Front Page Religion

Stories about the Pope on page one! Discussions of the Seven Deadly Sins. Review of a book on Passover on the op-ed page. A children’s book on Passover! I can tell you that when I worked for the Globe and Mail (1959-60) religion was decently hidden away in the back pages with news about health, education, marriage and other social matters.

The Women’s Section had a Religion Editor who wrote a weekly column touching gently on what one might call religious “manners and morals.” It also ran announcements of church events: an exhibition of paintings at Grace Church on the Hill, a carol service at Rosedale Presbyterian, and so on. Events and practice were reported, belief avoided.

Of course, everyone had a religious affiliation in those days. And sometimes attended services. But one didn’t talk about it. In my family of origin the kids were taught that there were three topics to avoid at the dinner table: religion (a brief blessing at the start of the meal was allowed, but no discussion, please), money, and whatever.

Now we’re living in the Secular Age. And the newspapers never let up on the subject of religion. Isn’t it the strangest thing? I’m looking at the National Post of a few days ago (April 12, A19). There’s a story on the evangelisation of the Jews, another on a Saudi blogger’s view of Christianity – it’s too violent for his taste – and a announcement (running down a full column) that on his visit to Ground Zero the Pope will pray for the redemption of Islamic terrorists.

1 Response to “Front Page Religion”

  1. 1 Jack April 17, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Strangest thing indeed!

    Bad coverage of the Pope’s trip: Jack Cafferty of CNN remarked that someone had said that if he hadn’t been Pontiff JP II would have been a movie actor. This was for the sake of the comparison to the present Pope who, Cafferty then said, if he hadn’t been Pope, would have been a university professor. No one at CNN seems to be aware that that’s precisely what he was and as such began his vendetta against contemporary progressive Catholic thought.

    I’d also say that the latest news on Tibet is strangely frontpage news. ‘Dalai Lama Plays Billy Graham in Seattle Sportsplex’ might have been an apt headline, but that certainly doesn’t reflect the media’s general read of the man.

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