Huffington Post Religion section angers thousands of readers with post about normal Christian pastor doing normal Christian stuff
by Doug Bursch
Well, it’s the first day of April and the internet is already in an uproar concerning the Huffington Post Religion section’s most recent and extremely provocative story concerning a very ordinary Christian pastor doing extremely ordinary Christian stuff. It seems Huffington Post editors went out on a limb today and decided to write something positive about a normal Christian pastor doing normal stuff that most Christians agree with and accept as a part of their normal religious practice.
In today’s story about Pastor John Rathern Ormal of Smalltown Baptist Church, Huffington went into great detail describing Pastor Ormal’s regular pattern of reading the Bible, praying, preaching and fellowshipping. Along with describing his normal church duties which most Christians would find completely appropriate, they also quoted Pastor Ormal saying things that the average Christian would agree with and even appreciate. From beginning to end, today’s post concerning Pastor Ormal was consistently written with the bias of trying to reach an average Christian who lives an average Christian life. To put it plainly, most Christians would have appreciated and identified with today’s Huffington Religion post. Consequently, Huffington readers and the internet are in an uproar!
One angry reader wrote the following: “What has happened to the Huffington Post Religion section I once knew? It used to be the place I could go to hear about snake handling Pentecostal pastors dying from snake bites. Or at least I could read about angry independent Baptist crusaders picketing funerals or protesting Rihanna concerts. But today, to my horror, I read this garbage! Why would I want to read something that relates to the majority of average Christians? What is wrong with you people!”
Another irate reader seemed to express the general consensus of the internet’s reaction: “I peruse the Huffington Post Religion section to learn about the latest marginalizing or polarizing expression of Christianity. My desire is to hear about unstable extreme fundamentalists or to read posts concerning pastors or theologians who’ve, for the most part, abandoned mainstream Protestantism for the purpose of being on Oprah. I want stories about backwoods Christian yokels or academically isolated Christian philosophers. I expect the Huffington Post to give me stories that don’t reflect the views of normal Christians. Sadly, today’s story has failed in every way to live up to my expectations.”
It will be interesting to see if the Huffington Post Religion section can overcome today’s social media spanking and get back to their core mission of writing material that just doesn’t ever really connect with the average Christian. (Story updated to add the words April First.)