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One of the hardest things to explain to newsroom managers, when you’re making a case for them to hire a religion-beat pro, is the astonishing level of complexity that exists in religion news — in terms of the doctrines, rites, structures, history and language of the religious groups that simply must be covered.
While we’re at it, what does “evangelical” mean in the title of the ELCA, one of America’s most doctrinally progressive-liberal flocks?
Words - Matter - Ride - Headlines - Tom
Words matter. So you just knew we were in for a rough ride, journalistically speaking, when headlines like this one began to sprout online: “Peeping Tom in Nashville Store Turns Out to Be High-Ranking Mormon Leader.” Things got really rough when local-TV news kicked in.
Now, I realize that this particular headline ran at a Patheos advocacy site called — Friendly Atheist. But this online post did combine lots of the issues and stumbles one could find elsewhere. Let us attend:
Man - H - M - Store - Opry
It’s bad enough that a man in an H&M retail store inside the Opry Mills shopping center in Nashville, Tennessee was caught spying on a woman whom he led into a dressing room (apparently acting like a sales rep).
It’s even worse that the man’s wife attempted to stop the woman from calling police.
Kicker - Man - Question - Stephen - Murdock
But the kicker? The man in question, Stephen Murdock, is a Mormon bishop.
Combine the present-tense reference to this man bing a bishop with the phrase “High-Ranking Mormon Leader” and it would appear that a member of the church’s national hierarchy had fallen.
New - York - Post - Information - Murdock
Here is how The New York Post summed up the crucial information about Murdock’s standing:
A high-ranking member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was busted taking photos of a woman in a store’s dressing room, according to police and church officials.
Steven - Murdock - Mormon - Councilor - Bishop
Steven Murdock, 55, a Mormon high councilor and one-time bishop, encouraged a...
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Satan's greatest desire is to convince the world he doesn't exist, and he has quite nearly succeeded.