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Writing non-religious column in the Bible Belt

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by newspaperman, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    Let's be frank, I'm no Joel Osteen. Hell, I'm not even a Peter Popoff.

    I describe my religious foundation as, let's say, obsolete, to say the least. Although I work in sports, I occasionally write columns for my newspaper. And one topic I want to touch on is religion.

    The problem? I live in the Bible Belt South. My question is do you guys think it's even worth the trouble to explain my point of view, knowing full-well the majority of my audience thinks differently?
  2. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    You are asking for trouble. Seriously.
  3. UNCGrad

    UNCGrad Member

    You know how sarcasm just never works in a column? This would be sarcasm X 100. My old paper (in NC) used to have a weekly religion feature, so I can only imagine how badly it would go over. That said, it's your column. And people talking -- and bitching -- means they're reading.
  4. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Don't publish it until May 22, and there will be no one around to complain.

    Well, except for fakers.
  5. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    I just don't understand why it's all fine and dandy when someone writes about "how God is so good." Yet, their god is so good he — nor them — can stand to hear a dissenting opinion? I'm baffled.
  6. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Once an AP writer wrote a story about Easter leading with something like "Today millions of Christians worldwide commemorate the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ ..." You can imagine how well it went over.

    Stay away. There's no upside.
  7. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    If you feel strongly enough about it, have the opportunity and your editors give you the freedom to do it, then write it.

    Include this: "I just don't understand why it's all fine and dandy when someone writes about "how God is so good." Yet, their god is so good he — nor them — can stand to hear a dissenting opinion? I'm baffled."

    To support that question, talk with some local clergymen and ask them that question. See what they say. It could become more than one column and might be quite a self-examination series of you and your area's religious attitudes.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    What reason is there to believe the area wants it's religious attitudes examined? And people writing about their lack of religion almost always come off as, excuse the expression, holier than thou. The basis is usually that following a religion forces people to suspend their skepticism and education, and since you don't do that you're smarter and more enlightened. That'll win you some readers.

    It's like a vegetarian talking about the long and healthy life he will lead, just after you bite into a burger.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If you want to not believe in a supreme being, go ahead. That is certainly your right.

    If you put it in a column, the Jeezus freaks will descend on you like locusts (a nice biblical reference). See, most of the Bible-floggers are all for "religious freedom," as long as it's a religion pretty much just like their own.

    You're not going to convince anybody. There's no upside.

    Just write about other stuff, and leave God (or his lack of existence) out of it.
  10. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I think there is an upside, if you do it right.

    Would this just be a first-person, I don't believe what you believe, what are you going to do about it?

    Or are you going to dive into the issue of religious differences and ask what can we do to be more tolerant of beliefs that differ from our own?

    If you're just trying to convince the Bible Belt that religion is a sham, you're going to get stabbed and yeah, there's no upside. But if you approach it cautiously, and have as much of an open mind as you want your readers to have, then it could be beneficial.
  11. ChrisRcc

    ChrisRcc Member

    From The Heartbreak Kid:

    "Remember this is the Bible Belt; these people have guns."
  12. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I'm a little curious, I guess, as to why you'd want to dedicate a column to your own "obsolete" views.
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