Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Times scores a winner with revealing profile of Black Lives Matter activist

Seattle Times scores a winner with revealing profile of Black Lives Matter activist

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.

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Ghostbusters: Solving faith mystery of CEO who cut his $1 million salary to pay employees more

Ghostbusters: Solving faith mystery of CEO who cut his $1 million salary to pay employees more

Back in April, we spotted a holy ghost in the coverage of a Seattle CEO.

As you may recall, Gravity Payments founder Dan Price cut his own $1 million salary to pay all his employees at least $70,000 a year.

That post asked:

Could Price's weirdness have something to do with his Christian faith, if, as I am assuming, he is a Christian? A blurb on Seattle Pacific's website says one of the books that influenced him was"Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger."
My quick Googling didn't turn up any news reports that mention Price's religion. Nonetheless, I can't help but think a holy ghost might be haunting this story.

Three-plus months later, a GetReligion reader points us to an update from the New York Times.

Thank you for the tip, Christopher!

I must agree: This in-depth piece does a nice job of solving the faith mystery.

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CEO cuts his $1 million salary to pay all employees at least $70,000 — is media missing religion angle?

CEO cuts his $1 million salary to pay all employees at least $70,000 — is media missing religion angle?

You may have heard about the Seattle CEO who cut his own $1 million salary to pay all his employees at least $70,000 a year.

In case you missed it, here's how The New York Times reported the news last week:

The idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.
His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.
“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”
If it’s a publicity stunt, it’s a costly one. Mr. Price, who started the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm in 2004 at the age of 19, said he would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.

So why do I bring up this business story at GetReligion?

Well, in the above video, doesn't Price look a whole lot like Jesus?

Seriously, did you notice the name of the CEO's alma mater? 

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Ghosts after Seattle Pacific shooting? Not in this story

Here at GetReligion, we blog often about holy ghosts in news coverage. However, we much prefer stories that leave no room for spiritual ghostbusting. Such is the case with an exceptional Seattle Times report on the “grief without despair” that followed last week’s shooting at Seattle Pacific University.

Given the university’s evangelical Christian ties, religion has been a part of this tragic story from the beginning, as tmatt noted earlier.

In a piece published Sunday, the Times explores the faith angle in a simple-but-remarkable way:

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Seeking the shooter's motive at Seattle Pacific University?

This time, it appears that a lone gunman acting for some unknown, mysterious reason decided to gun down students at Seattle Pacific University, an evangelical campus that is part of the 100-plus member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (the global network in which I teach). This means that religion is part of the story, right from the beginning. It also means that reporters are going to dealing with quite a bit of religious language and information, when hearing from witnesses and campus leaders.

Early on, the wire-service report I kept seeing was produced by Reuters. Other than the emerging details of the shooting, what was the crucial information that readers needed to know, according to this very early report? Check this out:

Seattle Pacific University is a Methodist liberal arts college about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Seattle’s downtown, with about 4,000 students enrolled. The college website said students are subject to disciplinary action for such behavior as extramarital sex or homosexual activity and for the possession or use of alcohol.

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