And that’s the way it is, spake the Lord

Fox News is airing the church service and sermon by the scary — for me — Rick Warren, CableNewser tells us. Of course, TV stations air services at Christmas but not as news events. Is this news? Or is it proselytizing? Will they air Friday services from a mosque in Ramadan? A service from a synagogue in the high holy days? A service from a liberal church on Christmas Eve? Where’s the news?

: LATER: I watched his service when I got home from my own. What platitudinal pop pap. With really irritating music. And Fox selling DVDs of the thing.

  • James Robertson

    You might look at the distribution of religious belief in the US for your answer, which has more to do with Fox hopes of ratings than with anything else.

  • http://ari.typepad.com Steve Rhodes

    There are progressive religious leaders with large followings. It might have been news if they had shown a range of sermons.

    Think Progress was critical of Meet the Press for having Warren on today, but nobody with a different point of view.

    Saturday on the San Francisco radio program West Coast Live, the Rev. Michael Ellard delivered a sermon. He mentioned he had
    put it on youtube on Friday.

  • http://james.cridland.net James Cridland

    Meanwhile, the BBC World Service is no longer broadcasting any religious services… to concentrate on the news. This I heard today on a long drive* during their listener feedback slot, full of people around the world complaining about it.

    * a long drive for us Brits is around 2.5 hours. I know, that’s just a trip to the shops for those in the US.

  • http://www.andilinks.com/ Andi

    We are not so far removed from the day when the clergy’s “take” on the news was more important than *you* Time Magazine’s everyman content creator. Yes, it’s still news and I’d like to get an English translation of what’s preached at the corner mosque, probably newsier yet.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I guess they could run an atheist rebuttal after the Christmas special.

    Just have some guy come on and say, “There is no God. Thank you, and good night.”

    Are people really THAT offended that a network would dare take a short break from the news to acknowledge that a majority of people celebrate Christmas?

  • Reverend Gunrack

    Like the man said, “Of course, TV stations air services at Christmas but not as news events.” It might be worth noting that what Fox News reports can only loosely be called news as it is more spin than anything else.

    P.S. there is no god. thank you and goodnight.

  • Fish

    Opinions are like a$$holes, and every crackpot agenda driven poster has one!

  • http://www.howardowens.com/ Howard Owens

    It is a free country … capitalism and all that first amendment crap. I kinda think it means something.

    Thankfully, we also have the freedom to tune out anything we find distasteful or disagreeable. Kind of like how I’ve always tuned out Howard Stern.

    I knew absolutely nothing about Rick Warren before watching him on Meet the Press last night. Funny think is, Jeff, I don’t think you could have disagreed with a word he said. He’s the first evangelical I’ve heard on the public airwaves in a long time who is actually rational. … reminds me of a young Billy Graham.

    Ironically, he spoke quite eloquently about how this is a pluralistic country and we all need to do a better job of tolerating each others beliefs, and having room in the public square for a variety of beliefs. We need to stop trying to shot each other down.

  • http://www.focusedperformance.com/unfocused.html frank patrick

    At least the service was clearly a service and I could avoid it. Fox also ran some “historical Jesus” shows this weekend that were all way too full of certainty. I usually like these kinds of shows on the History Channel or PBS, where real historians from both the laity and clergy are featured. It was painful to watch the historian who specialized in the Temple in Jerusalem dance around and try to avoid having words put into her mouth by the Fox host asking things like “So Jesus really walked on these steps?” At least the historian had the presence of mind to reply not in the affirmative, but by acknowleging that the excavated steps were the original from 2000 years ago.

  • http://www.blog4brains.com Pat Lowery

    Leave it to Fox to spin religion. What’s next? State executions? or Saddam’s execution? Spin is their business.

    I was watching Fox inadvertently between channel changings, and there were “Christmas” interviews of some of our troops saying, “we need to stay in Iraq and keep doing what we are doing”. I wonder how they found those 2 guys out of the thousands that are there? Fox makes me sick. Thanks for the article, it says it all.

  • Ruth H

    I saw nothing wrong with the parts of the program that I saw, but when they ran the ad for the DVD I just thought, hmm… infomercial.

  • http://www.devonwoodmedia.com MediaDavid

    I don’t know…he’s a pretty influential guy in the world these days, saying some interesting things.
    Clearly Fox is playing to its audience, but you can certainly make a journalistic case that the guy is worth the time even if you personally disagree with his religious philosophy.

  • Fish

    Yo Lowery, each and every person serving in Iraq is a volunteer. I know it’s hard to comprehend, but there are thousands of men and women who are appreciative of America, and do their all to protect her.

    Living in the Blue Fart Cloud of liberalism with no honor or need to serve anything other than your own personal agenda is what is expected of liberal/socialists.

    Fox may make you sick, but when the Islamofacists come to slit your throat or those of your family, don’t seek help from the same people you so disdain. The military is not ignorant nor does it need your help. As a matter of act, but the fu@k out!

    Vietnam Veteran – 1963-64, 1966-67, 1969

  • John F.

    Jeff, I think you should examine the source of your discomfort with the Fox program. Network news content is usually light in content and often infected by bias. By contrast, sermons are by their nature explicit, and in this case Cliff’s notes are available for the slow kids. And you don’t have to watch. Must all the networks follow the same tired old formats at all times? This guy has around a gazillion followers, and I’d wager that (like me) many big-city Ivy-league types have no clue what who he is. Are you afraid of the effects on impressionable children? Lighten up, man! And by the way, for my money, Ramadan makes for some pretty good TV.