SEATTLE (RNS) In a major grammatical move, The Washington Post, The New York Times and a host of other mainstream media outlets are now instructing writers and editors that since deities don’t actually exist, they don’t deserve the deference of capitalization.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who purchased the Post in 2013, spearheaded the change in these newspapers’ stylebooks and agreed to give his first interview on the topic to The Literalist.
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RNS: While this change from the “MSM” certainly isn’t surprising, why now?
Bezos: Associated Press editors updated their stylebook last week to uncapitalize “internet.” We thought, you know, no one has been capitalizing “internet” for the last decade or so. They were so slow to change. We think America will finally drop the whole “god” thing in this century and we wanted to be ahead of the curve.
RNS: Newspaper owners don’t usually get involved in the newsroom operations. Why is this so important to you?
Bezos: I take the militant advancement of liberalism under the guise of objective journalism very seriously. The owners of media corporations gather a few times a year to plan how to manipulate positive coverage of President Obama, generate false scientific reports about global warming and strategize about ways to undermine American sovereignty in favor of the United Nations. We took a break from our recent string of meetings about Donald Trump to coordinate our attacks on religion.
RNS: What other words will be affected besides “god”?
Bezos: We’re done giving “hanukkah,” “holy land,” “lord’s supper,” “lent” and “sabbath” special treatment. To be clear about where we stand, anything vaguely religious will now be put in quotes to display our suspicion.
RNS: Will you leave anything sacred?
Bezos: While “christ” and “prophet” are out, the real people who historians agree actually existed, like Jesus and Muhammad, will continue to reap the rewards of capital letters. For the time being.
RNS: Who is joining you in this crusade?
Bezos: So far, 40 other major newspapers. But we’ve been in talks with media beyond periodicals. Popular websites like Jezebel, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post are down to drop the big “g.” National Public Radio reporters and hosts will also say “god” a little less authoritatively now. It’ll sound more like a question, like “what is this god you speak of?”
RNS: FOX News has been in nonstop crisis coverage since the announcement. Conservative sites like Get Religion and First Things are downright apoplectic. What do you say to your critics?
Bezos: When Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook “this is the clearest sign the ‘end times’ are near,” even she forgot to capitalize the “e” and the “t” herself. I’d say we’re winning the war on religion.
RNS: Has anything surprised you about the reaction?
Bezos: We just found out “God’s Not Dead 3” will be based on the newspaper industry, which should be fun. Director Harold Cronk has even asked me to appear as myself.
(Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons writes The Literalist, a twice-weekly satirical news column for RNS. His writing on faith and public policy has appeared in Sojourners, The Washington Post, Texas Tribune and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @guthriegf)