May 26, 2010

The Tennessean published a pretty good article from Bob Smietana over the weekend that dealt with a Muslim groups defeated mosque-permit application. The article discusses familiar themes of NIMBYism and is laced with Islamophobic sentiments from the most vocal opponents of the project: Matt Bonner, who lives in Nashville but is a member of Brentwood United Methodist Church, helped organize resistance to the mosque. “Not enough people understand the political doctrine of Islam,” he said in an interview before the… Read more

July 25, 2009

So what do you think of when you hear or read the word “evangelist”? Perhaps it would be better to frame the question this way: “Who do you think of when hear or read the word ‘evangelist’?” I would predict that the average consumer of the news would give a simple response to the second question — “Billy Graham.” Truth is, Graham does fit the most common Protestant definition of that term. Here is a typical dictionary reference: evan-ge-list …… Read more

February 9, 2009

Churches are such complicated things. If you look in the Associated Press Stylebook, the entry for the Churches of Christ starts like this: Approximately 18,000 independent congregations with a total U.S. membership of more than 2 million cooperate under this name. They sponsor numerous educational activities, primarily radio and television programs. Each local church is autonomous and operates under a governing board of elders. The minister is an evangelist, addressed by members as Brother. … The churches do not regard… Read more

October 20, 2008

Several GetReligion readers (and former students) have written to let me know that there is a strange picture of me in their local newspapers. Actually, that’s an Associated Press photo with a story by reporter Rose French that was taken about six months ago, when she was researching journalism programs in Christian colleges. It appears that the latest round of media-bias wars in the White House campaign has provided a news hook to get this story into print. Here’s the… Read more

July 1, 2008

The growth of Christianity in non-Western cultures and societies is widely acknowledged to be one of the biggest religion stories these days. A significant subset of that story is the rapid growth of Christianity in China to a point where it is the country’s second largest religion (behind only Buddhists and ahead of Islam). The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times covered the under-reported growth of Christianity in their Saturday editions. The article, which interestingly does not have a… Read more

January 14, 2007

The other day I chided some conservative Episcopalians — loyal GetReligion readers, even — for being so upset about a feature story in The Washington Post about the origins of the war between conservative Anglicans at Truro Episcopal Church and The Falls Church in Northern Virginia and liberal leaders of the national Episcopal Church establishment. I agreed that the charismatic-Anglicans-equal-holyrollers lede on the story was a bit over the top. However, once you made it past that giddy start, reporters… Read more

August 30, 2006

Some unnamed Associated Press reporter in Oregon did a phenomenal job of working the phone to pull together a rather comprehensive survey of churches in the Beaver State that have or peal bells. The reporter managed to find a bunch of examples across Christian denominations from the larger Klamath Falls area, and spoke with laity and clergy about the existence and status of their belltowers. And this is notable considering that Oregon is one of the two least religious states… Read more

July 21, 2006

I have been sending messages to The Washington Post each day, seeking a correction to that April 9 news feature about Islamists killing priests and missionaries in the city that once was known as Constantinople, the heart of the Byzantine world. You may recall, that’s the story that said this concerning the tense state of affairs between Christians and Turks: The tension dates at least to the 13th century, when Christian Crusaders sacked what is today Istanbul. “Missionaries and the… Read more

October 9, 2005

I know it’s like choosing a pack of nacho-flavored Slim Jims and two cans of Mountain Dew for breakfast, but I often start reading the Sunday newspaper with Parade magazine. The “I hit rock bottom before I learned to believe in myself again” cover stories, the earnest teenagers of Fresh Voices, the fawning celebrity profiles of Jim Brady’s In Step With — all make for a potent brew of hathos and glurge. As Catherine Seipp wrote for Salon in 1997,… Read more

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