At the Scoop, Maura Jane Farrelly rounds up some responses (and adds her own) to Bill Keller’s Times Magazine editorial appealing for closer scrutiny of presidential candidates’ religious backgrounds and beliefs:

Keller was right to assert – as he did in his column’s second paragraph – that “when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we [i.e. journalists] are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.” Too many reporters nowadays are afraid of looking like the evangelical and even mainline Protestants whose religious prejudices forced John F. Kennedy to vow in 1960 that he would not be taking his marching orders from the Vatican.

Many of the questions Keller proposes are perfectly appropriate ones – especially in light of the fact that some of the people serving as advisers to GOP candidates believe that only Christians should have authority over the country’s secular institutions. But if too many journalists nowadays are timid when it comes to religion, too many of them are also unsophisticated when it comes to the topic, and Keller’s tone revealed him to be one of them.

Read more here.