Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/3/20

Nobody Dares Say It

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 514931
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Visions de l'Au-del de Je'rme Bosch (Palazzo Grimani, Venise)
Visions de l'Au-del de Je'rme Bosch (Palazzo Grimani, Venise)
(Image by dalbera)
  Details   DMCA

(Free Inquiry Feb-March 2020)

For much of my newspaper career, I was West Virginia's only full-time investigative reporter.

I wrote about political corruption. (Two of our governors and numerous top politicians went to prison.)

I exposed consumer frauds. (Various roofers, exterminators, baldness-curers, weight salon operators and other fly-by-night entrepreneurs were jailed.)

I revealed stock frauds. (Some local brokers were convicted of bilking investors.)

I reported on crooked evangelists. My firebrand publisher raged about flashy TV evangelists, calling them charlatans. He sent me to camp at the PTL Club in the Carolinas and expose quacko preacher Jim Bakker while Bakker was in his heyday, before going to prison. My evangelist reports became a long Penthouse article.

Back then, in the 1970s, I was a pioneer in a national organization, Investigative Reporters & Editors. IRE remains dynamic today. The IRE Journal chronicles current revelations.

Over the decades, newspaper investigative reporters have revealed plenty of religious horrors. The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing Catholic priest sexual abuse. The St. Petersburg Times won a Pulitzer for exposing a cult. Other newspapers reveal born-again swindles, Mormon polygamy outrages, cult murders, evangelist sex messes, and the like.

A clear pattern exists: It's fine for news media to reveal particular crimes within religion. But it's forbidden to write that religion itself, worship based on supernatural gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, visions, prophecies, divine appearances, etc. is a glaring global fraud. Religion around the planet reaps trillions of tax-exempt dollars for magic tales, but mustn't be criticized.

Worship of invisible spirits should be considered absurd in modern scientific civilization. Preachers who proclaim such imaginary beings should be denounced as fakers. But, in actual reality, nobody is allowed to say so in mainstream news media. It's a taboo topic.

I suppose it's because religion was deeply entrenched in virtually all cultures for millennia. In the past, anyone who "blasphemed" the holies could be put to death. Religion became untouchable. But there's little reason to continue this taboo in modern secular democracies, where supernatural faith is fizzling.

(Of course, in Muslim lands, where writers can be executed for "blasphemy," the taboo remains extremely strong. That's a different situation.)

I wrote to IRE Journal suggesting that American investigative reporters treat religion itself as a field of dishonesty, like other types of corruption exposed by news media. Why expose frauds, but ignore the biggest fraud of all? But I got no response. Maybe IRE editors thought I had lost my mind, to hint that anything could be wrong with holy faith.

But I think plenty is wrong with holy faith. It's a system of lies. To assert that magical spirits watch people and burn them in fiery hell after death is an obvious falsehood to any thinking, educated person. Ditto for the rest of Bible supernaturalism.

Young Americans are abandoning religion by millions just as young Europeans, Canadians, Japanese, Australians and others did. Those who say their faith is "none" are rising with amazing rapidity, heading toward a possible majority. Eventually, it may be acceptable for news media to say openly that religion is a fraud.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Megachurch Mess

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: