The editorial powers that be at The Seattle Times, which this past spring missed by a mile the religious inspiration behind the actions of one Seattle Pacific University graduate, decided not to make the same mistake again.
This past Sunday, its front-page story on SPU alumna Marissa Johnson went out of the way to emphasize the faith angle. It started thus:
In 2013, Marissa Johnson graduated cum laude from Seattle Pacific University. She had taken a lot of theology classes, which deepened her faith. She also worked as the beloved director of a church’s Sunday school program, and was known for her helpful offers to baby-sit, as well as the striking voice she put to use during worship services.
Then Ferguson happened. “My life really did change,” she said during an April panel discussion on the changing face of the civil-rights struggle.
She showed that new face last weekend, attracting national notice as she and another woman shouted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders off the stage to denounce police brutality before a crowd of thousands. In taking over the microphone and disappointing those who had waited hours to hear the progressive Vermont senator speak, Johnson set off a furious debate about protest tactics, racism and Seattle-style liberals.
Hurrah. Finally someone in a newsroom digs into the faith history of a local activist and finds a huge backstory.