Hey AP: Where is religious left on religious liberty issues?

A long, long time ago, 1998 to be precise, I wrote a column marking the 10th anniversary of my weekly “On Religion” column for the Scripps Howard News Service. I opened it with an observation about one of the major changes I had witnessed on the religion beat during the previous 20 years or so. [Read More...]

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Should some marriages be scare-quoted?

Many moons ago, when I was asking questions about why Religion News Service put “religious liberty” in quotes, defenders of the practice said it was just a way of signaling that while some people believe that a given issue deals with religious liberty, others do not. It’s a way to indicate that one is not [Read More...]

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Guess which sin makes church discipline newsworthy?

Every week, in churches around the world, Christians engage in a peculiar practice in which they confront and correct fellow believers on a range of issues, which are often lumped into a general category called “sins.” The process for this practice was first outlined by a popular religious leader named Jesus and recorded in a [Read More...]

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The curious incident of the Catholic school in the L.A. Times

In one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Silver Blaze, the clue that led to identifying the criminal was a dog that didn’t bark. “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” ask the Chief of Police. “Yes—to the curious incident of the dog in the night time.” “But [Read More...]

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Round II: The LATimes ignores Supremes, covenant too

There were quite a few logical journalistic questions to ask after my post about the teacher who was fired by a Catholic school in Glendora, Calif., after his very public same-sex marriage to his long-time partner. Here are several of them in one reader comment: Thin story … leaves out too many details and, perhaps, [Read More...]

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Yes or no: This school has a Catholic doctrinal covenant?

Let’s start with an informal quiz. Raise your hand if you think it would be acceptable for a Muslim school to fire a teacher who, after years in the classroom, went public with her commitment to Zionism? Let’s try another: How about a teacher at an Episcopal High School who turned out to be an [Read More...]

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The moral (and news) authority of Desmond Tutu

An article at BBC.com on the launch of a United Nations-backed campaign to promote gay rights in South Africa is a perfect example of the kinds of difficulties that mainstream journalists face when reporting on world figures who have left the public eye. The name and the work of retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu is known [Read More...]

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Can’t headline writers and reporters get on the same page?

We live in an age of unprecedented communications technology. With access to cell phones, Skype, email, Twitter, etc., it is has never been easier for people to communicate with one another. So why then is it so hard for reporters and headline writers to talk to each other? Headlines that mislead or that do not [Read More...]

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