I have three words for the next person who tries to tell me there’s no liberal bias in the mainstream media. Or more precisely, three letters: N, P, and R, as in National Public Radio. This past Saturday’s “Morning Edition” ended with an interview of Rowan LeCompte, the 85-year old man who has devoted his life to creating and maintaining the stained glass features of the National Cathedral in Washington. After briefly recapping his subject’s remarkable life-in-art host Scott Simon took the interview in a different direction by asking LeCompte, “Do you believe in God?” His response was as follows:
“I believe in kindness and love, and there are those who say those are God. I don’t know, but I respect and love kindness and love, and worship them, and if I’m worshipping God, then I’m delighted.”
Hmmm. Well, no, Mr. LeCompte, you are most definitely not worshipping God by worshipping kindness and love, as worthy as those two pursuits might otherwise be. Even I, a non-practicing Christian, know that. But he continued:
“I love love, and I love kindness, and I wish the churches would emphasize more the kindness. Kindness to everybody,” he added, rather pointedly.
With this interview being broadcast on Holy Saturday– the day before Easter, the single holiest day in the Christian calendar-did veteran host Scott Simon try to steer the interview into slightly less contentious waters? By asking, say, a question about some technical aspect of creating stained glass? He did not.
Q: Could I get you to talk just a little bit more?
A: Whatever you wish.
Q: It occurs to me that we could fairly describe you as…well, perhaps as a believer in kindness as opposed to a deity. I’m touched by the fact that you and the Bible are in the same business-you illuminate these stories.
A: Well, I’m certainly not trying…to yell at people for what they’ve done and to say that they’ll be in Hell.
If you’re keeping score at home Mr. LeCompte has (so far) denied the existence of God, suggested that the Church (by which I take it he means Christianity) is unkind, and strongly implied that the purpose of the Bible is to “yell at” people and tell them they’re going to hell. Was he finished? He was not.
“There cannot be Hell,” LeCompte went on to say, “except as we make it. There’s Hell on Earth, certainly…I’ve tasted it.”
Perhaps LeCompte felt that his evisceration of Christian doctrine was incomplete until he also denied the existence of Hell and, presumably, Heaven.
Let’s review: On the day before Easter millions of Christian listeners (whose tax dollars subsidize NPR) got to hear a sad, bitter old man denounce their God, their church, and their Bible with the cheerful assistance– if not the actual prodding– of a seasoned radio veteran like Scott Simon. This took place on NPR, which is a veritable Ground Zero of politically correct obeisance before every possible ethnic, ideological and religious faction on Earth except, of course, the predominant American one, Christianity.
As any longtime NPR listener can tell you, the network has nothing but contempt for traditional American institutions, especially conservative ones like Christianity. And while they’re generally better at cloaking their enmity towards the church under that public radio aura of detached objectivity, that hatred reared its ugly head during the LeCompte interview.
If you think I’m over-reacting, imagine a slightly different, yet parallel scenario. It’s the night before the start of Ramadan, and someone with some peripheral connection to Islam– the owner of a bookstore where the Koran is sold, let’s say-goes on public radio and roundly denounces the tenets of the Muslim faith. Can you imagine the public outcry, the rioting, the car burning that would ensue? It would make those riots over the Mohammed cartoons in Amsterdam seem like a day at the beach.
Fortunately, such a thing could never happen. Listener-supported National Public Radio would never dream of insulting anyone’s religious beliefs. Unless, of course, they happen to be Christians.