Trouble is, when it comes to biblical Christianity, you aren’t going to get most of the pieces unless you search them out. Jesus has been banned from our public institutions, and the news media are largely silent on any topic that might paint the Bible in a positive light.
Dr. Hitchcock’s book got me to thinking about news coverage of topics related to faith – especially, since it’s sort of my thing these days, the play given to pronouncements by evolutionists. And here’s the truth: Every couple of weeks, I see or hear a prominent story on some new evolutionary discovery that promises to be the missing link. At the same time, pronouncements about vast ages – the old “millions and millions of years” bit – are presented as fact, with nary an attribution to provide even a hint of opinion being mixed in with fact.
I grumble to Dave about this regularly over the morning newspaper.
“Listen to this,” I usually begin, forcing him to bear witness to yet another unattributed paragraph or two.
He normally just sips his coffee and nods and buries himself further in the section he’s reading, no doubt hoping I’ll be quiet. Neither of us likes to be read to, especially not from a story we’ll soon have the opportunity to read ourselves, or one we’ve already taken a pass on. But I usually toss such concerns aside when I’m hot on the trail of yet another evolutionary fairy tale.
“What kills me,” I then say, “is that when they finally figure out this isn’t what they thought it was, we won’t see any follow-up stories to let us know we’ve been misled by these clowns. And the clowns themselves don’t care; by that time they’ll have used this alleged discovery to get themselves fat new grants.”
“Terrible,” Dave typically agrees, wise enough to let me run with it.
“And in the meantime, the public is left with the impression that evolution is fact.”
“They should really all be shot, just as soon as possible.”
He doesn’t mean this, of course. But it always makes me laugh, putting an end to my complaint.
But it doesn’t put an end to this problem of the news media presenting paleontologists’ just-so tales as fact. Even when the claims are highly controversial – for example, there’s no small debate raging about whether Lucy was a human relative or simply an extinct chimp – conventional news channels never bother to point it out.
This would be somewhat tolerable if news relating to Christianity received the same treatment: Unquestioning publicity, with no follow up if things turn out to be not quite as they seemed at first blush.
But as long as I’ve been watching, I haven’t seen that happen, not once.
For instance, the ossuary that might have contained the bones of Jesus’ brother James, unearthed in Israel in 2002, was reported on amidst repeated charges of fraud. Whether or not it was genuine didn’t matter; readers were left with the impression that biblical artifacts should be viewed with suspicion that is rarely leveled against evolutionary claims.
Or consider the 2006 discovery of a 400+-foot object in the mountains of Iran, more than 13,000 feet above sea level. Its finders believe it might be the remains of Noah’s Ark. They had it tested by a Houston lab – one that the Smithsonian itself uses – and supposedly learned that it is indeed made of petrified wood, complete with fossilized sea critters buried inside.
I have no idea if this discovery will turn out to be anything more than another false alarm. But what’s really interesting about it to me is the lack of interest it has generated in the news media. For weeks after the initial announcement, which I came across via a Christian news service, I searched the Internet diligently to see how the nation’s big news organizations handled the story.
Surprise: Most ignored it.
Why is that? A few bones can be declared evidence that we evolved from slime, and the newspapers are all over it; an archeological finding may prove the story of the Genesis Flood true, and it’s greeted with a big yawn.
There’s definitely something wrong here.
–From Heaven Without Her, pages 260-262