The Atlantic: What happened to all those Catholic rites?

Long-time GetReligion readers, do you remember that typology that a wise, older priest — a veteran of life inside the DC Beltway — gave me a few years ago that proposed that there are essentially four kinds of American Catholic voters? It went something like this (amended a bit): * Ex-Catholics. Solid for the Democrats. GOP has no chance (unless these ex-Catholics have converted, as many have, to conservative Protestant flocks) * Cultural Catholics who may go to church a… Read more

Migrant children crossing the border: the religion angle

Amid the ongoing headlines – mostly political – over the thousands of migrant children crossing illegally into the United States, I’ve been pleased to come across some excellent reports on the religion angle. New York Times national religion reporter Michael Paulson produced a thorough overview of U.S. religious leaders embracing the cause of immigrant children: After protesters shouting “Go home” turned back busloads of immigrant mothers and children in Murrieta, Calif., a furious Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York,… Read more

Mariam goes free, at last, while some questions linger

Other than editors trying to figure out the correct spelling of her name, there were very few journalistic questions this past week when the long-suffering Mariam Ibraheem Ishag was finally spirited out of Sudan to freedom. Several people sent me notes to coverage of this event, with one stating the obvious in a note that said: “Okay, so nothing to do with press a critique — I’ve just got to share with you the news! Hallelujah!!!!” However, I did notice… Read more

Those pesky religious details in Palestinian-Israel conflict

I’m no expert on the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In fact, I’m typing this post with trepidation — hoping not to say something entirely stupid (yes, that’s a weekend softball for all my snarky friends). But seriously, I offer the above caveat before critiquing a front-page story in today’s Houston Chronicle on dueling rallies by thousands of demonstrators: Westheimer was the dividing line Friday as the Palestinian-Israel conflict played out in feuding but peaceful demonstrations on a busy Houston intersection… Read more

Islam, ISIS and the FGM fatwa

Reporting from the front lines of the Middle East conflicts be a parlous experience if you are on the wrong side of the battle line. However not all of the no-go areas are geographically bounded. The topic of  Islam and female genital mutilation is a country few reporters are willing to enter. Cultural prejudices and politically correct assumptions appear to be driving the reporting on Islam. Few reporters seem willing break free from the herd and ask “why”? Western Asia is… Read more

NYTimes inside private GOP session on abortion strategy?

Apparently, this past spring, the Republican National Committee held a closed-door meeting in which a circle of conservative women discussed a topic that they have been discussing for decades — how to talk about abortion when dealing with mainstream journalists, especially television reporters. Apparently, someone taking part in this meeting decided to invite a reporter from The New York Times to step inside the closed doors. Bravo for whoever made the brave decision to do that. Apparently, however, it took… Read more

UCLA study literally tries to sell gay marriage in Texas

Help gays marry and boost the economy: That’s one of the newest pitches in gay rights circles. A new story in Houston Chronicle says legalizing same-sex marriage could boost state income by $180 million over three years. The thorny issues are explored in this reprint from the Texas Tribune, a non-profit journalistic think tank. The story is interesting, intelligent and mostly fair to conservative and liberal sources alike. But it does leave a few questions. The news peg is a… Read more

An ISIS tax on Christians? The accurate word is ‘dhimmitude’

A month ago, I wrote a post about the events unfolding in Mosul and argued that journalists who covered this story — those brave enough to venture into the Nineveh Plain region — needed to grasp the meaning of the word “dhimmitude.” Yes, this is a controversial term. Yes, it is the right word to use when covering the unfolding strategies of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, when dealing with the ancient Christian communities in this region. As… Read more

Trend or not? Evangelicals reportedly questioning the Bible

"a medium-sized evangelical church in Laguna Beach where [Rob] Bell sometimes attends services" Strange not to ID it http://t.co/lYmOqBPjjw— Ted Olsen (@tedolsen) July 23, 2014 But that's not that article's biggest problem. It really seems not to know what it's reporting. Or if/when its exemplars agree— Ted Olsen (@tedolsen) July 23, 2014 @tedolsen More analysis that I can steal for @GetReligion, please.— Bobby Ross Jr. (@bobbyross) July 23, 2014 Ted Olsen is managing editor for news and online journalism for… Read more

La Nación on soccer and Protestantism in Brazil

Sitting in my “guilt file” of stories I should be covering — but have not yet gotten round to doing — is this fascinating piece from the sports section of La Nación, the Argentine daily. (With its larger rival Clarín, the two dailies make up almost half of the Buenos Aires newspaper market — as to their editorial stance, neither supports the government of President Cristina Kirchner). The article “Historias mínimas sobre la selección de Brasil y la religión: de… Read more

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