Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Wonderful Things I've Learned From CNN and FOX News

Since last Wednesday when Matthew Winkler was shot - "allegedly" by his wife Mary, I've been resisting the urge to comment publicaly. However, the silence is deafening. Watching Nancy Grace on CNN last night sent me over the edge. Here's a brief list of things the "experts" have offered up in this case:

The Church of Christ is a cult
The Church of Christ is part of the Pentecostal movement
The Church of Christ hates and suppresses women
Matthew was abusing Mary (physically, mentally, emotionally)
Matthew was abusing the kids
Matthew threatened to shoot the neighbor's dog - therefore Matthew was a violent man
Women can't stand up to the pressure of being preacher's wives
Mary wanted a divorce, but the church wouldn't allow it

I heard all of these things (and more) on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC

But the best (and I actually mean worst) was displayed on the Nancy Grace program on CNN last night. (thanks to my buddy Travis for pointing me in the right direction on this.) Read this transcript:

GRACE: A well-respected and much beloved minister in the Church of Christ, Selmer, Tennessee, gunned down in his own home. His wife, according to many reports, has confessed to police. They say whodunnit is not the issue, it`s why she did it. That is the question.

I want to go to pastor Tom Rukala, joining us tonight, a special guest, a Baptist minister. I`ve been researching the Church of Christ. I don`t know that much about it. What can you tell me?

PASTOR TOM RUKALA, BAPTIST PASTOR: Well, the Church of Christ is a relatively new church. It was started about 150 years ago by Alexander Campbell (ph). And it`s, unfortunately, a very legalistic sect, and they tend to use methods of intimidation and pressure tactics. They claim that they are the only ones going to heaven, and all other people are condemned to hell. So in case...

GRACE: Uh-oh, I`m in trouble. But I already knew that.


GRACE: Now, wait a minute. What more can you tell me?

RUKALA: Well, they claim that if you`re not baptized by one of their ministers, that you`re doomed to hell, even if you`re a believer in Jesus Christ, which, of course, breaks completely from the traditional Christian view that all those who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved because we`re saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again. For the Church of Christ folks, that`s not enough. You have to be a member of their narrow sect. It`s a very exclusive group. And if you`re not a member of their sect, you`re condemned.

GRACE: You know, Pastor, you keep saying "sect." "Sect." You make it sound like a cult.

RUKALA: It kind of is a borderline cult, unfortunately. I don`t want to make it out to be some kind of Hare Krishna group, but it has cult-like characteristics and...

GRACE: In what sense?

RUKALA: Well, in the sense of the exclusivism, the attitude that they are the only ones who know the truth. The tactics that they use are sometimes just -- not only un-biblical but unethical, and they can be very ungracious, unfortunately.

So there you have it. I guess there is such a thing as bad publicity. Maybe fundamentalist Baptist preachers shouldn't throw stones though - you know, glass houses! This is a big problem with the 24-hr news networks. They report on things they have no clue about, especially religion. My advice? Watch the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. You'll get the same news, but at least you'll laugh about it.


BeingHuman said...

Fascinating points. There is no effort to suppress bias or limit the expressions of opinions on news anymore.

Charles North said...

Thanks for the comments - I like your blog by the way.

Kent said...


I do watch Colbert and The Daily Show and that's all I watch. They don't take themselves seriously and they are amusing. Plus, Colbert focuses quite a bit on religion. He has not commented, though, on this case, which is probably best.

Charles North said...

Now that I can download episodes of the Colbert Repot to my iPod, maybe I can get to bed a decent time rather than watch the show repeat at 12:30am!

Ryan said...

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Ryan said...

and this...