“Is Religion Good Medicine?” asks the cover line on the latest Newsweek. It’s certainly good cover fodder, as is health. One wonders whether Newsweek felt the dynamic duo of popular subjects were such a sure winner that no further questioning was required. Claudia Kalb’s report dutifully touches the bases — on the one hand, there’s not much scientific evidence; on the other, people sure do like to pray — but she makes a few too many unforced errors, such as the statement that “all religions incorporate some sort of ‘quieting,’ like prayer,” the conflation of meditation with faith, and a confusing lede that seems to suggest that if a med student namedMing He had received some “spiritual” training, she would have been prepared to pray with a dying Orthodox Jewish man (would that be before or after he had a cheeseburger for his last meal?). Both proponents and opponents of holy healing make provocative arguments, briefly on display in sidebar interviews that are the strongest sections of the piece. But Kalb’s report leaves the question mostly unexplored. Which is good news for religion writers and health reporters