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Additional resources for American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium
14 In the fifth article, “Protestantism and Commercialized Entertainment,” Morrison argued that along with a “secularized educational system and the widespread acceptance of the messianic pretensions of science” (subjects of earlier articles), overexposure to commercialized entertainment was making the “culture . . ”18 To save America from the fate of Rome, the church needed to actively intervene: “The task of saving America from the enervating influence of the commercial exploitation of the people’s leisure, rests uniquely upon the shoulders of Protestantism.
It asks no favor of the state, nor any privileged position in relation to the state. Nor does it ask that any political disfavor be shown toward other religious faiths. 70 State intervention could only be advocated when it was clearly to protect the public interest, an interest that was implicitly defined as synonymous with the liberal Protestant leadership’s interest. 71 For The Christian Century editors turning off the TV was the only form of resistance to mass culture they felt comfortable advocating.
22 Since the founding of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in 1926, the Federal Council’s Radio Commission had been a national provider of public service Protestant programming. As the general secretary of the Federal Council of Churches, Charles S. 24 In 1928, together with two other members of the Advisory Council, Morgan J. 25 1. The National Broadcasting Company will serve only the Central or national agencies of great religious faiths, as, for example, the Roman Catholics, the Protestants, and the Jews, as distinguished from 42 American Protestants and TV in the 1950s 2.