barbecue

Time for a Christmas season lull here at GetReligion (but not a complete break)

Time for a Christmas season lull here at GetReligion (but not a complete break)

This is, as you might expect, the time of year when your GetReligionistas -- like most normal folks -- are scattered all over the place doing holiday and holy day things.

Right now, one of the East Coast guys is on the West Coast. The Oklahoma guy is, I think, currently in Texas (where he spends most of his time during baseball season), or on a highway coming back from the Lone Star State. The lady from the Northwest is currently in the Southwest (and, the last I heard, was in a Texas airport for a long, long time). The Florida guy is in Central Florida and I'm the Tennessee mountains (see photo above), which for some reason currently feel like Central Florida. I mean, it's 75 and humid. Where am I?

As always, posting will not stop here at the website, but the pace will slow somewhat. You never know when a major story will break and most of us will be near WiFi, especially me. But you never know when I am going to hear the call and head deeper into the Hills. With the Nativity Lent fast ending at Midnight tonight, that means it's time to hunt for barbecue, again.

Keep sending us story URLs and tips, which, as always, are much appreciated. We will jump back into regular posting -- with four posts on weekdays as the norm, and the weekly podcast -- on January 4th (also known as the 11th day of Christmas). And those who are traveling, please be careful.

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Holy smoke! Did Baptist News Global spot a ghost in that BBC barbecue report?

Holy smoke! Did Baptist News Global spot a ghost in that BBC barbecue report?

As you would expect, I get lots of email about religion- news stuff. That tends to happen when you've been in the religion-columnist business -- in one form or another -- since 1982. All that old snail mail on dead-tree pulp turned into email. Turn, turn, turn.

I still receive quite a bit of material from denominational wire services and independent religious publications, both large and small. That's one of the places that I find all those "Got news?" items about valid and interesting news stories that are out there, but not in the mainstream press.

During the decades since the great Southern Baptist civil war, I kept reading both the SBC operated Baptist Press and the Associated Baptist Press wire linked to the "moderate," or doctrinally progressive (some would say liberal) Baptist congregations that remain in the larger convention, and a few that have fled. ABP has evolved into a broad, basically mainline-Protestant wire called Baptist News Global. Both Baptist wires are must reading for journalists following the religion beat.

One of the most interesting things Baptist Global News does is offer, in its regular "push" digest online, a selection of links to interesting religion items from other newsrooms. The other day -- right there with retiring Presbyterian leaders, a key Southern Baptist voice calling for more countercultural Christianity and other items -- was a link to a long, interesting BBC report about the fact that America's pop-culture boom linked to barbecue culture seems to have skipped over African-American pitmasters.

 So, as the East Tennessee mountains guy that I am, I dug right into this story -- assuming that it would eventually have an interesting religion hook. After all, why would Baptist News Global have this piece in its news elsewhere list?

I read on, and on. This is about as close as I came to hitting a religion theme:

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