Pod people: Faith & gay suicides

That great God Blog philosopher Brad A. Greenberg put it best a few weeks ago:

I make no secret of the fact that I prefer the written word to the spoken word.

Sure, I’m a talker. But I’m not a remarkably articulate speaker. The words just never seem to come out as neatly as they do on paper (though just how neatly they come out on paper is up for debate). And there are few things that frighten me, as a reporter, more than radio appearances. I’m always convinced that the interview to follow will be the one that ends my journalism career. Why? Because I need a filter, and real-time lacks the luxury.

I couldn’t agree more. Except that, unlike Brad, I’m not a talker. I prefer to hide in the back of big rooms with a reporter’s notepad in one hand and a digital recorder in the other. Alas, I like to please tmatt, the illustrious GetReligion guru, so I have joined my colleagues in the podcasting world. If you like accents with a heavy tinge of Texas/Oklahoma twang, be sure to check out my first Crossroads podcast appearance with Todd Wilken.

(I do much prefer the audio format to the TV appearances I had to do when I was religion editor at The Oklahoman and the newspaper developed a short-lived partnership with the local CBS affiliate. The newspaper voice and radio face made for a scary combination.)

But back to the podcast …

Taking off on two recent posts I did on bullying and suicides (click here and here to read them again), the interview explores whether the media have substantiated ties between traditional religious teachings on homosexuality and gay people taking their own lives.

Listen to the podcast to find out the answer. And as a bonus, enjoy a bit of discussion about my Texas Rangers’ remarkable season.

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About Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning reporter and editor with a quarter-century of professional experience. A former religion editor for The Oklahoman and religion writer for The Associated Press, Ross serves as chief correspondent for the The Christian Chronicle. He has reported from 47 states and 11 countries and was honored as the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 Magazine Reporter of the Year.

  • Daniel Shelley

    I know an eight-year old girl, the daughter of two Christians. She has been bullied. If she committed suicide, could that constitute a spate of suicides? Would the papers cover the bullying of Christians as causing a spate of suicides among Christians?

  • http://demographymatters.blogspot.com Donald

    @ Daniel: There’s a distressingly long list of academic studies demonstrating links between being gay and being at risk for suicide


    most of these demonstrating a direct link between an individual’s suicidality and the ways they’ve been treated by their peers. One paper went so far as to prove a statistical link between being out and having one’s locker vandalized. …