Is it Time's job to get religion?

This is the cover of the new issue of Time magazine dedicated to "What Really Happened, 2000-2010." If you are interested in religion news, there is very, very, very little need to purchase and read this issue. Apparently, the decade in question did not contain many events or issues that were influenced by religion to any significant degree.


That whole Sept. 11 thing? Not really.

How about the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the looming struggles with Iran? Well, there is this passage in the feature entitled "Iraq: Missed Steps." There is no way to link to the essay by bureau chief Bobby Gosh, since Time did not see fit to do that online (other than this Web extra video). But here is the key passage, which, in it's own way, is an excellent summary of the whole magazine.

The setting is the just-captured Tigris palace of Saddam Hussein.

Inside Saddam's gilt- and chintz-filled office, I found a Marine taking down one of the Iraqi flags that hung next to the dictator's desk and asking his Kurdish interpreter to translate the green Arabic lettering that ran through the middle. I'll never know why the Kurd lied, replying, "It says, 'Saddam Hussein.' " (It actually read, Allahu akbar, or "God is great.") Delighted, the Marine took the flag out to the main portico and brandished it at the crowd of Iraqis. Then he fired up a Zippo lighter and, with a triumphant look, announced, "This is what we'll do to Saddam!"

The Iraqis were aghast.

Nope, no religion ghosts in that scene. None at all.

The decade in question, of course, is the one in which -- for nearly seven years -- your GetReligionistas have been doing what we do, which is arguing that it is impossible for mainstream journalists to understand what is going on in many of the most important events and trends in the real world without understanding the role played by religious faith in the past and the present. Do you really have doubts about a major role for religion in the future?

But don't look for that in this highly symbolic issue of Time. If, however, you are interested in the iconic power of Shrek, there is a rather interesting essay on page 80.

So, GetReligion readers, does anyone want to click "comment" and nominate a few religious issues or events that were of great importance in this decade? Did issues linked to faith, morality and culture play a significant role in any of our national elections? How about world affairs in general? How about debates about marriage, health care, abortion, religious liberty, education, science (think stem cells, for example), free speech, etc., etc.?

Oh, and if I missed strong religion content in this issue of Time, please let me know. I looked pretty hard.

So what think ye?

Please respect our Commenting Policy