Faith and the mainstream media do not exactly mix. About the only time you see the two going together is when the latter is seeking to do a hatchet job on the former. The MSM is overwhelmingly comprised of secular leftists, so people of faith are seldom given a good ride.
Animosity towards conservatives and towards Christians is amplified greatly if a person happens to be both. So it is rare to find conservative Christians actually gainfully employed in the MSM. They are few and far between, and they have to be very brave indeed if they do hope to survive there.
Recently two interesting stories have appeared about two women of faith – both of whom are – or at least were – involved in the media’s big leagues. One was with the New York Times and one is with Fox News. Both are Christians and both have intriguing stories to tell.
So let me speak to each. The first is Kirsten Powers, who converted from atheism to Christianity. Since others have done a good job of telling her story, let me just use some of that here: “She is a political analyst, blogger, columnist and commentator. She is a Democrat who regularly contributes to USA Today, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal among other publications. She formerly served under the Clinton administration from 1993-1998 and was appointed Deputy Assistant U.S Trade Representative for Public Affairs.”
She tells of her conversion as follows: “I was not looking to be a Christian. The last thing in the world I wanted to be was a Christian. I had grown up as an Episcopalian, but not evangelical, born again, or any of those kinds of things. It was very high church, kind of mainline, protestant, episcopalian. I did believe in God, but it wasn’t anywhere near what would come to happen to me later in life.
“When I went away to college, whatever little faith I had, I lost. I ended up graduating from college. I worked in the Clinton administration. All my friends were secular liberals. At this point, I really got even more deeply into an incredibly secular world because now, all my friends were basically atheists, or if they had any kind of spirituality, they were very hostile towards religion, Christianity in particular. So, I really didn’t have any interest in it.
“I started dating someone who went to Tim Keller’s church, Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. Out of curiosity, I went with him. But I told him upfront that I would never become a Christian; that it’s never going to happen. After about six or seven months, I began to think that the weight of history is more on the side of what [I was hearing at this church] than not. Tim Keller had made such a strong case, that I began to think it’s not even smart to reject this. It just doesn’t seem like a good intellectual decision. Really, it was like God sort of invaded my life.”
He sure did, and she is to be praised for her willingness to speak out about her faith when so many others would not dare to do so. By speaking out she may well encourage others to do the same.
And then there is the story of former New York Times technology and culture writer Virginia Heffernan. She has had to endure a lot of grief and ridicule for being open about her Christian faith. She describes her story in part as follows: “I am a creationist. There I said it. At least you dear readers, won’t now storm out of a restaurant like the last person I admitted that to. In New York City, saying you’re a creationist is like confessing you think Ahmadinejab has a couple of good points. Maybe I’m the only creationist I know.”
As one report states, “Heffernan is not the only person in New York City who believes in God, although she has taken a lot of ridicule for her stand. Bestselling author Eric Metaxas, who resides in New York City is a believer. He provides an interesting discussion of creationism, intelligent design and evolution in his thought-provoking book Everything Else You Always Wanted To Know About God.
“Metaxas explains intelligent design along the following lines: ‘It’s the idea that the best available scientific evidence leads to the conclusion that life didn’t evolve by chance but instead appears to have been designed by an intelligent being, or designer. It’s a position that says the universe is too complex to have developed through a series of random accidents and mutations, so that there had to be an intelligent, organizing force behind it. Hence the term intelligent design which is called ID for short.’
“Heffernan, who has read the Bible and Charles Darwin says, ‘I still read and read and listen and listen. And I have never found a more compelling story of our origins than the ones that involve God. The evolutionary psychologists with their just-so-stories for everything (“You use a portable Kindle charger because mothers in the promordial forest gathered ginseng”) have become more contradictory than Leviticus’.”
The article continues, “Heffernan for her part continues to believe in God despite the withering criticism of people like Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan who said, ‘We are not saying you’re a bad person, Virginia, but you should probably expect that, from now on, when people read your musings on, say, the future of internet communications, they might stop, in a moment of gathering doubt, and recall that you are a science-phobic angel-believing climate change skeptic, and that therefore your dedication to facts is somewhat in question.’
Heffernan replies: “It sounds like Mr. Nolan should read Eric Metaxas book and realize there have been 150 years of scientific discoveries since Darwin which supports the belief in an intelligent designer known as God. As Metaxas infers in his book, it’s not scientific to believe that ‘we are all here on this earth by chance’.”
So there you go: two very public figures who are not ashamed to stand up for their faith. Sure, plenty of abuse and mud is coming their way, but they are brave enough and committed enough to keep on being open about their relationship to Christ and the biblical worldview.
May their stories encourage many of us to be far more upfront about our faith, and impel us to be willing to suffer hostility and rejection for the sake of the gospel.