The more I looked into People of Praise, the more I had two simultaneous thoughts: First, many millions of American Christians see echoes of their lives in Judge Barrett’s story. And second, lots of folks really don’t understand both spiritual authority and spiritual community. The concerns about Barrett reflect in part the glaring gaps in religious knowledge in elite American media.
In other words, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet was right when he told NPR’s Terry Gross, “We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives.”
So let’s try to “get religion,” especially in the context of close-knit religious fellowships like People of Praise. First, outside of true cults, the concept of spiritual authority and spiritual “headship” is quite divorced from the lurid fears and imaginations of many Americans—and it rarely has anything at all to do with law, politics, or the American Constitution. It has much more to do with religious doctrine and religious practice—orthodoxy and orthopraxy. And words and terms that sound strange to secular ears are simply biblical and traditional to countless Christian Americans.
Excellent. ‘NYT executive editor Dean Baquet was right when he told NPR’s Terry Gross, “We don't get religion. We don't get the role of religion in people's lives.”’ “Should Americans Worry About Amy Coney Barrett and 'People of Praise'?” by @thedispatch https://t.co/Mnsxx7Opv4
— David Hartmann (@DavidHartmann) September 27, 2020