Sunday, June 29, 2003

Don't mourn The Report?

Ted Byfield is right, in one sense, to not mourn The Report in his Edmonton Sun column today. He notes that he fielded many calls from friends who thought he would be very sad:

....But the brutal fact was that I didn't feel all that bad about it.

After all, nothing this side of the Kingdom of God lasts forever. At least 25 Alberta magazines have come and gone in that 30 years. Newspapers, too, are scarcely eternal. Where are the old Calgary Albertan, the Edmonton Bulletin, the Winnipeg Tribune? Even great nations expire. Anybody visited the Roman Empire lately?

Ted is right in one sense. The values that he has espoused for years will have value and meaning after The Report dies.

However, this writer below points out that Canadian journalism from a faith-conscious perspective is still needed:

It is commonly claimed nowadays that Christianity is no longer relevant in the discussion of pressing public issues, but this contention is the precise reverse of the facts. For what are the hot-button issues now before the country? Let's name a few: terms of marriage and divorce, parental rights, origins and importance of human life, human cloning, freedom to publicly express a moral viewpoint, the justice of war, the content of school science curricula, the appropriate scope of social welfare, man's relation to his environment, and on and on.

At the very core of each of these issues a traditional viewpoint collides, often sharply, with what advances itself as a more modern one, and the Christian faith inevitably underlies the traditional. Innovation in all these areas therefore involves the rejection of some aspect of Christianity, yet the defence of the position on purely Christian grounds is rarely undertaken.

It sounds like Ted Byfield is advocating the creation of something like The Report in his
National Post op-ed of a couple of days ago.

Unless, of course, there is no need for Canadian social conservative journalists to write on these issues any more.

One could argue that position papers, for example, could replace The Report quite easily. But, eternal issues of faith have often needed to be brought into a modern context to help people understand that in a moral sense, the more that society changes the more that it stays unchanged when it comes to the deepest matters of the human condition. Using news is a way to remind people that while the circumstances of life may change, the central moral issues that all people address do not.

Faith-conscious journalism is not the only, or even necessarily the best, tool in the toolbox. But you can't fault Canadian conservatives for wanting to still use it.

This raises an issue. Many pundits are wondering whether some kind of Canadian conservative magazine can work when "fiscal conservatives" are leery of "Holy Roller" or "Bible thumped types."

I think such a magazine can work. I will explain how in a future post.