A couple of years ago, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart went on to CNN’s vitriolic Crossfire program, looked hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala in the eye, and said, ‘‘You’re hurting America…. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.’’ Stewart was tired of the sophomoric shouting matches that epitomized ‘‘debate’’ on Crossfire, and his plea became an overnight
sensation. CNN canceled Crossfire just a couple of months later, the president of the network explaining, ‘‘I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s overall premise.’’
Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire was a sensation on You Tube, as was Stephen Colbert’s bitingly sarcastic routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2006. Both of these Gen X heroes walked into the palace and said, ‘‘The emperor has no clothes,’’ and a generation of young, thoughtful, disillusioned, cynical Americans cheered. Much of ‘‘left versus right’’ confrontation is a farce to prop up television ratings, keep radio talk show hosts employed, and fill the treasuries of the two political parties. And the church has not been immune to this financially lucrative fear-mongering.
But more and more people are checking out, becoming savvy to the moral bankruptcy on both sides of the ‘‘debate.’’ They’re looking for a new, third way, both in the church and in society at large.