Thursday, October 16, 2008

Objects to "churchy" term

[The WMUB Forum discussion on 10/10/08 was about the upcoming ballot issue on legalizing a casino. One of the reporters on the panel referred to some of the opponents of the issue as “churchy”. We read a listener email during the show objecting to this choice of words. Afterwards we received a message from Richard Eslinger, Dean of the United Theological Seminary in Trotwood. Dean Eslinger wrote:]

I, too, wish to express my displeasure at the "churchy" comment... The reference in context seemed to connote "pious" and "moralistic" when, in fact, the issue of casino gambling brings with it multiple social pathologies that persons of faith do address. I am aware that it was one of your guests who employed the condescending term, but I am more disappointed that your interviewer did not correct its use or ask a follow-up question that probed the religious community's opposition to the referendum.

[Program Director John Hingsbergen, who was the fill-in host that day, wrote: “As one who has spent a large part of my life producing programming about spirituality and related matters, I failed to recognize any negative connotations in Ms. Bischoff’s comment. I am sorry I did not pursue the matter to a greater extent but I was assuming that Laura meant no harm or offense. I know her to be a knowledgeable, thoughtful and thorough reporter and felt that I understood what she was saying, namely that some of the opponents of the proposed casino were doing so as a result of their religious convictions.”

Dean Eslinger wrote back:]

Thank you for your thoughtful and considerate response. I deeply appreciate the care you have taken in dealing with this concern I raised. (And, yes, I do listen to your Monday morning segment on religion and spirituality whenever possible).

--Richard Eslinger, Dean, United Theological Seminary, Trotwood


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