Martin E. Marty
There is no Schadenfreude, no joy in the misfortunes of others, in their and most of their colleagues' writings elsewhere in the religious press, because there are no simple "others" when "we" are all in the mix of disasters together.
Less noticed than its law-breaking advocates hoped it would be, dozens of churches defied federal regulations and used their pulpits yesterday to challenge IRS regulations, which insist that tax exempt organizations dare not spend a "substantial part of [their] activities in carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation."
"Worst Crisis Since '30s, With No End in Sight," screamed the September 18th Wall Street Journal, in company with all other headliners.
In a world given to suspicion, sometimes well-founded, and cynicism, always destructive, it is nice to see corners of the media world which would replace the sneering section not with a cheering section, but with a give-peace-a-chance view from the sidelines.
In this business and with pleasure one cannot not comment on the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveys. They are the most ambitious and expansive polls and draw the most public attention.