Monday, December 31, 2012

Fox news has "balanced" discussion of religious demographics study

So here is something that happened on fox news recently.

They are speaking about this study.

So the first thing I notice is the total lack of balance here.  They are talking about a study showing that non-religious people are the third largest group in the world and then proceed invite two devoutly religious people to discuss it, a Baptist Pastor and an Orthodox Rabbi, and not an atheist or agnostic in sight.  Surprise, surprise both of them agree that this is horrible and proceed to dump an abusive pile of nonsense about the irreligious on their viewers. 

Apparently both buy into the typical prepositional nonsense that morality requires god.  Claiming at one point that "morality is always best when it is based on god's word,"  I suppose it didn't occur to them that a Baptist and a Jew have somewhat different perceptions of what qualifies as god's word.

I also particularly loved how the baptist pastor bragged about his mufti-million dollar church and how it attracted people from "all" religious backgrounds, he then lists of several Christian denominations like "Catholics" and Episcopalians." Oh yes, pastor Jeffers, you are clearly attracting a wide variety of people there.  Of course from there he un-ironically refers to Christianity as a "relationship with god." 

At no point did they really engage with the data in the study, not the slightest analysis of it's accuracy or the methods employed in the study.  Both of them just used their time as an opportunity to proselytize.  To be honest I'm not even certain this counts as journalism at this point.  Fox took a study and then, rather than actually report about it, used it as a jumping point to give air time to a couple of hacks who wanted to promote their books and new church buildings.

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