Saturday, August 15, 2009

Words Have Power - to Enlighten or Confuse

I have spoken up many times on this blog about media bias (overwhelmingly toward the left). I believe that slanted reporting, either due to ignorance or deliberate attempts to taint the coverage, is partly responsible for the general misunderstanding about "separation of church and state." Consider the statistics below. The results are shown for three search phrases in the Google News site. Each was search surrounded by quotes to eliminate other arrangements of the words or incomplete phrases in the results. One phrase is the commonly-used "separation..." metaphor, which is "assumed" to describe the First Amendment's statements on religion. Another phrase is "Establishment Clause" - the generally-used phrase used to describe the first of the two religion clauses in the First Amendment. The other phrase, "Establishment of Religion," is taken from the actual words of the Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." I purposely left out the words "Congress" and "law," which would make the results even more restricted for this phrase. But the essence of the meaning has to do with an establishment of religion.

These results are not totally under the control of news services. Many times they are quoting individuals or groups who use the particular language. But shouldn't full reporting of the First Amendment show its words more often than that? Couldn't the reporter/editor enlighten us with the words the founders wrote? I'm not sure all of our citizens are even learning that in school, much less remembering it later.

No comments: