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I too was disturbed, if not exactly fuming, about the Saddleback event. I do not share the enthusiasm for this event and find it part of a troubling trend toward demanding religious conformity. We've come a long way since candidate Eisenhower felt comfortable stating that he might "get around" to being baptized after his campaign. Woe to the presidential candidate today who would have the temerity to make such a statement or decline to be subjected to a grillling about his personal religious faith.
The forum also demonstrated the public's thirst for short, simple responses to the great questions of the ages. We admire easy answers and toss off complex responses as too "nuanced," "thoughtful" and "professorial" - three terms I heard used by media analysts. While it is true that evangelicals are sometimes unfairly portrayed by the media, the far more significant media failure in terms of our democracy is this very "dumbing down" of the important discussions of the day.
I share the opinion of the writer below who questioned how enthusiastic the American public would be for an event of this type - only one held in a mosque and moderated by an imam. And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.