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reporters are teh dumb when it comes to religion. o rly? yes rly. no wai! yes wai!
January 28, 2006 11:29 PM   Subscribe

Are reporters too stupid to Get Religion? Answering the question that had to be asked, via the interesting GetReligion blog.
posted by tweak (71 comments total)

 
dogmatists vs journalists

Attend a skit at a mental health facility. Write a story about your impressions, avoid value judgements, and try to be upbeat. Don't make fun of the costumes. Smile and nod a lot. Make brief affirmative statements. If a certain passage sounds serious, make some convincing furrows in your brow. If the play contains talk about a miracle, raise your eyebrows, look wowed. If some one has made an extra effort to dress up, curtsy or make a slight bow.

Say as little as possible about the performance, let a smile suffice. Do not eat or drink anything at the event, discuss nothing more personal than you would discuss with a police sentry at a peace rally.

If you can find a janitor, at the event. Ask the janitor for an opinion, make that opinion the total content of your remarks.
posted by Oyéah at 11:48 PM on January 28, 2006


I've nothing against Jesus. It's His fan club I can't stand.
posted by clevershark at 12:04 AM on January 29, 2006


For its first 25 years, CNN always had at least one show devoted to science news. Then CNN got bought out by Time Warner/AOL, and those enlightened folks cancelled all the science programming, but hired a religion reporter.

Ted Turner was all about science and the environment, but apparently AOL Time Warner would rather report on matters of faith.
posted by BoringPostcards at 12:05 AM on January 29, 2006


Journalists are now anthropologists?
posted by sourwookie at 12:27 AM on January 29, 2006


I've nothing against Jesus. It's His fan club I can't stand.

Robert G. Ingersoll respectfully disagrees:

(from "About the Holy Bible"):

Millions assert that the philosophy of Christ is perfect -- that he was the wisest that ever uttered speech.

Let us see:


... If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.

Why? Because it is better that one of our members should perish than that the whole body should be cast into hell.

Is there any wisdom in putting out your eyes or cutting off your hands? Is it possible to extract from these extravagant sayings the smallest grain of common sense?


Sorry to sidetrack so early on, but that line is said so much (even by me) that I feel the need to remind myself sometimes that, yeah, it's OK to have a problem with Jesus. And his followers. And articles like the one linked here.
posted by ford and the prefects at 12:41 AM on January 29, 2006


Are reporters too stupid to Get Religion?

Is this maybe the stupidest question ever on the front page of MetaFilter?
posted by telstar at 12:51 AM on January 29, 2006


obviously, you failed to read past even the title of the linked article.

ignorance is bliss.

cheers,

tweak
posted by tweak at 12:52 AM on January 29, 2006


Are the religous too stupid to get reality?
posted by rdr at 12:53 AM on January 29, 2006


Being a social conservative sucks because not every single thing you see validates your worldview. But if newspapers want to stay alive, they will pay attention to our demographic. Hence, we don't have to Get Secular, they have to Get Us! Sweet! P.S. abortions and fags are bad.
posted by fleacircus at 12:56 AM on January 29, 2006


De fidebus non es disputandum scribendum.
posted by rob511 at 12:57 AM on January 29, 2006


Why are Christians always so surprised and upset when they find out that there are non-Christian people and things in the world?
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:17 AM on January 29, 2006


Good question, RylandDotNet.

I note that we don't learn what Mother Teresa answered to the Mass question. Did she jump at the chance to educate the world about Roman Catholic Dogmatism?

As for the "that afternoon in the Garden" anecdote, I thought it made the interviewee sound a bit prententious and it's not necessarily the interviewers fault not to get such an oblique reference. Is that guy maybe British or something?
posted by sour cream at 1:34 AM on January 29, 2006


The way the story is presented, it seems that Mother Theresa decided to hold a prayer service, and (of course), all sorts of people of other religions show up. Since they weren't specifically invited, it seems like it would be perfectly acceptable to hold a mass, and I really fail to see how the question was so dumb, at least not for the reason given. It's not like he was asking, "is communion going to be served to the protestants, jews, etc there?" I went to a catholic High School, but one that was full of non-catholics. Protestants, a handfull of jews, nonreligious, a few atheists and agnostics, a couple wiccans (or at least they liked to call themselves wiccans), and muslims. Yet we still held mass, despite all those who weren't in communion with Rome being present. They just didn't go up and get communion. If it was/had been the case that Mother Theresa organized a prayer service and actively invited members of other faiths, then it might be considered insensitive to hold a mass (though they still technically could have done it).

However, the question was dumb for one other reason, if I understand the story correctly: it was Mother Theresa leading the prayer service, not a priest. Only a priest can lead a mass.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 1:37 AM on January 29, 2006


An eager young thing with a national paper was interviewing me about yet another instance of political corruption. “Is this something new?” she asked. “No,” I said, “it’s been around ever since that unfortunate afternoon in the garden.” There was a long pause and then she asked, “What garden was that?” It was touching.

Condescending ass. Did he really think that the reporter was unfamiliar with the Eden story?
posted by brundlefly at 1:58 AM on January 29, 2006


Is there any wisdom in putting out your eyes or cutting off your hands? Is it possible to extract from these extravagant sayings the smallest grain of common sense?

If it were common sense, then we wouldn't have needed God to send His son to tell us about it, would we?

I'm just saying.
posted by kindall at 2:01 AM on January 29, 2006


Yet another confusion of ignorance and stupidity.

Ignorance is curable, stupidity not so much.

I agree that the afternoon in the garden reference was rather oblique.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:29 AM on January 29, 2006


The post is one guy writing insightfully about somebody else's snarky comment. He's the first guy I've seen who doesn't automatically ascribe malevolent intent to reporters when they get something wrong. I'm impressed. Nice post.
posted by atchafalaya at 3:16 AM on January 29, 2006


If you read the full post it's remarkably uncontentious. Journalists who report on religion should try and understand it - and religious types should help them do so. No kidding.

But I agree about the 'garden' comment: it's not so much bitting (sic) as the good father wanking over what he perceives as his own cleverness. I'm not saying sarcasm should be entirely obvious. But it should be more obvious than this.
posted by rhymer at 3:20 AM on January 29, 2006


And besides, the incident in the garden had nothing to do with political corruption. If anything, Adam and Eve were following (or perhaps even founding) the time-honored tradition of questioning authority and stupid rules that don't make sense.
posted by sour cream at 3:23 AM on January 29, 2006


there was an incident in the blue peter garden ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:41 AM on January 29, 2006


Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: This is a poorly-veiled attempt to dismiss those who dare ask questions from an outside perspective. The smug arrogance of Father Neuhaus seems to seep throughout the article: "Don't bother to correct them, they know not what we do." I had to interview Reiki practioners for an article and found the same attititude there. I suspect that when you're knee-deep in this stuff, there's a very strong tendancy to avoid scrutiny.
posted by allen.spaulding at 4:15 AM on January 29, 2006


I think Father Neuhaus made up the story about the "eager young thing." I just can't imagine anyone asking if political corruption is "something new."
posted by Jatayu das at 4:19 AM on January 29, 2006


He may have just (deliberately) misconstrued the reporters question. That type of response is typical of a shift from a specific to the general. The 'eager young thing' was likely referring to a specific type or method of corruption. The father sidesteps the issue with a generality. This rhetorical ploy happens here almost all the time.
posted by srboisvert at 4:36 AM on January 29, 2006


Newsflash! Journalists don't know everything!

I guess if the reporter had received a degree in religious studies instead of going to "j-school" they would have known not to ask the question.

What a dickhead.
posted by photoslob at 5:42 AM on January 29, 2006


there was an incident in the blue peter garden ?
Don't play the innocent with me, Sonny Jim.
posted by Joeforking at 5:55 AM on January 29, 2006


It comes out at the end that he's really construing opinions about religion with which he disagrees as mere ignorance. In his discussion of the Times story on "God is Love", he approvingly cites another writer who chided the reporter for presupposing an opposition between "love and charity" and a rigid adherence to doctrine, for example on gays and contraception.

Obviously a reporter with more experience on the religion beat would've known that Catholic doctrine on contraception -- which causes a lot of suffering -- is all about love.
posted by grobstein at 5:57 AM on January 29, 2006


the smug arrogance of Father Neuhaus

That about sums Fr. Neuhaus up, actually.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:59 AM on January 29, 2006


The afternoon alluded to wasn't in Eden, it was in Gethsemane. Smug arrogance, indeed.
posted by klarck at 6:24 AM on January 29, 2006


tmatt's not too bright. S/he confuses an average knowledge of religion for "stupidity" or "ignorance" (doesn't really matter which).

For example, tmatt cites (and implicitly endorses) a passage from some Priest's blog, where an "eager young thing"* fails to get his allusion to the Garden of Gethsemene. Guess what: MOST American Christians wouldn't get that reference.

I see this as more of the same old "we are pure folk among the infidels" schtick. Get over yourselves, and do what the rest of us do: Deal with it. You're not the only religion in America.
posted by lodurr at 6:28 AM on January 29, 2006


*... oh, and: One of the ways that someone can most quickly lose me is by using bullshit code phrases like "young thing" to mean "naive/ignorant woman under thirty."
posted by lodurr at 6:29 AM on January 29, 2006


I read the whole linked article. And I don't quite understand what there even is to discuss here, besides using the post as a general jumping off point to argue religion vs journalists.

What was said in the post -- on either side -- that wasn't instantly obvious to most people? At least when MeFi links to a person vs person criticism involving someone Dave Winer, there are some wider implications.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:34 AM on January 29, 2006


I certainly didn't get the reference. Then again, I ain't Christian.

One preview: Thank you, lodurr. There was something about his wording that really bothered me, and you put your finger on it.
posted by brundlefly at 6:35 AM on January 29, 2006


I'd expect a reporter on that beat to get the reference. But then, I'd expect a reporter on the DC beat to get a K-Street reference or one from the business page to know what short-selling is.
posted by klarck at 6:44 AM on January 29, 2006


Journalists, unless they are specialists, tend to be dilettantes and so often come across as woefully ignorant to the people they interview. It's part of the territory.

My own OMG-I'm-such-an-idiot story happened in rural Virginia, where I was covering a story involving Hasidic Jews. It was about the kidnapping of a NYC kid named Chaim found in the middle of Nowhere, Va. The local reporters were all asking these Hasids about "chaym" - "how's Chaym? Is Chaym ok?" and I rolled my eyes, knowing it was pronounced "Ha-eem." I was so freaking smart and superior. Then I (a girl) stuck my hand out to shake hands with the lead Hasid. So yeah, not so smart, after all.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:47 AM on January 29, 2006


Well, I once ordered a pastrami-and-swiss sandwich in a kosher deli. Nobody knows anything untily someone tells them or they find it out on their own. Such is life.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on January 29, 2006


The reference might be oblique to some of you, but presumably you're not interviewing senior churchmen asking for a theological perspective on contemporary events. At least, I hope you're not, because frankly you're not qualified.

For those who need it explained, the reference was not to the garden of Gethsemene but rather to Eden, where, according to long established and very well known Judeo-Christian tradition, sin entered the world. All Father Neuhaus was saying was that political corruption was just plain old sin; and sin has been around for a very long time.

This really is Christianity 101; every member of every denomonation - whether they believe the story of Eden literally, symbolically, or not at all - above the age of about six is familiar with it. Eden and what happened there has been a major underlying theme in Western culture for as long as there has BEEN Western culture. It has inspired paintings, plays, music and movies. It is referenced - sometimes seriously, sometimes ironically - in popular culture today. It is not, in any possible sense, obscure.

Anyone who does not understand that in the Christian tradition, Eden was where sin first happened has no business interviewing priests about anything in any way connected with morality, theology, or Christian belief. The priest you're interviewing will assume that you know at least this basic, basic stuff, just as, for instance, Stephen Hawking would probably assume that the science reporters who come to speak to him have at least heard of Isaac Newton and know he had something to do with gravity.

So the reporter who came to interview Father Neuhaus was so ignorant of Christianity that she was patently unable to discuss it an intelligent way. If you didn't get his "oblique" reference, you're in that category too.
posted by thparkth at 7:01 AM on January 29, 2006


This really is Christianity 101....

You do understand that you are clearly wrong about this, right? And that the preceding thread pretty clearly serves as evidence for the fact that you're wrong?

You've also got really amazingly unrealistic expectations. Not just unrealistic, but, I would argue, unwarranted.
posted by lodurr at 7:16 AM on January 29, 2006


And that the preceding thread pretty clearly serves as evidence for the fact that you're wrong?

lodurr, I think the thread merely serves to show that many mefites don't understand Christianity 101. Which is neither a suprise nor a problem. But how many of them are religion journalists?
posted by thparkth at 7:18 AM on January 29, 2006


If you didn't get his "oblique" reference, you're in that category too.

I think brundlefly had it right - of course the reporter knew the Eden story, but just didn't get the priest's cutesy reference to it. She was still a moron, but you can't assume she was ignorant of Genesis.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:21 AM on January 29, 2006


thparkth, I think the thread merely shows that you and the rest of the people on the thread have a different understanding of the meaning of the word "christian." You think it means they have to have some kind of more or less esoteric knowledge of Christian theology; they think it means that they call themselves "Christian."

In fact, that's how most people understand the meaning of terms like "christian" or "jew" or "mormon": Do you think you are one? Do your friends think you are? Your family? Surprise! You are!

You seem instead to be looking for "Real Christians". Here's the big news: Most American's don't qualify. The funny part is, they don't even realize it.
posted by lodurr at 7:26 AM on January 29, 2006


Shorter Father Neuhaus: I am as educated in ignorance as a man can be, and have no patience with those instead educated to useful purpose.
posted by boaz at 7:28 AM on January 29, 2006


no one is stupid for being ignorant of some religion's parables, myths, or purity laws. smart people are aware of their ignorance on most subjects and thus ask questions. the stupid are those who are arrogant enough to believe other people should have intimate knowledge of their idiosyncrasies.

in the southern u.s., most daily papers have an entire section devoted weekly to "religion" and most of the "reporting" in said section is given over to leaders of various local congregations. funny, we don't get a weekly "science" section with reporting handed over to local scientists.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:28 AM on January 29, 2006


This post highlights the peculiar strain of manipulative populist elitism that runs through American religion. Characters like Nehaus, Pat Robertson, Fallwell, Ralph Reed, et al all share something in common: They're playing a game where they get people to go along with them because they don't want to admit that they're "ignorant" of "basic facts" about their own religion.

It's got as much to do with the fact that we lionize bullshit so greatly in America as it does with anything else. Really, lots of Americans often seem to have a nigh-pathological aversion to admit that they don't know something. It's because we place such a high premium on being a Shark, a Sharp Operator, someone who Knows The Score and Doesn't Get Taken. (Paradoxically, it makes us really easy targets for con artists like Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, or Rush Limbaugh.)

So they use it on us. "Surely you remember the story of Jehozabeth of Armabathea and how she offered her infants to the king to serve as human shields? And how God granted her great harvests and many more healthy man-children?" And since we dare not admit that we're Not Smart, we go along with the bullshit.
posted by lodurr at 7:43 AM on January 29, 2006


What happened in the Garden of Eden isn't an example of political corruption. What happened in the Garden of Gethsemene is. If he meant the Garden of Eden, then he's exaggerating when he says (concerning political corruption): "it’s been around ever since that unfortunate afternoon in the garden", and it's going to confuse people.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:44 AM on January 29, 2006


"An eager young thing with a national paper was interviewing me about yet another instance of political corruption."

I'm assuming the cub was not interviewing the good father for his views on the Bush adminstration and was probably questioning him about some current political corruption in the church. Hence his reference to the first political corruption of Christ' s gang. The Eden-Gethsemane argument in this thread is as much about lack of context for Neuhaus's quote as it is general Bible knowledge.

Like it or not, the Bible is central to the Western literary canon. To miss Biblical references is to miss the greater part of what was written before the end of the millenium.
posted by klarck at 7:48 AM on January 29, 2006


I had my money on Eden, but I'm changing it to Gethsemane, notwithstanding thparkth's comment.

Like I said before, Eden has little to do with political corruption, whereas Gethsemane (which is where Judas betrayed Jesus and money changed hands, all 'ye biblically challenged) does.

Also, the CunningLinguist is a girl -- heh.
posted by sour cream at 8:00 AM on January 29, 2006


The reference might be oblique to some of you, but presumably you're not interviewing senior churchmen asking for a theological perspective on contemporary events. At least, I hope you're not, because frankly you're not qualified.

funny, i thought it was a reporters job to ask questions and when things aren't clear, to clarify them. The priest's joke was obtuse and no doubt clever in his own mind. What it had to do with political corruption no doubt makes sense in his own mind.

the reporter gets credit for asking the question.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:12 AM on January 29, 2006


Also, when I went to the blog's main page, the whole blog other than this one post seemed to be about what it was decrying here, attacking reporters who don't get the nuances of Christianity.
posted by boaz at 8:24 AM on January 29, 2006


[R]eporters who don't get the nuances of Christianity, ignorantly misrepresenting Christian ideology to thousands of readers.

Talk about a thin-skinned religious nut.
posted by klarck at 8:34 AM on January 29, 2006


"Surely you remember the story of Jehozabeth of Armabathea and how she offered her infants to the king to serve as human shields? And how God granted her great harvests and many more healthy man-children?"

Okay, but that type of oblique reference isn't what's being debated here. Either garden, of Eden or of Gethsemane, are incredibly central to the Christian faith. They are the stories of how sin and redemption entered the world, respectively. They are not random stories like the killing of the fat king by Ehud (which is admittedly a favourite of mine). Perhaps the priest could have referred to it in a more explicit manner, but if any stories are required basic knowledge to write anything about Christianity, those are the two.

It's not like we don't complain of exactly the same thing when religious nuts misrepresent the theory of evolution in their writings. People should have some idea what they're talking about before reporting on it. Perhaps not every person is going to have that level of knowledge about a certain topic, but not every person is writing an article for widespread dissemination on the topic.

Why are Christians always so surprised and upset when they find out that there are non-Christian people and things in the world?

This isn't the complaint. The complaint is that non-Christian journalists don't necessarily bother to find out basic things about Christianity (e.g. there was a Reformation) before writing articles on them, and this lack of research leads to silly questions.
posted by heatherann at 8:41 AM on January 29, 2006


thin-skinned religious nut.

Now, let's not get redundant. ;)

It's just disheartening to see a purportedly Christian blog filling the same niche as Slashdot fills to tech journalism: 'OMG, this journalist doesn't get that the RAM holds instructions and the CPU executes instructions. How can you understand any von Neumann machine, much less a modern computer, without knowing that? This is basic stuff.'
posted by boaz at 8:48 AM on January 29, 2006


Actually, that should probably be 'Slashdot commenters fill'; Slashdot itself actually has many useful, informative, non-whining posts.
posted by boaz at 8:50 AM on January 29, 2006


Knowing the overall effects of Nazism, and a minimum of their actual dogma; I would be perfectly competent to interview a member of the party.

The implication is that one must have a religious education to ask a question, or interview a religious leader, not so. Oh and by the way, the golden rule, rarely works when interviewing religious leaders, politicians, nazis or meter maids. The balance, stasis, equality, and potential for positive flow in this equation is generally not practiced by individuals that think of themselves as leaders, pundits, members of the master race, or one true religion.
posted by Oyéah at 9:21 AM on January 29, 2006


This lapsed Episcopalian thinks thparkth is correct. The first sin, fall of man and all that. Anyway, the Gethsemane arrest is usually portrayed as an evening/nighttime thing, isn't it?
posted by gubo at 9:40 AM on January 29, 2006


The implication is not that one must have a religious education to ask a question; the implication is that one must have a religious education to report accurately and responsibly about religion. I would the cite danger of imbalanced stasisness of the positive flow of informationalityativeness is actually an argument in favor of a pre-qualifications for interviewing.
posted by klarck at 9:41 AM on January 29, 2006


Mother Theresa was a reactionary whore.
posted by bardic at 9:51 AM on January 29, 2006


informationalityativeness

Your truthiness is awesome man!

When accurately reporting on religious matters it is important that the reporter have no preconceptions about the events to be viewed. That blank slate exists at the heart of high comedy, which is just the other partition of the revolving door of high tragedy. Never take your eyes off the hands, or else they will palm cards.
posted by Oyéah at 10:07 AM on January 29, 2006


It's far more important for reporters to understand Christianity as it is practiced than as it is preached, and, man alive, America's sure getting educated in that right now.
posted by boaz at 10:11 AM on January 29, 2006


I "get" religion: It's linguistic construct that spreads itself virallyvia certain flaws in human consciousness. Why can't more reporters get that?
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on January 29, 2006


Eden has little to do with political corruption

But it has much to do with with the temptation of the illegal. Using the definite article in reference to 'the' garden with no other description makes it more likely to have been the 'original' garden, it seems to me.

Also, thparkth, are you taking the pith? ;-)
posted by Sparx at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2006


Frankly, as a reporter, this annoys me. Yes, there are clueless reporters, but generally the job revolves around asking questions, even dumb questions, in order to GET QUOTES that make the story.
And more important that memorizing the doo-dah bullshit that goes along with religious worship is asking blunt questions about motivations, morality and methods, which, frankly, most religious readers don't want to see. So, hey, here's a good way to improve the quality of religious reportage: reduce the number of bone-stupid believers, because they're the ones that are going to write angry letters to the editor, getting the reporter called out, because they hassled the priest with questions about the veracity of the religious claims. Stupid believers are just as much to blame as stupid reporters. People get the news that they deserve.
posted by klangklangston at 1:05 PM on January 29, 2006


Didn't the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane take place at night? Or is that just Mel Gibson wanting to use spooky lighting? If it did take place at night, this guy's allusion ("...that unfortunate afternoon in the garden.") would clearly be a reference to Eden, even if the Gethsemane story would make more sense thematically.

(Good point, klangklangston.)
posted by brundlefly at 1:17 PM on January 29, 2006


obviously, you failed to read past even the title of the linked article.

ignorance is bliss.


No, I read the whole article. Even if it did start with a picture of lizard-woman Mother Teresa. The article poses religion as some kind of intellectual high ground that some journalists, sadly, have yet to attain. No, wait....I "get" it. This is a comedy piece.
posted by telstar at 3:22 PM on January 29, 2006


And even here among the "bible aware" there is discussion about which garden he was (very obliquely in my opinion) referring to. Still think the reporter was stupid to ask? Why don't we write to this smug bastard and get him to answer what seems to be a valid question?
posted by Merlin at 3:58 PM on January 29, 2006


Good idea, Merlin. I just did.
posted by brundlefly at 4:20 PM on January 29, 2006


It doesn't make sense to say that Gethsemane is where political corruption began. Political corruption existed far before then, in Rome and otherwise.

It doesn't make sense to say that Eden is where political corruption began, because politics didn't exist yet. Unless you look at God as a political figure. Is he saying that God is corrupt?

Either way, it's a stupid comparison from a conceited old thing.
posted by speicus at 8:20 PM on January 29, 2006


The afternoon alluded to wasn't in Eden, it was in Gethsemane. Smug arrogance, indeed.
posted by klarck at 9:24 AM EST on January 29 [!]

Color me completely confused now. Gethsemane is the first "garden" that popped into my mind, but the betrayal of Jesus came in the wee small hours of the morning (the Apostles are all asleep.) I've got to go with Eden on this one as in the meaning of "original sin."

There was a long pause and then she asked, “What garden was that?” It was touching.

So perhaps the eager, young thing was simply trying to figure out which garden he was referring to. Or maybe not.

So you are a paper with a religious beat. Do you expect your reporter to be familiar with every aspect of every religion? Don't forget that in America we have Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Snake Handlers, Hare Krishnas, Shintoists, Greek Orthodox, ad. in. That is a lot to learn.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:17 AM on January 30, 2006


I think a lot of (esp. older) Christians don't like to acknowledge that the USA is now a "post-christian" nation. In the past, it could be assumed that the average person had been exposed to some level of Christian teaching and was at least familiar with some of the basic tenets of the faith. Today, as Jay Leno's "man on the street" interviews have famously shown, the average person knows about as much about Moses as they do Mohammed.
posted by feersum endjinn at 12:19 PM on January 30, 2006


Oh, hell, a lot of older Christians don't like to acknowledge that it was never a Christian nation, and that man on the street interviews (especially of the Allan Funt variety) were pointing out that people knew dick about Moses in the 50s and 60s.
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on January 30, 2006


Got a response:
Certainly I meant the garden of Eden.

I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that humankind took a wrong
turn in the garden of Gethsemane.

Thanks for writing.

Cordially,

(The Rev.) Richard John Neuhaus
posted by brundlefly at 2:05 PM on February 1, 2006


Oh, and that was the extent of his message. In my initial email, I asked him whether he really thought this "young thing" had never heard of Eden, but there was no response to that...
posted by brundlefly at 2:07 PM on February 1, 2006


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