Belief Beat

I try to keep perspective when covering religious extremists, noting that these folks represent a tiny fraction of a much larger community of believers (Mormons, evangelical Christians, Muslims, etc.) — but the news value of such stories gives disproportionate coverage to the crazies.

See also: Westboro Baptist Church in general, and its recent announcement that its Phelps family plans to picket at Elizabeth Edwards’ upcoming funeral. (Stay klassy, fake Christians. Also, until someone figures out a law that stops them without chilling free speech, let’s stop covering them so much and rewarding their provocations with legal settlements, which is obviously how they earn their money.)

With that disclaimer out of the way, here are some religious extremism topics in the news today:

Elizabeth Smart Trial

Faith Healing Death

Homegrown Terrorism

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