Monday, October 29, 2007

The Media and Political Data

The media constantly throws polls and surveys around and often fail to see what the consequences are. People say that the media is presenting political polls and surveys deliberately for a political cause but I believe they are only do it because the people want to see it. When religion does get involved in politics it tells what and how people should vote, but the media very rarely does this. Instead, they just present the data suggesting to people who to vote for. This data very often ignores the issues and stance that politicians stand for but just suggests who are the viable choices. Religion on the other hand, tackles the issues and the stance politicians more thoroughly. Doing this may make people more informed voters, but at times these informed voters do not see the big political picture and often do not get they voted for.

What Can We do Without You?

I do not think we can do much without the media. Without the media i do not see how journalists can bring forth important information, specifically about the government, to a wide range of audiences. I only see the Internet, specifically through blogging, as their only viable option. The Internet however, is the ultimate narrow casting that exist and that only the people who want to be told these things will want to see the information. Another main problem about the Internet being so narrow, is that it leaves room for people to make up much of the stuff and not be accountable. I thus conclude that media, however censored or not, must play a crucial role government. Without the media, America would be full of secrecy and anonymity, which furthers the lack of accountability and who is to blame.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Exceptions for Censorship

Before, I said that private groups should be allowed to censor the media in the name of decency. Other than this, i believe that the media should be allowed to air what ever they see fit. I see that it s the media's duty to exposed what is not known to America. No matter how absurd or shocking it is, it must be exposed. If the media is not oblige to do this I believe that the tragedies of this world will never be known. Other than for decency, I believe that it is also the duty of religion and politics to help push the media to exposed the wrongs of the world. No matter how much harm this exposure can do, if it is harming the offenders of the world (religion and politics included) then the world is better off. Even if this exposure can bring conflict or shame as it did in the Catholic church and the political cartoons about Muhammad, the world is better of knowing that it happened than to not know that it took place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Relationship Part II

The media is at the center of life, but what does religion and politics do on the outside to the media. This relationship of the FCC and religious watchdog groups try to control the media from the outside. The watchdogs use the FCC to filter out what they consider obscene and the FCC administers fines to the media outlets who violate their rules. I believe that religion should not play a role in government, but for the case of the watchdogs I support what they do. The FCC alone can not keep the airwaves under control completely by themselves, for this reason alone, any group, religious or not, should be aloud to bring some decency to the airwaves. If that means that the media must lose some of its freedom of speech rights so be it. Somethings are just not meant to be said.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Relationships I

America's government is built on and dependent upon compromises and accommodating each other. Without such things pretty much, nothing will get done effectively. The three branches of government must compromise between each other and between themselves. However what is the relationship between religion, politics, and the media? In my earlier post i mentioned that the media is all about money and doing business with religion and politics, but that assumes that the media does not care all that much about religion or politics. I still stand by this but would add that politics and religion do matter to media for reasons other money. There people of the media who religious and politically motivated, and for the media to not be politically motivated or religious is just bad business. The media can show us what we want to see and what is entertaining, but if they can not relate to us politically or religiously they will quickly find a drop in their viewership.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Life in America

Having lived in America for many years now, I have discovered that taxes and death are not the only unavoidable things in this world. Everyday I can not escape religion, politics and the media. Much like the three branches of American government I want to see who exerts what force between these three unavoidable things in my life. To me the media is at the center of everything broadcasting or more specifically narrowcasting to the public, what they want to see. On the outside I see religion and politics using the media for its advantages. From what i observe all three things are just really trying to make money. The media sells a service while religion and politics use this service for money or to make money. Politics and religion may also have other issues they want to tackle but does the media have any other issues to tackle or, do they just want to make money. I believe on the most part the media only covers what it thinks will make it money. Because of this, there is an economic bias in news stories which makes certain situations for certain religious and political figures worse off.

Schools and Religion, Why Should Politics Care?

Why should school boards even be allowed to force schools to include creationism in the school's science curriculum. I care for both religion and science and for their sake I believe that politics should be allowed do all it can to limit or eliminate religion from schools. These evangelist and fundamentalists Christians read the bible so literally that they want to translate their beliefs onto all of society as a whole. I belief that religion is wholly based on faith, and that if you have faith in your beliefs, no matter what is taught to you at school your beliefs stay strong. If you fear that teaching evolution can hurt society then you are not all that religious because you do not have much faith in your beliefs. This lack of faith translates into a need to defend your believes and force it onto others. Attempts to use the law to limit evolution from schools are pathetic. Society, even the evangelists and fundamentalist, are relying on science more than ever and will only rely on it more. For the sake of science and society everyone should at least learn science for the sake of having a proper grounding in science education because it is part of being a well informed and to limit this for religious matters would be to limit society.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Religion, Evolution, Schools, and Politics, ITS NOTHING NEW

Much protest has arisen out of teaching evolution versus teaching creationist science in the recent years, but this fight over religion schools and politics is nothing new. The scopes trials following the civil war was over movements to ban teaching bible-threatening science in the south. Sure, Scopes did violate a Tennessee law at that time prohibiting teaching creationism, but i believe justice truly prevailed when the decision was overturned on a technicality. Despite this guilty plea, the evolutionist would win a major victory and slowly cause other states to repeal "monkey laws". What before was the religious side attacking science, and now that they do not have their way they have to reverted to a kind of hypocrisy calling their bible beliefs "creationist science". When they can not get evolution out of the schools they would try to put creationism science along side evolution to be taught together. I see this as there weakest attempt to promote the teaching of their views in school. This is nothing more than sore losers who wont give up and accept that it is the law for church and state to be separated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Larger Look at Education, Religion, and School Boards

Having looked closely at the Westminster school board, i will now look at the larger picture of school boards and protesters who demonstrate over praying in school, bible classes, and teaching creationism. Georgia's state school board has approved bible classes in high school but only some schools are actually offering these elective classes. There were many schools across the country having such classes, but the difference remains, that those schools used local public funding while in Georgia the state is funding such cases. I whole heartedly disagree with having bible classes in public school. The supporters would argue that understanding the bible is fundamental to fully understanding politics and history, which is a moot point, but I see these classes as another way of the religious right to reinforce their religion and political leanings on to students. The reason that only some schools in Georgia has offered such classes is that the line between teaching and preaching the bible is so short that they do not dare take the chance of possibly being sued for having a teacher become a preacher.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Students, Teachers, and Rights

What are the rights of students and teachers who are gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender(GLBT) at public schools and how do the law and school boards deal with this. At the problem of all this controversy is the board of education, the Westminster school board, and AB537 which sets rules against discrimination of GLBT's. The dispute centers on the board of education ordering the school board to clearly define gender so that no interpreting of terms can be used to justify discrimination. The media claims that the school board has a religious slant, citing a statement from a school board member saying that their resistance to AB537 will bring "great benefits in heaven". This statement surly says alot about the board's believes but is the media spinning this out of hand by claiming that the school board makes their decisions on a religious slant? I believe so, such a claim does not have much legitimacy if it is based on one statement. Furthermore, I believe that the school board, although religious, does not dare break laws for fear of getting funding cuts, but they are just expressing their opinions and dissatisfaction by using controversy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Look at Home

Having lived in Westminster for as long as i can remember, i was surprised to hear that my small little hometown was involved in another controversy. I knew about Mendez v. Westminster, and the school board's segregation of Mexican students which would lead to Brown v. Board of Education. But when I heard Mr. Lobdell mentioned Westminster multiple times in his lectures, I felt like going home and researching this controversial school board in my town. I knew that there were many Vietnamese and Mexicans in Westminster, but was surprise to see that the 2000 census showed an equally large White population of whom are mostly Christian. I was also surprised to learn that this controversial school board was also mostly Christian. From this discovery, i hypothesized that the school board's controversies were indeed probably religiously motivated. When i looked at the controversies at hand (family values in school, religion in school, and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender rights for students and teachers) I only leaned towards my hypothesis more. But now as I continue to ask some teachers I'm beginning to question if all of this is just a matter of spinning on the part of the media and all who are involved.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Other Side in America

I have give much attention to the extreme right, and now i will focus on the other side. On the extreme right the political actions taken are often motivated by religion and race, but on the extreme left i see that their actions are motivated by the same thing. The extreme left do all that they can, mostly through legal means, to protect religious and racial equality. The most recent case of extreme left political action was in San Francisco, where a father, on behalf of his daughter filed a lawsuit to remove the requirement for school children to recite the pledge of allegiance because it contained the words "under god". Where I stand on the political spectrum i view that the extreme right's political actions are violent and really just a bully tactic that they often justify using the bible. I believe that the extreme left's political actions, although noble and legal, are not needed, and that they should instead focus more of their time on controlling the extreme right and what the do.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Non-Mainstream Extreme Right?

The extreme right is in no way close to or representative of the mainstream right and religious right, but is there such a thing as an non-mainstream group within the extreme right? I think so, and i believe these groups are those renegade mormon sects whose social and political pratices are too much to take in even for the extreme right. These sects, most notably the one lead by Warren Jeffs, step past Evangelical beliefs and also Mormon beliefs. The crimes they comitt step over even extreme right beliefs of the Aryan nation. What these groups do are considered so taboo that when mentioned to society, most are reviled that the government has not completely banned it. Polagamy, rape, and forced incest are the common pratices of these renegade groups. These groups defend their pratices politically, arguing that it is their religious right to do so. It took a case on child abuse to get Warren Jeffs convicted. No matter how important the freedom of religion is, I want the government to stop any such religion or cult which permitts such pratices.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Extreme Right and the Future

Surely, extremist like these guys will never turn America into such a white society, but the can and have been able to paint parts of America so that other races are bleached out. Gary Miller, a california representative, is one of these far right politicians who has used the immigration crisis to support his right-wing extremism which got him 62% of the votes in California's 42nd district. Although the district he runs in, does have people of other races and religions, there have been little to none challengers to his seat in congress. I believe this phenomenon has been caused by Miller's strong influence on what people consider important. With time i believe he can make his constituents consider race and religion as important issues as well. If right wing extremism, supported by the immigration crisis, takes a hold in more districts, I see that those districts and its constituents may possibly and slowly support issues among the right wing agenda like religous and cultural issues as well. There are parts of America which are already white, not because it was painted white, but because its inhabitants were white. What I do not want to see is a part of America where there are people of other colors be painted white.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Youth in the Extreme Right

Much attention has been given to the religious right, its older leaders such as Pat Robertson and James Dobson, and their tremendous influence on religion and politics. Much like how these two leaders use religion to justify getting involved with politics, leaders of the Aryan Nation and the their Ku Klux Klan use religion as a basis to justify their racial separatism. These groups attract many youths and instill in them that they are the supreme race over lesser races. They are often inspired and instigated into criminal behavior ranging from hate crimes to acts of terrorism against abortion and homosexuality. I believe they take such actions because they believe they are defending their christian identity as god's chosen race. The media does not cover much of these stories, except in mostly local news. If more people were aware of the violence and hate promoted by these groups, they would see that they are incompatible with the traditional American principle of equal representation for all people, and that they are actually anti-government. Because these groups are a very small minority and have little media coverage i do not see much political action to be take against them. Much like gangs in America, I believe more action needs to be taken against them.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Extreme Right, but an Extreme Left?

Having been raised in an liberal family and watching the "liberal media" I see and hear many stories involvong religious/political extremists. The one theme i see in most of the stories is that an extreme right is involve and often the conflict involve religion. Most people know that the right opposes many social issues such as abortion, gay marraige and evolution, What most people do not know is the extreme right and what they are willing to do to get their message across on these issues. I see their tatics as terrorism, for when the law does not bend their way, they resort to cowardice like Al Queda and take the law into their own hands for religious reasons. I hear the right say alot of things about abortion, gay marraige, and evolution, i often do not hear them condemn the extreme right and their violent attacks and ambushes on abortion clinics and its patients. I do not hear them condemn gay bashing and threats of death. I just do not hear alot of these things. All that I hear about the extreme left are tree hugging animal loving hippies who protest what society does. I want to learn more about the extreme left and any cowardly and violent things they have done, tell me what i do not hear.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dividing America

Having compared the different faiths in America and its relationship with politics and the media, i have come to reach a conclusion that America is much more divided amongst religion than i have ever thought. Although race, gender and equality has pretty much been settle constitutionally with the 13, 14, and 19th amendments, the issue of god in the Constitution remains. Each different faith claims that the "god"
that the Constitution refers to is theirs. Even the atheists are involve in this issue and want god to be completely removed. Being religiously apathetic(nearly atheist) i tend to side with the atheist and would rather have god removed from the constitution. If i had my way with the constitution and other American documents and pledges, I would much rather keep "god" but would remove "indivisible", because it would best describe the political and especially religious climate in America.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The other faith

The news stories covering the Muslim and christian faith depicts more violence, terrorist, and overzealous religious behavior and gets most of the attention because there is a larger audience for stories on such religions. I often find the coverage on other faiths such as Buddhism only appear when monks are protesting some government. Recently, the protests led by monks in Myanmar, the self-conflagration by monks during the Vietnam war, and the Tibetan independence movement have gain the most coverage. From these news stories i feel as though the Buddhist faith is constantly in a political struggle for rights and freedom. I also feel as though the media will only cover the Buddhist religion when there something shocking happens or if it involves someone famous. =

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Whole New Crusade?

Now that information regarding child sex abuse in the boy scouts, much like that of the catholic church, has been revealed, i believed that the right has lost a strong voter base; as trust in the boy scouts have been loss and I believe that children for the boy scouts will have less dedication to conservative values and less likely to vote for the right. This is why i see the media covering a possible "new crusade", a christian youth movement called "Jesus Camp" where kids are seemingly in a religious trance and are praying to Bush. Where as the media covers the Muslim faith in stories involving terrorism and civil rights. The media covers the Christian faith in stories involving overzealous and intolerant people. From these news stories that I see from the media I get a feeling that there will be a whole new generation of voters who will be completely inflexible on political/religious issues such as gay marriage and abortion and any secular movements.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

How the media portrays muslim/christian conflicts in america

Why is it that the media portrays the Christian-Muslim conflicts in America with such a cynical view. The Christians are portrayed with an anti-Muslim point of view, where they consider the faith to always have some kind of support for terrorism. The Muslims are portrayed as Muslims first and Americans second, where they are considered to have less rights and are in a constant battle for their civil rights. The Muslims are portrayed as though they believe America is at war against Islam. I believe it is all due to 9/11 , and America's mob mentality, where only a serious event or natural disaster can motivate an entire nation to voice there emotions and demand action.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Comparing different religions with politics and the media

Having studied comparative politics, i would like to examine different religions and how each religion is portrayed by the media and how political events enter the mix.

The American media has two ways of portraying Muslims and Islam. The Iraq War, Muslim against Muslim, and Muslim against Jews, are extensively covered in international news, where Muslims are involved in conflicts with themselves and others. The other way that the media portrays Muslims is that of Americans vs. Muslims and Christians vs. Muslims. Most domestic news stories often portrays Muslims as struggling to fit in with Americas and often undiverse. Incidents involving Christians and Muslims portrays Christians as ignorant and fearful of the Muslim faith and Muslims as possibly threatening to the status quo.

The media often leaves out or ignores many stories in international news involving Muslims, often just focusing on violence and the war much in the same way that they ignore the African Muslim population in America and stereotyping them as Nation of Islam.