From the January/February, 2011 issue of Touchstone
From Ode to Joy FM by James Hitchcock

From Ode to Joy-FM

James Hitchcock on the Sale of a Lutheran Classical Station

Shortly after nine o’clock on a hot night this past July, the closing strains of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony carried over the radio, bringing with them an end to a venerable St. Louis institution. The finale of KFUO-FM also brought into focus some of the anomalies of the relationship between the Church and contemporary culture.

KFUO-FM was, as listeners were reminded each day, “owned and operated by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod” (LCMS). It had broadcast classical music for 62 years and, during that time, had ceased to be a Christian st . . .


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