Yes, we believe that it is accurate to describe the Bergen Record as a Conservative Right Wing Reactionary Pro-Christian Newspaper.
Our assessment is based on an impression that we have formed by reading the paper for thirteen years.
It is bolstered further by two items that appear today on the editorial page.
First, the paper prints an op-ed, "Life after death: What does the evidence show?" by Dinesh D'Souza, which is either a summary or except of his book on the subject. D'Souza in both tendentiously claims that, "The atheist's denial of life after death, like the believer's affirmation of it, is ultimately a faith-based position." His book, Life After Death: The Evidence, concludes with a strong statement urging the adoption of a certain kind of Christian fundamentalist faith.
In the editorial, D'Souza cites, "A scholarly compendium of articles on the subject" of "The Near-Death Experience." Then he talks about physics. His accounts sound at first reasoned and factual. But they are not. At best, they are apologetics whose sole aim is to foster Christian faith.
At their worst, D'Souza speaks gibberish, like in this conclusion, "If there is no life after death, we are like passengers on the Titanic: We can rearrange the deck chairs and turn up the music, but we are ultimately doomed."
D'Souza identifies himself as, "A policy analyst in the Reagan White House" and a "Bestselling author of many books about politics, patriotism and religion."
This is a misleading description. D'Souza should say instead of "and religion" -- "...and a proponent of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity." He is a Christian evangelist who tries to present himself as something less obvious.
The Bergen Record is guilty of misleading the public by presenting D'Souza and many other such articles in the past in a manner that does not honestly portray their true intentions -- to preach and foster Christianity.
The incentive for our post here is not D'Souza's op-ed. Rather it is the disingenuous, "Editorial Credo" published on the same page today in the Bergen Record.
The "Credo" was signed by the paper's leadership, Malcolm A. Borg (pictured), Stephen A. Borg, Frank Scandale and Alfred P. Doblin. It is a strange statement that seeks at the same time to state right wing and conservative ideas -- and to sound liberal in so doing.
One example: "We believe government has a duty to assist the disabled and to help the poor lift themselves out of poverty. But we also believe strongly that government should not do anything more than is necessary to meet these responsibilities."
The final statement of the "Credo" places policy direction at the feet of the board, not in the hands of the editor, "Our editorial policy is formed not by the dictates of any one person, but by a debated consensus of our editorial and opinion staff working under the editor, with occasional suggestions and guidance from the editor/vice president, president and chairman of the board."
To conclude they say, "...we believe the newspaper's mission is not to please the public but to help lead it and rouse it from apathy, and to provoke thought and reflection among our readers."
We wish they would have said more honestly, "Our mission is to foster a Conservative world view and Christianity."
That is how the paper comes across to us. And in a democracy with freedom of speech and religion, there is nothing at all wrong with that.