Politics and Religious Faith in the Media

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Politics and Religious Faith in the Media On January 29, 3003, thousands of Americans were seated in front of their television screens, eagerly and somberly watching the man on the screen. During the man’s speech, the words “There’s power, wonder-working power” were brought forth, and it was those very words which have turned heads, and incurred opinions, articles, and editorials across the nation. Had this man been a preacher there is no doubt that his comments would have gone un-criticized. However, this man was not a preacher, but rather George Bush, the President of the United States of America. His comment did not escape notice nor criticism, and has become highlighted in the recent media focus on politics and religious faith. Just a week ago Newsweek published a cover story on “Bush and God”, and TIME magazine, USA Today, and The New York Times have all published articles and editorials concerning this topic. In response to the recent media coverage, Americans are sitting up as well, taking more careful notice, and often voicing their own opinions. As the journalists and newscaster are questioning to what extent personal beliefs are affecting political performance and agenda, I find myself questioning the journalists and newscasters themselves. How are they presenting this topic, and how are these presentations influencing the publics understanding of the truth of the situation? Is it possible to report on a topic as controversial and complex as religion and politics in such a way that is not biased or catered to popular opinion? Through my research I have found material to suggest that the media, specifically magazines, newspapers, and on-line articles, are not clearly delineating between those who favor Bush’s relig... ... middle of paper ... ...nsorship.” Mass Politics: The Politics of Popular Culture. Ed. Daniel M. Shea. New York: Worth Publishers, Inc., 1999 Lampman, Jane. “New Scrutiny of role of religion in Bush’s policies.” The Christian Science Monitor 17 March 2003: A1+ Fineman, Howard. “Bush and God.” Newsweek 10 March 2003: 76-84. “Silent Evangelical Support of Bush’s Proposed War Against Iraq.” Morning Edition. Host Bob Edwards. Natl. Public Radio. WCAL, Northfield. 26 February, 2003. Religion in Politics. 19 & 20 March 2003. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. http://pewforum.org/issues/display.php?IssueID=6. Gruener, Claude M. Letter. The New York Times. 14 March 2003 “Delivering the Good News.” MSNBC. Yourish, Karen. 19 March, 2003. http://www.msnbc.com/news/878520.asp Dr. Gary. Errant Skeptics. 19 March 2003. http://www.errantskeptics.org/Quotes_by_Presidents.htm

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