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Book Jacket

0805431837
Hardcover
208 pages
Oct 2004
Broadman & Holman Publishers

The Unfinished Soul: Happening upon Jesus in the Happenstance of Life

by Calvin Miller

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt

Excerpt:

Good-bye Jesus,
from the Media

We are evermore a post-Christian culture. Under the guise of playing fair, the media has isolated the faithful by inundating Christ in secular affairs. In the name of politically correct objectivity, they have excluded the Divine pivot around which Western culture spins.

Dear Jesus,

Good-bye.

We feel a little sheepish writing you, what with your being the Son of God and all, but we're doing our best to keep from looking schmaltzy and corny in New York and Washington. We are professionals, and we must be as dot.com as possible
in keeping up with our obligations to be sure that we do not play favorites in matters of faith. Buddha and you are roughly equivalent in our view. That's why we do things the way we do.

This is why we don't talk about you much in the papers nor cut you any prime-time slack in the world of television.

You can imagine what would happen if we called you the Son of God right on the five o'clock news. Imagine how the Dalai Lama would feel. Dropping you out of the five o'clock news is all a part of our need to be objective.

It gets a little tough at times, like September 11. Everybody was noticeably religious for a while. Even a few Democrats were talking non-stop about you then. But we didn't waver; we just don't do that. If it helps any, we don't do it for Confucius or Zarathustra either. Secular is best: it just fits us! God may or may not be there- we really don't care. We are the makers of opinion, and in our opinion, God only complicates opinion.

We know you said he was your Father, but is that really fair? If he is your Father, he can hardly be the Father of all these other guys- Mohammed, Buddha, and the like. . . . So we are inclined to be objective. God is nobody's Father- or mother, for that matter. We're not saying God is dead; just irrelevant.

We made the decision years ago to give you no space in our scheme of things; unless, of course, we were doing a story on you and how you could not possibly be the kind of Messiah the world thinks you are. We're only doing this to be objective.

After all, there are a lot of people who don't believe in you. This is true of most of us in the media, as well as those in Hollywood and scads of New England Democrats. Sure, it's clear-even to us- that you've impacted history, but then so did Charlemagne and Genghis Khan. Not that we're comparing you to them. If you discount the Inquisition and the Crusades, your influence was generally more positive than theirs.

But, of course, the biggest part of our ignoring you comes from our plain old professional allegiance to unbiased reporting. We don't want to look too Christian. We'd feel phony! After all, ninety percent of us have never entered a church, unless it's to photograph politicians coming out of church. But then the politicians should go to church. They need it. They sin a lot, and we need to be there when they do to point it out to them. Plus politicians are running for office- it keeps them singing hymns and listening to sermons. But our jobs are secure, so we have no real need to bring you up.

It's hard to retain our objectivity. We can't bleep you out of every news spot. Take Mother Theresa during the Clinton presidency. She spoke of God right during the prayer breakfast. We cracked a camera lens on that one. Still, we felt we should let her political incorrectness pass. What were we to do with a Nobel Laureate who loves Jesus? Sheesh! Our hands were tied. One time, George Bush also used the word “Jesus,” and we left it in, mostly because we couldn't think of a decent way to bleep it out without appearing to be both atheistic and democrat.

9-11 was a tough time for us! There was Billy Graham talking about you right at the National Cathedral. Humiliating! Running on the way he did! He just kept it up, talking on and on about you. Horribly embarrassing, but we learned a long time ago that if you try to take the word “Jesus” out of everything Graham says, he still just stands there reeking charisma. If he hadn't talked so much about you, he might have been a good anchorman. Too bad we lost him for the best cause!

But all in all, we're winning. The more we ignore you, the less seriously the culture takes you.

So good-bye, Jesus. Those who need you can take a cathedral tour or read some old books. But don't tune us in at 5:30 p.m. hoping to hear your name. It “ain't-a-gonna” happen. We're committed to what's-happening-now. And don't tell us how uncomfortable we're going to feel at your second coming. Even if you do show up next Tuesday, we'll bring the world complete coverage on Wednesday.

Yours for a myth-free tomorrow,
The Media