Welcome, and thanks for stopping by Faith Media & Culture: Perspectives from Larry Hollon.
By day, I am the chief executive of United Methodist Communications, the global communications agency of The United Methodist Church. By night, I am a photographer, a technophile, an avid reader, a storyteller and a collector of ideas that foster positive change in our culture.
In this blog I look at contemporary issues that intersect media, culture and religious faith. I’m motivated, in part, because I think the dialogue has been too limited; in part, because I’m interested in hearing from more voices; and finally because I have to be hopeful that we can overcome the namecalling and division that’s so prevalent today and create a more inclusive and affirmative society. So, I live in hope.
But hope must live in a real context. For example, the debate over so-called traditional values has been very narrow and incomplete. I believe Christian values include peace and justice issues, food and healthcare, human rights and responsibility for the environment. But these values have gotten precious little attention in the polarized debate about gay marriage and abortion. As a result, we’re not better informed, but we’re certainly more divided.
I doubt that confrontational media framing brings much light to the darkness. Nor does the politicizing of religion. In fact, I think “either/or” framing of stories is harmful to the public conversation. It distorts our perception and simplifies complicated issues by turning them into bumper sticker slogans. It shuts out too many voices and it doesn’t lead us to creative problem-solving. If, as a result, we are more divided and less understanding then journalism has failed. I hope we preserve journalism that can help us sustain a diverse and inclusive society as the Constitution envisioned.
I hope to post news and perspectives that you might not find elsewhere. To make sure you do not miss my latest posts, you can subscribe via RSS or email.