Before I head out the door to the airport here in Kiev (after spending most of Sunday here), I thought I would quickly put up a non-news, but religion-beat oriented, note from Rod "friend of this blog" Dreher. Rod is currently in Cambridge, England, studying as part of Templeton Foundation program on faith and science. I am sure that will lead to all kinds of interesting Dreher material.
However, he is also reading the local newspapers. Duh. And that activity led him to make the following remarks, which I hope will draw lots of comments from religion-beat professionals as well as GetReligion readers in Britain.
Yesterday I had occasion to speak with a British religion journalist, and told her that as a general matter, I found British newspapers' coverage of religion to be far more serious than that in American newspapers -- this, even though Britain is a far more secular country than the US. I asked her why that might be. She speculated that the English education system makes it difficult to dismiss the Christian point of view, even if one disagrees with Christians. In other words, Christians are taken seriously from an intellectual point of view, even if people don't agree with them.
I'm in no position to say how much validity there is to her point. But thinking about it further, it seems to me that in America, though we're more religiously observant than the British, we don't like to debate and discuss the propositional truths of religion. We prefer to treat religion, at least in our media, as a hobby ancillary to real life. The British media, for all their secularism, at least seem to treat religion with more intellectual seriousness.
Personally, I think there are mainstream U.S. papers that do a better job of religion reporting, in terms of dealing with a much wider array of topics. I could name names, but I think I'll let GetReligion readers weigh in first.
Meanwhile, I think that the Brits tend to view the church as politics, first, and religion, second, and we all know that politics is the real, true faith in most mainstream newsrooms. Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Thus, religion is purely political. I'll send a note about this post to Dreher and ask him if he can give us some recent URLs for religion stories on the other side of the Great Pond that he thinks are especially good.
Punch "comment." Fire at will. Or Rod. Or me.