Religion, Fear, and TV News

AP: Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans.

The survey conducted by Cornell University also found that Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims’ civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious.

The researchers also found a high correlation between people who consider themselves highly religious, people who believe in curtailing rights of Muslim-Americans, and the amount of TV news consumed.

While researchers said they were not surprised by the overall level of support for curtailing civil liberties, they were startled by the correlation with religion and exposure to television news. “We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding,” Shanahan said.

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5 Replies to “Religion, Fear, and TV News”

  1. You’re Not From ‘Round Here, Are Ya Boy?

    I find people who are Highly Religious, are also Non-Spiritual, while people who are Highly Spiritual prefer to find their own path, and therefore don’t want anything to do with organized religion.

    There are two type of Social Outcasts I know of, Those who have no friends and turn to drugs, and those who have no friends and turn to organized religion. In both cases, they have trouble fitting into their social group, and instead of widening their social group, they try to change so they can fit into a social group.

  2. There are two type of Social Outcasts I know of, Those who have no friends and turn to drugs, and those who have no friends and turn to organized religion.

    And there are two types of Muslims. Those that strap bombs to their chests and those that encourage them to do so, right?

    If anything, this story shows us the danger in pigeon-holing people into categories.

    “All Muslims are dangerous.”
    “All TV news is bad.”
    “All believers in an organized religion are scary hate-mongers.”
    “There are 2 kinds of social outcasts.”
    “Religious people are not spiritual.”

    This article is a warning. Not a call to start labeling people and ideas from the other side of the fence.

    And by-the-by, I’m sort of a social outcast. Never played football. Never liked Top 40 radio. Etc etc. I’m part of an organized religion. Not because it takes the place of drugs. Not because I want to “fit in” somewhere. Because it’s what I believe.

    If you need to pigeon-hole me and label me because of it, that’s your right. But might I suggest you instead widen your social group rather than change your opinion of people to fit in to your existing Weltanschauung?

  3. “Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans”

    Thats sick. Muslims in Norway are having a hard time as well.. I feel sorry for the Muslims.

    A couple of weeks ago, there was held an Muslim anti-violence torchlight procession in response of the killing of Van Gogh, but there where very few Muslims showing up. Many people in Norway became furious, and ment that those who didn’t show would have nothing against it. Why ain’t the christians marching against Bush when he kill in the name of God? Have all muslims something to be sorry for?

  4. Ironic. The classic “conservative” position was that the socialism that the Left supposedly wanted to inflict on us was how our civil liberties were going to be taken away. But then again, I’ve always thought that the dark side of the U.S. leaned more in the direction of theocratic fascism vs. the dreaded “socialist” bogeymen…

    A good thing to keep in mind here, however, is that we’re talking about archetypes and the social trends of groups – not individuals. When dealing one-on-one with real people, one would do well to consider mneptok’s comments above.

  5. Why ain’t the christians marching against Bush when he kill in the name of God?

    Bush may have done a lot of things, but “killing in the name of God” is not one of them. I do not recall any member of the current US administration say we were going into Afghanistan or Iraq to change people’s religion, or because it was God’s will.

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