Christianity and Conversion: Like Professional Wrestling?

May 12th, 2007 7:01 AM

Washington Post reporter Alan Cooperman reported in Saturday's Religion section on evangelical scholar Francis Beckwith rejoining the Catholic Church. This is a controversial act, but centered on theology (in this case, the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI). But to find the correct (or the entertaining?) analogy, Cooperman selected a blogger who compared it to Hulk Hogan switching professional wrestling organizations:

The president of the Evangelical Theological Society, an association of 4,300 Protestant theologians, resigned this month because he has joined the Roman Catholic Church.

The May 5 announcement by Francis J. Beckwith, a tenured associate professor at Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco, Tex., has left colleagues gasping for breath and commentators grasping for analogies.

One blogger likened it to Hulk Hogan's defection from the World Wrestling Federation to the rival World Championship Wrestling league.

I don't think Cooperman is trying to be pejorative, but most professional-wrestling analogies are: I must confess I prefer using the professional wrestling analogies on Keith Olbermann, as I did with the AP, which drove devotees of the Church of Olbermann slightly crazy.

UPDATE: The other big story on the Religion page is colleges courting controversy over commencement speakers, with the protagonist of the piece being a Mormon who brought Ralph Nader to Brigham Young for an alternative commencement. The reporter, Daniel Burke of Religion News Service, presses the Cardinal Newman Society, a "conservative group." Nader and his fans aren't described as liberals. Nader was merely an "activist." Burke didn't wonder why it would somehow cost $26,000 to bring Nader to Utah...