I have been fascinated with the religion beat ever since I was in college, when I discovered that — even at Baylor University, the world’s largest Baptist university — most of my journalism colleagues simply were not interested in writing news stories about religion.
Oh, everyone wanted to write opinion pieces about religious subjects — but not news. Everyone wanted to write edgy columns focusing on the many ways that our university was wrong, but no one wanted to interview people on both sides of the tough issues and then write balanced stories that attempted to chart the debates.
It started with trembling hands and a sudden sense of fear. I was in between meetings in Chicago and something went “wrong” inside me. I toughed it out during my last meeting by sitting on my hands and putting on good poker face, but I was freaking out internally. This was the beginning of an awareness that I wasn’t healthy, and things got worse from there.
C. Michael Patton:
I received another one of those emails calling me a liar. It comes with the territory. It was not that my particular view was wrong, misinformed, or even misguided. Nope. I was a liar. I was deliberately misleading people. I knew the truth, but I withheld it, so that I could consciously exchange it for something that is false. This was merely another case of the ol’ bait-and-switch tactic. I was a “liar from the pit of hell.”
Shaming has not disappeared. It is now used to punish speechagainst the new reigning orthodoxy of politically correct relativism, rather than to condemn personally reprehensible moral acts. People lose their jobs because of one misplaced word. Pat Buchanan recently observed: “The new mortal sins are not filthy talk or immoral conduct, but racism, sexism, homophobia and nativism. The establishment alone defines these sins and enforces the proscriptions against them, from which there is no appeal, only the obligatory apology, the act of contrition and the solemn commitment never to sin again.”
This week’s offerings include audio and video downloads of Dr. Sproul’s Dealing with Difficult Problems and Communion of Saints teaching series as well as Jason Stellman’s book, Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet.