By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged
Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-In” features analysis, insights and top headlines from the world of faith. Got feedback or ideas for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About a year ago, I wrote about the retirement of Tim Funk, the award-winning religion writer for the Charlotte Observer.
But I noticed this week that Funk is back at work for the Observer part time, covering politics.
“North Carolina has a primary on Super Tuesday (March 3) and will again be a battleground state in the fall,” the veteran journalist told me. “Plus, Charlotte is hosting the Republican National Convention in August.
“Besides covering religion during my 34 years at the Observer, I also did politics as Raleigh (state capital) reporter, Washington correspondent and full-time reporter on the Democratic National Convention (when Charlotte hosted it in 2012). It’s fun being back!”
He stressed — since I told him I might mention him at Religion Unplugged — that he’s no longer on the Godbeat.
“I don’t plan to cover religion — except where it intersects with politics,” he said. “Which it seems to do a lot these days.”
Funk isn’t the only former religion writer reporting on national politics. Frank Lockwood — once known as the “Bible Belt Blogger” — has served as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Washington correspondent since 2015.
Honestly, I wish more political writers had expertise in religion.
For example, the Dallas Morning News had a story this past week that could have been benefited — greatly — from more attention to theological details.
This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.