I have crossed the Jordan River twice in my life and both times the experience was quite memorable. The river itself isn’t much to look at, but the social dynamics surrounding the location are fascinating. The first trip was a singer in a choral music tour, done with the cooperation of the U.S. government, to perform “The Messiah” for cultural and political leaders in both Israel and Jordan. No big deal, right? However, this effort took place in late December, 1972. Look that up in the history of the Middle East. The second trip was linked to the 2000 pilgrimage that St. John Paul II made to the region. Look that one up, too.
Do the math and I am automatically going to be interested in the Washington Post news feature that ran under the following headline: “Pope picks one of dueling baptism sites in visit to Holy Land.”
This is a solid story and, first things first, I want to praise the wide variety of images and information contained in it. However, at the same time, I want to challenge the Post assumption that most readers would be most interested in the financial and political angles of this story, as opposed to the religions questions that it raises. You can get to both of those subjects from the material at the top of the report: