For the next three nights, CNN will air a six-hour documentary on religious fundamentalism in Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:
“Unlike most of the other network and cable stations, CNN takes religion seriously. They have in their employ Delia Gallagher, an astute and fair-minded religion correspondent. And now they are about to deliver a documentary that contrasts this nation’s three major world religions on the delicate subject of religious militancy.
“The principal, but by no means exclusive, issue for the Catholic League is how Catholicism is covered vis-à-vis other religions. It is our understanding that the segment on Christianity deals mostly with evangelicals and their political involvement, thus making our central concerns moot.
“It is heartening to know that Mark Nelson, the senior executive producer, has said, ‘In no way, manner, shape or form are we equating what is happening in the Christian right here with what’s happening in Iraq or what’s happening in Pakistan.’ It is also reassuring to learn that Christiane Amanpour, the correspondent behind the documentary, believes that though there are three different religions, ‘The extremes in each three do very different things.’
“This last point cannot be exaggerated. Verne Gay, for instance, writing in Newsday, takes a crack at the ‘Christian Warriors’ segment when he says, ‘The title itself is a silly stretch, too, placing under one all-encompassing catchphrase the kids at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with the kids at some madrassa in Pakistan learning how to lock and load AK-47s.’ Similarly, Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times notes that the ‘Christian Warriors’ part on evangelical politics is ‘positively quaint next to the agendas of the people in Parts 1 [Jews] and 2 [Muslims].’
“Hopefully, this series will encourage all religious leaders to condemn without qualification every instance of wanton violence committed by the fanatics in their own ranks.”