Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Pass the Salt"

Even Freud might have laughed aloud.

In a classic journalistic faux pas perhaps betraying a predisposition in the culture-war, this week's Newsweek article "Cut, Thrust and Christ", originally misquoted Rev. Jerry Falwell as referring to their successful debate-team as 'assault ministry' (instead of 'a salt ministry').

It's an interesting article, though. Here are some excerpts...

"Debaters are the new missionaries..."

"They're tough. [But] we're not afraid to debate Liberty," says Harvard coach Dallas Perkins Jr., whose varsity team was beaten by Falwell's last month."

Cedarville University in Ohio just tripled its budget for debate scholarships. Falwell's school, in Lynchburg, Va., pours a half million dollars into the debate program every year, with the goal of eventually flooding the system with "thousands" of conservative Christian lawyers. "We are training debaters who can perform a salt ministry, meaning becoming the conscience of the culture," says Falwell, who is also hoping the team will elevate the humble academic reputation of Liberty itself. "So while we have the preaching of the Gospel on the one side—certainly a priority—we have the confronting of the culture on moral default on the other side."

[Read the updated-Newsweek story.]

[See related commentary]

And on a related, but 'coincidental' note, I totally appreciated Dennis Ryerson's editorial in Sunday's Indianapolis Star: "Accuracy improving, but we can do better.". It has to be a tough job to maintain accuracy amid the information explosion.

In any event, Newsweek's journalistic slip might best be utilized as a gentle reminder for us all...

"Truth is nourishment for the soul.
But 'assault' seldom leaves a good taste in anyone's mouth."

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