By Michele Rosenthal (auth.)
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Additional info for American Protestants and TV in the 1950s: Responses to a New Medium
54 Yet in the same article the writer evokes the privilege and rights of the Protestant majority: “While Protestantism is the faith of the majority of people in the Chicago area, it has never previously spoken with one voice. ”55 The author implicitly assumes that mainline Protestantism, in its very nature, exemplified American principles, while the Roman Catholic Church with its hierarchical structures was in direct contradiction with them. In another article entitled “Censorship: A Case History,” Robert A.
31 Luther case, was not that a particular group had lobbied the TV station and won, but the fact that a Protestant television show had been censored by the Roman Catholic Church. The mainliners’ attempts to ban particular uses of television were justified because they represented the “right kind . . of religion,” which reflected the popular sentiment of most Americans. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church’s actions violated the implicit rules of acceptable censorship. Censorship was acceptable when enacted on behalf of the (perceived) Protestant majority.
What would be its cultural role in post–World War II America? These and other unanswered questions shaped the Protestant leaderships’ understandings of television in the early years. 78 In the process of negotiating their ideals into everyday practices, self-proclaimed liberals acted as cultural conservators while self-proclaimed conservatives acted as cultural innovators. Toward a Dialogical Approach to Media, Religion and Culture Research in the social construction of technology (often referred to as the SCOT approach) has suggested that users’ responses are an essential part of the constitution and construction of new technologies.