A regular GetReligion reader alerted us to a New Orleans Times-Picayune story on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender:
Gov. Bobby Jindal has declined to comment on Pope Francis' position that evolution and the Big Bang are real and whether the pope's beliefs will influence his views on the issue going forward.
The pope said last week that God didn't use a "magic wand" to form the universe. He said evolution explains how God allows his creation to develop.
"The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it," the pope said. "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."
The reader complained about the headline's description of Jindal as "silent" on Francis' remarks:
So are Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Mark Dayton, Chris Christie and many other politicians. This is one of the dumbest stories I’ve ever read!
My first thought was: Why does an evangelical politician need to respond to the pope? But then I recalled — as the Times-Picayune story notes — that Jindal actually is Catholic. He's an "evangelical Catholic," as media organizations such as the Washington Post have described him.
Given Jindal's religious affiliation, asking him about what the pope said doesn't strike me as terribly offensive.
In fact, the story explains why the issue might be considered newsworthy:
Jindal, a Catholic who also holds a degree in Biology, believes God created the universe, but he has said he wants his children to learn about evolution.
The pope's belief in evolution is not likely to spurn any action from Jindal to change the controversial Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows public schools to infuse creationism into their science curriculums.
The scientific community fought against the bill before it was passed in 2008, claiming it was anti-science. Proponents of the bill, with the support of some religious organizations, argued it promoted critical thinking for students as they pondered the origins of life.
New Jersey Gov. Christie is indeed Catholic. He told reporters in 2011 that his beliefs concerning evolution and creationism were "none of your business."
Your turn, GetReligion readers: Did the Times-Picayune waste ink or not on Jindal's no-comment?