“If Jesus were alive today, he would be more inclined to say, ‘you know, I didn’t know it all…'” – Rev. Oliver White, Sean Hannity Show, March 27, 2013
In general, most news outlets have provided awful coverage of the Supreme Court proceedings on same-sex marriage. Covering the proceedings like they cover a political campaign or a sporting event, most of the analysis and commentary has been about political “wins” for one side or the other and the ramifications of the pending decision on homosexuals in our society, rather than the wide-ranging ramifications for society itself.
Filling the void of thoughtful analysis has been talk radio. Unlike the vapid and two-dimensional conversations repeated every ten minutes on cable, talk radio has been able to explore larger questions entwined in the same-sex marriage debate and have been able to challenge the politically correct orthodoxy presented in other media outlets where it comes to the religious side of the issue.
Enter Sean Hannity whose Wednesday show featured a fascinating exchange with Terry Jeffrey, a news editor from CNS News Service, and Rev. Oliver White, a pro-same sex marriage pastor. Because Hannity is not constrained by the limitations of a TV news schedule and the need to change subjects every 5 minutes, as is so often the case on cable news, he was able to allow the on-air debate over the scriptural basis for marriage to naturally unfold to the point where the lack of scriptural foundation for same-sex marriage was laughingly evident.
This exchange in particular was the most glaringly infuriating as White, a proponent of same-sex marriage who angered his own congregation recently because of his adamant belief that Christianity supports such a practice, went so far as to agree that Jesus Christ was wrong about His position on marriage being defined as one man and one woman, and if Jesus were alive today he would, in fact, support gay marriage.
In this segment, the good minister is quizzed further on his unique and ever-morphing interpretation of scripture by Hannity and it’s revealed for the audience that his understanding of sin and morality is quite pliable and able to bend to meet any modern need:
Finally, Rev. White is able to admit that he does draw moral lines with regard to sexuality, but those lines are rooted less in God’s law but in the current popular practices of the times we live in:
This is the kind of exchange, full of thoughtful and challenging questions that force the guests and the listener to re-examine what they believe and what they espouse can only happen in a medium like talk radio and new media where hosts are able to take positions and not pretend to be objective. We know there is no real objectivity when Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper are conducting an interview on this topic. Cooper would probably never have Rev. White on in the first place, because he would make the pro-same sex marriage side look bad. And, if he did have a minister on to discuss the biblical basis for same-sex unions, there is no chance that Don Lemon would be able to pose questions for their guest in the way that Hannity and Jeffry did.
In general cable and network news have not served the public interest in exploring these complicated and important issues because, in many cases, the hosts and anchors assigned to the topic are just not equipped or are completely unwilling to have both sides of the issue get a fair and through hearing.
Congratulations to Sean Hannity for taking advantage of his medium and shedding light on an angle of this story that’s been neglected by his TV counterparts.