Invincible Ignorance from the NYT … Again

Sometimes called Aggressive Stupidity by me

by baldilocks

It would be overly optimistic to expect even a small portion of the staff of the New York Times to be Catholic or Protestant. However, it’s even too much to expect any of them to be religiously literate.

This happened in the aftermath of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris:

When the French-speaking priest spoke to the French-speaking [New York Times] reporter […] the priest said he was primarily concerned with saving the crown of the thorns and the Body of Christ, and the secular Times reporter, who obviously has no education whatsoever about even the basics of a religion practiced by a billion-plus people, a religion that helped to usher in Western Civilization, believed the “Body of Christ” could only be the literal body of Christ in the form of a statue.

I bet some of the NYT staff thinks that the crown of thorns is the actual crown forced upon Jesus during His crucifixion.

And where was that journalistic instinct to say, Why is he saying ‘body of Christ’ instead of statue? Maybe I should look into this.

John Nolte points out that this is far from the first time that the Times’ writing and editing staffs have displayed not only their dearth of religious education but also their laziness. I mean, it isn’t as if one has to hoof it to the library and pull down some three-pound books in order to obtain some knowledge in these areas.

In 2013, the Times was forced to issue this humiliating correction: “An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.”

In 2014, the paper reported that “Nearby, the vast Church of the Holy Sepulcher marking the site where many Christians believe Jesus is buried, usually packed with pilgrims, was echoing and empty.”

Uhm, no Christian believes Jesus is buried. To be a Christian is to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.

Again in 2014: “An earlier version of this article misquoted a comment from Malachy McCourt on St. Patrick. Mr. McCourt said, ‘My attitude is, St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, and they all came here and they became conservatives.’ He did not say St. Patrick banished the slaves from Ireland.”

When describing the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II, the Times wrote, “Tucked under his left arm was the silver staff, called the crow’s ear [This cracks me up.  — JAO], that he had carried in public.”

What the Times is actually describing is a ceremonial staff called the “crosier” or “crozier.”

There’s another usage for the term “body of Christ.” It refers to all who have made Jesus the Christ their Lord and Savior, meaning all Christians. As I recall, the Times flunked that class, too.

Seriously, NYT, if you’re going to write about these things, how hard is it to look up a few terms? Christ won’t reach out and smite you from Google’s search field. At least, I don’t think He will. 😊

I think spiritual blindness is the culprit. I’ve seen it before from those who hate Christianity. Such are not true atheists, but anti-theists.

Only an anti-theist would refuse to become even ground-floor literate on Catholicism/Protestantism — a topic for which they are being well-compensated to discuss.

You’d think that the desire to not look ridiculous would at least be a strong motivator. But those blinders are on as well.

Oh well. Happy Resurrection Day and Happy Passover! And may all of our eyes be opened.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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