Same as it ever was: It’s time for a new, old GetReligion

You know that whole Christmas in July thing, when stores and other groups have fun by, well, pretending that it’s Christmas, only in the month of July? That is kind of what is going on here today. Kind of. The big news is that GetReligion.org is going back to being GetReligion.org — period. This website has, over the past decade or so, gone through three basic transformations in its platform and layout and now we are headed into No. 4.... Read more

Wait? Who is calling who an ‘evangelical’ or ‘conservative’?

Bravo and a big amen to Religion News Service editor Kevin Eckstrom for a crisp bit of religion-label dissection work about a New York Times report that’s been creating buzz among GetReligionistas past and present (and future) the past 24 hours or so. Eckstrom, who last time I checked does not carry an official right-wing identification card, noted in one of those essential RNS morning listserv notes: Where on God’s green earth … Religious advocates were out in full force... Read more

Can a laundromat replace the traditional church?

My @Npr story this AM about an alternative to church that helps poor people do their laundry http://t.co/kgfy0dlwk3 — lisa napoli (@lisanapoli) July 27, 2014 Loads of Love, just one of the popular laundry ministries organized by churches across the nation, involves a whole lot of quarters — and conversation. In Texas, the United Methodist Church’s Arlington Urban Ministries program has operated a laundromat ministry since 1997. In Charlottesville, Va., the Belmont Baptist Church has offered the needy access to washers and... Read more

Are Catholics about to loosen Communion rules?

The professional skill of a reporter can be tested by his abilities to weigh the importance of his sources. “Who” said something is as important as “what” was said.  The Telegraph‘s Religious affairs editor John Bingham in an article entitled “Anglicans could receive Roman Catholic communion, Archbishop suggests” shows how this is done in religion reporting. A senior Catholic leader in England stated Anglicans may one day be permitted to receive Communion in Catholic Churches, but The Telegraph further states the... Read more

God, Tennessee, culture and that (ironic) red-flannel shirt

Once again, the oh-so-bookish politician cloaked in that red plaid shirt is touring the complex state of Tennessee, trying to walk the complicated line between the populism of the old Democratic South and today’s modern Republican realities. One of the major problems faced by Sen. Lamar Alexander remains the same: He is the kind of Republican that, every now and then, when the mood strikes them, mainstream journalists are willing to describe as “moderate” — especially in contrast with tea-party... Read more

Members mourn Atlanta church; why don’t they talk?

When a congregation has to leave its church building, it’s like moving away from home. Members remember all the things that happened there. They think of fun and funny anecdotes, and the crises they weathered. They recall what the church meant to the community. All that is even more intense when the church is 152 years old, as is Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. Which makes a New York Times story on its last service all the more puzzling. The... Read more

Portland, part II: Saving kids from ‘fundamentalist sect’

My colleague Bobby Ross Jr. picked the better article. As much fault as he found with a story in the Portland Oregonian about Child Evangelism Fellowship, the Associated Press version of the flap is even worse. CEF does a lot of summer Bible programs, rather like those conducted by the nation’s thousands of churches. The difference is that the Fellowship does it outside church walls. That’s what got a group in Portland upset — and apparently the AP, as well.... Read more

Church of The New York Times keeps preaching its own faith

It’s time for another “Kellerism” update, as The New York Times continues its efforts to highlight religious institutions with doctrines that are unacceptable to the newsroom’s theologians and, perhaps, the U.S. Department of Justice. This time, the drama shifts out West, where another Christian college community is trying to find a way to live out its faith commitments. NEWBERG, Ore. — A growing number of openly transgender students have forced schools around the country to address questions so basic that... Read more

Lovers and labels in coverage of same-sex marriage ruling (updated)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpyFM0dmQoU&list=PLNjtpXOAJhQJwoCy150fLIqGOy-UxPWkL&index=1[/youtube] Update: Yikes! One of the drawbacks of media-criticism-on-the-go is the possibility of writing a post that, in retrospect, makes you sound really stupid. Such is the case with this one, which prompted reader Sarah Morriss to comment: You do know that “Virginia is for lovers” is the tourism and travel slogan used by the Commonwealth of VA, and thus the headline is likely a play on that, no? Nope. I didn’t know that. But a quick Google search finds... Read more

Why do some Protestants teach “young earth” chronology?

ANNE ASKS: What is the explanation for today’s “young earth” movement among evangelicals? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: This question highlights the split between many Christians in science and a wing within conservative Protestantism that believes Genesis chapter 1 requires a “young earth” chronology with earth and all living things originating some 10,000 years ago, not the billions of years in conventional science. Confusingly, this is — especially in news reporters — called “creationism” though Christians who accept the long chronology... Read more
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