Oh my. How time flies when there is lots of work to do.
Has it really been a decade plus since sociologist Christian Smith published his infamous Books & Culture essay that ran under this grabber headline?
Religiously Ignorant Journalists
In search of Episcopals and evangelists.
As you would imagine, that piece received quick attention from the new-born GetReligion.org and we have pointed readers to it several times, including this 2010 post by GetReligion emeritus M.Z. Hemingway which noted an interesting, and sadly not that unusual, grammatical innovation in the following NPR passage:
Some 3,000 evangelical Christian Cubans attend an open-air service in Havana to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their public service in 1999. Evangelism is among the fastest-growing religions in communist -- and formerly atheist -- Cuba.
Now, that first reference to "evangelical" is fine. But the second one? Clearly, that was supposed to say "evangelicalism." Thus, as MZ noted:
... It's clear that this is a copy editor or copy-editing problem. And certainly the industry struggles to hire editors who are both technologically savvy and literate. But, as the reader who submitted this notes, this is embarrassing. Evangelism is not a religion. Evangelicalism is a movement within Christianity and evangelism is the preaching of the Gospel of Christ.
What do you know? Four years later and NPR still hasn't fixed the vague headline: "Cubans Flock To Evangelism To Fill Spiritual Vacuum." Uh, that is still "evangelicalism."
Now, I have a new reason to bring this issue up, yet again. We will get to that in a moment. First, here is a flashback to the original Smith essay, which opened like this: