Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Evolving Conversations on Belief and Faith Blogs

by Gary Berg-Cross

In an idle moment checking news on my "smart" phone I discovered that CNN online news has not only a Religion section but a Belief blog as part of its news categories (e.g. weather, special coverage, tech, CNN heroes). Do they really have a slogan "The faith angles behind the biggest stories? It seems so.

You can see what they cover, including the Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for the current day. Groups can also post ads for with church sign photos . Wow, the humanist community has a way to go to compete with this melange. It's perhaps a bit like WAPO coverage on Faith or the faith angle to things including politics. So I learned that Cardinal Timothy Dolan has accepted an invitation to give the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. I try to think of a future in which there might be humanist parallels used for our large national meetings. We seem a host of Ingersolls away from such a possibility.

Reading the Beief or Faith blog is not the way I would start my day but I was interested to see that Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor, has a blog article called: Bill Nye slams creationism"

As the article noted Nye posted a YouTube video that pointed out - denial of evolution is unique to the United States and that teaching of creationism in schools is undermining children and the future of the United States.

The video quickly has quickly picked up steam and by the time of the CNN article had been viewed more than 1,100,000 times.

There was an interesting angle to the CNN coverage. It was what they called "five schools of reaction that have emerged in comments."

The first was what the blog editor called "a small portion of the population", but which (interestingly) made up about half of their commentators!!! They joined with Nye to cheer him on. I'm in that group..

More article space was given to the other 4 categories which included a "wait a minute" crowd, a "stupid science" crowd (we have faith and don't need to debate science), a "Nye shouldn't comment on us" group and a "CNN is stirring up trouble" group.

The freethinking community and the half of the commentators that responded might open a debate with the first of these groups, but its less likely with the other 3. Nevertheless I applaud the half that joined with Nye and posted on that blog. It was, after all, the plurality of responses even if the editors gave it faint praise in their analysis.

Image Credit
Bill Nye:


1 comment:

Gary Berg-Cross said...

Creationists have hit back at Bill Nye with their own video and CNN has coverage of it.