Vine & Fig Tree Journalist Award Honoring CNN’s Eric Marrapodi
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is pleased to announce Eric Marrapodi, Senior Producer at CNN, as the recipient of the first annual Vine & Fig Tree Award for excellence in reporting on religious liberty issues.
Washington Post’s ‘On Faith’ editor, Sally Quinn, presented the award on September 19, 2013, 6:30pm, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The name of the award comes from George Washington’s reference to the “vine and fig tree” in illustrating the importance of religious liberty for all. In his famous letter to the Newport Hebrew Congregation, Washington writes:
“Every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid….For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”
The Becket Fund’s mission to defend religious freedom for all goes hand-in-hand with freedom of speech and of the press. While these First Freedoms are each individually important, they are intrinsically connected to each other. That is why the Becket Fund will inaugurate the First Annual Journalism Award this fall: to honor an individual who has shown great courage in his or her reporting of religious issues in the public square, seeking to uncover the aspects of a story that sometimes go unnoticed (or unmentioned) because they are religious. Such journalistic efforts help lead the public towards to a greater understanding of the diverse roles religion plays in society, and thus creates an atmosphere where religious freedom may flourish.
Eric Marrapodi is manager of CNN’s Belief Blog. No one could be more deserving of our first annual Vine & Fig Tree Award.