March 28, 2008

Anti-Media Paranoia

Ethics Daily reported today about comments by Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page attacking the media. Although he stated after his surprise election that he was a conservative but was not mad about it, his recent comments suggest a different attitude. He argued that the media is liberal and has "an anti-Christian bias." Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics points out in response a number of very positive recent stories about Southern Baptists in the secular media. Parham argues that "the media is not a monolithic, anti-Christian monster." Also, the Canadian blogger at "Bene Diction Blogs On" took issue with Page's claim that the U.S. should learn from Canada where a pastor can be jailed for speaking out against homosexuality. Apparently the problem with Page's remark is that it is not true! It seems that his anti-media paranoia is based in part on incorrect information.

Although there are clearly cases of media reports that are unfairly biased against Christians, it is inaccurate to paint with such a broad stroke. In a couple of weeks, I will be presenting some papers at a communication conference. One of them is an examination of the media coverage of religion during the Terri Schiavo case. Although conservative Christians wanting to keep her tubes connected claimed that the media was biased against them, they actually received substantially more attention and opportunities to share their opinion. Their voice became the dominant religious one even though it did not accurately reflect the opinion of most Christians--even conservative ones--on the case. Maybe they are working the refs to get even better coverage, but it seems that often these claims of media bias come from those receiving more and better coverage than others.


UPDATE [3-31-08]: Ethics Daily has a new article in which two Canadian Baptist leaders dispute Page's claim about a pastor being jailed in Canada for speaking out against homosexuality.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:52 AM

    Brian:

    Thanks for the link.|
    The Boissoin persecution story has been around for years and has grown into it's own myth like the twisting of the Ake Green story from Sweden.

    Dr.Page's boogey men appear to be 'outside influences' such as
    a) media - shooting the messenger.
    b) agenda, other countries legalizing same sex unions have dispelled fear of the agenda/activist is myth and the surmised harm.

    Blog on!

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  2. Shooting the messenger is modus operandi for Page.

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  3. The following are responses by Boissoin on the Bene Diction Blog.


    Stephen Boissoin on Apr 2nd, 2008 at 9:49 am.

    Please allow me to ask one question.

    Alberta Human Rights Commission fines are upheld at the Court of Queens Bench level. If I refuse to pay these fines $5000 of which Lund, the complainant, is requesting for himself, another $5000 to a pro-gay public school teachers tolerance focussed educational fund, what will the outcome be? Will the respose simply be “oh well, Boissoin decided not to pay” or will I be incarcerated and forced to serve jail time to pay off fines imposed by a quais-judicial kangaroo court ruled by a divorce lawyer? A hearing that can make rulings based on circumstantial evidence and does not have to follow the rule of law.

    It has not been suggested that I will serve time due to a criminal action. Instead, it has from the beginning been suggested that I may serve jail time if I refuse to pay fines imposed upon me by the AHRC. Specifically, Lund was originally asking that I pay a $7000 fine to EGALE which I of couse said would be ethically impossible for me to do. I stated that I would rather serve jail time than pay a fine that would support EGALES agenda. EGALE then went public and said that they were not behind the complaint and would not receive the proceeds of fines imposed upon me by the AHRC.

    To conclude…..the above post does not understand that original facts and misrepresents the truth just like it accuses others of doing.

    Again, if I refuse to pay fines….what is your opinion on my fate?


    Stephen Boissoin on Apr 2nd, 2008 at 10:23 am.

    Well I can attest that my experience with the much of the media has been that it is high biased and very unfair.

    Over the last three months I have been lambasted in my local newspapers more times than I can count. Often, Lund has been asked to comment. My picture was on the front page in December in bold print exclaiming a circumstantial link between my letter and an assault on a gay teenager. My 13 year old son saw my picture on the front page before I even knew about it. The next day I was asked to come into my employers office and explain. In January, I was bashed in an article that talked about how gays are haunted by threats of violence. Last month Lund was on the front page of the Red Deer Advocates local section. He was featured because he was in my city facilitating a “Free Speech Must Have Limits” presentation. In his presentation he reiterated how my comments and position are hateful and how they were linked to an assault on a gay teen. Lund facilitated this presentation in partnership with Bill Baergen, a former educator and school superintendent and a past commissioner with the human rights commission. Baergen wrote The Ku Klux Klan in Central Alberta, a book that exposes the white extremist group’s presence in the region until its dismantling in the early 1990s. In Lund’s complaint and publicly he has voiced that in regards to me and my comments “there is a parallel to oother hatemongers such as Terry Long of the Aryan Nation and James Keegstra, Holocaust denier.”

    I have tried to respond but the Red Deer Advocate will not print anything I submit. I have even contacted the Editor and Publisher (Of boht the Red Deer Advocate and the Red Deer Express) humbly voicing the bias and unfairness of not allowing me to reply. I even suggested that they offer me guidance as to how they would limit the content of my response. They just sluff me off and ignore me. This is the same newspaper (Advocate) that gave me an award for my Letters to the Editor years ago. Until recently, I have not submitted one since my 2002 letter.

    The Globe was the same. Lund had a guest column with the Globe and I attempted to respond asking for the same opportunity. I was ignored. I even tried to respond in the general comments section. Anything I submitted was ignored.

    As much as I admit that it hurts and is frustrating, I still choose to put a smile on my face and with a joyful shout affirm that…Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you!


    Stephen Boissoin on Apr 2nd, 2008 at 10:31 am.

    PSSS. Also CBC had a mini-documentary this past Sunday. Lund was featured, I wasn’t. CBC did not attempt to contact my lawyer to inform us about this program.

    Nope, no bias there at all.

    It is completely absurd to suggest that the media is not biassed against traditional conservative Christians in this day and age.

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  4. Thanks for the comments!

    anonymous : You're welcome. Thanks for pointing out the facts about the case.

    Roger: What he--and you--are missing here is that he would be put in prison not because of what he said but because he failed to pay the fine. That is a big difference. He is not facing prison time for his comments but for his civil disobedience.

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