Oops, she’s born again! Again!

Britneysmall.jpgWhere is the mainstream press when you need serious coverage of pop religion?

Apparently, once-Southern Baptist boy toy Britney Spears has walked another aisle, responding to the invitation hymn at the end of an emotional service at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif., near Los Angeles. Her mother joined her, in tears, at the altar.

There is no sign of this story in the Los Angeles Times, which has a long history of serious religion coverage. But it is news at LifeSite. Of course.

No reaction yet from executives at CBS or the NFL.

This just in! Ted Olsen of Christianity Today notes that MSNBC briefly covered this Britney scoop. BTW, a student of mine says the video of this event appears to be from the church itself, not a roving TV crew.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://www.christianitytoday.com/ctmag/ Ted Olsen

    Terry: Two comments. One, it’s LifeSITE.net, not LifeSTYLE.net (though LifeStyle sure would be a cool name for a prolife organization).

    Two, it’s not as if this blew by the mainstream media. See MSNBC’s “The Scoop”, especially this line:

    But Spears’ rep told The Scoop, `I find it disgusting that the press took it so far as to enter a place of worship. I think it’s a sad day when someone cannot attend church peacefully. I find it extremely disgusting that someone cannot worship in private — the media took this too far.”

    She raises an interesting issue. Do you think the press should go around following celebrities to church, and report on what they did there? Is that what you’re advocating?

  • j.schmo

    I think people who want to find out about what’s going on inside a church for the purposes of reporting to the public should always announce themselves first. The same goes for AA, sex addicts anonymous, clutterers anonymous and overeaters anonymous meetings, which are frequented by all manner of Hollywood celebs. You would be surprised who is a confessed bulemic in this town.

    By the way have you considered sending a correspondent to cover the new reality series that features Tammy Faye Bakker living in a house in L.A. with a porn star and Erik Estrada, among others?

  • http://www.einvolved.org Stacy L. Harp

    I read this story a few days ago and I was both humored and saddened by it.

    I was humored by it because for some reason it shocks people that someone like Spears would even think of needing God. Everyone needs God and we can all benefit from going to church. Did the press follow her to church – I can’t say, but I can say that it is possible for God to touch anyone’s heart – even Spears.

    I was saddened by it because who knows if it is really true. We’ve all seen celebrities “get religion” at some time in their lives when they get busted for something. Who is to say this is any different.

    On the other hand, if she has come to faith, time will tell if it is a real faith and a real commitment. We shall be known by our fruits…..good and bad.

  • j.schmo

    Sorry for my flip comment below. It’s true that there’s so much more leeway in covering celebrities because they are famous and journalists often sneak into venues to capture them in private moments. As well the media gets information from sources on everything from their sex lives to their eating, smoking, tatooing, and puking habits (in the cases of bulemic actresses). I just think if you’re knowingly going in to capture what could potentially be somebody’s vulnerable moment that it’s better to announce yourself (i.e., a celebrity funeral or church service in Malibu) and if you accidentally see the incident or hear about the incident from sources you should try and be evenhanded in reporting. Let the ridiculousness, if that’s what it is, speak for itself. I think MSNBC went too far in referring to her as “ex-virgin,” even though you could argue that she brought that on herself — so to speak.

  • Luanne Austin

    No, I don’t think the press should follow celebrities to church, or anywhere else, for that matter. But then they would cease to be celebrities, wouldn’t they? if we define celebrities as “Famous for being famous.” We should report on real people who are doing real things in their real lives that make a real impact on others, like archeologists, research scientists, explorers, preachers, ambassadors, writers, professors, inventors, statesmen and women, business owners with ethics…

  • http://www.gregpiper.com Greg Piper

    Doesn’t “boy toy” refer to a male who is a sort of plaything to a female? See this recent article. So I hope you’re not saying Britney Spears is a dude. It would briefly ruin the entertainment economy, although the crazed coverage would give me something to tell my grandchildren about.

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