Jesus 'omitted' from Niagara Falls crossing
SARASOTA, Fla. – Despite Nik Wallenda’s frequent mentions of God the Father and Jesus during his record-setting, high-wire crossing of Niagara Falls Friday night, an ABC News blog documenting virtually every moment of the achievement makes no mention of his verbal thanks to the Creator.
Wallenda, 33, the great grandson of legendary tightrope walker Karl Wallenda, became the first person ever to walk across Niagara Falls on a high wire, as hundreds watched on TV at a block party in his Florida hometown of Sarasota, Fla., and millions of others tuned in for ABC television coverage.
Wallenda was fitted with a microphone during his tension-filled, 25-minute saunter at 200 feet high, and he could be heard praising God numerous times as he walked the length of four football fields from New York to Canada.
“Praise you, Father God. Praise you, Jesus!” Wallenda said on one occasion.
Not only were his comments audible, but on closed-caption TV sets broadcasting the event at restaurants, each of his words glorifying God were visible.
“Oh, my gosh, it’s an unbelievable view,” Wallenda continued. “You know I am so blessed to be in the position I am to be the first person in the world to be right here.”
His remarks provided a continuous theme of inspiration, as he said, “This is what dreams are made of, people. Pursue your dreams. Never give up. Mine might seem strange, but anybody that’s dealing with any battle – focus on that other side.”
But during the event itself and on an ABC News blog chronicling the astounding event, reporters did not mention Wallenda’s frequent shout-outs to God, and some viewers are taking issue with the omission.
“Not mentioned by the news media, Wallenda prayed throughout the walk, and we could hear him,” says Christian writer Jim Bramlett.
One commenter told ABC News, “How come this blog leaves out the part about him praising Jesus? All the details are complete, except this is noticeably left out. Are you that uncomfortable typing the name of Christ?”
Another wondered, “Why could any (just one) of your ‘correspondents’ not acknowledge Mr. Wallenda’s faith in Jesus and God, throughout his walk??? What is up with that? Really. This wasn’t a stunt. it was a challenge faced by a non-fundamentalist Christian. Why can’t media acknowledge that? Ask Nik about it. I bet he would like answering the question.”
The closest thing to matters of faith cited by ABC’s blog was noting at 10:08 p.m., “The Wallenda family prays together moments before he gets on the wire.”
Later at 10:56 p.m. once the crossing was complete, ABC’s blog noted: “Nik says, “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m grinning from ear to ear. This is something I’ve played over and over in my mind for the past 20 years. It’s surreal. I’m really blessed to be here.”
Before the walk took place, Wallenda was asked how he could be so calm, and he answered it was thanks to prayer, saying “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” an allusion to 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Despite the apparent omissions by journalists, Bramlett was thrilled with the broadcast, saying, “God used this sensational event to get His name proclaimed across the Earth and for people to see a man trusting in Him doing the seemingly impossible.”
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