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  • Why did British journalists throw a PR pity party for an offended transgender activist?
    Remember the news stories about the bakery in Gresham, Ore., that got sued out of existence by two lesbians? I wrote about the jaundiced press coverage of Sweet Cakes by Melissa here. Nearly the exact same story is now playing out in British media. Sometimes when I feel depressed about the state of American media, I take a look at what’s available overseas a […]
  • The Amish population is booming: Could their religion have something to do with it?
    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a fascinating story recently about the booming Amish population. The trend piece — much to its credit — contained a fair amount of religion-related details that gave insight into what the Amish believe. At various points as I read the feature, I found myself both (1) appreciative that the Post-Dispatch delved into the faith of […]
  • Religion ghost? Ethiopian refugee thrives with strong values, family and maybe something else
    Every now and then, I get a letter from a reader that is rather poignant. It's like this person is reading a good story in the local newspaper and then there is a passage that produces a kind of melancholy feeling, a sense of curiosity and loss. Was there a religion ghost hiding somewhere in the story? Would anyone else read this news report and feel th […]
  • Missouri paper takes 'Wild Kingdom' approach to observing ... a real, live Roman Catholic
    Television viewers from the pre-Discovery Channel epoch might remember "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," a nature program that examined wild creatures such as the anaconda (video above) with a mix of detachment and drama. In a similar vein, the St. Joseph, Missouri, News-Press has trained its editorial eye on another rare and exotic species -- […]
  • New era of Coptic martyrs: RNS dives into big questions about a deadly serious subject
    Lots of news stories -- big ones and everyday ones -- are haunted by religious themes (and even factual material) that mainstream reporters skate right past. Here at GetReligion, we call these religion-shaped holes in stories "ghosts." There are also news stories that, to be blunt, are haunted by questions and issues that can only be described in t […]
  • Fatima centennial: Is it wise to cover, or to ignore, famous claims of the miraculous?
    Although 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenberg door, there’s another religious anniversary -– a centennial -– this past Friday that got far less publicity. Oct. 13, 1917, is the date when some 70,000 people, including a few newspaper reporters, witnessed the “miracle of the sun” in Fatima, a town north of Lisb […]
  • Weekend think piece: Guess what? Church and state in Russia have their differences
    The priest at our parish in East Tennessee returned the other day from a pilgrimage to Mount Athos, the Greek peninsula that for centuries has been the beating heart of Eastern Orthodox spirituality.  As far as I know, Father J. Stephen Freeman did not have any secret meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin while he was trekking from monastery to mona […]
  • Catholics 'clutch' rosaries in Poland? Journalists should pay attention to details in worship
    The big issue in this week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in) was a question raised in my recent post about coverage of a remarkable religious rite that took place on the border of Poland. Poland is, of course, an intensely Catholic land. Thus, there were several layers of symbolism present when legions of worshipers lined up […]
  • Regarding obits, Hefner, Weinstein, Trump, religious hypocrites, 'Cheap Sex' and the death of eros
    Within the Christian fellowship, the Good Book says, members should “not speak evil against one another” (James 4:11). A societal maxim tells us verbal caution is especially required in one instance: “Do not speak ill of the dead.” Though journalists have a duty to “speak evil” if it’s both true and  newsworthy, obituaries sometimes obey Johnny Mercer’s serm […]
  • Christian women's rally on National Mall was small, but still had some big news angles
    It took 10 months, but the heavily covered Women’s March that happened in January got a response of sorts from devout Christian women. The more recent event was an “Awaken the Dawn” program, followed by a “Rise Up” prayer rally on Oct. 9. When I wrote up the Women’s March for this blog, I noted the odd mix of women donning hijabs at the Washington DC event w […]