Crews from "700 Club," a news, commentary and ministry program seen by 1 million viewers daily and broadcast continually since 1966, descended on Farmington and the Navajo Nation in January to explore poverty among American Indians. The crew also visited tribal officials and missionaries in Chinle, Ariz., and the Window Rock, Ariz., capital of the Navajo Nation.
The show is the second of its kind produced by Christian Broadcasting Network. The first, which aired last March, sparked questions from the show's vast Christian audience.
"They got a lot of e-mails from viewers wondering why American Indian tribes were in such poverty if they have all the casinos," said Jim Baker, president of Navajo Ministries. Baker was one of two local people interviewed for the segment.
"They wanted to do a followup on poverty, so they chose the Navajo Nation to film because it's the largest reservation and it just put in its first casino," Baker said.
Last year's segment focused on poverty and despair, "700 Club" reporter Mark Martin said. Crews traveled to South Dakota to interview members of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe about poverty.
Let's review the previous program. The 700 Club visited exactly one tribe, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. This tribe has one small casino which isn't a big success because it's in the middle of underpopulated South Dakota.
Based on this one episode, a bunch of born-again Christians wrote in asking why Indians are still poor when they have casinos? Was The 700 Club too biased or incompetent to explain that there are 560-plus tribes in different circumstances? That not all of them have successful casinos? Or did The 700 Club explain this basic fact but the viewers were too biased or stupid to understand it?
Again, the choices are 1) 700 Club too biased or incompetent or 2) born-again Christians too biased or stupid. Hmm...tough choice. Even worse, it could be 3) both.
For the Christian Broadcasting Network's previous attempts to "understand" Indians, see:
Pat Robertson claims that Indians are "not totally literate"
Christian Broadcast Network: "Injuns" surround troops
Below: "Why aren't Indians as successful as us rich white folks? We pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps with a multimillion-dollar televangelist campaign, so why can't they? Are they too busy worshiping their heathen idols?"