Upshot? "This cover may ultimately become known less for its significance in the culture wars but as a watershed in the history of American journalism."
At GetReligion.org Terry Mattingly--a journalism professor who is not exactly a card-carrying member of the Religious Right--writes a letter to Newsweek:
It’s the journalism, stupid.Read the whole thing.
I know it must be comforting to believe that all of the reaction to the Lisa Miller’s doctrinal essay on your recent cover is about a clash between premodern and modern religious believers. I know that it is comforting to see conservative religious groups post the email addresses of editors, resulting in a barrage of often hateful missives from the straw people who probably stopped reading your magazine a decade or so ago.
But you also need to know that many of your readers would have welcomed a journalistic cover story that provided a lively discussion of this issue, featuring the views of liberal Christian scholars (a variety of them, since their views are not always the same) and traditional Christian scholars from a variety of viewpoints — mainline Protestant, evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic and the like. The views of traditional Jews, Muslims and others would have made a wonderful sidebar.Stop for a minute and think about this in terms of journalism.