13 Jan 2009

Indianapolis Newspaper Axes Daily Christian Prayer

A small victory for secularism came from an unlikely source as the Indianapolis Star decided to stop publishing its daily Christian prayer.

Dennis Ryerson, the IndyStar editor was suitably contrite and hailing from a Norwegian Lutheran family felt his Christian credentials untarnished. Although in his editorial announcement he does let slip a slight lack of brotherly feelings towards Methodists!

"I'd long wondered about the appropriateness of a secular institution such as a newspaper practicing prayer each day. I long have reflected on a conversation I had with more than three dozen priests, evangelical leaders, rabbis and ministers several years ago. They were unanimous -- our job is to report the news; our job isn't their job, which is to practice religion."

So sounds like the men in robes were fine with the idea. One slight problem were the bleating sheep. "We've received larger reactions to previous changes we've made but nothing so large over so few words: A one-sentence generic prayer often tailored to events of the day."

As a way to express their general anger whilst not losing them as readers a religious (Christian) Thou Shalt Blog was started.

I haven't read all the comments but there are a few funny ones, such as that the paper was not so much cutting printing costs but was worried God might charge a syndication fee. There is also one good point about why the paper doesn't also remove horoscopes, although they tend to be counted as entertainment.

So, a slightly strange scenario for the USA in having a curb on Christian propaganda... and even stranger being implemented by a man who was brought up in a deeply religious community, but one that dislikes shouting about it.

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