Tuesday, October 17, 2023

NBC Attacks Conservative Christians

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NBC News debuted a new podcast series titled "Grapevine" this month, centered on what one of its reporters described as the "spreading influence of Christian dominion theology" in North Texas and beyond.

According to the show's description, NBC News reporters examine what they claim is a now-debunked story from a mother "determined to put God first" who accused "a teacher of convincing her child to change genders."

The show's producers say the story is largely about a "fringe religious movement wielding newfound power and the revival of a long-simmering quest by Evangelicals to remake American education based on their version of biblical values."

Be informed, not misled.

NBC News leads its new podcast series with this headline: "Inside the anti-LGBTQ effort to put Christianity back in schools."

They continue, "Some Christian pastors and politicians argue that school prayer would prevent children from identifying as transgender. LGBTQ rights advocates are fighting back."

The "some Christian pastors and politicians" are identified as people like David Barton, whom they define as a "self-taught historian." 

The other bad guy they identify upfront is pastor Rafael Cruz---Sen. Ted Cruz's father.

The Peacock says, "Christian nationalist figures, like pastor Rafael Cruz, and self-taught historian David Barton, have pushed to restore Christian traditions in Texas schools, sometimes targeting transgender students."

NBC's new podcast is self-described with this:

“Grapevine” is a new NBC News podcast about faith and power — and what it means to protect children — in an American suburb.

Political and religious leaders who have long fought to put God and prayer back in schools are seizing on a growing backlash against transgender people to advance their agenda.

Some evangelical pastors who regularly deliver sermons in support of school prayer have recently added a twist — preaching that Christian traditions are needed in classrooms to stop children from identifying as transgender.

It isn't only Pastor Cruz and David Barton.

NBC News believes Trump is in on the scheme as well.

At national conservative gatherings, politicians and activists have been attempting to draw direct connections between the lack of religious instruction in schools and the growing acceptance of transgender people in mainstream culture.

“School prayer is banned, but drag shows are allowed to permeate the whole place,” former President Donald Trump said at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year. “You can’t teach the Bible, but you can teach children that America is evil and that men are able to get pregnant.”

Trump, like other GOP politicians, is tapping into an ascendent evangelical movement that rejects church-state separation as a false doctrine and views LGBTQ acceptance as a threat to America.

NBC News warns, "The two-pronged fight to elevate Christianity and restrict trans rights in classrooms is the focus of a new six-part narrative podcast by NBC News Studios. The series, 'Grapevine,' documents a well-funded campaign to impose conservative, biblical morality in public schools in Grapevine, Texas, and reveals its impact on the lives of teachers, students, and parents. While the podcast focuses on the political clash in one suburban school system, similar fights are unfolding in communities across the country."

Indeed, they are.

NBC News introduces its new podcast series:

In August 2022, at a packed school board meeting in Grapevine, Texas, a mom approaches the microphone and describes the exact nightmare that Republican politicians have been warning about. She accuses a teacher of convincing her child to change genders. As a result, she says, “I lost my son.” But when NBC News reporters Mike Hixenbaugh and Antonia Hylton look into this mother’s allegations, they find a different story: of a transgender child desperately wanting to be heard, a mother determined to put God first — and an English teacher caught in the middle. And they discover this isn’t just a story about one broken family. It’s also a story about a fringe religious movement wielding newfound power and the revival of a long-simmering quest by evangelicals to remake American education based on their version of biblical values. From NBC News Studios and the team behind the Peabody Award-winning series Southlake, Grapevine is a podcast about faith and power — and what it means to protect children — in an American suburb.

Welcome to the "News."

I find it interesting that at about the same time NBC News introduces its war on biblical Christians, the National Republican Committee (RNC) is announcing that they have given the right to broadcast the next presidential primary debate to NBC News. What are they thinking?

The Storyline

The six-part podcast series — which is focused on what NBC News calls the "two-pronged fight to elevate Christianity and restrict [transgender] rights in classrooms" —  centers on Emily Ramser, an LGBT activist and former teacher in the Grapevine Colleyville School District (GCSD), who, according to the podcast, "set out to make her classroom the safe space for [LGBT] teens that she wished she'd had while growing up queer in North Carolina."

Ramser, who is listed as a member of the North Texas trans activist group OUTReach Denton but is not identified as such in the NBC News report, is featured in the podcast, along with a former student referred to as trans-identified "Ren," who is said to have "attended weekend services at Evangelical churches where pastors taught that homosexuality is a sin and that it's immoral for people to identify as a gender that does not match the one assigned at birth."

As part of the podcast, Hixenbaugh and Hylton relay an episode in which Ren's mother, Sharla, accused Ramser of providing access to a book titled The Prince and the Dressmaker, a graphic novel about "a prince who loves to wear dresses but, fearing rejection from his parents, keeps his fashion hobby hidden."

While NBC News says the book was "one of hundreds of titles that Ramser kept in her classroom library," Ren's mother accused Ramser of playing a role in Ren's reading of the book, which Ramser denied.

The NBC story also identifies Ramser as being one now openly-gay student's "first openly queer role model she'd ever had" and suggests Sharla lied about Ramser's involvement in Ren's decision to run away from home. The piece also notes the mom's social media postings of Bible verses and her reliance on her faith to sustain her.

"Any loss of parent/child, friend or spouse relationships is unmatched to the gain of knowing Christ," NBC News quoted Sharla as saying. 

NBC is not only attacking Christian individuals but organizations as well.

With repetitive, almost catatonic uses of buzz phrases like "far right," "fringe Christian ideology," and "extreme anti-LGBT conservative Christian ideology," the segment conflates Patriot Mobile and its company values with dominionism, which, according to NBC News, is "the belief that Christians are called on to dominate the seven key mountains of American life, including business, media, government, and education."

It's not the first time NBC News has taken an openly hostile editorial stance toward Christianity.

In 2021, the news network quoted a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which named a number of mainstream faith-based organizations that received COVID-19 aid as "anti-[LGBT] hate groups," including the American College of Pediatricians, American Family Association, and the Ruth Institute, which they said promotes "ancient Christian teachings about marriage, family, and human sexuality."

In recent years, NBC News has been forced to retract statements about Christians and Christianity.


In 2016, Wheaton College's Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals estimated that about 30 to 35% (90 to 100 million people) of the U.S. population is evangelical.

Perhaps what was intended for evil will become used for good.

This attack should serve as a wake-up call for all biblical Christians.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.