Faith in 2010
Below is an excerpt from On Faith, an online religion section sponsored by The Washington Post. Each week, Sally Quinn engages figures from the world of faith in a conversation about an aspect of religion.
The Religion Newswriters Association named Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Pope Benedict XVI, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the U.S. bishops as among the year's most consequential religion newsmakers. How would you have ranked them? Has their influence been harmful or constructive?
Church needs more media engagement in 2011: We need more of the spirit of Cardinal John O'Connor - unafraid of the media, eager to use mass communications to present the Church's positions, and willing to engage in the battles that will inevitably result.
Frank Pavone Catholic priest, activist
Dig deeper to find the real news: If outer-space aliens saw the Religion Newswriters Association's list of top religious newsmakers, they could only conclude that Earth has a pretty miserable spiritual landscape. . . . There is a whole other layer of stories, though, that are about people whose faith or reason makes them operate with noble purpose.
Barry Lynn minister, lawyer, activist
Terry Jones gets my vote: The Florida-based minister who planned a public Koran burning gets my vote for the most influential American religious figure of 2010. Why? Because he showed us the limits of our fear and rage, or at least the limits of their expression.
Brad Hirschfield rabbi, president, National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership