What an amazing religion story NBC News offered the other day about sin, repentance, forgiveness and a Christian pastor showing some genuinely amazing grace to a KKK leader.
Well, it would have been an astonishing religion feature, if only the newsroom team had included a reporter or a producer who recognized that Christian faith was at the heart of this story of human hatred that was baptized -- literally, in this case -- in love.
It's hard to leave religion out of a born-again story like this one, but the NBC team did its best.
So here is the dramatic, but faith-free, headline on top of the report: "Ex-KKK member denounces hate groups one year after rallying in Charlottesville." And here is the faith-free overture:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nearly one year ago, Ken Parker joined hundreds of other white nationalists at a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. That day, he wore a black shirt with two lightning bolts sewn onto the collar, the uniform of the National Socialist Movement, an American neo-Nazi group.
In the past 12 months, his beliefs and path have been radically changed by the people he has met since the violent clash of white nationalists and counterprotesters led to the death of Heather Heyer, 32.
Now he looks at the shirt he wore that day, laid out in his apartment in Jacksonville, and sees it as a relic from a white nationalist past he has since left behind.
So where is the faith element in this born-again story? Well, Parker had some contacts with opponents of the alt-right that left him somewhat shaky, in a good way. He began to think twice about his beliefs.
Then this happened: