We're getting close to the official kickoff for the 2012 presidential election, and it's not a matter of "if" the faith card is played, only "when" and "how much."
"The 160 million people in America who claim to be ‘Christian' come into focus each presidential election cycle, and the current 2012 ‘pre-campaign' is no exception," writes Larry W. Poland, the chairman and CEO of Mastermedia International, a self-described international organization that facilitates relationships between media leaders and the Christian community at large.
Poland said "both media decision-makers and the politicos need to be aware of what is happening" in America's largest voting block.
Here are some findings from a recent survey done by America's Research Group (ARG) sponsored by Mastermedia International:
º Two-thirds of Christians polled feel that they are either "ignored or treated unfairly in the mainstream media." As a result, 43 percent are watching less TV than three to five years ago because they find programming less friendly to their faith.
º Nearly four in 10 said there are TV programs and even performers they refuse to watch.
º Respondents indicated that their faith influences other areas of their lives as well. There are restaurants and retail stores they will not patronize because they perceive them as being anti-Christian. They will patronize companies more often if they perceive them as faith-friendly.
º Fox News is viewed as significantly more Christian-friendly than other news sources. Roughly 59 percent get their news from CBS, ABC or Fox News, with Fox -- even as a cable channel -- close behind ABC among Christian believers.
º Nine of 10 believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible and in a divine creator rather than in a random evolutionary process.
º Nine of 10 believe America was founded as a Christian nation, though only 70 percent believe it is a Christian nation today. Eight out of 10 are concerned about the moral direction of the nation.
The results came from a national poll of 1,000 randomly selected respondents who identified themselves as "Christian" and who attend two or more religious services a month.
I found this item recently in the New York Times:
"A typical prize for a children's contest might be a backpack, a lunchbox or maybe some toys.
"Not in Somalia.
"A Somali radio station run by the Shabab, the most powerful Islamist militant group in the war-ravaged country, held an awards ceremony to honor children who were experts at Shabab trivia and at reciting the Koran. The prizes? Fully automatic assault rifles and live hand grenades."
I don't think any further comment is needed, do you?