GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

The U.S. election: The U.K. view

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Did the presidential election help or hurt U.S. religion? Five columnists weigh in at The Guardian — and draw more than 130 reader opinions.

The exchange is part of a large religion page produced by the venerable, century-old newspaper in London. The many columns there reveal some fresh, Brit-style thinking.

An atheist art columnist acknowledges the power and beauty of religious images, though he rejects their theology. A religious affairs correspondent files a video from her recent pilgrimage to Mecca. Another writer says sermons are a good idea — just not in stodgy church services.

The choice of items reveals what has The Guardian’s attention. Anglicans, Catholics, Muslims and atheists get lots of content. Jews, Hindus and Buddhists get less. But Christianity in general, including evangelicals and mainline Protestants, gets a whole separate page.

There’s also a bit of weighting. In a special report on Christmas, the Guardian cites several views of Jesus: as Son of God, as a prophet, or just a man who was close to God. No such diversity touches the reports on the Hajj and Ramadan.

Not all the thinking at The Guardian is equally sharp, of course. A liberal rabbi predicts the demise of faith in a supernatural God within 30 years. That funeral has been said for more than a century — and there are more believers, and more religions, than ever.

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Written by Jim Davis

November 15, 2008 at 8:40 pm

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