Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Town I Live In: Christian Examiner

I took a walk today around my neighborhood and passed a church on Wilshire Ave. called Christian Life Center. Outside the church, on a newsstand, was a stack of copies of a newspaper called the Christian Examiner. Curious, I picked it up and glanced at the headlines. The first article was called “Brown Signs Gay History Bill into Law,” and what followed was an article criticising a new bill that would require social science classes in public schools to teach about the role of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” throughout history. Separation of church and state notwithstanding, I can see why conservative Christians might oppose gay marriage. But to oppose teaching about the mere existence and role of gays in classrooms seems a little extreme. I think, when he took power, Hitler tried to do a similar thing with Jewish history.

Now I was really curious about this Christian Examiner. If the very first article made me angry, what gems would its contents hold? I was not disappointed. On page 3, there was an article called “Corporate Chaplains Bring Compassion and Practical Help to the Workplace.” It was about this factory owner who contracted this chaplain agency called Marketplace Chaplains to “minster” to his employees. There was a picture of one of these chaplains talking to a guy driving a forklift. I thought a funny caption would be for the forklift driver to be saying, “We asked for health insurance and instead we got this? WTF?”

It gets better. On page 4 was an article entitled “State’s Democrat Majority Easily Pushes Through Anti-Family Bills.” What were some of these “anti-family” bills, I wondered. Was California going to start rounding up families and carting them off to internment camps? Here’s what the article had to say: “Legislation that would require schoolchildren to learn about homosexuals’ roles in history, medical professionals to undergo pro-homosexual sensitivity training, and an overhaul of legal definitions of gender has passed quickly. For the sake of California’s children and families, you and I cannot afford to disregard the Capitol’s damaging decisions.” Yes, we must fight to keep gays marginalized in society! That’s the pro-family thing to do! I love this paper.

I count the number of articles dealing with either homosexuality or abortion in this 14-page paper. There are 6 articles. Clearly, these are the main political issues for the audience of this newspaper, who I imagine are evangelical Christians. The economy, health care, unemployment, homelessness, international relations. None of these issues are of serious interest to the writers and readers of the Christian Examiner.

All joking aside, this newspaper terrifies me. It would be funny were it not for the fact that lots of people buy into the reactionary, intolerant, anti-intellectual fear-mongering it promotes. I know they do. I used to go to a church in Fullerton where this kind of rhetoric was the norm, and apparently still is. Yikes.

Here is one of the products advertised in The Christian Examiner: MiChelle's faith-based hair and facial products:


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