by Kerry Dougherty
Chances are you were too busy last weekend, or too smart, to bother with The New York Times.
But had you glanced at it, as I did, you would have seen this piece, promoted on the front page:
“In This Time of War, I Propose We Give Up God.”
The editors of The Times ran this story on a weekend that is holy to all three major religions: for Christians, it was Easter. For Jews, Passover. And for Muslims, this is part of the holy month of Ramadan.
I read the piece, by the way. Written by a Jewish man apparently still haunted by some of the metaphorical stories he heard in his youth about the ancient Jews.
In my opinion, it was drivel. But even drivel has its place.
But why was it published on this particular weekend? Did anyone at The Times consider that the article might be offensive to those with a religious bent? Who at that newspaper thought the timing was exquisite?
I spent 42 years in daily newspapers and I believe this wasn’t an accident. It was a deliberate thumb in the eye to believers.
Coverage of religion has always been anemic at most American newspapers. When forced to dabble in a news story with a religious twist, reporters tend to treat the faithful as simple, quaint curiosities whose lives are driven by belief in the supernatural.
I can’t find a recent survey of the religious beliefs of American journalists. The closest was a 2008 study conducted by the Pew Research Center that found that just 8% of those working at national publications attended religious services weekly. That was far below the national average of nearly 40% for the general population.
Perhaps that explains why the media was mute when blue state governors closed churches two years ago — on Easter, no less! — in a heavy-handed and fruitless attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
It was unthinkable then. It’s unthinkable now.
Don’t be fooled into believing that news outlets care about American values.
The corporate media doesn’t like you, doesn’t respect you and sneers at your belief in God.
This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.