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Some FoxNews.com readers
find they like NCC priorities

It 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 during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, 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 to read 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 'speakout@foxnews.com' 48 supported Edgar or were critical of Fox News. 

Here's a sample of some messages the Fox News readers sent:

  • "Bravo to 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.

  • "Although I 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 Afghanistan."--Joe,Olathe, Kans.

  • "Bravo! Finally a Christian who doesn't sound completely insane."--Robert, no city given.

  • "Bob Edgar's 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, Fallwell 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 disagreement. 

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.


NCC News contact:  Dan Webster, 212.870.2252,
dwebster@councilofchurches.org


 

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