Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Program on Public Values. He joined Trinity College after working as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He writes on news media coverage of religious subject matter.
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Blogs » Mark Silk - Spiritual Politics
Yesterday RNS posted a piece by evangelical author Jonathan Merritt arguing that the mainstream media narrative about Mitt Romney's problem with evangelicals is a myth. There are two flaws with his analysis. First, no such mainstream media narrative exists at the present time. And second, if it did, we might actually have an answer to the question.
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On September 11, 1857, 155 years to the day before Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed by angry religious zealots in Libya, a Mormon militia in southern Utah slaughtered 120 members of a wagon train en route from Arkansas to California. The perpetrators of the Mountain Meadows Massacre had a lot to be angry about themselves.
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Like most Republican politicians, Mitt Romney readily invokes the "Judeo-Christian" as a source of America's greatness. But Sunday, on Meet the Press, he went a step farther and made the it the source of his own higher calling.
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To comprehend the immensity of Bill Donohue's chutzpah, you need to click right over to dotCommonweal and read Grant Gallicho's demolition of his defense of convicted Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn.
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The weekend's big think piece from Politico pundits-in-chief Jim Vanderhei and Mike Allen pronounced that in contrast to the Obama campaign's narrow-casting appeals to particular constituencies, the Romney strategy down the home stretch would be single-issue.
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Word out of Kansas City is that Bishop Robert Finn and his diocese will be spared the indignity of a trial by jury later this month on criminal misdemeanor charges of failing to report a suspected pedophile priest to the proper civil authorities.
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The outsider view is that Mormons are good people with strange beliefs. But what sets them apart in their own minds is their story. As with the Jews, it's the narrative of the people that bulks largest in their collective sense of self. And that's why the estimable Joanna Brooks is disappointed with her most famous co-religionist's presentation of his faith to the American people.
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