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-Religion Newswriters: 2011 Top 10 Religion Stories

by Dr. D ~ December 31st, 2011

English: Osama bin Laden interviewed for Daily...

         (Image via Wikipedia)

Our exploration of the top stories on religion and culture in 2011 continues.

Here’s the top ten religion stories for 2011 according to a survey taken of members of the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA. A professional organization of religion beat specialists:

1. The death of Osama bin Laden spurs discussions among people of faith on issues of forgiveness, peace,  justice and retribution.

2. Lively congressional hearings are held on the civil rights of American Muslims. In the House hearings focus on alleged radicalism and in the Senate on crimes reported against Muslims.

3. Catholic Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City. Mo. is charged with failure to report the suspected abuse of a child, becoming the first active bishop in the country to face criminal prosecution in such a case.

4. The Catholic Church introduces a new translation of the Roman Missal throughout the English–speaking world, making the first significant change to a liturgy since 1973.

5. Presbyterian Church (USA) allows local option on ordination of partnered gay people. Church defections over the issue continue among mainline Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Episcopalians.

6. Pope John Paul II is beatified—the last step before sainthood—in a May ceremony attended by more than million people in Rome.

7. California evangelist Harold Camping attracts attention with his predictions that the world would end in May and again in October.

8. A book by Michigan megachurch pastor Rob Bell, "Love Wins," presenting a much less harsh picture of hell than is traditional, stirs discussion in evangelical circles.  Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention rebut it.

9. The Personhood Initiative, designed to outlaw abortion by declaring a fetus a person, fails on Election Day in Mississippi, but advocates plan to try in other states. Meanwhile, reports show the number of restrictions adopted throughout the country against abortion during the year are far more than in any previous year.

10. Bible translations make news, with celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version; criticism, notably by Southern Baptists, about gender usage in the newest New International Version; and completion of the Common English Bible.

<<Read the rest and see what stories rated from 11-22>>

Response: Is the killing of Osama bin Laden really the top ‘religion’ story of 2011? Hardly.

This list is a good one though I would take exception to the listing of The death of Osama bin Laden as the top ‘religion’ story of the year. In fact I would not put Christian reaction to the killing anywhere near the top ten.

For most Christians in America it was not even close to being controversial as the more liberal media would like to portray it. In fact at the time, religion writers from the main news media sources seemed to go over board in trying to make a moral issue out of it and most religious leaders declined to participate in the self-flagellation.

Though some of our brethren from so-called ‘main stream’ churches did participate with crocodile tears. Its inclusion as the ‘Top Religion Story’ of the year may reveal a decided liberal bias among professional religion writers.             *Top

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