Great ‘Times’ across the pond
As a religion editor who has a Web page of his own, I am officially jealous of the religion page of the Times Online. It’s inviting, informative and intelligent. (And it apparently inspires alliteration.)
A “Top Stories” section and photos heads the page. Then come columns and features, along with holidays like Passover. There’s some interesting opinion, like the Archbishop of Canterbury warning the British government not to try to spend its way out of a recession — something American officials should heed as well.
There’s also some quirky stuff, like an item on Iceland’s Alfaskolinn, or Elf-School — along with the fact that 54 percent of Icelanders do not “discount” the existence of the hidden folk.
One weakness: Some of the articles appear to have been written by readers, or bloggers, or at least very biased journalists. A good example is a piece that strongly takes the side of a Christian charity worker who was suspended for stating his beliefs on homosexuality. Fortunately, the Times Online also has dispatches from its own stable of reporters, such as Richard Owen at the Vatican and Rhys Blakely in India.
The Times Online is fully stocked with opinions — perhaps overstocked, given the size of the blogosphere. But it does have a few surprises. One is Christopher Hitchens, whose latest book is God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. His review of a book about anti-Semitism is perceptive, if a bit meandering.
For the best all-round religion items, though, click Faith News and Blogs. The page pulls in from a wide range of sources — BBC, Reuters, Hindustan Times, the Associated Press — with a matching range of religions.