CNN on Friday disgustingly advocated for a watered-down, more politically correct version of Christianity.
Highlighted at its website was research from a Princeton theology professor on the state of Christianity among teenagers. The study found that American churches have fallen for PC feel-good morality that's afraid of confrontation - and the result is a generation unable to distinguish Christianity from simple theism.
The author of the study, Kenda Creasy Dean, said the process was "depressing" as she interviewed one Christian after another describing God as a "therapist" who exists to validate their "self-esteem." Worse yet, many of them could not give a coherent explanation of the Gospel, content with a general belief that God wants them to "feel good and do good."
And in MSM newsrooms across the fruited plain, there was much rejoicing. Incessant pressure to water down Christianity has finally paid off.
CNN reporter John Blake wrote a piece on the sad phenomenon with no introspection as to who might be causing it:
If you're the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:
Your child is following a "mutant" form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.
Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Translation: It's a watered-down faith that portrays God as a "divine therapist" whose chief goal is to boost people's self-esteem.
As to the causes of why this is happening, readers were given a vague explanation:
Some adults don't expect much from youth pastors. They simply want them to keep their children off drugs and away from premarital sex.
Others practice a "gospel of niceness," where faith is simply doing good and not ruffling feathers. The Christian call to take risks, witness and sacrifice for others is muted, she says.
"If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation," wrote Dean, a professor of youth and church culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.[...]
She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.
"If your church can't survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad," Corrie says. "We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice."
Corrie, echoing the author of "Almost Christian," says the gospel of niceness can't teach teens how to confront tragedy.
Hmmm, why on Earth would pastors feel pressure to promote a gospel of niceness? Why would they be afraid of making their communities angry? Blake was clueless. There was no more discussion of the PC culture, no research into who came up with spineless Christianity.
This NBer decided to help Blake out with a search of CNN's archives. Turns out, his employer has been pushing angry backlash against fundamental Christians for years.
April 23, 2010 saw CNN prime-time anchor Larry King shamefully pit a Christian lesbian against a conservative pastor for an hour of televised demagoguery. Back in 2007, the network aired a documentary in which anchor Christiane Amanpour suggested conservative Christians are akin to the Taliban. And who can forget CNN's hard-hitting investigation that found a personal commitment to Christ leaves beautiful women "single and lonely."
Whenever evangelicals grow a spine on a particular issue, CNN can be counted on to assure that it will "make people mad." From gay marriage to abortion to authenticity of Scripture, the network loves to marginalize traditional Christianity.
And it isn't alone. Last November, Fox Network's hit series "Glee" portrayed evangelicals as heartless jerks who get drunk while watching Glenn Beck. A month later, CBS crime drama "NCIS" preposterously imagined a fictional Christian honor killing - in an episode that aired mere days before Christmas.
Over on the NBC network in 2008, hit series "Law & Order" portrayed an unhinged college evangelical hurling death threats at liberal professors. And in 2007, New York Magazine's Vulture blog cheerfully listed the 10 Most Anti-Christian Films to come out of Hollywood.
When faced with evidence of systematic cultural mocking toward Christianity, liberals' fallback argument is to claim that all religions are scorned in American media. Yet some religions seem to be more hated than others.
Try searching for a list of anti-Muslim movies on New York Magazine's website. Or anti-Wiccan. Or anti-Hindu. Hollywood projects that mock those faiths are not so highly celebrated.
Try waiting for "Glee" to parallel the sad plight of Muslim American teenagers murdered by their own parents for embarrassing Islam. The show's producers are willing to exaggerate bigotry among Christians while ignoring real domestic violence elsewhere. Also overlooked is the suffering of pregnant teen girls forcibly dragged into abortion clinics, sometimes at literal gunpoint, by angry parents.
No, the real threat to children is Christians who read the Bible, want to preserve every life, and encourage healthy living. Inside the backward mind of liberals, pro-life, pro-family messages are responsible for destroying lives. In such a climate, it's no wonder pastors are afraid of being confrontational.
Having contributed to a weakened, watered-down version of Christianity, CNN is now playing dumb as to how it happened. Blake did not mention a single word about pastors unfairly getting smeared as bigots, or perhaps that these oversensitive communities are being coddled by the media.
Controversial Muslims who might be out there "making people mad?" Not so much. Less than a week ago, here's how CNN introduced the Ground Zero Mosque imam:
Video clips posted today by a conservative blogger have set off a new round of bitter debate over the Islamic community center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. Are the clips part of a smear campaign or do the imam's critics have legitimate concerns?
Don't look for the mainstream media to be reporting on a spineless version of Islam any time soon.