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"The press . . . just doesn't get religion." - William Schneider
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Shocking news! T.D. Jakes doubts something!

Saturday, April 19, 2014
“Replate 1A.” That was a favorite dry reaction at my old newspaper whenever someone announced something obvious, as if were front-page news. That’s what I said when the Hollywood Reporter labeled T.D. Jakes as “a man of God who admits he has wrestled with doubt.” Clearly, the reporter hasn’t read Pope Francis or the Dalai [Read More...]
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What would Jesus tip? Be sure to ask … secular ethicists!?

Friday, April 18, 2014
.@TipsForJesus still leaves $$$, so for #Easter, we asked ethicists – is it moral? http://t.co/Nmvb0cyEoF pic.twitter.com/nhAZPrBsF2 — Megan Finnerty (@MeganMFinnerty) April 17, 2014   Just in time for Easter, The Arizona Republic decided to write about #TipsforJesus. As the Page 1 reporter who wrote the story put it on Twitter, “@TipsforJesus still leaves $$$, so for [Read More...]
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New York critics, heaven and a very busy religion week

Friday, April 18, 2014
OK, think of all of the stereotypes that you have heard about elite critics in New York City, those powerful mainstream-media scribes who are said to have the power to determine what is good and what is bad at the highest levels of American culture. Do you have that picture in your mind? Now, don’t [Read More...]
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What does it mean to be transgendered in India?

Friday, April 18, 2014
Is it possible to write intelligently about sex in the non-Western world for an American media audience? Or, is our culture so narcissistic, so incurious, so parochial that a newspaper would be wasting its time in attempting to explain the difference between our world view and their’s? A recent spate of articles in the American [Read More...]
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About those evangelical whispers on same-sex marriage

Thursday, April 17, 2014
As you would imagine, your GetReligionistas are never eager to critique the work of previous members of our team who have found their way back into the world of mainstream religion-news work. However, that professional courtesy doesn’t mean that we can’t point our readers toward stories by our former colleagues that we think everyone needs [Read More...]
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Two forgiveness stories that are worth your time

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Forgiveness has been making a lot of headlines lately, at least it seems to me. Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the evil committed by priests who molested children (for more insight, see George Conger’s post Wednesday). A Louisiana congressman who campaigned on a Christian family values platform requested forgiveness for an extramarital affair. In Texas, a Fort [Read More...]
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Ahhh … a balanced article on religion … thanks, David

Thursday, April 17, 2014
After carving apart so many journalism-challenged articles, it’s nice to be able to throw laurels every now and then. This one — a whole bouquet, actually — goes to David Van Biema of Religion News Service for his thorough, balanced article on the newest project of the Green family: a Bible course to be taught [Read More...]
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Vox.com offers a few basic facts about Boko Haram tactics

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Twice in the past month or so, I have been pretty rough on the editors of The New York Times, who seem to have added a rule to their newsroom manual of style stating that basic, public-record facts about the radical Islamist group Boko Haram cannot be be published in their newspaper. Here is a sample [Read More...]
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Is this Bible legislation legal? Quick, call and ask my pastor!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
No fooling, the following lede comes not from the satire publication The Onion but from a real newspaper — the New Orleans Times-Picayune: Legislation that would make the Holy Bible the official state book of Louisiana cleared the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs with a vote of 8-5 Thursday afternoon. It will now [Read More...]
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Francis links abortion with abuse, yet press doesn’t follow

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Italian press has placed an interesting interpretation on Pope Francis’ Friday comments on the clergy abuse. It reports that in the pope’s mind clergy abuse of children is tied to the “abomination” of abortion. Look for this theme in the Anglo-American press and tell me if you can find it? I can’t. Francis’ comments [Read More...]
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What he said! Yes, Hollywood wants more Christian $$$$

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
In this morning’s email newsletter from the folks at Religion News Service, editor Kevin Eckstrom raised his eyebrow high (no, honest, you can sense it in the copy) and quipped: Pretty sure we’ve seen about 5,429 versions of this story already. Right. We get it. Hollywood is trying to lure Christian audiences to the cineplex. [Read More...]
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Politics, sin and serious reporting in La. bayou country

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
As I’ve shared before, I spent a few years of my early childhood in West Monroe, La., where my dad attended the White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching. That now-defunct school was operated by the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, now known nationally as the home congregation of the Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” [Read More...]
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That ‘mysterious’ NYTimes stance on Boko Haram

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Here we go again. There has been another horrific act of violence in Nigeria with militants bombing a bus station in Abuja, which is the capital of this painfully divided country. At this point, officials are reporting 71 deaths and scores wounded. Here is a key piece of the New York Times report on this [Read More...]
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Bizarre AP wording in update on Overland Park shootings

Monday, April 14, 2014
If you are of a certain age, as I am, and you grew up deep in the heavily Protestant Bible Belt, like I did, you can probably remember running into some people way back when who — to be blunt about it — used to draw a verbal line of distinction between people who were [Read More...]
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Did Jesus only become God at Easter?

Monday, April 14, 2014
ARTHUR ASKS: Christians observe that the Son of God died to atone for human sins. But St. Paul says (Romans 1:4) that Jesus was “declared … to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.” So apparently Jesus wasn’t divine when he died (or before). How then does atonement work? THE RELIGION [Read More...]
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For the Times, Ayaan Hirsi Ali controversy has only one side

Monday, April 14, 2014
Brandeis University offered an honorary degree to a controversial speaker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, then withdrew it under pressure from Muslim students. Controversies always have at least two sides, right? Not when the New York Times reports it. In its story on the dispute, the Times cites three sources who opposed Hirsi Ali’s appearance. How many [Read More...]
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Pod people: So what could reporters cover during Lent?

Monday, April 14, 2014
Long, long ago, back at the beginning of Lent, I put up a post that asked a simple question: In all of those stories about more and more Americans deciding to “do Lent,” what did it actually mean to say that one was going to “do Lent”? The answer, of course, was that whole “give [Read More...]
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WPost: Confessions of a (liberal) Christian film critic

Saturday, April 12, 2014
The following observations have little to do with the normal work that we do here at GetReligion, since our goal is to dissect the mainstream press coverage of religion news, seeking the good, the bad and the ugly. Nevertheless, I think faithful readers of this blog will be interested in a new essay by Washington [Read More...]
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Sister Jane drama: Observer still trying to catch up on news

Saturday, April 12, 2014
The Charlotte Observer tried to play catch-up this week on the Sister Jane controversy. But it succeeded only partly, and it continued journalistic errors typical of those found in recent articles on this subject. You may recall my own posts on April 2 and April 4 about the flap that started with the Observer’s‘s story [Read More...]
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So who is Stephen Colbert really? Maybe ask a priest?

Friday, April 11, 2014
The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,Video Archive A decade ago, when I started writing a Washington Journalism Center syllabus on the history and future of news, I wanted to include a full day of material focusing on some element of the whole “entertainment as news” trend. I wanted to argue that [Read More...]
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