How is 9000 Women Listening to Beth Moore's Bible teaching over two Days not a Major Local Story?

Ok, take a look at this.

That is but one photo of 9000 women from around greater Charleston and beyond at the North Charleston Coliseum this past weekend who came to hear Bible teacher Beth Moore.

Now explain something to me. How is this not a major story? Would you not want, say, to interview Beth Moore? To talk to some of the participants (who came from every Christian tradition imaginable)? To find out why people came and stood in line for hours just to get inside? To ask them what they learned? To talk to the (quite talented and influential) music team? To find out why the wife of a local Episcopal Church minister (yes, you read that correctly) was the local area coordinator for the event? My questions could go and on.

Instead we get three perfunctory announcements and that is all, like this–on August 18th. Not one story, no features, no interviews, no local angles–and all this in a city where faith is a major part of common life.

Anyone else think this is outrageous and sad? I do–KSH.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Women

12 comments on “How is 9000 Women Listening to Beth Moore's Bible teaching over two Days not a Major Local Story?

  1. Luke says:

    Yes, Sir, I do find it sad.
    As our visiting Bishop Bill Atwood preached to us yesterday, the pagans are trying, and in many places and ways, have very cleverly succeeded in getting folks to ignore John 1:14.
    When he spoke of this verse, he said, “This is the most important verse in the Bible.”

  2. Don R says:

    Unfortunately, I think “doesn’t fit the narrative” applies here.

  3. Milton says:

    Faith is likely a major part of common life of “common people”, but apparently not of the life of the media elite. Or in other words #1 and #2, what you said.

  4. jay 33 says:

    It doesn’t seem particularly outrageous or sad. It is not like The Holy City isn’t covered in churches or its media refuses to cover religious news. The Post and Courier covers religion better than any paper in the state. Now that the event is over let’s ask a question. What news happened at the event that people who were not there need to know about? Was it a call to change the community or more of an inward call to change or find a closer relationship with Jesus? If it was the latter how is that different than what happens every week in church, some of which host thousands every Sunday? Maybe the P/C’s religion writer was on vacation last week, maybe the editorial staff felt it looked a little mammon motivated with the $65 admission, who knows? It isn’t like Beth Moore needs more publicity, it seems for five years I couldn’t walk through the house without tripping over one of my wife’s Beth Moore Study guides. Would you have the same sense of outrage if it had been Joyce Meyer that wasn’t covered by the paper? She brings in thousands too.

  5. Scatcatpdx says:

    I not sure about Beth Moore but what little I heard I do not have a good feeling about this. Right now I side on less press is a blessing. I have go over to Fighting for the Faith and checkout a few of her sermons.

  6. Teatime2 says:

    I’ve been on both sides of the equation — journalist and person who wanted coverage for an event. I think that this could have seemed like a niche event and a bit overwhelming for the average journalist.

    Down here in the Bible Belt, we may assume incorrectly that if you’re a journalist here, you’re a Christian and probably an evangelical Christian. That may not be the case. Now, imagine a non-believer, Jew, Muslim, etc. who happens to be the weekend reporter walking into that venue on his or her own, expected to write a story? It would be difficult.

    Also, the weekend reporter is given a certain number of hours to cover everything and anything that happens during the weekend. I know that as a weekend editor, I would give the reporter a list of events and a schedule for the weekend on Friday but it was usually a shambles by the time Saturday morning rolled around. When breaking news happens, other things get bumped.

    Just a tip: If you want something covered, go out of your way to make contact early, keep contact going, and provide lots of information for the reporter. Sending a press release isn’t enough. Newspapers are very, very, very short-staffed because they’re having a hard time staying competitive so your press release is simply one of dozens they get every week. When I was both a reporter and an editor, I loved it when people called me personally with story ideas and interview opportunities and built up a relationship. I loved having “go-to” people I could call when I had questions about a topic or was looking for something to cover during the down times. More often that not, through such contacts I would encounter interesting people and fabulous stories.

    I’ve been out of the game for about 15 years and I know much has changed. However, I think that building relationships with the press is still the way to go, as is calling and inviting to walk a reporter through an event like this.

  7. BlueOntario says:

    Considering the venue and scale of this event, I wonder how well the local press covers concerts? I don’t read the Post and Courier, but from a search of their website I couldn’t find many reviews.

  8. mark harris says:

    I join you on this one. Sad both locally and wider. Sad no matter how the story worked out… she was right on, a joke, an imposter, whatever. The lack of interest in religious events and occasions is amazing. What we get locally, instead, is feel good pieces about local loveable people doing feel good things. And sometimes not even that.

    Apparently only scandal is news, and even then when it can be made to inforce a fear of some sort…. oooh the church is falling apart, its clergy are sinful, etc.


  9. Pb says:

    This is probably not news in the mainline churches either. I have a feeling that there is a lot going on which I miss. I still reflect on Vinson Synan’s The Century of the Holy Spirit – an excellent account of the 100 year history of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement.

  10. Sarah says:

    RE: “What news happened at the event that people who were not there need to know about?”

    You know — I *do* think it’s a matter of curiosity for folks in the local area who didn’t attend. If I lived down there in Charleston I probably wouldn’t have attended [for various reasons] but as a person interested in local news I would have wanted to know a few details about the types of people who showed up of that 9000 to hear her.

    — How many denominations were represented and in what percentages?
    — Why did these people come — what drew them in particular to *this* event?
    — And were there other distinctives about this mass of people? I’m genuinely curious — were they all right-wing Romney supporters? Were they all of a certain socioeconomic class? Or were their other types of people in clusters there and if so, in what percentages?
    — Finally — what do the participants think they got out of the event or learned? What will they do or offer in the communities — churches, neighborhoods, workplaces, families — as a result of attendance?

    Those are the sorts of questions one would ask at, say, an MLK event [which are far more sparsely attended despite scads of promotion and chatter] or other “big” event . . . pretty standard and of interest to folks of all stripes in a region.

  11. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Yeah, now do these 9,000 intend to keep following Beth and read her books? Did any of them sense this may have transformed their lives? Were any of these women surprised that 8,999 other women were there? What does this say about the Charleston area? Can Charleston take pride in this? I gotta go work on a sermon or I’d keep coming up with these……….gee journalism doesn’t seem so hard….just common sense and curiosity and a desire to dig.

  12. Tired of Hypocrisy says:

    I understand why this would exasperate you, KSH. But, really, it’s better this way. I used to be a stringer reporter and I can tell you my intensions were good, but if my editors didn’t like my story, I didn’t get paid. And that meant I was in the hole financially: No pay at all. Only if my story got published did I make a penny. And even then, there was no reimbursement for the train fare to cover the story. None for any other expense. So, the story had better be good and readable and entertaining (truth be damned) or nobody gets paid. Look: If an event is covered by the press it’s guaranteed the press will get it wrong. And even if we got it right, it would be misunderstood. To heck with media coverage. Let the Spirit work, if this stuff is for real.