Pod people: Taking money OUT of the collection plate and more on the 'black mass'

The "Money for Nothing" video accompanying this post has only a tangential connection to the subject matter.

Alas, I'm a child of the '80s, and that three-decade-old hit by the British rock band Dire Straits seemed like a good tune for a Friday afternoon.

As I noted earlier this week, about 300 members of a Chicago church received money for something — $500 each to spend, invest or give away.

In the post, I pointed out that WGNtv.com seemed to bury the lede at the end, reporting with no explanation that the church involved has a $50,000 budget deficit. 

In the comments section, reader "Reformed Catholic" agreed:

Is the church going to put some of that windfall away for the times of famine, or are they going to spend it all, and wind up closing the doors.
Those are the types of questions that need to be asked.

On this week's episode of "Crossroads," the GetReligion podcast, host Todd Wilken and I discuss the Chicago story. 

Todd's first question: What makes this church giveaway newsworthy? My response: It's "man bites dog." A church passing the collection plate on Sunday? That isn't news. Members (figuratively) taking money out of the collection plate? That is news.

Todd and I also discuss coverage of the recent "black mass" in Oklahoma, the subject of another post this week.

Click here to listen to the podcast. As always, the smooth, relaxing Oklahoma accent is free.

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