National Review readers loved Barack Obama’s DNC speech because, they claim, it was conservative — as evidence, they offer among other points Obama’s reference to an “awesome God.” Liberal blogger Daily Kos, however, points out that “there’s nothing conservative about citing God (unless Republicans are ready to welcome Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson into their fold). Conservatives want to inject religion into public life. Obama doesn’t. It’s that simple.” Just as simple as the fact that God has not endorsed nor shown any preference for a political party. And yet many conservatives continue to claim God’s support, and the secular press continues to let them.

Elizabeth Edwards, this afternoon: “We deserve leaders who allow their faith and moral core, our faiths and moral core, to draw us closer together, not drive us farther apart. We deserve leaders who believe in each of us.” And the reporters say… nothing. Where are the religiously-informed journalists who are going to ask what this means? It’s one thing to engage in bland political speech, but it’s another to implicitly claim spiritual authority without providing a clue as to the nature of its source.

Take the headline “Finding friendship, God in the world of pro golf,” and add to it the fact that it’s a story of how an evangelical Christian “won” a Jewish golfer for Jesus, and you have a formula for offensive, bland journalism. And yet Tim Townsend‘s A-1 feature in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch is anything but. We’d even venture to say that it’s a model for religion writers — Townsend enters and explores the world of his subjects, in all its mundane, spiritual, and intellectual dimensions. Read more…

“They say these people are Amish?” A media guide to the “real” Amish, and to disapprov-
ing of “Rumspringa TV” (Amish in the City, premiering tonight on UPN):

The Washington Post’s Susan Kinzie reports on conflicting images of the Amish, and community doubt of the show’s validity.

The New York Times wonders whether the television producers aren’t “a new kind of evangelical” molesting “this nonproselytizing sect.” Reporter Julie Salamon finds a “from the mouths of babes” wisdom in one Amish woman’s unfamiliarity with the show: “Referring to Hollywood and reality television, she asked, ‘Is it some kind of church?'”

–While USA Today’s Robert Bianco doesn’t think that the show mocks the rumspringers (mocking instead their gauche, Americanized housemates), he still believes it “wrongs a rite.” The Amish stars aren’t “experiencing anything close to rumspinga, which in real life doesn’t come with free food, housing, money and adventures provided,” he writes. “These kids aren’t experiencing life, they’re experiencing reality TV.”

“‘Sooner or later, voters in places like that (the south) are going to grow tired of voting on guns, God and gays…'”

“‘It seems to me that security concerns are being used as more of a political weapon against those who dissent with the politician’s message…If no judge will disagree with the Secret Service, then we are living in martial law. We are living in a police state.'” So said Troy Newman of the militant pro-life organization, Operation Rescue West. The group was told by Federal Court Judge Nathaniel Groton that it would not be permitted to demonstrate in front of John Kerry’s Boston house, even though it had already received permits from the city for its protests.Nathan Burchfiel of CNSNews reports that the group had requested an injunction against the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service Monday after their Sunday demonstrations were restricted.