On Christianity Today’s site, they posted an opinion piece by Timothy Shah concerning the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. According to Shah, this Bill is being used by left-wing-pro-gay-anti-Christian groups to scare people into passing freedoms and rights to gay men and women. Shah states that this Bill was “stopped in its tracks” long ago by the Ugandan people and religious leaders, and that, liberal groups are still raising a ruckus over the Bill, in order to pass their agendas. There is no treat of gay people being killed, and no threat of this bill being passed into law. So says Shah.
However, this article can be no more further from the truth. Warren Throckmorton, a friend that I have mentioned on this site many times, has been following – in-depth – this entire story since March 2009. On his blog today, Warren corrects Shah’s opinion piece and sets the correct straight. This, by the way, should have been done before CT printed (uploaded) the story in the first place. Now, to Christianity Today’s (CT) credit, they did attach a statement at the end of the article that says this:
“Speaking Out” is Christianity Today’s guest opinion column and (unlike an editorial) does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publication.
Still, this causes me to ask the question: should opinion pieces always be printed?
This isn’t to say that no one should be allowed to share their opinion. I do believe in the First Amendment – of course when used in the correct context. However, when an opinion causes more damage than help – when it’s blatant that the information in the opinion article is wrong from the beginning – should a respectable magazine (blog, newspaper, news agency, etc) print the piece? Or, should they throw it back to the author and ask them to either re-do it (with credible facts) or trash the piece altogether?
Where do we draw the line: does anything go or do we have standards? Do we allow opinion to replace truth or do we replace opinion with Truth – especially in terms of Christian publication?