CNN – The Edge of Disaster

It’s 06hs30 in Princeton. I turn on CNN to tap into some daily news … “Breaking news: smallpox epidemics in New York … people have been isolated in hospitals …”. After a few moments, it appears that this is fiction, part of a show called “The Edge of Disaster” (the title of a book by Stephen Flynn). Several other possible future disaster scenarios are presented to the viewer: an earthquake in California, food poisening by terrorists, …

This kind of “disastering” is upsetting. Of course, disasters can happen and we should be prepared to them, but this kind of presentation on a prime news channel suggests a morbid fixation on people’s fears. Public theology in the USA will have to deal with the games of fear that are being played and out of which political fortune is made.

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