion and gay marriage. Yet a 2006 Zogby International exit poll found that twice as many American voters said that greed and economic justice make “the most urgent moral crisis in American culture.”
While MSM portrays all Christians as conservative, around 90 percent of Americans identify themselves as religious but only 32 percent of Americans identify as conservatives. Even among evangelicals only 10 percent consider abortion and same-sex marriage the most important issues in determining how to vote.
But from reading the newspapers and watching television, you would get the impression that all Christians are fundamentalist fanatics hellbent on establishing a theocracy. Of course Mammon’s media has been all too willing to give the religious right plenty of air time to reinforce such negative impressions.
Nor has the left objected very vigorously because some time back it back seriously unhip to be religious. It was a dead give away for being naive and unsophisticated. Indeed, many have come to view religion as evil. Bill Maher calls religion a form of mental illness. No wonder so many commoners consider liberals out of touch and living in a world of ideals and shoulds.
In the real world, among real people, religion matters very much. And among the many Christians I know, the overwhelming majority sincerely want to do what Jesus taught. Instead of attacking that as ignorant superstition, liberals need to focus on what Jesus actually said and taught. When they do, they should shout for joy that Americans want to live the teachings of one of the greatest radicals of all times. Jesus taught inclusion, justice, peace, tolerance and a sharing of the wealth. Jesus was all about peace and love and if being a liberal isn’t about peace then just what is it about? Being right or holier-than-conservatives? Yes, Mammon’s media has negatively stereotyped religion but liberals and conservatives dogmatists have been most cooperative in aiding and abetting.
As to the “values” Americans really care about, the Zogby poll found the number one “moral issue” was the Iraq war. Put together the concerns about greed and the Iraq war and you have the classical complaints of progressives from the prophets to the present: you cannot serve God and the greater good, and Mammon. Right now what must be shouted from the rooftops and proclaimed in the daylight is how Mammon’s unholy trinity of Big Business - in this case Media - , Big Religion and Big Government have once again conspired to manipulate people’s good intentions in order to start another senseless war for profit and power.
What you can do right now is contact the major news networks and let them know that it’s time for balance in religious voices being heard.