Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New York Times buries the hatchet with Kentucky lawmaker

When New York Times reporter Ian Urbina came to Kentucky to do a story on State Rep. Tom Riner, the lawmaker responsible for the requirement that the state's Homeland Security office acknowledge that our ultimate safety is in God, he had in mind the standard story about the relationship between church and state.

Then he met Riner.

A baptist minister who looks at his inner city Louisville district as his ministry, Urbina walked in the doors of Riner's church--essentially the run-down house next door to his--and was introduced to the homeless men who that Riner has taken in. Some of them sleep in the basement. The quiet and unprepossessing Riner has picked them up off the street and taken them in.

Although there are vestiges of his original intent in Urbina's story--oversimplified remarks about the separation between church and state and State Rep. Kathy Stein's hard-edged criticism of Riner's legislative activity, Urbina clearly was affected by what he saw.

Take away the first paragraph, which doesn't really fit the rest of the article--and the cheeky final comment, and you have what amounts to a tribute.

Funny how that works.

No comments: