Does the press overlook Gabby Douglas’ Christian faith?

After winning the gold last night for the Olympic gymnastic all-around competition, Gabby Douglas gave “all the glory to God” on live television. Yet Marvin Olasky notes how press reports today by and large have omitted Douglas’s conspicuous Christian faith from their coverage of her victory. The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times all left it out, even though Douglas has repeatedly mentioned it as a key part of her life and performance in the games. Olasky explains:

Reporters are surprised and sometimes shocked to hear that faith in Christ (except among people they think are crazy) makes a difference. When I did a Nexis computerized search of “Gabby Douglas” and “Christian” in publications yesterday and today, only Agence France Presse came up: “Douglas, a devout Christian.” No major publication apparently quoted her “glory to God” remarks.

But that makes sense, within standard journalistic understandings. Newspaper space is limited: Why waste it by bringing up something irrelevant, even though the subject of the story benightedly thinks it important?

I think Olasky is on to something, and you can read the rest of his article here. For a better indication of Gabby Douglas’ faith, watch the video below. It includes some remarks that she made to her church just before they prayed for her as she was leaving for the Olympic games.

7 Responses to Does the press overlook Gabby Douglas’ Christian faith?

  1. Dave Miller August 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Evangelical Free is perhaps the strongest evangelical denomination in Iowa. Lots of really good churches. This is one. You are right, they really glossed over her faith in the interviews. They don’t want another Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin thing, I guess.

    Iowa is proud to have its second straight Olympic champion (even if this one was a transplant.)

  2. Wade Choate August 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Giving glory to God in winning such an event has everything to do with faith because Christian’s readily acknowledge that the very we breath, the air in which we move, the ground in which we walk, and the uncontrolled beating of our hearts are all in the hands of a Mighty God.

    He gives us these gifts freely, even the ability to be athletic. What she is glorifying God for is the thanks for the ability, it is not innate but God given.

    This is true for everyone, Christian or not. We are all here by the grace of God. Anything short of death and hell is a blessing.

  3. dr. james willingham August 4, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I preached a message at our church on a Wednesday night recently, titled, “God’s Awakening Ethiopian Proof.” Zeph.2:11,12 (other scriptures, Ps.68:31b; Zeph. 2:10-12; Acts 8:26-40), suggesting God might use the African American believers to do what Martin Luther King, Jr., and the historian of Great Britain, Arnold Toynbee, thought likely, namely, to revive Western Civilization.

  4. Ken Abbott August 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Media types have not completely ignored Ms. Douglas’s statements about her faith in Christ. I think it was a self-identified Roman Catholic blogger on the Salon site who complained she was sick and tired of hearing Ms. Douglas speak so frequently of Jesus. The article was not a pleasant read–I’m pretty sure it did my blood pressure no good.

  5. Paul Jacobs August 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    We praise the Lord for all who have a platform to speak of their faith in Jesus; especially if it is a platform where they receive an Olympic gold metal.

  6. Linda Jones August 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Go back and read that article again. If it is the one I read, you read it wrong. The writer pointed out that sometimes that kind of profession of faith makes some people uncomfortable. She quoted someone who said to her that she (the person talking the the writer) would like Gabby better if she wasn’t so, so, so into Jesus. The article did not criticize her for making an authentic statement of faith. Put your hysteria up. This is a non story.

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  1. The Week in Review (8/4): Chick-Fil-A Saga + Olympic Athletes for Jesus | Southern Gospel Yankee - August 4, 2012

    […] Burk had a good article about a young Olympic gymnast named Gabby Douglas and how her Christian faith has been suppressed […]

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