Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good use of radio

What to make of this article?

Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Richard Roeper feels that while Talk host Mike Gallagher’s heart was in the right place, he was wrong to turn over 55 minutes of his radio show to leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church in exchange for their promise not to picket the funerals of the five Amish girls who were gunned down inside their Pennsylvania schoolhouse.

Members of the church are infamous for showing up at the funerals of soldiers and claiming those soldiers have been killed because of God’s hatred of homosexuals. ...

Roeper believes that Gallagher’s “well-intentioned but misguided” offer of airtime is essentially ... “giving in to spiritual terrorists.”


After reading Roeper's article, Road To Hell Paved With Good Intentions, and checking out that church's website, I'd be inclined to agree with Roeper. I have my doubts God appreciates such vicious, vitriolic and hateful advocacy in His name.

Still, I can't completely agree that Gallagher was necessarily "misguided." On the one hand, I agree that he "gave in to spiritual terrorists" by giving those Westboro wackos airtime on his program. But on the other hand, he did what he could to shield the grieving Amish community from a hateful spectacle by self-serving louts.

As a radio host and a writer, I understand both positions. But as a Christian and a human being, I'd have to side with the radio host, because his was a direct demonstration of human compassion rather than just another social statement.

3 comments:

Fr. Bruce Power said...

While I don't really like the idea of the Westboro Baptist Church beging given ANY opportunity to spread their venom I do agree that the radio host showed some real ability at damage control here - while on the airwaves it's easy to turn off the Westboro bunch with the flick of a switch - not possible with a live protest - so I think Ghallager did the best job of anyone in stemming the Westboro attempts at "spitiual terrorism - and once they're done we can turn the radio back on or better yet - tune in to Nash Holos!

Fr. Bruce Power said...

If I might make one further and respectful observation here Paulette in reply to your posting. I would just like politely to caution about one expression made in the posting refering to those from the Westboro Baptist Church as being "those Baptist wackos." I would change this to "those Westbor wackos" for the reason that, inspite of their church's name, they are not associated in any way with any mainstream Baptist Conventions or Congregations. The major groups of Baptists are in fact well known for being very descent Christians who condemn hatred. I point this out in consideration to any of our Nash Holos listeners and readers who are members of the Baptist Churches. The Westboro crowd with their attempts to spread raw hatred are in fact the very furthest thing from genuine Baptist Christians.

Pawlina said...

You're right, Fr. Bruce. It's not good for Christians to perpetuate denominational divisions, and it was very careless of me to fall into that trap.

Thanks for pointing it out. I've changed the post accordingly.