Religion Unplugged

In advance of Tom Hanks movie, AP explores Mister Rogers’ faith

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

Terry Mattingly is our resident Mister Rogers expert here at GetReligion.

Most recently, he posted — and talked — about the spiritual implications of the late Presbyterian pastor’s “neighborhood.” All the discussion is, of course, tied to Friday’s opening of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers.

In tmatt’s recent post, he lamented a New York Times feature that “dug deep into the personality and career of Hanks and his take on Rogers — while avoiding key facts about faith and beliefs.”

Which leads me to today’s post on a lovely Associated Press story that incorporates Rogers’ faith at various points throughout the piece — including the headline, which declares: “Across Mister Rogers’ actual neighborhoods, his faith echoes.”

So yes, Rogers’ religion definitely figures in this retrospective profile — even if AP’s story by veteran journalist Ted Anthony doesn’t focus entirely on that angle.

Right from the top, the writing is lively and colorful.

Read the full column.

• • •

All of my GetReligion columns (November 2019):

Friday Five: Kanye, Joe Biden, Pachamama statues, Tree of Life, Paula White, advice for journalists. Published Nov. 1.

Trump, same-sex parents and religious charities: News coverage mostly predictable and left-leaning. Published Nov. 4.

Bible study during school time? Tennessee paper explores pros and cons — and what Satanists think. Published Nov. 5.

Los Angeles Times writes nice story about jail chaplains, with a few eyebrow-raising word choices. Published Nov. 7.

Friday Five: Mexico massacre, German Catholics, Christian contraception, John Crist, wild shot. Published Nov. 8.

A reader asks: Is there a religion ghost in story of man arrested for popping ‘Baby Trump’ balloon? Published Nov. 11.

Defying stereotypes: The Atlantic’s Emma Green paints a nuanced portrait of Trump voters in Iowa. Published Nov. 12.

Outspoken but quiet, conservative but progressive: Media profile U.S. Catholic bishops’ Latino leader. Published Nov. 14.

Friday Five: Trump impeachment, Catholic doctrine, Paige Patterson, faith in Sin City, Chick-fil-A (yum). Published Nov. 15.

As Chick-fil-A capitulates, should press characterize Salvation Army and FCA as anti-LGBTQ? Published Nov. 19.

Let’s make an honest attempt to help Reuters with its biased, one-sided story on abortion and conscience. Published Nov. 20.

In advance of Tom Hanks movie opening, AP goes to Pittsburgh and explores Mister Rogers’ faith. Published Nov. 21.

Friday Five: RNS/AP partnership, Mister Rogers, Chick-fil-A, personal story, Curmudgeon humor. Published Nov. 22.

New York Times highlights 2020 Democrats’ unapologetic support for abortion rights, sans religion. Published Nov. 25.

About those media reports that Rick Perry believes God ‘ordained’ Donald Trump to be president. Published Nov. 26.

Friday Five: Thanksgiving, God and Trump, LATimes vs. Fuller, Jimmy Carter, Satan. Published Nov. 29.

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