NYTimes: Waves of generic refugees run for their lives in Iraq

The news from Iraq grows more and more distressing, at least for those who favor old-liberalism virtues found in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations. Here is a typical mainstream-news update, care of The Los Angeles Times. But let’s back up for a moment and look at two [Read More...]

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What? You thought Francis, Peres and Abbas really prayed?

Let’s state this in journalistic terms. What? You thought that the mainstream journalists covering the remarkable Vatican rite offering prayers for Middle East peace rite would actually produce coverage that included any content from the prayers? Friends and neighbors, this event was all about politics and statecraft. Clearly, if the men wanted to produce real [Read More...]

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Which religions favor separation of church and state?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionqanda/2014/06/which-religions-favor-separation-of-church-and-state/ LISA ASKS: Do all religions teach separation between church and state? If not, which ones and why? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Separation of church and state (the usual phrasing though “of religion and state” is often more accurate) is an achievement of modern politics and by no means a universal one. Among world religions, [Read More...]

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As usual, good Francis and bad Benedict at the BBC

The honeymoon continues for Pope Francis and the press. Coverage of the pope’s trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories was rather good. Save for a brief flutter over what language Jesus spoke, the press coverage was sympathetic, balanced and thoughtful, and in marked contrast to the treatment afforded Benedict when he traveled to Germany [Read More...]

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American suicide bomber: WPost flounders on his beliefs

Yet another horrific facet was added to the civil war in Syria with the recent revelation that an American, Moner Mohammed Abusalha, blew himself up in a suicide bombing there. But who was Abusalha? And what did he believe and practice? That proved a considerable challenge for a Washington Post article, despite its 988 words [Read More...]

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What language did Jesus speak? The Tablet knows

So, did the pope and Israel’s prime minister have a rancorous exchange in Jerusalem over the topic of Jesus’ mother tongue? One thing is certain: Headline writers had a field day with the “spar”, as Reuters characterized the encounter. Was it a “spat,” as per The Chicago Tribune? Did they “publicly bicker” as per The Age [Read More...]

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What was the ‘real’ reason Francis made this pilgrimage?

It’s time, once again, to face the obvious. There is no subject in the world of religion that matters more to the big-hitters in mainstream journalism than the world travels of a pope. Therefore, we have work to do, after the wave of media coverage of the Middle East trip by media superstar Pope Francis. [Read More...]

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The pope and the Palestinians: AP tries balanced reporting

As Pope Francis prepares to visit the Holy Land this weekend, the Associated Press takes a stab at balance in a story on West Bank Palestinians — a report that nevertheless leaves a number of holes. The story at first walks the beaten path of the Palestinian plight — poverty, crowded camps, unemployment — but [Read More...]

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