Christians & Politics, Rd. 6: Al Jazeera

Just saw these on the Ordinary Radicals blog.  Their the two parts of an Al Jazeera English special titled “Inside USA: Christianity, Politics and Power.”  I think this is fabulously done.  Maybe it takes a news organization from a slightly different worldview to frame the questions in such a way that an actual story emerges…

Given our conversation over the past few weeks, I’d love to hear your general thoughts on these two videos, as well as your opinions on the following questions:

– How well are all of the major platforms in this debate characterized or represented in this piece?

– What did you learn that you didn’t know before?

– What are your outstanding questions after watching this?

– Did anything about this piece unsettle you? Comfort you?

– Who made the most sense in this piece? (doesn’t have to be the person you agree with)

– Did the questions raised, images shone, or interviews conducted in this piece raise any new questions about your own opinions?

OK, I’ll let you watch the videos now.  Enjoy.

Part 1

Part 2

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6 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t see the videos, brother.

    Reply

  2. Hmmm, interesting. They’re showing up fine on my computer. Anywho, here are the links:

    Part 1
    Part 2

    Reply

  3. Posted by miller on July 18, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    steve,

    you ask,

    “How well are all of the major platforms in this debate characterized or represented in this piece?”

    i didn’t feel like they were addressed well at all. there is without doubt a unveiled bias on the part of the agency and the reporter.

    “What did you learn that you didn’t know before?”

    i never thought about abortion being economically driven. i know, i know… i’m stupid… but at least i’m honest about it.

    “What are your outstanding questions after watching this?”

    i understand the bias of the agency and the reporters, i wonder what the agenda is…

    “Did anything about this piece unsettle you? Comfort you?”

    i was pretty bugged by claiborne and pretty encouraged by campolo… even though i don’t really share his optimism concerning government.

    “Who made the most sense in this piece?”

    the chaplain at walter reid

    “Did the questions raised, images shone, or interviews conducted in this piece raise any new questions about your own opinions?”

    not really. i still think Jesus followers have to abandon their hope that the government will be their surrogate for justice in the world.

    peace

    Reply

  4. I’ve written a longer piece on my views after watching this report, which is going to be posted over at Jesus Manifesto this week (hopefully).

    But Miller, I’d like to hear your reasons why Shane annoyed you more than Campolo. I would have guessed you’d say the opposite. No, Shane didn’t get the kind of face time in the final piece to adequately convey what he really thinks about politics.

    Campolo annoyed me because he was basically advocating for the same kind of Christian political action for the Democratic party that Christians have given the Republican party over the last 30 years. I thought Avi Lewis, the reporter, did a good job of calling him out on this glaring hypocrisy.

    Simply trading the Christian Right in for the Christian Left won’t do. We need a different conversation, which I think this is.

    I liked the chaplain at Walter Reid too. I wish he’d talked more about his role in the U.S. Army in light of his identity as a Christ-follower. Loved the way he’s loving the injured soldiers, though.

    As for Al Jazeera having an agenda, I would respond, “Of course!” And I think that agenda reveals quite a bit about some of the prevailing views of America and its political system among Al Jazeera’s viewership. That alone should raise questions.

    Thanks for answering the questions, Miller. I’d like to hear others’ reflections.

    Reply

  5. Posted by miller on July 20, 2008 at 5:01 am

    regarding the campolo/claiborne thing…

    i guess i’ve just been annoyed with shane lately. i’m sure he’s a great guy and i know he’s doing some great stuff, but i won’t go into all of that here.

    i think the reason campolo encouraged me was because he didn’t get rattled and he didn’t sound like that other preacher dude who i’d just like to erase from my memory. i don’t like his politics but hey, i don’t think you can argue that he wasn’t thoughtful in his answers. part of it is that i’m really well insulated from christian liberalism here in the ol’ mother city.

    i agree that we need a different conversation! i’m just not sure i like shane’s any better than the others. i’m not willing to say yes to something just because it’s diff.

    good questions steve.

    thanks for posting this.

    peace

    Reply

  6. Hey folks —
    Thought you might be interested to read a piece I wrote that just posted over at the Jesus Manifesto zine. It’s an extended review of this Al Jazeera report. Check it out here.

    Coincidentally, my friend Agent B also had a piece published on JM last week. That link is here.

    Reply

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