Religion in the Media

August 22, 2012 under Syllabus 2012-2013

Summary

Religion in the media… How is it portrayed? Do you think it is accurate? Are there any good places to get the truth in the media about religion? If so, where?

Objective

Scan your favorite newspaper or search your favorite news website on any given day and you will find news about religion. Turn on your TV or scan your radio and you will surely come across news and shows about religion. Is the message positive? Is it negative? Are the sound bytes we hear an accurate portrayal about religion this day in age? Are there good places to visit to get your daily dose of religion in the media?

Bible Readings

1. Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

2. Luke 11:34

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

3. Psalm 101:3-4

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

4. James 3:5-11

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. …

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraph 2494

The information provided by the media is at the service of the common good.285 Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and solidarity:

The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the communication be true and – within the limits set by justice and charity – complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.286

2. Paragraph 2497

By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

Small Group Questions

  1. What are you hearing about religion every day as you go about your life?
  2. What media outlets do you visit to get your media about religion?

Recommend Resources

  1. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1905/religion-news-media-2010-islam-mosque-ground-zero
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/religion-stories-of-2011-_n_1131566.html
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/index

Accountability

  1. This week try getting your news about religion in one of the places that the group suggested. Try it out and see if you like it.
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