It seems like it's "Let's try our hand at GetReligion work" week at the Chuck Colson research staff office. First off, Colson's BreakPoint commentary dated Feb. 28 appropriately takes apart Time's piece on crisis pregnancy centers:
For example, Time suggests that pregnancy resource centers, while willing to help mothers during pregnancy, are indifferent to their financial needs after their babies are born.
Not true: Pregnancy care centers often form long-term relationships with women, offering economic and other help years after the baby is born.
Time also quotes abortion advocates who claim that crisis pregnancy centers lie to women and traumatize them in an effort to coerce them into giving birth. Interestingly, Time did not quote any women who said that this had happened to them. The only people quoted were abortion advocates.
The rest of the piece is more on the "abortion industry," as Colson calls it, but it's good to see other media outlets constructively picking apart the poor coverage of religion and moral issues. My only problem with the analysis is that Colson seems to be asking for "positive coverage" of "pregnancy resource centers," rather than just the truth. Yes, the truth can be a tricky thing, but how about the best version of the truth obtainable by the reporter's deadline?
The second piece is an interesting perspective on this week's Lost Tomb of Jesus hoax (I think we can call it that now). Colson, who kindly mentions us in his short radio talk (that my soon-to-be mother-in-law heard), says the filmmaker James Cameron is suggesting that the Apostles were involved in a cover-up about who Jesus really was.
Say what you will about Nixon's hatchet man, the guy knows what he is speaking about when he talks about cover-ups:
Like others, his ultimate explanation for what happened that Sunday morning is a cover-up. Like others, he has no explanation for why the Apostles would be willing to die for what they presumably knew to be a lie. I know a thing or two about cover-ups and conspiracies: No conspirator willingly dies for what he knows to be untrue -- or, in the case of Watergate, even go to jail. The closest men around the president of the United States testified against him to save their own skins. You're going to tell me the Apostles maintained their story at the cost of their lives? Impossible.
What's worse than Cameron's "preposterous" claims is the credulous reaction of the media.
Colson gives the media the lashing they deserve. While I'm not one to revel when the media make a mess out of serious things, their handling of the Cameron film has been quite embarrassing. It is just another incident that people of faith will point to when they need to prove that reporters do not get religion. But people will still be in church Sunday, and Easter will be here next month, none the worse for the extra publicity.
Unfortunately, protests have canceled the showing of the film in India (I'm against nearly all forms of censorship) and some people are still treating the film as a controversy. While I think the coverage of the film is controversial (sensational, lacking balance, etc.), most people are fairly settled on the fact that this film proposes bogus ideas, which makes it more of a farce than a controversy.
I'll try to fit the film into my schedule, but I don't expect to be shocked and awed. Last time I watched something related to religion on the Discovery Channel, there was speculation that a nuclear weapon could have been contained in the Ark of the Covenant.
To wrap up the coverage of the Lost Tomb story, I point you to a fun article over at Christianity Today that asks readers to propose the most ridiculous coverage of the film's announcement. Hey, you could even win some free stuff:
So it's contest time. What media outlet has the most credulous, exaggerated, or otherwise wacky report on the "tomb of Jesus"? Entries (use the feedback form below) are due by Friday, March 9. The winner will receive a one-year subscription to Christianity Today (or one of our sister publications) and a copy of The Tomb of Jesus (the tie-in book to the Discovery Channel "documentary"). The winner will be determined purely at the whim of one or more editors here at CT. So don't take the contest too seriously. We hope you're not taking the documentary too seriously, either.
Submit your favorites to CT and then submit them to us too. While we don't have prizes to give out, a couple of days from now we'll pick a winner and you too can be a champion.