Tag Archives: journalism

God is Winning in 2015: The Continued Failure of Secularization

The now infamous 1966 cover.  And no, He is very much alive.  I talked to Him this morning.
The now infamous 1966 cover. And no, He is very much alive. I talked to Him this morning.

In 1966, Time magazine famously asked, “Is God Dead?”  For almost 50 years, the geopolitics of the world has indicated a strong and loud “no” to this question.  So argue the editors of a great volume, intended for journalists but a worthwhile read for anyone interested in faith or politics, entitled Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion.  At the conclusion of their background article, “God is Winning,” Timothy Samuel Shah and Monica Duffy Toft argue,

“Contrary to the influential scholarly theories of the 1950s and 1960s, religion is not dying with modernization. Contrary to conventional wisdom, religion plays an independent and powerful role in how people view themselves and how states conduct their affairs. And, contrary to the assumptions of recent U.S. foreign policy, democracy promotion may only increase the political role of religion – including radical religion – throughout the world, most immediately in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. God is winning in global politics. And modernization, democratization, and globalization have only made him stronger.”

The chorus of New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens [RIP], Harris, Dennett, etc.) continues to argue that religion either will or should go away with advances in modernity and science.  And yet, the exact opposite is happening.  There is a message here for all of us, religious and nonreligious: to understand the world around us, we had best understand our religious neighbors on their own terms, lest we are fated to be ignorant of our world and one of its indefatigable factors.  This has been true since Time‘s infamous cover, and will, in all probability, remain true in this new year – despite what the cultured despisers happen to feel about it.

blind spot book

Source: “God is Winning,” in Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 28.

Advertisements

The Sad State of Journalism: NBC Sports Skewers Dana White and His “UFC Tree Fort”

Just read an ::ahem:: “article” over on the NBC Sports site dubiously titled “Dana White Doesn’t Want Icky Girls In His UFC Tree Fort.” If you don’t know who Dana White is, well, you aren’t even a casual MMA fan.  The foul-mouthed Bostonian (are there any other kinds?) is President and part-owner of the UFC, and the man most responsible for turning around not only his corporation but the entire sport.  He’s not polished, but he is smart, and I like his product.  He has flaws.  These are readily viewable with a simple Google search.  But that is no excuse for this.  The author, Rick Chandler, concludes his short piece – based on a ONE WORD answer White gave to the ever-invasive cameras of TMZ – with the following scintillating analysis:

OK, I think we get the picture. We now take you to the scene of another 6-year-old mentality, via Calvin & Hobbes, already in progress:

Calvin: Our top-secret club, G.R.O.S.S.– Get Rid Of Slimy girlS!
Susie: Slimy girls?!
Calvin: I know that’s redundant, but otherwise it doesn’t spell anything.

Of course, the head of the UFC must be a misogynistic, immature dolt.  Many people, ignorant of the sport, would say the same about us fans.  But this is ridiculous.

The primary reason that the UFC does not have a women’s division (and likely won’t for quite some time) is a relatively low number of female fighters.  The UFC is the major-league, marquee MMA organization.  They will never have a women’s division until there are enough high-quality female fighters (in a particular weight class) to justify its creation in the top-shelf promotion.  This same logic applies to why there will not be (also for a long, long time) a super-heavyweight (265 lbs. +) division: very few – if any –  high-quality fighters in that bracket.

But I didn’t need to tell you all that.  Hopefully, all you needed to see was the title of this article to know that this was a pathetic excuse for sports journalism.  To run to the opposite extreme, where is Ariel Helwani when I need him?

P.S. Sue, if you read this, feel free to correct me!  Aside from college newspaper experience (ha!) I am no expert in this field.  But as a fan, I was offended by this hack piece.