The weird and not so wonderful

It's been one of those weeks. The breaking news links have been big on quantity, but on quality, not so much...

Let's start with the straightforward ones.

The Church of Scotland voted to accept gays and lesbians as ministers. Another week, another denomination split.

Michael Medved, who launched a campaign against obscenity in movies during the 90's, has now written a very interesting piece on the statistics on homosexuality, which are overplayed, to say the least.

The secularist attack on faith continues in The Age, although some sense was brought to the debate by Ian Harper. The Age is on its last legs, according to Jeff Kennett.

Speaking of media issues, the Greens are trying to organise an all out attack on talk radio and newspapers in support of their policies. There's an interesting background story on what they are doing in The Australian.

It seems his month's Southern Cross was ahead of the news with its cover story on Oprah. The Washington Post followed suit this week assessed her role as a spiritual leader.

The Weird

I'd never heard of Harold Camping before last week, now he's everywhere.

In Canada, there's a family who are keeping the gender of their child secret, to allow him or her to choose later. Huh?  It has caused a Storm.

Gender confusion meets family confusion in Australia, as a sperm donor fights for access to his child. Although an unusual case now, you can expect more to come.

There's a strange story about the brains of born-again christians, which scientists are claiming shrink because of their beliefs. Google the coverage and you'll that the results don't make sense, so most outlets have used the occasion to lampoon christians.

Athiests have also gone to town using what is almost an April Fool's Day joke of a survey, which claimed people who've given up religion have better sex. Organised, by the way, by someone who has given up religion and claims he has better sex now. And guess what? He only asked people who have given up their faith. Even Salon, no friend of Christians, called the survey "an example of dubious self-reporting". That didn't stop it from being reported everywhere. The media watchdog blog, Get Religion, analyses the story and is suitably outraged.

So that was the weird week that was.

By the way, as a postscript to my report from last week on what appeared to be another round of persecution of Christians, John Menear has written this thoughtful and enlightening response. I'd urge you to read it, pray for China, and pass it on.

Russell Powell has more than 30 years experience across all forms of media, with a long career as one of Australian radio's most prominent journalists and presenters. He was one of the pioneers of the ABC's NewsRadio network. As well as his on-air work, he has taught at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School. He is now the CEO of Anglican Media Sydney and the Archbishop of Sydney's Media Adviser.


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