Source Watch: Post's Boorstein Leaves Out Liberal Leanings of Church Historian

The Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein penned a front page story on two Northern Virginia Episcopal parishes preparing to vote on whether to formally sever ties with the denomination and to submit to the authority of a more conservative Nigerian Anglican bishop. Boorstein gets off to a biased start by labeling said Nigerian bishop as "controversial." No such label was assigned Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts-Schori, although her theology is far from congruent with historic, orthodox Christianity.What's more, one of Boorstein's sources, Diana Butler Bass, was presented merely as "a U.S. church historian." "What will win now? This politicized culture, or that old Anglican, spiritual way of being in the world," Bass told Boorstein, practically casting biblically orthodox Episcopals as rabble rousing radicals within the denomination.That shouldn't be surprising given Bass herself is a liberal Episcopalian, a fact Boorstein doesn't clue us into.A look at Bass's Web site suggests she harbors contempt for politically conservative, and more importantly theologically orthodox Christians:

I travel a lot these days. When sitting on an airplane, a seatmate will inevitably ask me what I do. “I’m a writer,” I usually reply. “Oh, that’s interesting. What do you write about?”I hesitate. Do I really want to answer? Finally, I blurt it out: “Religion. I write about religion.”My seat companion looks askance—almost as if he is sitting next to some sort of fanatic. He obviously worries that I will spend our cross-country flight trying to convince him to accept Jesus in his heart, join an evangelical megachurch, vote for a local religious right candidate, or that the world was created in six 24-hour days. I quickly add, “Not that sort of religion. I don’t write about narrow, right-wing religion.” He looks relieved. “I write about mainstream and progressive Christianity—churches that base their message on God’s love for all people and God’s vision of peace and justice for the world.”[...]Although many people have not yet noticed, there is a quiet revival going on in American religion in its least likely quarters—among moderate and liberal “brand name” Christian congregations, folks like the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Methodists......These Christians practice their faith with renewed enthusiasm, are experimenting with new forms of worship and service, and are, by their insistence on friendship, justice, and diversity, reforming the structures and traditions in which they find themselves. They are NOT the religious right. And, frankly, they do not like the fact that the media depicts most—if not all—American Christians as card-carrying members of suburban megachurches and Focus on the Family.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters