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Religion In Media Essay

1594 words - 7 pages


There are presently 35 television stations owned and operated by religious organizations, but every television station features religious programming in one way or another (Postman, 116). Religious television program producers are driven by the desire to make money, and they find the best way to accomplish this is by scamming viewers and members. During this process, religion loses its authenticity. Religion is not being practiced on television, it is being mocked. Religion is no longer for worship, but for entertainment.

Moneymaking scams are becoming very popular in recent years. One would like to believe some things in life are sacred. Religion is where billions of people invest their ...view middle of the document...

All of a sudden they are miraculously cured and can live their life in harmony. Still paying their monthly fees of course to stay this way. One of the most successful and popular religious programs and organizations is Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” which you can belong to by paying fifteen dollars a month (of course you can watch at home for free assuming you have cable television) (Postman, 114). In one episode, a woman is shown filled with anxiety because she is forced to stay at home and staying at home makes her nervous. She begins to feel even her own children are trying to kill her. She is shown then searching television for an answer. She stumbles upon the “700 Club” and becomes interested in its message. She allows Jesus into her heart and is saved. She has now become two things, a television star, and closer to Jesus. “To the uninitiated, it is not entirely clear to which is the higher estate.” (Postman, 115). Meanwhile, the untrained viewer sees this and becomes attracted. No one is saved, money is made by the producers, and wasted by the viewers. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, there is no money. You are given privileges based on how you are born. There is also no religion. Without money or religion, all of these problems would have been avoided. Although the story of the suffering woman was no more than a well played act, this does happen in real life. However in the Brave New World society you are not given the chance to be sad. You are forced to be happy and are not given time or the will power to think on your own. As a child, you are conditioned to like certain things both awake and asleep. Love and emotion are outlawed in this society, both of which are associated strongly with religion. With contributions running in the millions, today’s religious television shows have no problem competing with other more popular shows, as they believe they are relaying a more important message. It has been estimated that the total revenue brought in by “electronic churches” is well over $500 million annually (Postman, 120).

     There is one major problem with television as such a strong method of communication – it is all based on visualization. Religion is meant to be practiced in the mind and soul. This connection however, cannot be properly made through television. If a religious program were to be set up in a small shack with a candles and a wooden table, you would not watch it. This is because on the next channel there is a program with a huge, brightly lit room filled with beautiful flowers and clean-cut, happy looking people. This reaction is natural. Electronic preachers themselves know this, and use it to their advantage. But the question is, who would relay a stronger message. Well, verbally, neither. The words they speak are not what attract the viewer; the appearance is what attracts the viewer. Today on the “700 Club,” Pat Robertson decided he would try to prove religion is the key to longer life and...

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