It is, without a doubt, the question that I hear most often when I have a chance to meet -- face to face -- with GetReligion readers. It's one of the questions I keep seeing in reader emails.
This question: Do we ever get tired of having to address the same journalism issues over and over, writing posts that include links back to previous posts, which then link back to earlier posts and on and on?
That's right: Same as it ever was. It's kind of a deja vu all over again thing.
Yes, we do get rather tired of doing this. However, we keep hoping that at some point journalists will, you know, take an interest in basic facts about how religious institutions -- on the left and right -- do their work as voluntary associations. Why avoid relevant doctrinal and even legal information in stories about controversial issues?
So, before we get to the Inside Higher Ed coverage of the North Park University campus minister who was suspended after performing a same-sex marriage rite, let's do that flashback think that we have to do every now and then. The headline on this earlier post: "Oh no, not again: AP fails to ask school 'covenant' question in LGBTQ teacher case." Here is the echo-chamber overture:
I know. I know. Trust me, I know that your GetReligionistas keep making the same point over and over when digging into mainstream news coverage of LGBTQ teachers (or people in other staff positions) who, after making public declarations of their beliefs on sex and marriage, lose their jobs in doctrinally defined private schools.
We keep making the point over and over because it's a crucial question when covering these stories. When are reporters and editors going to start asking the crucial question?
The question, of course, is this: Had the person who was fired voluntarily signed an employee lifestyle (or doctrinal) covenant in which they promised to support (or at least not openly oppose) the teachings at the heart of the religious school's work?
That brings us to the Rev. Judy Peterson at North Park and this headline: "Gay Wedding Costs College Pastor Her Job."