March 22, 2009

Targeting born-again Christians

In Navajo Nation on 700 Club, DMarks wrote:Are you singling out "born again Christians"? The perception that Indians are all rich from casinos is quite widespread beyond the 700 Club audience, and shown by many examples in "Newspaper Rock." I doubt that the audience results would be different had this been presented to other non-Native audiences.I agree that most Americans are ignorant about Indians, whether they're born-again Christians or not. I targeted born-again Christians in this posting because I presume they were The 700 Club's intended audience.

The 700 Club had a chance to speak directly to these people using an approach and style they would understand. The host (Pat Robertson or whoever) could've made understanding a moral and religious imperative.

For instance, "For too long we've let some of God's children suffer. God wants you to watch this show and learn the truth about Indians. He implores you to rid your minds of negative stereotypes and replace them with thoughts of love and compassion."

Needless to say, this didn't happen. If anything, the born-again Christian viewers were more ignorant and uncharitable after the first show aired. "Why should we help the so-called poor Indians?" they seemed to be saying. "How can they be needy when they have casinos?"

700 Club biased?

I'm sensing a whiff of right-wing dogma here. The savage heathens can't help themselves despite living in the greatest country on earth. We give them money-making machines and they're still wallowing in squalor. What can you expect from idol worshipers who haven't accepted Jesus? They do their devil dances and God punishes them for it.

After all, Pat Robertson and other conservative Christians have claimed that natural disasters are God's way of punishing people. Why wouldn't they claim that about poverty on reservations also? Indians aren't living as God intended--in suburban homes with middle-management jobs and church every Sunday--so God is teaching them a lesson.

For more on this subject, see Limbaugh Blames Flood Victims.

Of course, all this is just speculation. What isn't speculation is that the show was produced by born-again Christians for born-again Christians. Given that scenario, the results should've been better. That they weren't means some or all of the people involved failed.


dmarks said...

I do have a lot of problems with the 700 Club, and find it to be more of a typical televangelist effort to get the people making it rich.

My point was not to defend the 700 Club, but to deal with that one generalization.

Anonymous said...

Don't genearlize and steretoype all christians with 700 club or televanglist. I belong to concservative church. They do not view native americans or others the way Pat Robertson does not do they believe people are punished by natural disaeater. I find it extremely offensive when liberals and non=Christian lump all conservative christians together and generlize their beliefs. You constantly are up on arms about natives being stereotyped - rightly so. Is it fair to take a few natives or a group of natives and assume their beliefs and actions are representaive of ALL native? The answer is no. Yet you continually do this to Christians. I have no love of 700 club or Pat Robertson or many of the televanglists out there. I believe they are hypocrits. But I am a proud Christian with strong love of God, and I am non-racist and treat others no matter what their spiritual beliefs as I would wish to be treated - with respect. Just because You don't believe as I does not mean I set out to bash your beliefs...Nor do I try to stereotype you. You might want to rethink and try that.

Rob said...

Are you also born again, Anonymous? Because this posting is about born-again Christians.

That anyone is a "non-racist" is open to question, of course. You'd have to tell us what you believe about Indians before I'd concede you were right.

But you're right about one thing. I often generalize about Christians as well as Indians, whites, conservatives, liberals, Americans, Europeans, et al. That's necessary to produce clean, effective writing.

But when I generalize, I'm generally talking about what the majority believe. I rarely if ever use the word "all." Please tell me you understand generalizations better than reader Stephen does.

In this posting, I was targeting conservative, born-again Christians who were potential viewers of The 700 Club. I have no idea what percentage of conservative, born-again Christians would never watch this show because they spurn its kind of programming. Do you?

I've read a ton of writing by conservative, born-again Christians. If any of them are sensitive to the plight of Indians in particular or minorities in general, I don't recall them. Send me examples of their tolerant, multicultural attitudes toward Indians and I'll post them in Newspaper Rock.