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Health crises in the Global South cannot be underreported. In the United States, they get far, far too little media attention, proportionate to the amount of coverage of the latest fad diet or cosmetic surgery trend. For example, 780 million people do not have access to clean water. 3.4 million die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene related causes. How many stories have you seen in the last year in American media about water in the developing world? You can probably count them on one hand.
Health care is a moral issue. That’s what makes it, by nature, a religious issue. So I’ve made global health and humanitarian aid the focus of an ongoing series of articles as part of my work on journalism of religion at Stories Untold.
Note: this essay contains references to sexual assault and gender-based violence. Last update: January 7, 2016.
Starting in 2011, a pastor, now a priest, named Ginger Strickland, and her bishop, Pierre Whalon, as well as a number of other Episcopal Church officials, tried to cover up a sexual misconduct case in Paris and New York, in which I was the victim and which I originally brought to light. They used every tactic they could: invoking lawyers, pressuring newspapers, shutting off contact with me, physically barring me from church buildings, publishing false stories, emotional bullying, gaslighting, and so forth. These machinations may have, indeed, typically worked, 25 years ago, to suppress priest misconduct allegations. But nowadays we have the Internet, which allows most anyone to publish anything to the world. So, powerful people cannot cover things up the way they used to — and you, and I, and the rest of us regular people, are all the better off for it. Continue reading “How Episcopal Leaders Made a Deal with the New York Post to Misreport on Sexual Miconduct” »
Prompted by an editor who has worked at NGOs for years fighting human trafficking, this series started with an interview with an Evangelical megapastor, and then an academic who raises questions about whether Evangelicals are monopolizing American anti-trafficking efforts. A lively debate proceeded from there, which took us from Nepal to South Africa and back to New York City.
It was suggested to me that I interview popular preacher R.J. Sproul, Jr., about his new DVD series, Economics for Everybody. The interview ultimately raised not just questions about goods and services, but about how clerics use their discipline to try to promote economic ideologies.
This conversation began when I interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills about his new book, Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition. The interview occurred just prior to the Papal Conclave following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The interview prompted reaction from the Roman Catholic left and right as well as American Anglicans, all of whom gave their thoughts about the priesthood from a theological, historical, and anthropological perspective.
Pope Francis’ Jesuit origins prompted a follow-up interview with J. Patrick Hornbeck, II, a theology professor at the Jesuit Fordham University in the Bronx: