Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity

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S. E. Cupp
235 pages | Buy the book

The mainstream media has stuck its claws in a new victim: Christianity. Cupp argues that the innately biased “liberal media” is not only unreliable, irresponsible, and partisan, but they are also guilty of inciting a “revolution” that will destabilize and dilute Christian America. Among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and, ahem, NEWSWEEK, “mock, subvert, pervert, corrupt, debase, and extinguish” (page 3) the Judeo-Christian ethic and back believers into a dark, morally void corner of American society.

What’s the Big Deal?

For conservative Cupp, who is also a professed atheist, the stakes couldn’t be higher. After all, the liberal media is hard at work trying to do no less than “overthrow God and silence Christian America for good” (page 2). Since 80 percent of the country is Christian, publications like NEWSWEEK (who she slates relentlessly throughout her book) are “laughably and totally inaccurately” referred to as “mainstream” (page 3). The consequence is the media’s “marginalization of the Christian majority,” that will result in the “suppression and submission” of the religious core (page 232). Faith is under fire, she argues.

Buzz Rating: Hum/Rumble

Cupp’s book has already elicited calls from the National Center for Science Education, which took issue with her discussion of evolution. And considering Cupp’s hard-wired media connections—she’s a regular on talk-show television and writes opinion columns for the New York Daily News—you can be sure she’ll be spreading her argument far and wide, much to the delight of conservative bloggers who are already fawning over her.

One-Breath Author Bio

S. E. Cupp’s first book, Why You’re Wrong About the Right, launched her career as a conservative political pundit. She’s a regular fixture on Fox News and, despite her targeting of the “liberal elite,” her essays show up in mainstream media outlets like The Washington Post, too.

The Book, in Her Words

“My intention here is to systematically expose the mainstream media’s overt hostility toward Christian America, with a focus on the past decade and a specific eye toward just the last few years, in which I feel the rhetoric has grown infinitely bolder” (page 9).

Judging by the Cover

The pearl-adorned Cupp, dressed in a sensible, green sweater, is as conservative in appearance as the book is in its content, and it falls exactly in line with partisan-book promotion. Be it Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, or Michael Moore, it’s always the author’s smiling face staring right at you.

Don’t Miss These Bits

1. The media killed Christmas. By insisting on ecumenicalism during the holiday season, the media’s “war on Christmas” has relegated public displays of religious worship “to a hush-hush subculture” (page 9). Case in point? The secular journalism establishment’s reaction to presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s 2007 Merry Christmas commercial. Cupp says it should have simply been taken for what it was: a Christmas message for Christians. Instead, The Washington Post and CNN questioned whether a crucifix had been strategically placed in the background of the ad. Blasphemy! More recently, the major papers refused to cover Obama’s snubbing of the “National Day of Prayer.” To Cupp’s horror, and to her interpretation, the liberals that run the mainstream actually endorsed the “anti-Christian” move (page 37).

2. Yes, even Christians have a brain. Under a subheading called “Christians Read?! Something Fishy’s going on here,” Cupp details the ways leading mainstream publications treat Christian literature as some rare and bizarre phenomena. When Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life shot to the top of the bestseller lists, the Post called it “unexpected” and a “modern marketing miracle,” unequivocal evidence of prejudice to Cupp. She says the same patronizing attitude was evident in NEWSWEEK’s coverage of Left Behind, the apocalyptic novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. When it became a bestseller, NEWSWEEK ventured that, “sociologists tell us that the United States is experiencing a religious revival . . . but if the bestseller lists are any guide, the revival looks more like a collective leaving of the senses” (page 87). You can practically hear Cupp’s exasperated sigh on the page.

3. Critics side with the secularists, every time. Take coverage of the films Narnia, an overtly Christian story, and The Golden Compass, which its author Philip Pullman described as an attack on Christianity. It’s no surprise, Cupp argues, that the media played up how hard it would be to market Narnia because of its Christian themes and reviews were lukewarm, at best. With The Golden Compass, however, the media seemed to be gunning for its success. The New York Times declared Pullman “the man who dared to make religion the villain” and his work “thrillingly ambitious.” Ms. Cupp? Evidence of the Christian-hating media, of course.

Swipe This Critique

Cupp has a disturbing tendency to patronize her readers. She constantly reminds them that the liberal, mainstream media is marginalizing them and devaluing their deepest beliefs, as if they aren’t bright enough to behold the vast left-wing conspiracy. She makes fear-mongering her second trade, warning that “Christian America needs to get wise to this attack [on the religious right] before Judeo-Christian values, which is to say American values, are . . . unable to operate in the open without fear of retribution and censorship” (page 9). Melodramatic stretch? The fact is that Christians and conservatives also have their own TV stations, magazines, and pundits. So, in the end, Cupp’s erected a bit of a straw man.

Tic Alert

Far, far too many rhetorical questions.

Gradebook

 

Prose: Well written, fluent, and easy to digest. It’s a cross between an eloquent portrayal of fact and an angry tirade.

 

Humor: The chapter titles are droll variations on the Ten Commandments. The layout includes witty subtitles that keep the book accessible and the reader focused.

 

Bottom Line: In the end, Cupp’s argument just doesn’t ring true. Sure, individual journalistic outlets have attacked religion in the public sphere, but the book does not offer up real, tangible evidence that some liberal conspiracy actually comes anywhere close to really injuring Christianity, or, more broadly, religious freedom in America.