Sometimes the best way to cover an address -- or a sermon -- by a very controversial figure is to set out to accomplish one basic, but essential task.
Just. Quote. What. Was. Said.
In this case, if there are people who will be angered by this controversial Southern Baptist preacher's words, then quoting the text accurately and at length will probably make them angry. Can I hear an "Amen"?
At the same time, quoting his words at length -- in context, with minimal editorial framing -- will probably please the preacher's supporters. Of course, there are plenty of preachers who won't be happy with what journalists write, no matter what. That's just the way things go, sometimes.
This brings us to Sarah "Yes, she used to be a GetReligionista" Pulliam Bailey's quick take in The Washington Post on the pre-inauguration sermon by the Rev. Robert Jeffress, the lightning-rod (for pretty much everyone, including many young evangelicals) leader of the First Baptist Church of Dallas.
This sermon was delivered in the small sanctuary of St. John's Episcopal Church, across from the White House. It was not a major media event and, thus, it is significant that the digital version of the Post report ends with the verbatim text of the sermon. Bravo.
After offering a lede that stated the obvious (but didn't drown readers in venom, like CNN) -- Jeffress has a "history of inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and gays" -- Bailey launched into a combination of direct quotes and paraphrases that let Jeffress speak for himself. The political angles were highlighted, but not pounded into the reader's head with a mallet. Thus, readers learned that Jeffress:
... compared Trump to the story of the biblical leader Nehemiah who helped rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its walls after the people of Judah had been exiled from the land of Israel.