A liberal and anti-Christian media is helping America slip toward moral ruin, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention said in an American Family Association webcast.
In an interview about the role of Christians in politics, SBC President Frank Page said the major policy issue coming forward is change in the makeup of the United States Supreme Court to once again deal with the question of, “Does an unborn child have a right to live?”
Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., said other issues, like immigration, education and healthcare “have some moral implications,” but in the final analysis the main issue for Christians boils down to: “Is the family worth protection, the family that God has defined, and what are the implications of the changing of that definition, both for the issue of homosexuality, the sanctity of marriage, as well as the sanctity of unborn life.”
Page, who completes his two-year service as top elected leader of the nation’s second-largest faith group in June, described the prospect of a future Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states as “a frightening thought.”
“I think it’s going to dramatically change everything,” he said. “The entire societal paradigm is going to shift. Nothing will be the same. The only place where people will be able to sense some sense of normality will be within the walls of Bible-believing churches. Because once they leave the walls of the Bible-believing churches, they are going to live in a world that is totally different.”
Would churches be in peril?
“Just look to Canada,” Page said. “Already in Canada, if you are as a pastor, you speak against homosexuality, you can be jailed. And I’ve told my people in my church, ‘You just have to come visit me in jail, because they may be where we’re headed.’ I’m just saying life is going to change if that happens. Life is going to change as we know it.”
Life in America would never be the same, Page said, unless the people of America were to wake up and ask, “What have we done?” He viewed that as unlikely.
“The liberal control of the media, most of the media, the liberal control of most of education, of most of movies, television–their control is so pervasive and so virulently opposed to a conservative viewpoint of life, they would make it extremely difficult for our nation to ever wake up and do anything about it,” he said.
Page agreed that churches not doing enough to speak out about negative media influences.
“We are all a part of this boat,” he said. “We have been desensitized by the proliferation of media that comes from a hundred different channels, radios, high-definition radios, all kinds of different satellite situations–so much is coming in that people have gotten where they don’t hear or see.”
“The downside of that is they don’t even realize the impact of things such as MTV and other things that are affecting our youth,” Page continued. “I challenge people in my church, and I wish others would as well, ‘You need to be much more aware of what your children are seeing and hearing, because it’s affecting their values.’ And that’s why now among many evangelical young people, they do not see homosexuality as anything other than normal. It’s all they’ve heard. It’s all they’ve seen applauded. And slowly but surely it’s made an impact upon their value system. Yes, we must alert people to the dangers.”
Page said his experiences of the past two years leave him no doubt that there is “an anti-Christian bias in the media.”
“I’ve seen this,” he said. “I mean I deal with New York Times, I deal with Washington Post, I deal with the major news outlets ¦. They cringe when I start talking about Jesus. They are so anti-religious, anti-Christian, that it’s palpable. You can see them shake. You can see them move. You can see the reaction.”
“There is–I don’t think, I know–a strong anti-Christian bias today in the news media,” Page said. “It’s so obvious. How could they deny it? But they do.”
Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics said Page “sounds paranoid about the press.”
“Is he speaking about the Washington Post columnist who wrote positively about his election as a sign of moderation in the SBC or the AP reporter who wrote similarly?” Parham asked. “Is he referring to the editorial page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that carried a column by the son of an SBC president who had a statement related to global warming that Page signed? Is he talking about the national media who gave Richard Land a pass on his Jewish slur against a U.S. senator? Is he speaking about FOX News, which favors the Christian Right leaders over other Christian leaders?”
“Contrary to his worldview, the media is not a monolithic, anti-Christian monster,” Parham said.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.