The National has a series called “Seven”, which documents Mark Kelley’s experiences in a “week in the life of” sort of format. Yesterday’s Seven broadcast highlighted Mark’s time spent with evangelical Christians. You can view yesterday’s broadcast at CBC.ca:
I wasn’t pleased with the way the show portrayed evangelical Christianity. So… I wrote to the editor. Below is a copy of my comments. I wonder if I’ll hear back from them. Time will tell…
I was disappointed by last night’s “Seven” report on evangelical Christianity. I don’t feel that it offered fair treatment towards evangelical Christianity. Specifically:
1. As a Canadian show, I was surprised that the visits were mainly based in the US. There are plenty of relevant, articulate and meaningful Christian examples in Canada;
2. The portions of the interviews that were aired were disappointing as they portrayed the interviewees as inarticulate or unable to explain their position in a positive manner. Fairness would suggest that you provide room for articulate and secular-friendly speakers, which last night’s episode seemed to lack; and
3. Mark appeared to be condescending and mocking at times, which is disrespectful, especially considering the fact that his interview subjects didn’t necessarily offer the most positive impressions towards an unchurched audience;
Three possibilities that I have considered are:
1. Maybe this is the way that most of secular society views Christians. If this is the case, then I think that this episode played to those stereotypes and didn’t adequately represent positive role models within the evangelical community;
2. Perhaps the interviews were edited in such a way that it left the impression that the interviewees were unable to articulate their positions adequately; or
3. Maybe the CBC team wasn’t able to secure sufficient positive Christian role models and was left with these examples;
Whatever the case, I don’t think that this episode was indicative of the Christian community as a whole, nor was it tasteful in the way that Mark appeared to condescendingly dismiss the evangelical Christian community as a group of “scared” social outcasts.
I would like to think that I provide a positive evangelical Christian role model to other Christians. And, I also feel that I have been able to portray my lifestyle to people of other faiths without leaving them thinking that I am afraid or isolated from the rest of society.
Feel free to contact me should you wish to do further reporting on the Christian community, especially within the GTA. I am a current Master of Divinity student at McMaster University, I am currently working as a student pastor at my local church in the Niagara region and I work full time in a secular career as an IT project manager. As well, I am a graduate of a philosophy and religious studies undergrad program at U of T. I think I am well positioned to speak on this subject matter.
Thank you for your time,