Award-winning journalist Adrienne Bankert believes the rise and prominence of “The Chosen” shows the nation’s relationship with Christianity and faith-adjacent themes might be more complex than polls show.
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Bankert, a former “Good Morning America” correspondent and weekend host who now anchors “Morning in America” on NewsNation, said the narrative faith is dying or diminishing isn’t quite accurate.
In fact, the host, who recently premiered a NewsNation special, “The Chosen Phenomenon,” during which she explored the hit series’ monumental popularity, thinks quite the opposite.
“To me, there’s a resurgence of faith at this time,” she said, noting the current chaos unfolding economically, with immigration, and on other fronts is “unlike anything we’ve ever seen in our country’s history.”
Bankert added, “We have more fear, we have more divisiveness politically, and then we come off the heels of this global epidemic.”
She said these “life-shaking, altering” events have brought many people to the end of themselves, and, in turn, these individuals are now looking for something deeper and more profound.
“To think that in all these polls that people say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’ and that most people are angry with God, bitter with God, change their mind about God — I just don’t know who they’re talking to,” Bankert said. “Because, for a lot of people, they found their faith during these past few years. They found their faith in a time of crisis.”
Watch Bankert explain why she doesn’t necessarily believe faith is dying:
While it’s true polling firms like Pew Research Center have found the proportion of Americans calling themselves “Christian” has fallen from 78% in 2007 to about 64% in 2020, the story behind these numbers is certainly more complex.
For instance, the cultural benefits of faith have waned in recent years, making it less appealing to be a nominal “believer.” It’s quite possible the number of people claiming allegiance to Christianity is falling, while, at the same time, the proportion of genuine believers clinging to the Bible — which is likely nowhere near 64% — continues to grow and evolve.
Or, perhaps, we’re in a unique time in which more people are discovering newfound faith because of the aforementioned factors. Maybe some of the startling and shocking worldview statistics will take a turn if and when these individuals spiritually develop.
Either way, Bankert said, it’s important to understand this survey analysis and how it all plays out in real time, including comprehending how these polls are put together and with whom pollsters speak.
The TV host, who recently released “The Chosen Phenomenon” special on NewsNation, said interest in the series shows a deep thirst in culture right now for biblical themes. In fact, Bankert was dumbfounded when she learned how prevalent and popular the TV show has become.
“It’s massive,” she told CBN Digital. “They’ve already translated this series into 62-plus languages. When you break [it] down by episode, it’s been streamed 500 million times around the globe.”
Bankert said the quality is profound and the subject matter is something to which everyone — regardless of their level of belief — can relate. She said Christ’s story is “as old as time.”
“[He’s] the most important man to the history of society at large,” she said. “Whether you’re an atheist, an agnostic, or somebody who’s devout, you’ve heard the name Jesus Christ.”
You can watch “The Chosen Phenomenon” special right now on NewsNation.
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