Easter is the most important holiday of the largest religious group in the United States of America. National Public Radio is the taxpayer-funded quasi-state broadcaster of the United States of America, as well as being one of its largest news organizations.
In an ideal and/or sane world, this would mean that entity B would know something about holiday A. I mean, just the basics would be fine: Jesus died for the sins of humankind on Good Friday, rose from his grave on Easter Sunday, all of that good stuff that even the most desultory Christian would know.
If the person writing a story on Easter in this ideal and/or sane world didn’t know these basic facts, one might think they would consult someone in the office who did know it — or perhaps their editor would know and correct them.
We do not live in this ideal and/or sane world. Instead, we have this notice on NPR’s website:
Now, I’m not sure whether this is a bad attempt at snark or just total misinformation. It appeared in an article about Pope Francis’ controversial alleged statement that there is no hell (and the controversy over whether he actually said it).
The line, which is the last in the story, now reads, “Easter — the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection — is on Sunday.”
According to The Washington Post, “(a)n NPR spokeswoman declined to say how the erroneous description of Easter reached publication.”
My reaction to this, alas, was already taken by conservative journalist Rod Dreher:
NPR issued this embarrassing correction today. I assume will be no questioning within the NPR newsroom about its lack of religious literacy and religious diversity. pic.twitter.com/iIfh5YXu4b
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) March 30, 2018
Had this kind of idiocy or misinformation occurred about literally any of the hundreds of religions practiced across America, there would have been a gnashing of teeth and a rending of tote bags to be heard in every corner of National Public Radio headquarters. You would be as likely to hear that writer’s byline again anywhere on NPR as you would the words, “Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…”
I’m actually not really outraged. This is really amazing. NPR is so dangerously uneducated on Christianity that this managed to make it past how many levels of gatekeeping? I mean, forget the fact that someone had to write this — surely other eyes saw this before it made its way onto the website.
And you know what? Nobody’s going to call for change. There won’t be any calls for increasing the number of practicing Christians in the workplace or anything like that. Nothing will happen.
This kind of ignorance would be risible were it not for the fact that NPR is taking our tax dollars. That’s what makes this shocking display of ignorance truly sad.
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