OK, this is going to be a rather short post. Here is the big news, in the words of a faithful GetReligion reader: "Oh no. They did it again."
Who is "they" in that sentence? Basically, "they" are one or more Internet journalists somewhere who wrote and approved a headline without stopping and thinking about it.
What is the "it" in that sentence? Pay attention as I dig into this a bit. Then we'll get to the use of the word "again."
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is a one-of-a-kind holy site, with various ancient Christian churches in control of this large and complex sanctuary. At the moment, there is a big story unfolding there. Here is the top of a Newsweek report, as run at a Yahoo news site:
Christian leaders have closed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, said to be built on the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, in a protest at Israeli tax policy which they say unfairly targets Christians.
In a rare move, leaders from the Greek, Armenian and Catholic denominations said they were indefinitely closing the church because of a “systematic campaign” by Israeli authorities.
Well, yes, that's one way to say it. The church does contain a shrine built over the tomb of Jesus. However, if you know anything about Christianity -- anything AT ALL -- you probably remember something very important about that tomb. It's that whole Easter thing.
Thus, the reader sent me this headline -- which is the "it" in this sad tale. Here we go:
Jerusalem Church Where Jesus Is Said to be Buried Closed After Tax Dispute With Israeli Government
Yes, I have a screen shot of that headline in case someone at Yahoo gets around to correcting it.
Now, note the verb tense in that headline: Jesus is -- present tense -- buried there. As opposed to saying that there is a tomb there where traditional Christians say he was buried -- past tense -- but then, you know, there was that whole Easter thing.
So who wrote the headline? I would assume someone at Yahoo, unless the error was already in a headline that moved online with the Newsweek report.
Now, I realize there are Christians -- even a few wearing purple shirts -- who don't believe in the Resurrection. I get that. But no one thinks Jesus is buried in that church, while billions of Christians have affirmed and still affirmed that Jesus was raised from the dead. Thus, the tomb is empty.
Now, let's consider the word "again," in that statement, "Oh no. They did it again."
Mainstream journalists did WHAT again?
Please see this 2016 post: "Plant. Face. Palm. Did Facebook team say Jesus is buried in Church of the Holy Sepulchre? (Updated)."
Also, see this headline from 2016: "Believe it or not: The New York Times has quietly returned to its 'Jesus is dead' theme."
"Returned?" See this 2014 headline, pointing readers to a piece by M.Z. Hemingway at The Federalist: "Revenge of GetReligion MZ: Concerning the NYTimes effort to bury Jesus."
Uh, correction No. 2? So there's a No. 1?
As you can see, I could go on with more examples of this theme in mainstream journalism outlets, which is that Christians believe Jesus is dead and buried.
Note: This is incorrect. That is not what Christians believe.
Have a great Lent, folks.
Oh, for copy desks: Lent is the season that leads up to Easter.