American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New by Michele Rosenthal

By Michele Rosenthal

Whereas tv this present day is taken without any consideration, americans within the Nineteen Fifties confronted the problem of negotiating the hot medium's position in the house and in American tradition typically. Protestant leaders--both mainstream and evangelical--began to think twice approximately what tv intended for his or her groups and its capability effect on their paintings. utilizing the yank Protestant event of the advent of tv, Rosenthal illustrates the significance of the interaction among a brand new medium and its clients in an interesting ebook appropriate for basic readers and scholars alike.

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Heretofore much of the scholarship concerned with religion and media has not examined how different subcultures of users and nonusers respond, resist and adapt to new media. , should their be a ban on televisions or a ban on watching certain programming, etc. The case studies below document this process, comparing how different groups of users and nonusers approached this new medium, and the possible consequences of these approaches. ”: The Liberal Protestant Critique of Television In May 1960, Elvis Presley, newly released from the army, appeared on television.

While mainline Protestants were willing and able to raise large sums of money for other purposes, they declined to buy airtime and largely forfeited their future participation in the growing media culture. To examine this change in policy and practice, this chapter focuses upon the creation of the Broadcast and Film Commission (BFC) of the 38 American Protestants and TV in the 1950s National Council of Churches (NCC) and the role of its parent organization the National Council of Churches of Christ in the larger society.

The television was a vice that needed to be personally regulated by each individual viewer. Strict government regulation was not an option for these great believers in the free, self-regulating market system. The editors could only advocate self-restraint. In their eyes, American Protestantism’s self-definition rested upon its advocacy of cultural and political democracy. As a 1945 editorial “Protestantism and Tolerance” stated: Protestantism, by virtue of its history and its own principles, is under a mandate to preserve this cultural democracy.

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