Media and Religious Intolerance:
A Clash of Alien Cultures

By Larry R. Moffitt

Associate Publisher and Vice President

Tiempos del Mundo newspapers

Presented at the conference of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom,

October 10-12, 1998 – São Paulo, Brazil

The gap

I was only 10 years old in 1959 when John Kennedy was nominated as his party’s candidate for President of the United States. Almost the first thing I learned about Mr. Kennedy was that he was Roman Catholic. The second thing I found out was that if he became president, then Pope John XXIII would absolutely control the United States. I was visiting at a friend’s house and his father, who was not Catholic, explained these things to me in the most alarming tones.

Concern about Kennedy’s independence from Rome was expressed in other quarters, the media picked up on it and began asking the candidate at his campaign speeches if his administration would be somehow affected by the Roman Catholic Church. At some point he was forced by all the media attention to make some affirmative statement to the effect that, if elected, he would always act independently.

John Kennedy’s religion was a bonafide political issue and the top news story when he was nominated. The story quickly faded, but it’s interesting that it would be an issue at all with media professionals who are generally remarkable for their sophistication.

The next time we saw a ripple of this type began one evening in 1976 when Jimmy Carter, then a presidential candidate, announced he was a "born-again Christian." Specifically he is a Baptist, a member of the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, one of several faiths that call themselves "born-again."

To be a born-again Christian in the United States is not at all unusual, and yet this was a big news story, although again, for only about a week. I think the only reason the story lasted an entire week was because it took that long for members of the press to quit talking about it among themselves.

"At the time," observed John Seigenthaler, Chairman of Vanderbilt University’s Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, "[Carter’s] words disturbed millions of Americans who, like the unknowing political reporters, wondered whether the former governor of Georgia was some sort of religious nut. They wondered, did Carter think God spoke to him? Did he think that his born-again experience gave him a relationship with God that other believers did not have? Did it mean that he thought he was ‘saved’ and that others who were not born again were ‘lost’?" (1)

They didn’t know how to handle his declaration. They asked him foolish questions like approximately how many times a day do you think about God? Mr. Carter’s answer was twenty-five or more. (2)

As with Kennedy’s Catholicism, this story did not stay in the press very long. Like John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter was elected president. Just as John Kennedy was not controlled by the Pope, so also Jimmy Carter was not controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mr. Carter later made another confession before the national media, saying he was sometimes guilty of "lusting in his heart." Mr. Carter was paraphrasing Jesus’ words in the gospel of Matthew where Jesus warned that looking upon a woman with lust is the same as committing adultery in one’s heart. (3) It was a statement of personal reflection from the leader of a nation, rare for its candor. The quaint oddity of the language itself, however, combined with the media’s general unease in the presence of Carter’s religion worn on the sleeve – spawned another brief storm of political cartoons and jokes from the late-night talk show hosts. One example was a cartoon showing President Carter looking at the Statue of Liberty. In his mind, he was envisioning the statue naked, without the robe.

Journalism’s discomfort around religion, sometimes drifting into outright disdain, is embarrassingly pervasive throughout our profession. The Washington Post, the largest-circulation newspaper in Washington, DC characterized evangelical Protestants on their front page as being "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command." (4)

Syndicated newspaper columnist Cal Thomas makes reference to intellectually pre-assigned seating in the back of the bus for religious people, dictated by "a raging, unforgiving, imposing, intolerant, arrogant secularism that claims that any idea or authority that comes from a source higher than the mind of humankind is to be a priori overruled as unconstitutional, immoral, illegal and ignorant." (5)

Michael Horowitz, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, characterized the dominant culture as an environment of religious persecution: "Today's elites find it hard to believe that Christians can possibly be the persecuted rather than the persecutors…Believing Christians have been patronized as polyester bigots against whom a modern, thinking, caring culture must protect itself." (6)

Catholic bashing

What theologian and author Richard John Neuhaus calls, "the sensitivity patrol," that is those who are ever vigilant to protect the image of races, classes and sexes in the media, "turn a blind eye when it comes to beating up on religion. Not all religion, mind you… Protestantism escapes bashing because it is deemed to be neither interesting nor dangerous. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is both interesting and dangerous. They got all those wonderfully spooky things: candles, confessionals, masses, exorcisms, saints, nuns, monks, and a pope who claims to speak infallibly about something called absolute truth. This is a hoot. Or, as it is more delicately put, Catholicism is ‘colorful’." (7)

For all its self-promotion about being "the land of the free," the United States has a disturbing history of religious intolerance – particularly against the Catholic Church.

A particularly allegorical example involves the Washington Monument, the familiar obelisk which stands in Washington, DC. In 1854, members of the controversial and violently anti-Roman Catholic political group called the Know-Nothing Party, gained control of the Washington Monument Society, the group raising money to construct the memorial. Private contributions, which had only been trickling in, came to a complete halt during the Know-Nothing period, effectively forcing construction to stop at the 150-foot level for almost 22 years. That same year, Know-Nothings were suspected of stealing and destroying a special memorial stone which had been sent for insertion into the monument as a gift from Pope Pius IX. (8) The thieves smashed it into pieces and threw it into the river, some say. The Know-Nothings were suspected of burning some Catholic churches and convents as well.

Bad economic times and the coming Civil War further contributed to the lack of funds. When work on the monument resumed 22 years later, the pit where the stones were being quarried had been dug to new depths and the granite now being used was of a slightly different color. For that reason you can see today, a discernible horizontal line, an imperfection where the color changes about a third of the way up.

The Washington Monument is special, symbolic. It symbolizes the highest ideals of the United States – freedom and justice for all people. That there is this visible flaw in America’s symbol, is itself symbolic – silent testimony to the history of religious intolerance in the United States.

How the Catholic Church is portrayed in the U.S. media was the focus of a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, DC. They analyzed all coverage of the Catholic Church in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time magazine and the CBS Evening News. It was an extensive study, covering three 5-year periods within a span of 25 years from 1964 through 1988. (9)

This was a time of unusually great change and turmoil within most social institutions worldwide. Media coverage of the Catholic church tended to center on controversies over sexual issues of morality and birth control, the role of women in the church, celibacy, political activism in the form of "liberation theology" as encouraged by the Latin American Bishops Conference at Medellin, Colombia in 1968 and fundamental issues of freedom of expression and the right to question Papal authority. (10)

The study showed that the press tends to cover theological issues the same way they do secular political stories – that is, externally. As a result there emerged a clear pattern of portraying most of these issues as external political conflicts between an old, calcified church hierarchy and the vibrant, young voices of dissent. It was the Pope and the bishops versus the lower-level clergy, lay Catholics and non-Catholics. (11) The television medium has proven to be terribly limited by a nature that tends to boil things down into information bites easily digested by the eyes and ears. This is a problem, and especially so regarding religion, whose issues are rooted in centuries of tradition and are often too esoterically layered to render well on television.

It was also found that the language of the news reporters reinforced what divisions there already were, applying words like "conservative" and "authoritarian" to the leadership and more positive language like "reformer" and "progressive" to the other side. Time magazine was shown to focus most heavily on internal dissent and conflict within the Catholic Church. Time "featured the most frequent use of judgmental language, and printed a majority of opinions opposed to the Church on every issue except ecumenism." (12)

The bite-size format of the electronic press invites participants of opposing views to "play to the camera" with one-liners that foster intractability. Rather than being a disinterested observer, the presence of media news coverage better serves to exacerbate each side’s intolerance of the other’s position. Television journalists in South Africa before apartheid was repealed, told me all they had to do in order to get footage of civil unrest was to show up on certain street corners in Soweto with a video camera and microphone. A crowd of children would gather and immediately start pelting cars with rocks or setting old tires on fire. They knew what television wanted.

Lichter-Rothman, Dart-Allen, Weaver-Wilhoit: battle of the surveys

In 1980 Drs. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman interviewed 240 journalists working for seven major media organizations in Washington and New York. Eighty-six percent of those interviewed said they seldom or never attended religious services. The implication is that journalists are overwhelmingly less inclined toward religious beliefs than the general population.

The upper echelon of national-level news outlets (generally agreed to include The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, the commercial television networks ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and public television) are among the principal gatekeepers of our opinions. Few could imagine twenty years ago, the central role the media would play today in the fight to determine the direction of the world. (13)

Another survey of journalists was conducted a decade after Lichter-Rothman which takes serious issue with the earlier study. John Dart a religion writer for the Los Angeles Times and Jimmy Allen, former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, criticized the Lichter-Rothman study as being a too-small sampling of but one breed of journalist – those at the pinnacle of the national level in the United States who, by the nature and trajectory of their careers, are of one cloth. They grew up together, professionally speaking. They drink at the same pubs, read each other’s stories and write with each other in mind. They share a similar secular milieu, and according to Dart and Allen, are atypical of the broad majority of reporters and editors who do profess strong religious beliefs.

It might be seen however, that being a survey of the media elite is exactly what makes the Lichter-Rothman sampling such a revealing piece of research. The study shows a startling lack of religious orientation among the handful of people at the top of America’s media pyramid, people who create the national agenda of issues and who significantly shape the opinions of journalists in other organizations. Furthermore, their written articles and broadcasts are archived in electronic retrieval systems where, whether accurate or false, they assume immortality as the information they contain is used again and again, year after year, by other reporters.

On the other hand, David H. Weaver and G. Cleveland Wilhoit, both professors of journalism at Indiana University, say it is a questionable assumption that the more prestigious news outlets exert great influence over the nation’s hundreds of smaller news organizations. "With regard to local and regional news, the influence of these media ‘elites’ is likely to be minimal or nonexistent," they wrote. Drs. Weaver and Wilhoit arrived at their findings through a national telephone survey of more than 1,400 U.S. journalists. They did admit to finding a "a slight left-leaning tendency" among their sample but called it "much less pronounced than that found in Lichter and Rothman's sample of Northeastern elite journalists." (14)

The Dart-Allen survey is in sympathy with Weaver-Wilhoit, but neither of these are exactly a direct nor a convincing refutation of Lichter-Rothman. Dart-Allen samples both clergy and journalists, specifically religion editors in the latter category, and Weaver-Wilhoit samples rank and file journalists from around the U.S. Nevertheless Dart-Allen and Weaver-Wilhoit are seen as being something of a response on behalf of the many journalists in the top U.S. news organizations who claim to have strong religious views, were not interviewed by Lichter-Rothman, and who say the inordinate publicity given to their findings creates a false impression of a Godless media.

Dart and Allen actually end up being somewhat supportive of Lichter-Rothman, although perhaps unintentionally so, in that they further substantiate the significant gap separating journalists and clergy. Among the findings of Dart and Allen:

s An unhealthy distrust exists between religionists and journalists, even a fear of each other in many cases. Religious figures fear being misunderstood and misrepresented; journalists fear making mistakes and incurring religious wrath. The resulting apprehensions inhibit the free flow of information and only add to misunderstanding.

s Many clergy are convinced the news coverage of religion is biased, unfairly negative, and too sensational. Editors and writers strongly deny the accusation. But journalists acknowledge errors in stories and concede they are more likely to be the reporter's, rather than the clergy's fault because of unfamiliarity with religion – It appears there is more ignorance about religion than bias in the average newsroom. Overt anti-religious sentiments are rare, but uninformed reporters are too often intellectually lazy about getting their facts straight when assigned to cover religion stories.

s The nation's newspapers and broadcasters largely refuse to take religion seriously. A community paper that devotes hundreds of column inches annually to high-school football usually devotes much less space to covering religion's role in the community – despite the fact that attendance at religious services greatly exceeds attendance at high-school sporting events over the course of a year.

Supporters of the Lichter-Rothman report see in their survey, validation of what many suspect in their hearts to be true – that the most influential men and women of the U.S. media are so lacking in personal religious convictions as to be not only unrepresentative of the U.S. population, but the antithesis of the so-called "real America."

How devout then, is the average person in the United States? A lot more than one would think – certainly more devout than the impression gleaned from a perusal of the movies and music of U.S. popular culture, if one can believe the findings of Gallup and other polling organizations.

"The real America"

According to Dr. Thomas Reeves, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, "In 1988, the highly respected Gallup Organization reported that nine Americans in ten said they never doubted the existence of God, eight in ten said they believed they will be called before God on judgment day to answer for their sins, eight in ten believed that God still works miracles, and seven in ten believed in life after death. Moreover, 90 percent prayed, 88 percent believed that God loved them, 78 percent said they had given ‘a lot’ or ‘a fair amount’ of thought to their relationship with God during the past two years, and 86 percent said they wanted religious training for their children." (16)

"A whopping 84 percent said that Jesus was God or the Son of God, about three-quarters had at some time or other sensed Jesus' presence in their lives, and 66 percent reported having made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Even 72 percent of the unchurched said they believed that Jesus was God or the Son of God, up from 64 percent in 1978. Almost half of all Protestants described themselves as born-again Christians…A mere 8 percent of Americans were without a religious preference, and even they, in the words of Gallup, ‘express a surprising degree of interest in religion and religious belief’." Dr. Reeves concludes by asking "How can that much faith exist in a secular society?" (17)

Faithful, yet secular society

Obviously, one needs to read between the lines on opinion surveys. The simple fact that journalists express a belief in a supreme being, and claim to observe a religious practice, doesn’t necessarily translate into any kind of meaningful professional brotherhood between media and religion. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that journalists on a large scale have even a basic understanding of how to cover religion.

In spite of overwhelming lip-service to moral values as expressed in the various opinion polls, religious leaders like Protestant Baptist evangelist Billy Graham, Roman Catholic theologian Father Avery Dulles and Jewish scholar David C. Stolinsky have declared on numerous occasions that the United States is definitely not a Christian or religious society and that a festering spirit of moral decay infuses our popular culture to an extent that endangers the safety of our lives and even democracy itself. (18)

President Bill Clinton said on a religious cable television interview program, "If I didn’t believe in God, if I weren’t a Christian…my life would have been much more difficult." (19) The difficulties in President Clinton’s life have greatly increased precisely because of the problem of deeds being inconsistent with words, but if you were to judge him solely by his answers to any of these surveys, he would without a doubt, show up in the ranks of the most devout, praying, Jesus-committed, faithful, judgement day-expecting, church-attending Christians.

A paradox, a cognitive disconnect of enormous proportions begins to emerge. Next time you come across a survey that "proves" how faithful we members of the media are and how much we cherish the sacred – say to yourself, "that’s fine, but does it manifest into anything meaningful in the real world?"

Whatever the reasons behind this conundrum, one of the results is that priests and clergy are routinely portrayed by the media, in movies and television, as clearly less than pious, often comic, figures – all without much of a cry of protest being raised by Gallup’s praying and worshiping 90 percent of the population.

Those 80 percent who expect to have to answer to God on judgement day are seemingly without power in the face of television sitcoms who portray them as victims of a dementia called religious belief, that is at best, naive, at worst dangerous and life-threatening.

An encounter of alien beings

What does this teach us? It teaches us that the news media doesn’t deal very well with things that don’t show up on film or can’t be verified with receipts. People of faith, on the other hand, routinely traffic in things they understand to be true but can’t see, hear, touch, smell or taste – and which even the existence of cannot be proven. Religion is complex, filled with inconsistencies and paradoxes and schisms. It is highly intuitive and is slightly different to each person. It is not hard to understand why the simple teachings of one man, Jesus of Nazareth, could spin off into four or five hundred different Christian denominations and sects in 2,000 years.

Douglas Todd, religion and ethics reporter for the Vancouver Sun characterized the meeting of media and religion as a continual encounter between alien beings from separate planets: "These aliens are separated by suspicion. Journalists accuse the clergy of being deluded, corrupt and boring. Religious dismiss journalists as deluded, corrupt and raunchy. Catholics feel disgust with the media for focusing on priestly sex abuse. Evangelicals fume about the media obsession over leaders' financial shiftiness. United Church members grumble about why the media only look at their policies on homosexuality. Muslims feel smeared as bomb-making fanatics. This gulf of understanding serves neither organized religion nor the media. With the mutual distrust, religious people fail to get their message out to the world. Journalists miss out on some of the most well-read and compelling stories around. And society comes to the false conclusion that religion is not a force in people's lives. Asked whether most religion coverage today is biased against ministers and organized religion, nine out of ten evangelical leaders agreed. So did seven out of ten Catholic officials and six of ten ministers from centrist to liberal Protestant denominations. Journalists overwhelmingly disagreed. It's possible many religious adherents fail to understand that the secular media are not there to do its public relations." (20)

The search for news and the search for God use methodologies that couldn’t be more opposite. Religion’s ongoing mission to judge sin, redeem lost souls, lift up the poor in spirit is difficult for a journalist to cover to the satisfaction of that religion’s practitioners without it looking like the journalist is advocating for that faith. Since every story has two sides, the journalist feels compelled by his training to interview at least one or two disaffected and resentful former members, and other critics of whatever the church claims. Religious people who look for media coverage need to learn to live with journalism’s methodology and understand that it is intrinsic in the culture of the media that they look more askance at a president like Carter, who thinks about God twenty-five times a day, than a president like Bill Clinton who thinks about other things twenty-five times a day.

New religious movements – "man bites dog"

It is the unchangeable nature of the news media to spotlight the unusual, and if at all possible, the physical (i.e. the videotapable). The media is far more comfortable ignoring religion than getting into vaporous issues of faith and theology – except – when a church or a religious person does something tangible, like feed the poor or commit a crime. Of those two choices, many suspect the media would much rather cover the story of a minister breaking the law than feeding the poor. Though it seems to happen with increasing frequency these days, a minister who breaks the law, misusing church funds for example, is still unusual and therefore "newsworthy," a man bites dog story. On the other hand, a minister feeding the poor, is considered to be expected behavior by the press; business as usual is seldom news.

Coverage of new religions ("cults" to many) is also something the media doesn’t do very well. Sometimes an entire body of believers runs afoul of the law in a dramatic and sensational manner. We saw this with the mass suicides at Jonestown, Guyana, the Branch Dividians of David Koresh in Waco, Texas and the suicide of the Heaven’s Gate group in Southern California. It doesn’t take many of these episodes for the public to view any religion whose founding prophet is currently living, as being of one this dangerous ilk.

The dictionary defines a cult as "a particular system of religious worship; A group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around a sacred symbol; The instance of great veneration of a person, ideal or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers." (21)

According to those definitions, Christianity began as a cult and may still be so. Jesus, hearing God’s voice, gathered a group of followers who did whatever he told them to do. He violated the Sabbath and came with new ideas to replace the laws of Moses, of which he referred to himself as the fulfillment. He attracted followers, and that made him a political factor.

Today’s news media would have enjoyed covering the ministry of Jesus at its beginning. Footage of his cult of devotees laying down palm leaves for him to walk over as he entered Jerusalem, would have been the lead story on the six o’clock news. When he started a one-man riot at the temple, driving out the vendors – people, by the way, who had a legal right to be there – it would have made sensational television. A sound bite to enrage the world would have been recorded if television could have been there to tape him telling his followers, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword…For I came to set a man against his father…He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (22)

It is not surprising that he came to be considered too dangerous to be allowed to live. The death of Jesus was a political act engineered by the clerics of his day. If the modern news media had existed, the clergy’s job of destroying Jesus would have been easier.

If God gives you a revelation to start a new religion, you would be well-advised to buy your own television station, start your own newspaper, create your own forum. The mainstream mass communication media are not your friend. Under normal conditions, the media will not help you. Even for you mainstream leaders of long-established faiths, we in the media have a disturbing predilection to begin our newscast with the account of the one-in-ten-thousand of your clergy who step outside the bounds of the law or human decency. Why? Because we know what sells newspapers and what attracts viewers…who in turn, attract advertisers…who attract money.

Sad to say, but the surest way to avoid having the media create a sense of stigma about your religious beliefs, and further separate you from society, is for them to ignore you completely and let you quietly be about your Father’s business.

Religion needs mass media

Unfortunately, ignoring you also hurts you because religion in the Information Age needs mass media. The communication media are the highways to the marketplace of ideas, and religion is first and foremost – ideas. In the modern world, it is essential for religion to have fair and widespread media coverage in order for a society to maintain and place a high value on the freedom of religion.

To paraphrase the well-known philosophical question: If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no television news team there to film it, does it make any noise? The answer in the Information Age is, no it doesn’t.

The Pope visited Nicaragua in 1983 at the height of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government, closely aligned with Cuba and the Soviet Union. Every televised news story about the Pope’s Central American tour, even if only a one-minute piece, centered on the same one-minute scene of Pope John Paul II calling for silence as the crowd chanted "we want peace" and "people power" in a way that no one would mistake for being respectful. That one scene was sent out to the world as the embodiment of the entire Papal visit. (23) That image endures today in the minds of the worldwide billions who saw it on the news, as being the whole story of the Pope’s visit, not just to Nicaragua, but to all of Central America. Whatever other noteworthy things the Pope did on his tour were totally eclipsed by what the BBC in London called "the most unusual Mass of his career."

Therefore, it is not enough that the media simply be there when the tree falls. Begging your forgiveness for this horribly mixed metaphor, but if television films the tree going down and only interviews a Sandinista partisan who says the old-growth timber was cut down by the Pope to make toothpicks for the wealthy, and the newsman fails to interview the bishop who says the tree was about to fall down anyway and was only harvested to make housing for the poor – then the Sandinista version goes on the satellite dish and becomes the de facto reality of the falling tree.

Glimmers of hope (clutching at straws)

There are perhaps some signs that media and religion recognize the value of one another, if one wants to interpret things positively.

ABC television news anchor Peter Jennings is one of the many leading journalists who now realize the media’s shortcomings in reporting on religion. He said, "I have only recently come to understand how complicated and inadequate and, occasionally horrifying, media coverage of religion has been…I would venture to say that in the overwhelming majority of newsrooms in America there is an appalling ignorance of religion and faith…You can find a religious angle on every beat: politics, medical, reporting, education, religion, family and social issues…When it is done right the added dimension of spirituality resonates with the audience to a surprising degree." (24)

Professional associations for members of the media increasingly include panels and speakers to examine their coverage of spiritual matters. Likewise, religious conferences such as this meeting of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom and the recent Media and Faith Conference, sponsored by the Carleton University School of Journalism – and the funding of religion studies activities by some well-know public policy organizations such as the Hudson Institute’s International Religious Liberty Project – help focus attention on ways to facilitate dialogue between religious leaders and media professionals, as well as issues related to the training of religion reporters.

Time and Newsweek magazines report that their highest newsstand sales have been for cover stories about topics of a spiritual nature: heaven and hell, angels, the creation of the world, the search for the historical Jesus and Mary. As well, books on spirituality and religion continue to have outstanding sales.

Occasionally, to our credit, we in the mass media will run the story of a Bing Crosby-like Father O’Malley, turning a hardened street gang of boys into St. Dominic’s choir. There are plenty of those people out there – the good shepherds – and as the networks and outlying stations continue to yield to pressure to assign religion as a full-time beat, it is hoped that reporters will spend more time telling their stories.

Journalism schools should require their students to take a few courses outside the traditional journalism curriculum, like comparative religions, constitutional law, philosophy and accounting. Theological seminaries should require basic courses in electronic and print journalism. Most still don’t, but they’re talking about it.

To live and work in a public forum without polished media skills is to invite public misunderstanding through commission of the Information Age’s mortal sin – the failure to communicate well. Realizing this, the administrators of some religious organizations are finally beginning to allow their public information offices to budget for the training of spokespersons in "Sound Bite 101," the art of looking and sounding credible on camera and in print.

These hopeful indicators are not meant to suggest that the mutually alien lifeforms of religion and the media are ready to start their honeymoon, or even that tension between the two will disappear. These are at best, small steps forward. At the end of the day, however, there is some confluence of the two, if only stemming from fact that there is at least one shrine they do co-inhabit. Media and religion both embrace as their sacred mission, the search for truth.

(1) Seigenthaler, John, Bridging the gap: Religion and the News Media, The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University, Sept. 1993.
(2)  Newsweek, April 5, 1976, page 19
(3)  Holy Bible (King James Version), Matthew 5:28, Blue Letter Bible searchable Bible on the Internet (
(4)  The Washington Post, February, 1993
(5) Thomas, Cal, remarks at a conference, “Religious Liberty in America: Crossroads or Crisis?”, sponsored by the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, March 16-17, 1993
(6)  Horowitz, Michael J., Breaking the Chains Around the Gulags of Faith, acceptance speech on receiving the William Wilberforce Award, February 5, 1997.
(7)  Neuhaus, Richard John, First Things, October 1995 (
(8)  Washington Monument Home Page on the Internet (, link to Know-Nothing Party (
(9)  Lichter, S. Robert, Amundson, Daniel, Lichter, Linda S., Media Coverage of the Catholic Church, Center for Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC, The Knights of Columbus, The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1991, 93 pages.
(10)  Ibid.
(11)  Ibid.
(12)  Ibid.
(13)  Lichter, S. Robert; Rothman, Stanley; Lichter, Linda S., The Media Elite: America’s New Powerbrokers, 1986
(14)  Weaver, David H. and Wilhoit, G. Cleveland, The American Journalist in the 1990s: U.S. News People at the End of an Era; Indiana University, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
(15)  Dart, John and Allen, Jimmy; Bridging the Gap: Religion and the News Media, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University, Sept. 1993
(16)  Reeves, Dr. Thomas C., Not So Christian America , 1995-98 Leadership U online database (
(17)  Ibid.
(18)  Ibid.
(19)  Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1992, Metro Section, page 4; describing Clinton interview on VISN, an interreligious cable channel.
(20)  Todd, Douglas, Media and the Message, Faith and Media Conference, June 7-9, 1998, Carleton University School of Journalism, Ottawa, Ontario
(21)  Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition Unabridged, 1987, 2478 pages
(22)  Holy Bible (King James Version), Matthew 10:34-37 (excerpted), Blue Letter Bible searchable Bible on the Internet (
(23)  Hoyt, Katherine, The 1983 Visit of Pope John Paul II to Nicaragua, National Coordinator of the Nicaragua Network Education Fund, March 16, 1983 in a letter to her parents.
(24)  Jennings, Peter, Anchorman for ABC World News Tonight, in a speech at the Harvard Divinity School