Are we too addicted to soundbites to discuss religion seriously?
The uproar over Archbishop Rowan Williams and sharia law brings up a question we’ve asked before with Pope Benedict — are we too addicted to soundbites to discuss complex religious issues in public? Both have tackled difficult issues in nuanced speeches, only to see — rightly or wrongly — that what they thought was their message did not come across.
The Guardian says Williams was naive to discuss such a complex argument in public: “This was the stuff of seminars and was never going to register in the mass market without being boiled down into soundbites. The archbishop did not do that, ensuring others would. As a result, this most humane of men finds himself being caricatured as supporting the severing of limbs.”
Do you think religious leaders should simplify their message when they speak in public? Or do we — the media, politicians, bloggers, readers — have to make more of an effort to understand them?