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"The press . . . just doesn't get religion." - William Schneider
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Assad’s Easter and mysterious attacks on Syrian Christians

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Why are Syrian Christians being targeted by Islamist rebels? The Western press cannot agree on a reason, a review of recent reports from Syria reveals. Can we credit the explanation given by the Wall Street Journal — that the rebels do not trust Christians — as a sufficient explanation? And if so, what does that mean? [Read More...]
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So divorced man says his new wife says the pope said ….

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Well, there is no question that the buzz-worthy story of the day is the further adventures of the modern shepherd who is now being hailed as the Cold Call Pope. Trust me, it would be easy to jump into the doctrinal implications of this story, because the stakes for the church and the papacy are [Read More...]
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More on politics, sin and Louisiana’s kissing congressman

Thursday, April 24, 2014
For anyone unfamiliar with Rep. Vance McAllister, he’s a Louisiana congressman who ran on a Christian family values platform. But now he’s in trouble with some voters — and presumably his wife — after he got videotaped kissing a staff member (not a peck on the cheek, by the way). Last week, I praised the [Read More...]
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WPost team looks at politics in 2014, sees zero folks in pews

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
It’s time to set the wayback (actually, it’s WABAC) machine for the year 2003, when editors of The Atlantic Monthly published one of the most famous anecdotal ledes in the recent history of American politics. The article was called “Blue Movie: The “morality gap” is becoming the key variable in American politics” and the essay [Read More...]
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Some compelling religion stories from Easter front pages

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Fittingly, stories of rebirth and renewal made their way to many newspaper front pages on Easter Sunday. One of my favorites ran in the Chicago Tribune. That story, by Angie Leventis Lourgos, highlighted Christians such as Edeette Chukro, a Syrian who celebrated her first Easter in America: Easter is bittersweet for those seeking refuge like Chukro and [Read More...]
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Easter season, check … Chip away at basic beliefs, check

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
You know all of those news articles you see published every year at Ramadan that ask if Muhammad really heard from the archangel Gabriel? No? Well, how about all the stories each Divali that cast doubt on the goddess Lakshmi’s ability to bless her worshipers? No? Then how about those articles for Eastertime questioning whether [Read More...]
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The Atlantic slips — somehow — inside mind of Benedict XVI

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
During the annual pre-Easter season of snarky or mildly negative religion stories, I think that I received more personal emails about the Pope Benedict XVI vs. Pope Francis story in The Atlantic than any other item (even more than the Mrs. Jesus media blitz, if you can believe that). Quite a few readers wanted to [Read More...]
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Weed in Denver, but Easter news on other front pages

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
If you live in the Mile High City (no pun intended), you woke up Sunday morning to this banner headline on your hometown paper’s front page: Welcome to Weed Country Happy Easter to you, too, Denver Post! Another Colorado newspaper had a much better week than the Post — and not just because it won a [Read More...]
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Nice but, at times, confusing news on Virginia Anglican wars

Monday, April 21, 2014
Inspiring, uplifting stories have been hard to find in recent decades in the world of Episcopal vs. Anglican infighting, especially when it comes to in-the-trenches doctrinal warfare at the local and regional levels. However, the religion-beat team at The New York Times thought it had one the other day. The headline: “Two Ministers Forge Friendship [Read More...]
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Here we go again: So was Jesus married or what?

Monday, April 21, 2014
JANET ASKS: What is your opinion on the historicity of the ancient text mentioning Jesus’ wife? What are the implications for the Christian faith? THE GUY ANSWERS: To decide what to make of this text, which has one word that apparently says Jesus was married, it’s all-important to know when it was written. So the [Read More...]
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Don’t divorce an NYT article from sharp reporting

Monday, April 21, 2014
It’s especially crucial for journalists to, well, GetReligion when the story is about a “get.” That religious divorce paper — called a “get” — is important for traditional Jews, especially Jewish women. Without it, they cannot marry someone else under religious law. That gives ex-husbands a whip handle over the women — either to coax [Read More...]
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Glorious Pascha! The Baltimore Sun gets the key parts right

Sunday, April 20, 2014
I keep saying this year after year, but it’s true. One of the greatest challenges for religion-beat specialists, season after season, is the long, steady march of feature stories that editors want you to produce linked to the major holy days in the various world religions. Easter was always one of the biggest challenges for [Read More...]
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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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