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Even secular journalists should celebrate Christmas 12/25/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Free press.

Since its inception, Modern Journalism has been typically skeptical, when not outright disdainful, of Christianity. In the movement’s founding work, Liberty and the News, Walter Lippmann declared journalism a new science for a new age when Man had finally come to his senses, no longer believing “that an omniscient and benevolent Providence taught [Man] what end to seek” and that it would now be “blazing arrogance to sacrifice hard-won standards of credibility” to such irrational beliefs. Today, according to the Pew Center, the national press is keeping the faith of unfaith with only 6% claiming that belief in God is necessary to be moral vs. 58% of the general public, and nine out of ten believing homosexuality should be accepted by society vs. only half the public. So, it is not surprising that we continue to hear the misreported scandal about the Catholic Church covering-up priests’ dalliances with boys, burying the lede that the core problem is neither the cover-up per se nor pedophilia — which might include a young girl every once in while — but a number of ordained homosexuals unable to refrain from indulgences with young boys.

Even so, journalists might want to express gratitude this Christmas season to Judeo-Christian theology for providing a gift they would likely not have otherwise received — freedom of the press. Its roots are in Genesis 1:27, which established that Man was created in God’s image, bestowing upon individuals a dignity that is not inevitably derived through use of reason alone. This concept of God-given dignity and individual rights was affirmed by the Magna Carta in 1215 and translated into the freedom for all to express themselves in the Bill of Rights. But even today, nations which lack this Judeo-Christian heritage are marked by an absence of these freedoms that so many in journalism take for granted. So, whether one believes He is real or imagined, it is entirely appropriate for journalists to thank God for freedom of the press.


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