Any of you who have been reading me know that one of the themes here is the way religion is treated in journalism (and other of what the Brits call “factual” programming).  You may also know that I continue to be a fan of the way Terry Gross handles religion in her interviews on Fresh Air.  Well, today was another example.  Her guest was Jonathan Karp, the editor and publisher of the new Ted Kennedy autobiography.  One of the themes that emerged was the way that Kennedy’s faith influenced his values and politics.  Karp at one point suggested that to understand Kennedy, you had to understand the Gospel of Matthew.  Terry Gross proceeded to quote relevant passages from Matthew dealing with the poor.  This treated the religious sources of his values as a fact within the realm of accepted cultural knowledge, rather than as something exotic or marginal.  Not too much (which is the way religion has been pressed on the rest of us by its strident on-air advocates) nor too little (as in the more typical public broadcasting approach) but pretty near perfect.  Their subsequent discussion of religion was also very responsibly done.  I’d be interested in others’ views….

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