find they like NCC priorities
was just a sentence in a speech to a group of Baptists meeting in
Atlanta: Christians should address "the challenges of fear,
fundamentalism, and Fox News" as they walk in the footsteps of Jesus in
caring about poverty, planet earth, peace, people's rights and pluralism
in today's world.
But it hit a nerve at FoxNews.com, whose editors decided to tell their
readers that Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of
Churches, had referred to the popular cable channel as a "challenge."
Fox published a link [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,201204,00.html]
to the full story of Edgar's June 22 remarks to a luncheon sponsored by
the Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
and asked interested readers
to send their reactions to FoxNews.com for posting on its website. Copies
of those emails also were forwarded to the NCC.
To date, nearly 4,000 FoxNews.com readers have visited the NCC website
Edgar's message. Predictably, many of the responses from the
network's predominantly conservative fans disagreed with the NCC
leader's assessment of Jesus' call to action.
But a surprising number
said Edgar's list of priorities might be just what the nation needed. Of
the 279 emails received by NCC from 'firstname.lastname@example.org' 48 supported
Edgar or were critical of Fox News.
Here's a sample of some messages the Fox News readers sent:
Bob Edgar! Keep it up despite the attempts of Fox News...to badger
you."--Erik, Denver, Colo.
"From the comments at Fox News, one can easily see that Fox viewers find
Mr. Edgar's values to be simply unacceptable. They have labelled (sic)Bob
Edgar as misguided, overtly political and anti-Christian. So I came over
to see what he said. Let's see... peace, finding solutions for
poverty, concern for the planet on which we live, people's
rights...Misguided? Political? Anti-Christian? The people who watch Fox
scare me."--George, Tempe, Ariz.
am a fan of FOX NEWS, I do feel you have swung too far to the right.
Especially when it comes to issues championed by the extreme Christian
right (Christian Taliban). You must remember that 'perception is
reality', and the perception is; that FOX NEWS is in favor of turning
the USA into an extreme Christian version of Taliban
"Bravo! Finally a Christian who doesn't sound completely
insane."--Robert, no city given.
comments are refreshing and inspiring. The fundamentalist right does
not represent all Christians."--Mayda, no city given.
"Thank God someone is finally pointing out that Fox News is a driving
force for fear fundamentalism. You claim to be balanced but push a
conservative agenda...Thank God someone is finally not afraid to
stand up to the likes of you."--Al, Liverpool, N.Y.
"Edgar speaks for more Christians than Faldwell (sic) and company,
and other right-wing fundamentalists are no more real Christians than an
Islamic fundamentalists is a real Muslim."--Tom, Sarasota, Fla.
"What Bob Edgar is really talking about is the "Golden Rule", but it is
so surprising just how many people who profess to live a conservative
religious life fail so miserably in the "Golden Rule" concept. For those
of us who are good and moral people but who are not Christians we take
great offence at the everyday attack upon the Constitution by the
religious right."--Dan, no city given.
"Bob Edgar hits the nail on the head! Kudos to him for being able to
speak the truth!"--Adele, Richmond, Va.
Many of the negative emails accused Edgar of being an apostate or a
liberal. Some even claimed one cannot be a Christian and a member of the
Democratic Party. Many of the emails demonstrated the extreme
polarities that exist in today's public square, employing foul language,
name calling and other tactics used to demean one with whom there is a
FoxNews.com removed the discussion from its homepage on Thursday, June 29,
after having published only two of the 48 positive emails, making way
for other news topics.
contact: Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,