American Pietism (“it doesn’t matter what you believe but what you feel in your heart”) and secularism (which views the Bible in public schools as more dangerous than assault weapons) have combined to produce a general state of religious illiteracy in the United States. Newspapers, when they use religious allusions, have to explain them. The Baltimore Sun once referred to Pilate and had to explain in parentheses that he was the Roman official who washed his hands at the trial of Jesus. At least they got the explanation right.
I cringe whenever newspapers start discussing religion. They become wells of misinformation for the reader, whose smattering of information bears little relation to reality. But that is the point. Truth is not, for modern writers, the conformance of the mind to reality, but what serves a partisan agenda. . . .
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