Changing climate — of church views on the environment

USA Today has been eroding its standard of short, shallow stories. And for a complex newsfeature like its recent story on religion and global warming, that is an exceedingly good thing. The article focuses on the effort to sell global warming to church people. Religion and the environment is an evergreen topic — I wrote [Read More...]

And the Godbeat goes on: Yet another veteran is forced out

Insult + injury? It could look that way, but it was probably just a blunder by the Tampa Tribune. The newspaper set out a tradeshow table at a community event May 15, prominently showing a poster of Faith and Values writer Michelle Bearden — six days after she was laid off. “Perhaps this means I [Read More...]

About that prophetic USA Today story grilling Mark Jackson

It’s time for a quick trip into my very large folder of GetReligion guilt, that place where I put stories that I think deserve attention — once I get done with the news of the day. And then a day turns into a week and then a week into two weeks and so forth and [Read More...]

Do skewed churches deserve skewed coverage?

Funny, isn’t it? So many people recoiled in horror at the judgmentalism of the Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. Now that he’s dead and gone — but the church is still here to kick around — a lot of journalists seemingly can’t spew insults fast enough. One of the thickest volleys of [Read More...]

Kentucky church gun giveaway story shoots straight

Churches offering free items, services or even doughnuts to their neighbors isn’t news. When they offer 25 long guns and shotguns as door prizes, however, people (and the press) take notice. The Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah are making headlines this week for doing just that: inviting 1,000 or [Read More...]

Wait a minute: First EVER married Maronite Catholic priest?

Several years ago, while working on my contribution to the book “Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion,” I called up one of the patriarchs of the religion beat, Richard Ostling, to discuss the craft that he practiced so well for many years at Time and then with the Associated Press. These days, of course, [Read More...]

Billy Graham’s 95th birthday bash: Happy or harpy?

In the 1984 hit movie “Sixteen Candles,” Molly Ringwald’s character, Samantha Baker, awakens on what should be the biggest birthday of her life. Only, her family has forgotten the occasion. Overshadowed by her older sister’s impending nuptials, Samantha spends the day hoping one of her family members will remember. Hilarity ensues. Eventually everyone wishes her [Read More...]

This is praise: USA Today church-state story was confusing

Welcome back to the First Amendment wars, an increasingly active front in our nation’s Culture Wars. Yesterday was a big church-state day at the U.S. Supreme Court, with the justices hearing testimony on the Town of Greece v. Galloway — yet another case centering on prayer in public life. If coverage of this event was [Read More...]


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