Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blaming the Media

One of Culture Campaign's favorite themes is that mainstream media is out to get Christians. The latest iteration of this theme is a post titled "The Truth About High Point Church and the Gay Gulf War Veteran." The story as reported by the Associated Press is that a church in Arlington, Texas offered to host a funeral service but withdrew the offer when it discovered that the mourning family wanted to display pictures of the deceased that according to the church included men "engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing." The family said the pictures included "some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging."

What I find amusing is the Campaign's assertion that "Contrary to the mainstream media reports, High Point Church did not refuse to host the funeral of a gay man." The Campaign refers to an article at which goes on to say that "[i]t’s not surprising that the mainstream media would misrepresent the facts." What I cannot figure out is what facts were misrepresented. As far as I can tell, the Associated Press accurately reported the church's version of the events and the family's version of the events without taking sides.

The fact of the matter is that it is hard for a church to look good when it declines to hold the funeral of a gay man. I understand the hair that the church is splitting when it says that it declined because the service planned by the family would have made it look like the church approved of the homosexual lifestyle. I can even acknowledge that High Point's theological principles mandated its decision. However, it does not comport with my understanding of Christian charity and Townhall reported that some evangelical Christians felt that way as well.

It would be nice if fundamentalist Christians quit blaming the media when their attitudes and beliefs appear unloving and intolerant. Maybe they appear that way because they are.

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