The Late, Great, John Allen

John Allen began his career as a petulant young liberal whose journalism scored points for “the good guys” (as he saw them)–see his biography of Ratzinger, for example. As he matured, he realized he needed some journalistic objectivity, and intentionally sought to distance his columns for NCR from the editorial page’s clear bias. The result,…

Christopher Hitchens’ Latest

First he attacked Mother Teresa, in his crudely titled book, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. Then he aimed higher, saying, God Is Not Great. Continuing in that line of thought, he now takes aim at the Ten Commandments. Dare I suggest that he’s proving himself to be the Philip Pullman of…

What’s a “Fundamentalist”?

Terry Mattingly has it right. Those writing about religion would do best to follow the AP stylebook, which defines the term thus: “fundamentalist: The word gained usage in an early 20th century fundamentalist-modernist controversy within Protestantism. In recent years, however, fundamentalist has to a large extent taken on pejorative connotations except when applied to groups…

Anti-Muslim Hysterics

Drudge has a headline in red: “Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson.” The link goes to a story on a CBN blog post (Pat Robertson’s network) that claims it has the scoop on the story, that five Muslim soldiers were arrested two months ago for allegedly trying to poison the food supply at Fort…

Dawah in the Reveille

Rod Dreher is upset that the Daily Reveille, the student paper at Louisiana State University, has a Muslim columnist. He dubs this, Dhimmitude on the Bayou. (He clarifies in responding to a comment by me that he’s not against having a Muslim columnist, but he thinks she crossed a line and was proselytizing). I think…

Pope Comparisons

In the Washington Post, Peter Manseau contrasts the first visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 with that of Benedict XVI. He contrasts the 400,000 who crammed into Boston Common for a mass with John Paul with the 46,000 who attended Benedict’s mass. That’s a phony comparison. Those huge crowds were possible because of…

The Pope and the Laity

There are so many things that reporters could be writing about during the papal visit. The AP’s Eric Gorski decides to create a controversy. But Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass in the nation’s capital Thursday was also different from a typical service in another way: Lay people were not asked to distribute Communion, which was administered…

Sloppy Journalism

Over at Der Spiegel, Alexander Schwabe shows complete lack of comprehension of Catholic teaching, American history, and the writings of Joseph Ratzinger. He writes: During the election campaign, Ratzinger sent a letter to the American bishops, in which he said that all Catholic candidates who were not in favor of a ban on abortion should…

The Press and the Pope’s Visit

Journalists don’t get religion, says Rod Dreher of his colleagues. They don’t understand how the religious mind works, and try to impose a political understanding on it, particularly in terms of conflict (besides, American journalism thrives on exploring conflicts, often to the exclusion of ideas). Nor do they get how the Catholic mind works, and…

WAPO on Easter

Washington Post editorial congratulates Easter for learning to be tolerant–though it might do better. Easter has been a time of renewal and hope for millions, but for others — victims of age-old religious persecution — it has at times been a dark and frightening occasion. … Easter today, in America and elsewhere, has become a…

Gorbachev at Assisi

Mikhail Gorbachev confesses his Christian faith, prays at Assisi, says a British tabloid. Update: Gorby says the story is baloney–he’s an atheist, and was just there as a tourist.

Journalists and Religion

It seems those secular journalists have displayed their ignorance and botched a religion story. Again. Luther isn’t among the topics to be discussed by Benedict’s former students. And the Vatican has not issued a list of seven new deadly sins. Amy has the details.

“Christian Ramadan”

Rod Dreher notes that in some places Christianity is having to be defined with reference to Islam–Lent as the “Christian Ramadan,” Gabriel as the angel who would later appear to Mohammad. Is this because of a pandering to Muslims? Is it  because of an increase of Muslims? Or is it because so many (including journalists)…

CleanFlicks Founder Arrested

The guy who started CleanFlicks, which edited dirty words and pictures out of movies, and who ran a family video club after CleanFlicks was forced out of business, has been arrested. Seems all this was a cover for dirtier deeds. Update: Not true, says CleanFlicks! The journalists who reported this (and reported it, and reported…

The Myths of Oil Price Reporting

You’ve heard the news stories–oil prices rose to $100, and this is said to have been caused by government reports of this or that. Baloney. First, at the time of those first reports, only one lot of oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange had traded at that price–one lot out of 204,600 lots…

Freedom of Speech in Canada

Reports say Canadian journalist Mark Steyn has been denounced to a human rights commission for opinions expressed in Maclean’s in 2006. National Review editorial; John Robson op-ed in The Ottawa Citizen. Here’s an explanation, though, from the Muslims who complained: “All we want is a chance to respond” to Steyn’s article which they found to…

Sean Taylor’s Church

Terry Mattingly writes about Sean Taylor, the recently murdered Washington Redskins player. Those who knew Taylor well spoke of peace with God, of how he’d been walking with God the last many months. Mattingly had written of that before; there was a trace of cynicism in the reporting, and no details of what Taylor’s conversion…

Headline Writers Who Don’t Read the Article

Taking the Pill Cuts the Risk of Cancer, blares the headline. It’s lower by 12% for those who take the pill less than eight years. But there’s a catch–and the headline could just as well read “Taking the Pill Increases the Risk of Cancer,” because for those who take the pill for eight years or…

Deja Vu

Mother named as suspect in death of missing girl; traces of “blood” found in family car; media turning against her. I certainly hope Kate McCann is not going to be this decade’s Lindy Chamberlain.