Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Media Coverage: Earth Day vs Easter

It is interesting that Earth Day happens to fall right in the middle of Easter Week. Like any good research study, we can look at the media's coverage of both events and compare and contrast. The results of this review reveal a lot about our society in these last days and its sadly predictable.

Holy Week: Media Worship Earth Day, Attack Easter

Easter is the quintessential Christian holiday - the celebration of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Although it has been celebrated by billions of people around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the mainstream media would rather celebrate the liberal holiday known as "Earth Day" and connect Easter to the abuse scandal that surrounded the Roman Catholic Church. Some major findings:

Media Undermine Christian Holiday: Nearly two thirds of all stories about Easter were negative (22 out of 34).

Easter Used to Attack Catholic Church: Ninety-one percent of the negative Easter stories were about the pedophilia scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

Love That Mother Nature: 100 percent of Earth Day stories were positive.

Holy Week marks the seven days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Christians around the world celebrate it by attending services, praying and piously observing the holiday.

But in 2010, ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows mentioned "Easter" primarily in connection to the pedophilia scandals that swirled around the Vatican last year, being sure to highlight the "gravest outrage," "scandal," "sexual abuse" and "crisis."

The Culture and Media Institute examined reports during Holy Week (Mar. 28 through Apr. 4, 2010) and Apr. 15, 2010, through Earth Day to contrast the two weeks of media coverage.

These numbers are heartbreaking but definitely a sign of this generation.

More below on the same topic:

ABC's "World News Saturday" provided the perfect juxtaposition of how the networks disparaged Easter and praised Earth Day in 2010. "This is the holiest weekend in the Christian calendar," said ABC's Dan Harris on April 3, 2010. "But Easter is providing no respite whatsoever from what may be the gravest outrage in the modern history of the Catholic Church."

The next evening, Harris again used the word "outrage" saying, "on this Easter Sunday, an extraordinary effort to defend the pope amid growing public outrage over pedophile priests ... an apparent reference to the continuing crisis over pedophile priests. It was a very rare altering of the Vatican's Easter celebration."

NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams showed the same pattern as ABC in its reporting on the Vatican's scandal. "This, of course, is Good Friday," Williams said on April 2, 2010. "And in a service at the Vatican today there was an unusual defense of the pope and the growing sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church."

Now, note the contrast with the coverage of the coveted "Earth Day":

2011 marks a unique year in that "Earth Day" falls right in the middle of "Holy Week." The Culture and Media Institute analyzed how the media treated the two holidays last year.

In 2010, ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows denigrated Christians by mentioning Easter only in connection with the priest abuse scandals 65 percent of the time, during Holy Week. By contrast, the week of Earth Day garnered five mentions and, predictably, every single report was positive.

There were a total of 34 stories about Easter, of those 22 were negative. Of the negative stories, 91 percent (20 stories) were about the Catholic priest pedophilia scandal. Only 9 Easter stories were positive and of those, 7 were casual mentions rather than stories. The other 3 stories were neutral or generic references to Easter as a time of the year.

There were five stories about Earth Day all of which glowingly featured the Earth-celebrating holiday.

But when the relatively young holiday known as "Earth Day" rolled around just 18 days later, NBC fell all over itself to promote awareness of the eco-celebration.

"As we said earlier, this is Earth Day, the 40th anniversary, in fact, of what's considered the birth of the modern environmental movement," anchor Brian Williams said on "Nightly News." "On this Earth Day there was this item in the news today, a way to remind us all to take a fresh look...

"Evening News" fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriguez just couldn't seem to say anything bad about Earth Day. "Today, Earth Day turned 40, and a new CBS News poll shows that many Americans have big concerns about the future of our planet," she said on April 22. "Nearly half expect the environment to be in worse shape for the next generation."

Although its a sad commentary of our times, its still expected.

The apostle Paul discussed Godlessness in the last days:

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

And while we're in 2 Timothy:

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth."
(2 Timothy 3:1-7)

Indeed. A perfect description of the world today. And Paul stated - this would be the general mindset in "the last days".

Worship of the earth (which, as a reminder is God's creation) has replaced worship of God with many many people. Perhaps the apostle Paul had these things in mind as he wrote the scriptures above. Perhaps he was also seeing the modern day worship of human government, which has also replaced worship of God with many people. We see this form of worship daily.

As we look around at many people in these last days, just as the apostle Paul implied - almost any substitute for the real God will do. Whether its "mother earth", government, politicians, witchcraft, UFOs, aliens, unions, celebrities, and an array of other forms of worship - none of which have anything to do with God Himself. Only poor substitutes. These are simply substitutes for the ancient false idols.

UN document would give 'Mother Earth' same rights as humans

Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.

The UN debate begins two days before the UN's recognition April 22 of the second International Mother Earth Day — another Morales-led initiative.

Canadian activist Maude Barlow is among global environmentalists backing the drive with a book the group will launch in New York during the UN debate: Nature Has Rights.

Unfortunately, only God can fill the void that so many are yearning to fill. None of these false gods can fill the void - that void that exists in all souls until filled by the Holy Spirit after acceptance of the gift of salvation - as offered by Christ Jesus.

They're looking in all the wrong places and its tragic - a tragedy that is created by the fact that so many people are looking in wrong places and in the process, looking for the wrong things.

But Paul indicated what the future, now our time, would look like in this passage alone:

"the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine"


"always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth"

Once again, we see a perfect definition of this last generation - a generation who exists in the last days. The generation who lives in the midst of every imaginable sign that we are approaching the return of Jesus - yet they are blind; blind as they search for meaning in God's creation, but not in God Himself.

Its a tragedy.


Caver said...

Worshiping the created,
Not the Creator.

Blind and deaf, for sure.

Oh, how this must hurt our God and our Savior who sacrificed so much for us.

Scott said...

Caver - It must indeed.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the Earth Day anniversary has reached it's 40th year. The number 40 has significance~Moses wandered the desert for 40 years, Noah was in the ark when it rained 40 days and 40 nights, and Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying when Satan came to tempt Him.

I don't find it to be just a mere coincidence.


Anonymous said...

The news media makes me angry! It is obviously a very conscientious effort to diss anything Christian. You would think there would be a few honest professional journalists, but apparently not.


Anonymous said...

These things have never bothered me much. I am Christian but do not celebrate Easter. I was thinking today that Easter was the earth day of ancient times. Seems to me the media or merchants don't have much to say about the observances Christ did ask us to keep. Probably not politically correct to focus on the blood of Christ.