Pod people: Red America and Bible Belt atheists

On the latest Issues, Etc. podcast, host Todd Wilken and I discuss my recent post on a Washington Post story that featured a red-state American in her natural habitat.

I explain why I liked that story better than some other post-election autopsies of Republican-leaning states, such as this New York Times story.

While the Post story devoted 1,800 words to attempting to understand a religiously motivated voter, the Times report allowed two paragraphs:

The Rev. Brady Cooper, the pastor of New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., said he had heard acquaintances in the days since the election speculating that social issues cost the Republicans the White House. To a degree, they were probably right, Mr. Cooper said. But he said that he could not abandon his values to win elections, and was increasingly moving away from politics.

“I’m kind of disillusioned more and more with the political process,” Mr. Cooper said. “One of their top priorities is being re-elected, and that kind of drives a lot of decisions that they make. And it means obviously going with the trends of the culture as opposed to the truth.”

(To be fair, the Times’ Laurie Goodstein provided a more in-depth analysis of the Christian right and the election.)

In the podcast, Wilkin and I also revisit my concerns about the ghost of Prince William County.

And we discuss the unasked question about atheists going to church.

By all means, enjoy the podcast.

 

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.


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