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

By Michele Rosenthal

Whereas tv at the present time is taken with no consideration, american citizens within the Nineteen Fifties confronted the problem of negotiating the recent medium's position in the house and in American tradition often. Protestant leaders--both mainstream and evangelical--began to consider carefully approximately what tv intended for his or her groups and its capability impression on their paintings. utilizing the yank Protestant adventure of the creation of tv, Rosenthal illustrates the significance of the interaction among a brand new medium and its clients in an attractive e-book appropriate for common readers and scholars alike.

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Providing training workshops for ministers interested in using media in their local churches), as well as representing ecumenical Protestantism to the networks and before the FCC. Unity, even for the lofty and abstract goal of a Christian America, however, was not easily realized. While theoretically united, mainline Protestant leaders remained largely divided over many substantive issues, one of which was the proper approach to mass media and culture. 22 Since the founding of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in 1926, the Federal Council’s Radio Commission had been a national provider of public service Protestant programming.

32 Two years later Alton M. ”33 Notably, the fear of mass propaganda and its political effects seems to have been far greater than the fear of television’s affects on liberal Protestantism itself. Motter was one of the few contemporary critics who understood that the television was transforming the American home, and domestic piety right along with it: “Grace at the table or family devotions must compete with Charlie McArthy. 37 The physical home itself, both in terms of its layout (the parlor) and the articles displayed within, likewise reflected the central role of domestic religion.

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. It does not preserve it by suppressing its own convictions in sentimental deference to others.

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