Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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What's the score?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]swisscelt)

If we were to institute "required reading" on [info]dark_christian, then [info]slacktivist would certainly be on the list. Here's Tuesday's edition:

It is sometimes said, in rants like this against the plague of he-said/she-said journalism, that news reporters behave like they're covering a tennis match. But the real problem is that he-said/she-said journalists are nowhere near as responsible as sports writers. Sports reporters, first and foremost, have a duty as indifferent arbiters of the facts. That's a duty that hard news journalists have long since abandoned.

The paper I work for today is running a Q&A from the Associated Press about "the facts" of the Terry Schiavo case. One of the questions asks if Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state. The Q&A does not provide an answer -- it provides instead two, mutually exclusive answers: Some doctors say she is, but her parents' doctors say she isn't. That's not a Q&A, that's a Q&Q. "Who are we too say?" is not an answer.

The Schiavo case demonstrates the problem of partisan epistemology. We now have "red facts" and "blue facts." Newspapers -- hoping not to upset either faction of their potential circulation -- have no intention in taking sides in such disputes. Thus two competing sets of claims, two very different sets of facts, two opposing narratives, are treated as equally valid. News reporters, unlike sports reporters, feel no responsibility to check the scoreboard, or even to acknowledge that there is a scoreboard. They tend to deny the possibility that a scoreboard might even exist.

In the case of Terry Schiavo there is such a scoreboard, and what it tells us is nowhere near as murky and ambiguous as the AP's Q&Q or CNN's vapid, incurious coverage would suggest. The facts of the matter have been hashed out, again and again and again, in court.

Congress and President Bush, like the absurd hypothetical Gonzaga fans above, would prefer that the facts were other than they are. They have, therefore, declared by legislative fiat that the scoreboard be reset to zero and that the game be replayed. Here, however, the sporting analogy breaks down. If the Red Raiders and Bulldogs were to replay their game, the result might be different. But the facts of the Schiavo case will not change, no matter how many times these facts are replayed and reviewed.

Read the rest of the article here: http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/03/whats_the_score.html
This is interesting, in that Christians in general and Dominionists in particular are fond of saying that there is an objective truth. While I don't disagree with their thesis, it's noteworthy that in this case and many others the "truth" of the Christian Right is relative. Don't like the findings of a state court? Legislate against it in the state legislature. Are you thwarted on that attempt? Then merrily feed the Tenth Amendment in the shredder as you press Congress and the Federal courts to allow you a massive "do-over". The political and governmental-- indeed, the legal-- truth that the case has been brought to its constitutionally prescribed conclusion doesn't matter, because that truth is relative to the reported will of a caliginous god.

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