PONTIAC — Listeners of Christian talk radio were surprised and dismayed to learn that the same slate of programs has been playing on Christian radio stations since 1988, and that the entire façade of Christian radio has been run out of a basement complex in Michigan.
"I always found the programs very comforting and familiar," says Kathy Reynolds, a regular listener in Columbia, Mo. "Now I know why."
The 365-day-long loop, which has been running continuously since January 1, 1988, includes programs by ministers such as James Dobson and Chuck Colson who dispense parenting and marital advice, Bible answers and non-specific calls to political action. The loop followed the calendar’s rhythms, with programs about creating lasting family traditions at Thanksgiving, back-to-school prayer programs in August and cloyingly sweet programs about home, hearth and "the reason for the season" at Christmas. A layer of conservative concern over the direction of the country was included throughout the year.