Rapt attention

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


We know that god works in mysterious ways but here's one for you.

Definite headline of the year.
BONIFAY, Fla. (AP) — A woman checked out of a Florida hotel and told staff that she was going on a God-directed shooting spree because of the solar eclipse, then shot two drivers on Interstate 10 before being arrested and charged with attempted murder Monday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Taylon Nichelle Celestine, 22, of Georgia, entered the highway 115 miles (180 kilometers) from the Alabama border in the Florida Panhandle and headed west. Within 5 miles (8 kilometers), she fired into a passing car several times, spraying auto glass and grazing the driver in the arm, the department said in a statement.

She then fired at a second vehicle, hitting the driver in the neck. The driver was injured and treated at a hospital.

Troopers stopped the woman after she drove for about 16 miles (26 kilometers) and found her with an AR-15 rifle and 9mm handgun. She was arrested and booked into the Holmes County jail. She was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and improper discharge of a firearm.
My question is what right we have to interfere with her religious liberty? If god says shoot...

Linda sent me this in response: "Were you or a loved one supposed to ascend into heaven for the rapture but didn't? You may be entitled to financial compensation."

Funny world we live in.

Of course we are free to believe or not believe, although in one poll I read that atheists ranked below murderers in the societal approval metrics. They tie with rapists. There have been several studies that support this.

Did you know that there is a correlation between church attendance and higher gun violence? Strange, huh? True.

People don't trust atheists. Even fellow atheists don't trust atheists according to the studies. Yet more and more people are now identifying as atheist or agnostic and church attendance is plummeting globally and here in America. Don't blame me, I'm just a reporter.

According to Pew, believers are still way ahead.

Speaking of religion, and reporting, it seems like religion and faith is spreading more and more into our public discourse. And I wonder if that is necessarily a good thing?

I was looking at the local paper this week and an editor wrote an article about the Hope Clinic for Women that provides birthing information and some health diagnostics for pregnant women (although I don't believe there is a licensed doctor on staff. I could be wrong.)

Anyway they try to talk women out of having abortions and that is obviously their right. My question is the wording of the article itself.
Hope Clinic for Women held its 19th Annual Inspiring Hope Gala March 15 at SonRise Christian Fellowship. With the support of the community, HCW has continued to offer its free services but needs help to keep growing along with the needs of its clients.

Executive Director Carolyn Koole reported that on the services provided in 2023: 23 babies were born to moms in the program; 1,040 client visits provided 4,050 free services; 71 free pregnancy tests and 88 free ultrasounds were given along with 789 individual educational classes.

Besides those services, nine abortion pill rescue treatments were given and over 2,500 volunteer hours were performed. Koole added that 80% of their clients have an annual income of less than $15,000, 69% are single and 52% are under the age of 24.

Last year, God blessed HCW with a matching grant through Zion Lutheran Church. It was also able to replace its 12-year old ultrasound machine and to start a fatherhood program which celebrated its first anniversary the next day. Eight father coaches are currently volunteering their time.
Last line in the last paragraph. Last year, God blessed HCW... 

I really can't recall seeing a line like this written by a reporter in a public newspaper. Or is it a public newspaper? Perhaps it is a private newspaper sometimes read by the public. In any case, it is our only printed local news source.

An editor making a theological statement about a business receiving a divine blessing. Today I looked at the print edition and the publisher has a similar article on the first page that also adopts a seemingly non secular message.

Is this type of religious cheerleading in a newspaper a good thing or a bad thing?  I grew up in publishing and have written for several magazines in my life and no publisher or editor that I knew would ever let a writer take such a stand. But that is then and this is now and I guess I will have to adapt to this brave new world we live in. Or stop reading the paper entirely if I do not care to be proselytized to or accept the fact that it is now a religious screed.

Are public professions of faith in non opinion or editorial news articles that reflect a reporter's personal beliefs a good thing or a bad thing?

What do you think?

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