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Media Politics and civics

The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation

CNN amplified the myth that the U.S. was “founded as a Christian nation.” CNN should have framed the disinformation with a truth sandwich.

Journalistic malpractice at CNN: Presenting a falsehood as truth

Eighteen months after the January6th insurrection, CNN religion reporter John Blake delved into “imposter Christianity” and a “burgeoning White Christian nationalist movement.”

Blake lists three “key beliefs” uncritically, as though they were true. Moreover, he presents them as truths in subheads.

For example, in the subsection A belief that the US was founded as a Christian nation, Blake writes:

One of the most popular beliefs among White Christian nationalists is that the US was founded as a Christian nation; the Founding Fathers were all orthodox, evangelical Christians; and God has chosen the US for a special role in history.

Instead of presenting myth as truth, journalists should frame myths and lies with a truth sandwich:

  1. The Constitution does not mention God, the Bible or the Ten Commandments. (Fact, does not require a source.)
  2. Nevertheless, many White Christian nationalists believe the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. (Summary of what’s to come.)
  3. Actually, the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” (Fact, does not require a source.)

Combined, CNN would have transformed this essay from a bullhorn for myth to a reminder of U.S. history and foundational documents.

The Constitution does not mention God, the Bible or the Ten Commandments. Nevertheless, many White Christian nationalists believe the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. Actually, the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

News organizations should never report a lie, misinformation or disinformation with a straight face. News organizations must acknowledge the responsibilities that accompany the freedom of the press enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Use the truth sandwich when reporting untruths.

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An ‘imposter Christianity’ is threatening American democracy
“analysis” by John Blake
Sun July 24, 2022

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By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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