Idol Chatter

The New York Times has a few stalwart religion writers, like Laurie Goodstein, whose work saves the editors’ decided parochialism when it comes to religion. (See “Rites,” an oddly inanimate photo series of Jewish, pagan, and other supposedly arcane ceremonies that seems to have been discontinued.) But only John Leland—not a religion reporter at all, but the Times’ appointed chronicler of hipness (and a former colleague of mine at Newsweek)–seems to take true delight in America’s spiritual grab-bag. His pieces on alternative churches and Christian rock a few years back communicated those worlds without condescending–even if, thanks to that same Timesean callowness about faith matters, the articles ran some years after those phenomena arose. Yesterday Leland tackled the parapsychological notion of Indigo children—again, a little late, but with his accustomed real curiosity and gentleness.

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