How I wish I had millions of dollars that I could invest in contemplative spiritual centers and radio and TV media to get the voices of progressive Christians out there!
I was talking the other day with a person from my church and she commented on a segment of the Republican Party that is mean spirited and viscious, exhibited in the “booing” at John McCain’s concession speech. I believe Bill Moyers, on NPR the other day, called this element of the Republican Party “reptilian.” Winning is not enough. Critiquing the other side is not enough. They must destroy the other side! My friend from church said that her theory as to the presence of this element in the Party is due in large part to people like Rush Limbaugh. For years, if not decades now, they have been listening to very aggressive, rude, mean spirited voices like this.
What we listen to or watch, forms our minds and perception and eventually affects our behavior. Such conservative political shows are prevalent and certainly in the religious sphere, almost all radio and TV shows of a religious nature are from a fundamentalist Protestant, or conservative Catholic perspective. Such shows are rampant. But progressive Christian voices in media are precious few!
How I would love to have millions of dollars to get the voices of progressive preachers, writers and scholars out in radio and TV media on a daily basis and to fund contemplative spiritual centers! How wonderful it would be to get educated voices out there 24/7 to expose people to a deeper and more well reasoned Christianity and to a more accurate understanding of Scripture and what it means for us from a Historical/Critical perspective. Such voices are few and far between in the media.
Anyone have a few million dollars laying around to help get these voices out there?
The other day I was flipping through the channels and landed on CSpan. They were televising the Values Voter Summit, held last week in Washington DC. The portion I caught was a speech by movie star Stephen Baldwin in which he was waxing eloquently about all the evil in the world and particularly Hollywood, all the trash that they’re coming out with and that our kids are seeing. I was taken back by his rhetoric and his evangelical tone, which I admit gives me hives. Despite this I stayed with it. He made a particular statement which disturbed me. He said that he often fights with his “liberal” buddies in Hollywood about shows and movies that are being created and aired. I felt saddened that the support of violent, sexually explicit, shallow, trashy programming was identified with being “liberal.” I don’t think it is a liberal or conservative thing. Liberals are indeed much more prone to freedom of speech and expression; but do they not also care about quality, the cultivation of culture and good, solid formation and education for our children?
I certainly would not agree with much of what this conference was touting. Unlike them I would support family values to such an extent that I would support ALL families, straight, gay, lesbian and the like. I would support marriage to a greater extent than they do in supporting all who wanted to make a life time commitment, no matter their sexual orientation. My stance on supporting life would also include being against capitol punishment and supporting war in only the most rare circumstances. And I would interpret Scripture taking into account its historic and cultural context – and not literally as they do.
AND, although I highly support freedom of speech and expression, I, like them, would greatly discourage a lot of what is aired on television and in the movies. What we put into our minds affects the way we live and act. We certainly are aware of this when it comes to children, but are we aware of it as adults? I know that there are certain things I do or watch that I would do much better not to.
What good food am I giving my mind and spirit each day? What good soil am I providing for the seed that is my life? Is what I do, how I spend my time and what I watch adding something to my life and character? Is it life giving?