It’s time for remedial Christianity 101. Mainstream newspapers and networks are clumsy when it comes to reporting religion. Terry Mattingly’s “Get Religion” blog is a longstanding catalogue of the press’s most embarrassing mistakes and misrepresentations. And this week, The Associated Press made the list again.
In a story about the restoration of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, AP calls it the place “where Jesus was buried and rose to heaven.”
As Mattingly points out, this is the same mistake The New York Times made a couple of years ago in another story about the Sepulcher. In both cases, it apparently escaped journalists that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, leaving behind an empty tomb. His ascension, which took place 40 days later, was from the Mount of Olives, not His tomb.
It’s not too much to ask that the press catch up on Christianity. If reporters want to be taken seriously when they lecture about Christian beliefs on, say, sexuality, they should at least get the basics right.