Get Religion.org takes on the issue of media perceptions as it relates to the current Anglican crisis.
Clearly, the Anglican vs. Episcopal warfare is just getting started at the local level here in the United States, which means that more and more religion reporters are going to have to wade into this journalistic swamp in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Those on both sides of this debate would likely admit that keeping up is hard to do. Andy Figueroa’s Wiki Timeline (duly linked in the article, by the way) makes keeping score a little easier and reporters would do well to consider it required reading. Possibly it could become an aid for reporters and enable them to avoid words like perceived.
The most interesting word, journalistically speaking, in Kay’s report is the word “perceived” in the statement that traditionalists are upset about the “perceived liberal direction of the Episcopal Church.” This interests me, because I think we have reached the point where leaders on the Episcopal left are openly and honestly saying that God wants their church to move in a liberal, or progressive, direction.
“Perceived”? Let’s turn that around. If the Anglican right was victorious tomorrow and somehow began to pass and enforce statements, well, that salvation can only be found through Jesus Christ, that clergy must preach that the resurrection literally happened and that sex outside of marriage is a sin, would The Sun write that mainstream Episcopal leaders were upset that their church was swinging in what they “perceived” was a conservative or even, heaven forbid, a “fundamentalist” direction? Would anyone doubt that the facts were clear?
One thing is for certain. The line that divides us is becoming more deeply defined every day.