Pride Day

Looking in a journalism mirror again: Lots of atheists will visit Bible Belt city at Easter

Looking in a journalism mirror again: Lots of atheists will visit Bible Belt city at Easter

It's time for another look at a mirror-image question linked to religion reporting.

However, before we get to the story of the day (ignore the nearby art, please), let's start by creating a news-mirror option that turns today's journalism equation on its head.

Let's say that Pride Day is just around the corner in San Francisco and, of course, everywhere else in modern culture. But, obviously, San Francisco is at the heart of LBGTQ culture, so let's focus there. Pride Day is a holiday that approaches holy day status.

So, what would happen at some point in the future if a large convention of religious conservatives -- people who believe that sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin -- decided to hold a national convention in San Francisco that coincided with Pride Day? What if this group included people who consider themselves (trigger warning) ex-gays?

This mirror-image scenario raises two questions: (1) How would LGBTQ leaders react? And (2) how would this potential conflict be framed in local media?

Now, what about the real news story that we need to look at? Here is the top of a recent Oklahoman story -- "Christian leaders say they aren't fazed by atheists' metro gathering" -- that inspired a note from a veteran GetReligion reader:

Holy Week and Easter Sunday in the Oklahoma City metro area will not be tarnished by a national gathering of atheists, several Christian leaders said recently.
"We ought not to be threatened by people who don't believe," said the Rev. A. Byron Coleman, senior pastor of Fifth Street Missionary Baptist Church, 801 NE 5. "It doesn't reshape the narrative of the Christian Church to have an atheist convention coming to town. We're still going to have Resurrection Sunday and we're still going to eat ham after church."

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