In a post last month titled "Can a laundromat replace the traditional church?" I reviewed an NPR story out of California.
I ended that critique like this:
How exactly is the laundromat an alternative to church? Are there any spiritual aspects to the ministry — such as praying or reading the Bible? Does (organizer Shannon) Kassoff really come to the laundromat instead of going to church, or is the interviewee speaking metaphorically?
NPR does not provide answers to such basic questions — leaving the reader's (or listener's) clothes dripping wet after a half-done wash cycle.
My sarcastic tone drew the attention of my friend Dawn Shelton, who attended Oklahoma Christian University with me and later worked in broadcast media.
Dawn's basic question to me: Couldn't you be nicer?
"NPR did a faith-based story. BOOM," Dawn wrote in a message that she gave me permission to share. "I loved it when I heard it on the air. I imagine the number of Christians in the entire NPR outfit is close to ZERO."
In other words, people of faith should be happy that NPR attempted a religion story but not expect too much out of it.