Why Didn’t Steven Ertelt of Life News Call Out Michael W. Smith, Kay Warren, Natalie Grant, T.D. Jakes and Others for Supporting the Gates Foundation?

Normally I wouldn’t waste my time writing a blog post like this, however, given the astounding response I received from Life News founder and editor, Steven Ertelt, I think it’s worthwhile.

Yesterday I wrote a simple and relatively short blog post explaining why I thought Ertelt calling out Amy Grant was wrong.  You can read that article here.  To my surprise, Steven responded pretty quick and as I expected he would, with the exception of being upset that I didn’t link to his original article and also contact him for a response.  I responded to those two things, as well as Ertelt calling me “amateurish” on Twitter, after he tweeted it out to his followers.  Here’s what I wrote.

Thanks for your comment(s). My not linking to your article was actually an oversight. I’ve been very busy taking care of my father who has dementia and have been on overload immensely so it’s not something that even occurred to me in the early hours of the morning when I wrote my blog post. I was simply writing a description of what my husband and I discussed on my show and since I didn’t link to your article on my radio show, it just wasn’t even something on my radar. I know you referred to me as amateurish on Twitter, and honestly, you’re probably right. I’ve never said I was a columnist or journalist anywhere, so when it comes to actual journalism, you’ll have to forgive me for not acting like it. I’ll do better in the future.

As you can see, I answered his inquiry and admitted that I’m not a journalist and that I would try to do better in the future.  In my comment to Ertelt, I went on to ask the following questions, since I sincerely wanted to know the answers.  After all, a seasoned journalist just told me that I should’ve asked him questions prior to writing my piece, so here I am now trying to rectify my earlier mistake.  My comment to Steven continued…

My whole point in mentioning you calling out Amy was actually the very reason you called out Amy. It’s called click bait. You and I both know, the way to get someone to read your stuff is to mention them in a negative way on your blog or website. It honestly never occurred to me to write you and ask you for your feedback on what I wrote, but hey, now that you’re reading this, let me ask you a few questions.

Now unlike Ertelt, I can admit what is click bait when I see it.  Most of what anyone writes online is actually click bait.  But that’s not all I said.  I went on to say…

First, we actually agree on whether or not Amy should’ve done this. I actually agree with you, which I stated. What I don’t agree with is you calling her out, because she has her own convictions as a Christian and she has a right to follow her conscience. God knows her heart, you and I don’t.

Here I am agreeing with Ertelt, just as I did in my first blog post.  I also explain again what I disagreed with.  I went on to say…

But here’s my question. How come you didn’t call out Michael & Debbie Smith, Kay Warren, Bishop TD Jakes, Natalie Grant, Brandon Heath, or the others who are also joining with the Gates Foundation? You linked to the article Amy or her team cited on her Facebook page, but did you bother to look at the list of 47 other people who endorsed this? If you did happen to check that list, then why did you single out Amy alone?

Just so you all can see the list I’m referring to, here’s a link to the page Amy or her team, actually linked to.    Note this comment from this very page.  Note the bold emphasis is mine.  I happened to notice this because I actually read the article.

Hope Through Healing Hands is proud to create and lead the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide. We launched the coalition with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to shine a light on the disparity of maternal & child health in developing nations. Moreover, we hope to educate and activate faith leaders and all people of faith to consider the critical importance of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies as a life-saving mechanism for both moms and their children.

For this Mother’s Day, we have released a compendium of essays, The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health and Hope (2015), with more than 47 voices, including women from Burundi, Kenya, India, and Ethiopia. The book includes stories from leading voices in the evangelical community, including Kay Warren, Amy Grant, Natalie Grant, and Michael W. Smith. Each writes about their experience and perspective on maternal and child health, with an emphasis on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.

Since I actually read the article and then clicked through on the page, I found a whole list of people who actually are partnering with the Gates Foundation.  Click here to see the list.  This is why I asked Ertelt the question I did, including the following.

Did you see that even David Stevens, CEO of Christian Medical & Dental Associations, also endorsed the Gates Foundation via Hope Through Healing Hands? I find that rather amazing.

My other question is this, when was the last time you did a piece about Amy Grant and her work supporting all of the pro-life causes she HAS done? Even last night, her Facebook page is reporting that she helped raise support for 171 children through Compassion International.

My point here is that the bible instructs us to praise one another in Proverbs 27:2. I think it would be better for your cause to praise fellow believers when they do something right, as opposed to using things you disagree with as click bait.

Oh, and by the way, you’re welcome for the traffic this post generated for your website. 😉

So, instead of having my questions answered, by the seasoned journalist Steven Ertelt is, this is what he said in response.

Stacy,

There is no reason for me to respond further if your response to legitimate concerns about Amy Grant pushing the agenda of an organization that has spent tens of millions funding an abortion industry that has killed tens of millions of unborn babies is to label it click bait, I’m sorry the lives of unborn children matter so little to you that you label genuine concerns about pushing the abortion agenda as click bait. What a shameful and disgusting defense of your attack on me.

Steven

Now I ask you, is this professional journalism?  I don’t think so.  When I clearly stated twice that I agreed with him, he tells me that the lives of unborn children matter little to me and gets upset when I label his writing as click bait.  The truth is that most writing is click bait.  Whatever happened to integrity and honesty?  Plus, I actually never attacked Steven, I simply disagreed and then at his instruction, asked him some legitimate questions about why he didn’t call out the other Christian leaders who are also supporting the Gates Foundation.

Now, maybe it’s me, and a newbie mistake I’m making, but I find it odd that a seasoned journalist that boasts tens of thousands of hits to his website, only chose to call out one prominent Christian singer he disagrees with.  Maybe it’s because Amy Grant is an easy target or maybe it’s because Ertelt likes Michael W. Smith and the others.  My question is why just Amy?

I also find it telling that Ertelt refuses to answer why he doesn’t report the good that these well known celebrities do.  Is that right?  Why not report on the money that Amy Grant has raised for charities and the lives that she has impacted for good?

Does it really have to be all or nothing?  Isn’t serious journalism that brings out both sides of a story?

I’m just asking, after all, I’m amateurish when it comes to writing.  Ertelt told me so.

About Stacy Lynn Harp

Stacy has appeared on the Fox News television show Dayside, as well as numerous radio programs nationally and internationally, discussing issues pertaining to the family, sexuality, social media, Christian persecution and Internet related issues. Stacy earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University of Southern California, and has been described as a gifted therapist and coach.