Well, what do you know?
Apparently there is a time and a place for just about everything and, in the field of news, that even includes the use of "scare quotes." Surf here for some discussions of the meaning of this hot-button term in modern semi-opinion journalism.
Now, anyone who has visited this blog more than two or three times probably knows that your GetReligionistas are not fond of "scare quotes" around religious terms that have perfectly fine, established meanings, thank you very much. Most of the battles right now, of course, are about religious liberty vs. "religious liberty." Oh, and "traditional marriage" is another one.
However, in this case I am going to argue (wait for it) that the Washington Post team probably needed to use scare quotes in the Health & Science feature that ran with this headline: "There’s a dog at this funeral home, ready to pray with you."
Come to think of it, I would have put some quote marks around a specific term in that headline. See if you can figure out which one, after looking at the overture:
“Lulu, say a prayer,’’ Matthew Fiorillo tells his 2½ -year-old goldendoodle. Hearing the command, Lulu, a therapy dog who comforts mourners at Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services in Westchester County, N.Y., puts her paws up onto the kneeler and tilts her head down.