This week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in) is about "religion ghosts" in mainstream news, which is about as basic a GetReligion topic as you can get, seeing as how that was the subject of the very first post on this weblog back on Feb. 1, 2004.
In this case, host Todd Wilken and I were talking about posts in which I focused on Catholic ghosts in the lives of two public figures caught up in very big stories in the mainstream press.
First there was this one: "Spot a religion ghost? Paul Ryan is a busy father who wants to help raise his kids." And the second post was about the young man at the heart of the hidden-camera Planned Parenthood videos: "Washington Post meets David Daleiden, whose Catholic faith is less important than his socks."
In both cases, we were dealing with features stories that were supported to help readers understand what makes these men tick, when dealing with major moral and ethical issues. In both cases, their Catholic faith was all but ignored.
Which brings us back to that "ghost" concept, as explained on GetReligion Day 1. Let us attend:
Day after day, millions of Americans who frequent pews see ghosts when they pick up their newspapers or turn on television news.
They read stories that are important to their lives, yet they seem to catch fleeting glimpses of other characters or other plots between the lines. There seem to be other ideas or influences hiding there.
One minute they are there. The next they are gone. There are ghosts in there, hiding in the ink and the pixels.