Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What’s in a name?

The "Christian Children’s Fund" (CCF) has apparently decided to change its name. As of July 1st it will be "ChildFund International."

Fox news had a segment with a clearly incensed female interviewer interviewing a clearly incensed female interviewee. The interviewee was called the “ex-donator” because she would no longer support the organization after the current child she is sponsoring leaves the program. Of course they were incensed about CCF’s decision to drop the “Christian” in its name.

After the general ranting and raving, they went on to exclaim how Christians were eventually going to rise up from their pews and put an end to such rampant political correctness.

Apparently the interviewee had called CCF and complained. She reported they told her two things. First they said they believed in “truth in advertising.” Then later, after that had clearly failed to soothe her outrage, explained that despite the change in name they were going to continue doing “what they’ve always done.”

Now here’s the good part. CCF is a nonsectarian organization. Despite the name, they do no missionary work. As a matter of fact in 2004, Wall Watchers, a Christian Watch Dog organization, sent an alert saying that CCF wasn’t “Christian” in the way most Christian organizations are viewed because it didn’t bring the gospel along with the more practical charity. Wall Watchers actually accused CCF of purposely misleading people with their name.

Clearly our interviewer and interviewee were of the impression that CCF was a Christian missionary organization that was dropping the “Christian” due to pressure from left wing atheist liberals. It’s a little unlikely they were both incensed about a non-Christian organization dropping the misleading “Christian” from its name isn’t it? Far more likely the wrath was because what was believed to be a Christian organization was dropping “Christian” from its name in order to be more “politically correct,” whatever the hell that means.

So I guess that’s where the “truth in advertising” bit comes in. At first the person she spoke to was being perfectly honest with our enraged interviewee and then, I guess after he or she figured out the interviewee had never bothered to find out that a charity she had supported for years upon years wasn’t a missionary organization, sort of planted the tongue into the cheek a little bit by assuring her they would continue doing “what they’ve always done.”

Of course “what they’ve always done” wasn’t what our incensed Christian apparently thought they’ve always done.

In the meantime the incensed interviewer never pointed out to the interviewee that CCF does no missionary work and thus the name is a tad misleading so I suspect she didn’t have the right scoop either.

So what’s the point of this? The first is to point out that Fox news is run by a bunch of morons for morons. But that’s obvious to anyone who’s ever watched it.

The second is to poke some fun at the incensed interviewee. Apparently based upon the name she thought she was supporting a missionary organization. I can’t say as I blame her, it’s an honest mistake and easy to understand, but if she had really cared that much, she could have checked it out.

Lastly I want to consider a little the right and wrong of the situation. Clearly CCF is right to drop the Christian out of the name. It is definitely misleading.

Our incensed interviewee is sort of right too. If there are multiple charities performing the same sort of work, and there are several similar to CCF including Save the Children and World Vision, and one prefers a charity that also includes missionary work or vice-versa, then one should be able to choose to which charity one donates. Our interviewee was apparently fooled by the name and made an unwarranted assumption. Not realizing that CCF was doing the ethical thing and getting upset over it made her look like a real dummy.

Fox news however has no excuse. They’d aired an interview based upon a total lack of research into the topic. At the very least they should have talked to CCF to get their side of the story. Instead they looked more than a little silly.

Of course it is possible that Fox understood the situation quite well but thought this would be a better story for their bible thumping audience, but I try not to attribute to malice what can be explained by simple stupidity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another slant from a bleeding heart liberal: It might be difficult to imagine that I too was incensed that the name was changed from CCF to CFI. The name alone was enough for me...a long time donator. The children and their community didn't have to guess where their funds were coming from and that mattered to me. CFI does wonderful things as ever...I do KNOW that yet...the name mattered...a lot, to me. www.thesimplifiedlifecoach.com