NewsBusters Podcast: The Leftist Media Often Can't 'Get Religion'

April 8th, 2024 10:36 PM

As the media bring their leftist lens to the "culture wars" and religion in politics, they're prone to simplifying everything and only covering religion when it intrudes on the new orthodoxy of wokeness. Terry Mattingly operated the site GetReligion for 20 years, and he explains how he assesses the media's handling of religion stories.

We know several things from years of study. First, the media report very few religion stories. Second, the religion stories they choose to do typically focus on when churches are interjecting into the political arena (which secular reporters don't like). Third, since reporters are generally not religiously observant people, they show their ignorance of internal church matters, and bored with controversies like Catholics struggling with the Traditional Latin Mass, or religious concepts like sin and repentance.

Then we focus on some recent controversies. On Monday, the Vatican released a document with a strong critique of "gender theory" and what non-religious reporters call "gender-affirming surgery." Mattingly says the media embrace of nonsensical terms like this underline they are orthodox believers, but in an opposing orthodoxy to traditional religions. Mattingly suggests Pope Francis seems to side with Biden against those American Catholics who would propose excommunication. 

This broad acceptance leads to Biden and the media presenting the president as a "devout Catholic." He may attend church, but he is dramatically rejecting his church's teaching on abortion and sexuality. We explore the clash between Easter Sunday and the Transgender Day of Visibility, which pro-Biden reporters wanted to dismiss that there was any ideological or theological clash in these celebrations.

There was Donald Trump promoting a "God Bless the USA Bible," and how everyone knows his personal behavior can't be seen as "Christ-like." But reporters try to suggest that Trump can't pigeonhole Biden as an opponent of Christianity, since he attends church services. 

Mattingly wraps up with 3 Big Questions for religious people facing a screen-obsessed culture, and he says churches need to engage with their flocks on these measures of your faith:

1. How do you spend your time?

2. How do you spend your money?

3. How do you make decisions?

Enjoy the podcast below or wherever you listen to podcasts.