Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Magazine's Best Lists: The Top Bad Choices, Religious Stories

I like to consider myself fairly positive. I like to think I look at a glass as half full versus half empty. But I really disliked Time Magazines "Best Lists". They were smug, sometimes anti-American, and hostile to traditional values. This post will be about the bad choices because my only problem will be where to stop. In fact, there are so many, the negative will take a few more posts. It will be far more difficult to find some good choices to write about, which I will try to do in the future.

The top ten worst? Where do I start? The religious section struck me as particularly disturbing. Here's the worst, in my opinion, of their best:

* Mother Teresa's "crisis" of faith. She wrote about how she wished she could had felt God's presence more, Time interprets this as doubting her faith. This woman put her faith to action for decades and allowed her head to rule rather than a heart saddened by the poverty she witnessed daily. Quite a leap on Time's part indeed!

* The "greening" of Evangelicalism. The impression you get from reading Time is that churches throughout the US are passionately proselytizing in the pursuit of a better environment. The near religious fervor behind Global Warming has overflowed into Christian churches, we are told. I go to church and am something of a student of what is going on in church culture. I'm surprised to find the "reach" described by Time. Furthermore, the hodge podge category included criticism of evangelicals for failing to support Sen. Sam Brownback because he converted to Catholicism. Confused? Join the club. By the way, I have watched this 2008 race closely and had no idea Brownback was Catholic. I assumed voters didn't support him for the same reason as me -- he didn't have a prayer.

* The "ROAR" of atheist Books. According to Time, atheism is hot. Every dinner party, every cocktail party, and every casual conversations includes discussions about books such as "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "God is Not Great." I guess I need to get out more often! I admit, I live in the Bible Belt, but I like to think I'm well read on what's going on outside of my neighborhood. This phenomenon is new to me and seems to almost support an agenda of the magazine.

* The trials of New Life Church. A single congregation and its personal drama is a top 10 religious story of 2007? Muslim religious leaders supporting democratic efforts in Iraq at the risk of death isn't on this list, but the falling of an evangelical leader (Ted Haggard) is? The same church was the recent victim of a gunman who killed two of it members. Very sad. leave these people alone, and get real about the choices.

* The Creation Museum opens. I found this particularly offensive and shows the magazine's agenda. It points out that the new institution has had huge numbers of visitors, but "reaffirms the scientific validity of the Flintstones." So much for objective media. Time doesn't believe that evolution is a theory (but is a "fact") and finds the fact that many Christians believe the planet was created by God and only around 6,000 years ago, ridiculous. Besides being bad journalism, the whoe approach to the article is impolite.

My next review will focus on the news stories. This will likely be a multi-part article on the bad side alone and I am afraid I will have little to say as far as good stories. We will have to see.

Kevin Price is the Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650). He is also Publisher of the Houston Business Review, which is available at no cost each week.

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