The original sin of religion reporting is the failure to believe what religious people say. There’s always an “other” reason for their actions. In much coverage of American Christianity, this mindset is obvious: You believe that God ordained marriage as the union of a man and a woman? Well, that’s just bigotry in search of a belief system, religion wielded as a club against the marginalized.
Our nation has consistently misunderstood the challenge posed by jihadist terror, too, in part because our secular leaders and reporters often don’t believe jihadists mean what they say. Too many in the mainstream press believe jihadists are mainly motivated by resentment of colonialism, or by anger over the Iraq war, or by American support for Israel, rather than by the deep and ancient desire to spread fundamentalist Islam across the entire world.
... Then there’s the third sin: the belief that a good Google search or a quick Wikipedia read transforms a reporter into a theologian. Few things are more irritating than the argument that, “If you really believed the Bible then you’d . . . ” followed by a theological interpretation of such profound stupidity that you’d be embarrassed for the reporter if he or she had an ounce of shame.
... in my experience, secular reporters are selectively credulous. They’ll accept at face value a secular activist’s motivations and question their sincerity only when presented with evidence of opportunism. But when it comes time to extend the same charity to a Christian, they either can’t or won’t discard their skepticism that he truly believes the tenets of a faith that they find to be repressive nonsense.
Unfortunately this is not unique to journalism but is increasingly symptomatic of much of the culture. As some abandon the faith (1 Tim 4:1) and drift into apostasy, they become unwitting allies with the forces of darkness who engage the church with rising hostility. The lunacy rampaging through much of the culture is highlighted by Whoopi Goldberg's ludicrous claim that celebrating Christmas is the same as the right to an abortion ...