Miichael Gerson is a graduate of one of America's best known evangelical liberal arts schools -- Wheaton College.
He has been a mainstream journalist, as well as a writer for Christian think tanks.
Gerson is, of course, best known for his work as a presidential speech writer for George W. Bush. He then moved into the role of the well-connected Washington, D.C., pundit, writing columns for the Washington Post op-ed page while holding various semi-academic research posts as a public intellectual at the Council for Foreign Relations and other groups.
It's safe to say that Gerson is capable of writing a column that is aimed at one specific DC crowd, while including information and themes that are relevant to other Beltway audiences.
Consider his Post piece on the "loud dogma" controversy that I have been writing about all week (click here for podcast) at GetReligion. The headline: "Senate Democrats show off their anti-religious bigotry."
We are, of course, talking about the recent U.S. Senate hearing in which Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and others, probed judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett about the fine details of her traditional Catholic beliefs. Mainstream news coverage of this event was thin to nonexistent, but opinion writers of various stripes have had a field day. It's the new American journalism.
Here is my question: Gerson's column is about Democrats in the Senate. But there are places where one could switch his target to the mainstream press and his language would work just fine, if I believes that many journalists struggle to do news coverage of traditional forms of religious faith.
First, here is a key passage near the top of Gerson's column:
Barrett is an instructive test case of secular, liberal unease with earnest faith, particularly in its Catholic variety. She is, in the description of a letter signed by every full-time member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty, “a brilliant teacher and scholar, and a warm and generous colleague. She possesses in abundance all of the other qualities that shape extraordinary jurists: discipline, intellect, wisdom, impeccable temperament, and above all, fundamental decency and humanity.”
Barrett is also, not coincidentally, a serious Christian believer who has spoken like one in public.