We looked briefly last post at efforts to have anti-Mormon, pro-same-sex-marriage rally at a Romney book signing. Check out the results – yes, the photographs show the ENTIRE protest. You know you are in trouble when your rally requires bagpipes, the loudest musical instrument known to man, to attract attention.
This is so disingenuous it’s not even funny. The left so wants religion and the public square to be separate, but they so willingly co-mingle them in an instance like this because it gets them the attention they want. Romney has gone out of his way to say little more than “I am a Mormon,” but this group insists that he somehow — no one has yet explained to me how — change his church’s policy on the matter.
The fact is this is a “twofer” for the left. They take shots at their pet issue and the leading Republican possible, who keeps getting in front of the parade, all at the same time. Problem is, they grossly underestimate how incredibly annoying most people find bagpipes – unless you’re in Scotland where they are quaint. Even a peaceful demonstration could get arrested for disturbing the peace with those things around – they can be heard for miles.
Religion and The Media
That’s a pretty good start to a potentially meaty religion story. Unfortunately, this piece focuses almost entirely on the politics and neglects important spiritual and theological elements. Religion ghosts, anyone?
For one thing, we have a profile of a reverend with absolutely no details on his religious background — or his personal background, for that matter. We don’t find out if he was raised evangelical or perhaps converted from the Roman Catholic Church. We get no clue about his personal denominational affiliation — is he a Southern Baptist, a Nazarene, a member of an Assembly of God? Was he born in the United States? Or did he immigrate from Mexico or another Latin American country? To me, these seem like relevant questions in such a story.
There is some interesting criticism there, but also very dangerous. The WaPo piece is clearly press agent/news release regurgitation with little actual investigative effort – lazy journalism – that deserves criticism.
We also are not big fans here of reporting on pure political activity by religious groups because of how much it confuses religion and politics. People often form religious affiliations based on political action which tends to dilute the religious practice of the group.
But I wonder how much reporting on the religious aspects of the story, as Get Religion suggests:
Moreover, we have an entire story focused on Latino evangelicals supporting immigration reform, but with no exploration of spiritual or theological reasons for such a position.
In depth would be helpful. I am not at all sure that a non-adherent reporter could even come close to accurate description of “spiritual or theological” aspects of any religious story. Witness how much they screwed up reporting Mormon belief during 2008.
In then end it’s up to the religious organization to get their story out, like they want it.
Finally . . .
A synopsis of Chaput. Quoting the Archbishop:
. . . Too many Catholics confuse their personal opinions with a real Christian conscience. Too many live their faith as if it were a private idiosyncrasy, the kind that they’ll never allow to become a public nuisance. And too many just don’t really believe. Maybe it’s different in Protestant circles.
“But I hope you’ll forgive me if I say, ‘I doubt it.’ “
I wonder how long it will be before someone on the left reads that comment about “real Christian conscience” as a “threat” of the church dictating political stances to candidates? Probably out there already in some ill-read leftie blog.
Lowell adds . . .
The Romney bookstore protest does seem a little silly. We’ll never see the day when a Catholic candidate is taken to task for the positions his or her church takes on public issues. By the way, if you Google “Mitt Romney gay Deseret Book,” or combinations thereof , the only news stories you will find about the mini-protest are on gay newspapers or blogs. I did find this coverage in the DelMar Times, a community newspaper:
A crowd estimated at about 1,000 turned out to get autographs from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who appeared at Deseret Bookstore in La Jolla Village Square to promote his new book on Monday night. He and his wife Ann, who own a home in La Jolla, visited the Deseret Book Store Monday night. Among the crowd was Rocky Kuonen of San Marcos. About a dozen protesters lined up outside the center, urging Romney to change his stand on gay marriage.
That’s it – the whole story. Hey Jason, can you spell “pathetic?”