An essay that no one wanted to publish
FROM: Prof. Terry Mattingly
TO: Christianity Today
RE: Orlando and the role of television
This is a short test for evangelicals.Name three American cities that are known as centers for:
- Cultural liberalism.
- The news and entertainment media.
- Evangelical Christianity.
Whenever this test is used, two cities always top the list on question No. 1 -- New York City and Los Angeles. A number of cities compete for third, with Washington, D.C., and San Francisco usually strong contenders. On question No. 2, New York City and Los Angeles, or Hollywood, win again. In fact, many people cannot think of a third powerful media center. Some will name Washington, D.C.
On question No. 3, most people name Wheaton, Ill., and Colorado Springs, Co. Picking a third place finisher is a challenge and answers are often based on denominational ties. Some say Grand Rapids, Mich. Others will say Cincinatti, or Dallas, or Tulsa, Okla. Many will nominate Orlando, Fla.
People use this test to illustrate why evangelicals have so little impact in secular media, and why cultural liberals have so much power. Clearly, when it comes to creating the media signals that shape our society, evangelicals live in the wrong zip codes.