By Michele Rosenthal (auth.)
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Extra info for American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium
53 Viewing the terms “American,” “Protestant,” and “Democratic” as largely interchangeable, The Christian Century found great fault with the Roman Catholic efforts to monitor and affect the culture at large. A conflict with the Roman Catholic Church over the film Martin Luther exemplifies this position. Outraged that a local Chicago channel had canceled a movie about Martin Luther under pressure from the archbishop, The Christian Century commented “This is the beginning of tyranny. ”54 Yet in the same article the writer evokes the privilege and rights of the Protestant majority: “While Protestantism is the faith of the majority of people in the Chicago area, it has never previously spoken with one voice.
32 Perceiving the traditional, sermon format of the Federal Council’s programming as limiting, the committee focused on developing drama, children’s programming, and music programs. In these areas, the committee was successful in carving a separate niche and approach to broadcasting. 34 The differences in the organizations’ approaches would become clear during these negotiations. The Joint Religious Radio Committee, represented by Everett Parker, felt strongly that the commission should be headed by someone with broadcasting as well as church experience (as Parker had from his internship at NBC after seminary).
29 In addition to editorials, The Christian Century also published articles by guest writers about television, particularly religious television. Both the editorials and articles by guest writers concerning television were equally ambivalent about the potential affects of this new medium on the audience. ”30 Advertising strategies were considered to provide a potential model for religious broadcasting. “Television missionaries,” argued J. ”31 Other guest writers, however, were more cautious. If television could be such an effective minister/salesman, left in the wrong hands it could be lethal.
American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium by Michele Rosenthal (auth.)