Eye on Culture

Isn't it simply Easter season, when fresh Gnostic gospels or dubious ossuaries show up like spring daffodils? -- Peter Steinfels , New York Times reporter, in his March 31 article about a supposed secret, homoerotic Gospel by Mark. Americans are accustomed to cultural elites trying to undermine their religious faith during Lent, Passover and Easter – but it's never been this bad. Beginning on February 26, the news media and arts community have fired a stunning barrage of criticism at religious beliefs, religious practice, and religious symbols. Nothing is too sacred to attack this year, not even the most crucial... continue reading
According to the National Cultural Values Survey released March 7 by the Culture and Media Institute, 74 percent of Americans believe that moral values in America are weaker than they were 20 years ago. These people also believe that the media are second only to parents and families in influencing America 's moral values. Channel surfing through the vast wasteland that is television reveals that one of the prime contributors to this moral decline is Viacom – owner of MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Nickelodeon, Logo, BET, Paramount Studios and several other entertainment outlets. The programming dominating Viacom-owned networks is a... continue reading
Valentine's Day. The words evoke romance, tenderness, cards, candy, and flowers. Given that the media often turn to the subject of love at this time of year, the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute decided to find out what women's magazines are writing about in their February issues. The answer is, pretty much what you'd expect -- from Playboy . In 11 of the top-selling monthly women's magazines, with a combined circulation of more than 30 million, messages about S-E-X outnumber messages about love and romance more than 2-to-1. Typical topics: Who's doing what, where and how many times... continue reading
What does it take to condemn yourself to hell? The subject came up recently in an exploitative column in Newsweek . It's a question the editors of the magazine should have spent a little more time pondering. BeliefWatch, a regular feature in Newsweek, covers tales from the spirituality front. The column deals with a wide variety of faith issues, ranging from the traditional to the far out. For example, the appointment of the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church prompted a look at the role of female leadership in different faiths. The fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of... continue reading
(CNSNews.com) - Five weeks after the New York Times was notified about a major error in its reporting on abortions in El Salvador, the newspaper finally ran a correction on Sunday. An April 9 cover story in the New York Times Sunday magazine falsely reported that some women in El Salvador had been imprisoned for thirty years for having illegal abortions. A pro-life website, LifeSiteNews.com, was the first to question the article's accuracy. In late November, LifeSiteNews reported that Carmen Climaco, the woman featured in the article, had not been jailed for having an abortion, as the New York Times... continue reading
It seems almost ridiculous that acknowledging Christmas should be controversial. In a country where 96% of the citizens celebrate it, why do so many feel like Christmas is under attack? An online poll done by the Chicago Tribune last week showed that 68% of respondents think there is a war on Christmas. Why? Because, Tiny Tim, there is. Led predominantly by the ACLU (they'll deny it of course, but ask the folks in Wilson County, Tennessee who are currently in court fighting the ACLU over – among other charges -- a kindergarten class singing two Christmas carols), the attacks against... continue reading
T his time last year, newspapers were replete with stories about the “War on Christmas.” Mega-retailer Wal-Mart came under fire for instructing employees not to say “Merry Christmas,” and city councils around the country buckled under ACLU pressure to pull nativity displays off public property. This despite the fact that 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas and 87% think nativity displays are fine. Well, Virginia , things can change in the course of a year. Politically Correct Christmas (PCC) may be on the way to joining the Ghost of Christmas Past. Reclamation of the “Merry Christmas” greeting treasured by millions of... continue reading