Today’s complaint by our blogger, Harry, is that a Globe story by Charles Radin about the closing of an Episcopal church in Attleboro is biased against the priest and the congregation, who are being forced to leave by the diocese after affiliating with a Rwandan branch that opposes the American church’s liberal views on homosexuality. As Radin points out, this is becoming increasingly common as liberal and conservative Episcopalians split apart.
Harry lodges a couple of weird complaints in this post. First, he writes:
Monday’s Boston Globe front page carries this picture of the last service of an Episcopal congregation in their Attleboro church. The photo’s label “Schism brings a church closing” as well as the story’s headline “Worshipers vacate Episcopal church” are both inaccurate half-truths. This congregation is being evicted on 2 weeks notice by the US Episcopal church hierarchy.
Really? How are either the caption or the headline even remotely incompatible with the word “eviction”? In any case, here is Radin’s lede, from which Harry does not quote:
In a service overflowing with tears, hugs, and evocations of historic persecution of Christians, members of All Saints Anglican Church of Attleboro held their last service yesterday in their North Main Street building and bowed to orders from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts that they vacate the premises.
An eviction, in other words.
The other part of Harry’s post that I’m scratching my head over is his conclusion, in which he approvingly cites a story in the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro for quoting the Rev. Lance Giuffrida. Writes Harry: “The story about the church closing in the local Attleboro Sun Chronicle quotes the priest’s dilemma more poignantly: ‘I didn’t change. … I preached the same thing for 30 years. I didn’t move. I just stood.'”
The clear implication is that Radin’s Globe story fell short by not offering up a similar quote from Giuffrida. Yet here is the second paragraph of Radin’s story:
“I never meant us to be at this time and place,” said the Rev. Lance Giuffrida, his voice cracking as he addressed about 160 worshipers who filled the sanctuary nearly to capacity. “I didn’t do anything differently than when you called me” to the church’s pulpit in 2001.
Different words, but precisely the same sentiment.
I love the idea of citizen journalists like Harry holding the mainstream media to account. Squaring the Globe may not have a huge following, but it’s important because it’s part of the blogging ecosystem. (After all, with a very few exceptions no single blog is so important that it stands on its own.)
Unfortunately, based on this post, it seems that Harry is so caught up in his belief that the Globe is biased that he can’t see a straightforward news story when it smacks him in the face.