Ghosts in story on Catholic schools: real or imagined?

I’m intrigued. That’s my reaction after reading a front-page New York Times story this week on Roman Catholic schools in the U.S. actively recruiting Chinese students — “and their cash,” as the Times’ online headline put it. WAYNE, N.J. — When she arrived at DePaul Catholic High School to join the class of 2014, Di [Read More...]

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About that ‘complex’ doctrine Catholic teachers must follow

Imagine this lede atop a national wire service story: CINCINNATI (AP) — Parochial teachers are so ignorant of basic Roman Catholic doctrine the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is giving them a cheat sheet on some of the things that can get them fired. That is, of course, not the spin that The Associated Press took. Here’s the [Read More...]

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How not to cover a Bible Belt sex-education debate

Let’s assume that many if not most professionals in an elite newsroom in Southern California — The Los Angeles Times, perhaps — will be tempted to believe that they know more about sex than most parents and educators in the Bible Belt state of Mississippi. Safe assumption? My goal here is not to settle that [Read More...]

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Lessons from Waco: Some folks just don’t get religion

Even after a small stack of best-selling books, Malcolm Gladwell remains what he has long been — a master of magazine-form journalism. After scores of recent interviews in which he has talked about his return to Christian faith, there is evidence that he plans to focus his talents on topics linked to religion news, perhaps [Read More...]

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Some finger-waggling about a Catholic school story

The scowling, scolding, dogmatic nun is among the few stereotypes that persist in otherwise sensitive, all-accepting society. So it’s important for media to guard against perpetuating such images. This is true especially when reporting public complaints against nuns, as in a recent story in The Charlotte Observer. On one level, the article merely reported a furor [Read More...]

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Why did some ancient religions fall and others rise?

MADDIE ASKS: What caused ancient religions to become less prevalent? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Our previous Q and A item treated ancient Confucianism, Jainism, Shinto and Taoism, which have survived into the 21st Century but with radically diminished status. Maddie wonders why ancient Babylonian, Greek and Roman mythologies died out and Zoroastrianism has nearly disappeared [Read More...]

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GR reader contributes a little ghost-spotting of his own

You know that cliché about some stories writing themselves? Well, sometimes a reader fairly writes stories for us, too. It came this past week with a brief e-mail by James Stagg, a friend of this blog. He called our attention to mostly excellent interview with the Rev. George Coyne, a Jesuit priest and former director [Read More...]

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Universe gives birth to itself, transformed by unknown ‘force’

This is a challenging day to be a journalist on the science beat, if the goal is to avoid ultimate questions. I am happy to report that The Washington Post — to my surprise, quite frankly — didn’t try to avoid the obvious. Here’s the top of its story on the Big Bang update that [Read More...]

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