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Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Entertainment and religion can mix, and well

Alert readers might notice an unusual “Best Bet” in Preview this week.

The Saved Skaters, a Christian group that mixes faith and skateboarding, is coming to Accord’s Skate Time 209 for a free skating demonstration and possibly some Jesus stuff.

Is the Freeman, all of a sudden, proselytizing?

Hardly.

Just like a traditional klezmer concert or a spiritual drum circle, some entertainment events do have religious overtones, and we have them all. As an editor, it is one of my responsibilities to tell you about not just the events, but what and who is behind them (and, of course, when, where and why).

So if a screening of a local movie happens to be fundraiser for a church or even a politician, we’ll tell you about it. We have to.

Some readers might choose to go, some not. Caveat emptor (“Let the buyer beware”).

I think it would be dishonest to omit who’s behind a certain screening or concert or skating demonstration.

Besides, note that the event is “unusual,” one of the very definitions of news (as in “Man bites dog”).

...

Skate Time 209, you might remember, got in trouble with the state Division of Human Rights for having a “Christian Skate” night. The state thought the facility was discriminating.

To avoid the problem, the event -- playing Christian music while people skate -- was changed to “Spiritual Skate” night and the whole storm disappeared from cable TV and Christian Radio.

I always thought the whole issue was weird.

Say you were to go to “Spiritual Night” because you are a spiritual person who practices a non-Christian religion. Remember caveat emptor? How do you, the “buyer,” “beware,” if you are not aware?

So I’m glad they’re spelling it out this time. Everybody can go. And obviously, some might choose not to.

Like me.
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