I’m not making this up. This just happened to me.

I was contacted this morning by someone who works for one of the three major news networks. They wanted me to come downtown and film a segment for a TV news talk-show addressing the question, “Is the media anti-religious?”

I prepared. I pondered. I was ready.

Here was the basic idea of my planned reply:

“‘The media (if we must use such a vast generalization, like “Hollywood” or “Democrats” or “Republicans”) tends to go with whatever will be the most arresting story, and thus “they” often go for extreme voices instead of something closer to the truth. Thus, we end up with a lot of stories about religious people doing extreme and terrible things, or about religious people being ‘intolerant.’ But you get the same thing in the religious press … religious voices speaking in extreme, attention-grabbing, self-righteous terms about the non-religious. It would be helpful for the nation as a whole if other voices were given room, to represent religious people who are actually thinking people interested in contributing to a healthy, balanced dialogue instead of throwing stones from the far end of the spectrum.”

Then, a few minutes later, before they had heard anything about my potential replies, they called back.

And guess what…

They told me I wasn’t an “extreme-enough” voice. They had realized I wasn’t going to be offering an extreme anti-media response, and were looking for some religious person who would.

I can’t think of a punchline good enough to end this story.

Perhaps this is the punchline– just repeating the question: Is the media anti-religious? Here we have a media outlet “reporting” on how Christians think they’re being marginalized … and how do they create the story? By marginalizing Christians.

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