As I’ve been out sick the past week, I thought I’d collect a few of the weirder items that have landed in my in-box. The first one really made me do a double-take: the Hawaiian state senate approved an “Islam Day” set for this coming Sept. 24 (of all months, WHY September??). You can read about it here, here or the ACLU’s unhappy reaction here.
The state already has a Buddha Day and a Baha’i New Year’s Day but, I notice, nothing approximating a Christian missionaries day even though, to my limited understanding of Hawaii’s history, those missionaries vastly affected what Hawaii is today. Including, yes, importing the muumuu.
I also wanted to add a disturbing item I just learned about: the Dallas Morning News, situated amidst the Bible Belt, has not only reassigned its 3 religion editors and/or reporters away from the beat but also removed these three gentlemen from the DMN’s religion blog. Here is a part of the country where religion is front and central yet, the bean counters at the newspaper don’t care. It’s a good example of How To Alienate Your Readers 101.
Whatever religion coverage there will be at the paper will probably be minimal. Many of us on the religion beat have been commenting on this in recent weeks, figuring that if Dallas can 1. shut down its religion section, 2. reassign its writers and 3. cut the knees off its blog, then none of us are safe. Read about it in the third entry down from the top here.
- Julia Duin, religion editor