Opinion: "Comments on Context"

December 12, 2005

Source: The Martin E. Marty Center


On December 12, 2005 The Martin E. Marty Center ran its weekly Sightings column by the Center's founder. "In [an] earlier Sightings column, I spoke of an RNA reporter and columnist who could be 'cucumber cool' about her reporting and warm and view-pointed in her columns ('Bishops and Budgets,' November 7). The question: Does she not thus do a disservice to the profession, most of whose members take care to be, and be seen as, if not 'objective,' then at least trustworthily 'fair-minded' in their reporting? Might writing as a religiously 'outed' Mormon, evangelical, Catholic, Lutheran, etc. sabotage the trust? Let me weigh in by saying: not necessarily. In my dual profession we worry about analogues to this problem. I can give a public lecture to town-and-gown communities, and teach a class (or write a book) in which my 'faith commitment' does not show—and then stride into chapel and preach my version of a 'faith-based' Christian sermon... Theoretically, these differences might imply some contradictions, and yet people with passion and finesse negotiate the modes and voices. So, it is, I argue, with a person who, as a scholar, brings a set of covenants to a classroom, and brings that same set outside it, as an activist—or with a reporter on the news pages and the same person when writing opinion pieces."

See also: Interfaith, Campus