"Kill the Nazis" and other loud opinions (Spot an albatross)

protestersWe’ve had a lively little comments thread going on the past few days inspired by the “Kill the Nazis” post about the protesters and counter-protesters during the Democratic National Convention. That was the one about the pro-peace crowd that tried to kick some sense into a loud anti-abortion activist who had a bad — or good — sense of timing, depending on one’s point of view.

I must admit that I was amused at the whole “tolerant people attacking the intolerant” angle of that story. As some of you may have noticed, I love that old saying: “There are people in this world who don’t love everybody the way that they’re supposed to and I hate people like that.”

But something got lost lost in the lively debate about angry anti-war people and arrogant conservatives and everything else. This is a blog about mainstream media coverage of religion news and I hoped to get everybody thinking about unusual political-religious stories that the press could cover during the two conventions and the rest of the long and winding road to the White House.

For example, what kind of counter-protest situations might pop up during the GOP convention? Young Republicans throwing Howard Dean plush toys at peaceful throngs of Michael Moore supporters? Choirs of religious right leaders singing “We shall overcome” during a march by the Congressional Black Caucus? Michael Reagan going mano a mano with a sort-of-sibling?

Have some fun with this. Our goal here is to have fun, but also to think about what lively religion coverage can look like. The left and right both have their stereotypes and sacred cows. Let’s spot them. Anyone want to make some predictions about what might happen next on the campaign trail?

Also, any nominations for the best just-off-the-religion-beat story during the Democratic shindig?

The people at the Christianity Today blog — as always — did amazing work. The daily blog at Beliefnet.com by Steven Waldman was also fun. Both featured sharp insights into the efforts by Democrats to ring spiritual bells, without hanging a copy of the Ten Commandents around the necks of the candidates like a large, heavy ocean-friendly bird with a giant wingspan.

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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.


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