So many religion stories this week, so little time. I wish there were more stories parsing the prayers of Bishop Gene Robinson and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, but it seems that almost all of the interest is with the Rev. Rick Warren. The variance in scrutiny is odd, to say the least. This Yahoo! News story, in fact, begins a brief puff piece on Lowery with this statement:
While Obama's choice of Rick Warren may have sparked controversy, his pick for the benediction could not have been more fitting of the occasion.
To support the claim, the reporter highlighted Lowery's support for same-sex marriage. So it's controversial to oppose same-sex marriage but not to support it. Got it. Hint to reporters: controversy is not defined by the holding of views you personally oppose. When only 9 percent of those polled by Gallup report any opposition to the pick of Warren for the invocation, the controversy is overrated.
Anyway, the Los Angeles Times had a piece headlined "Rick Warren's inaugural invocation gets mixed reviews." Here's the subhed:
Critics of his stance on California's gay marriage measure welcome his inclusive language. But others question his use of a Christian prayer.
So, as you might expect from that subhed, the piece focuses on gay rights activists and people who oppose Christian prayers in the public square. That's not exactly representative of the public:
Yet even as the founder of Orange County's Saddleback Church appeared to mollify those who have fought with him over gay marriage, he raised other eyebrows by invoking Jesus' name and concluding with the Lord's Prayer -- both distinctly Christian practices on a day that has typically been characterized by more general expressions of "civil religion."
In fact, the only other group represented in the story are gay rights activists who weren't mollified. Is this what the American public looks like from the perspective of the Los Angeles Times? Were there really no other noteworthy perspectives on Warren's prayer?