Friday Five: Livin' On A Prayer, Emanuel AME juror, deranged parents, Arkansas shooting and more

Confession time: I chose one of this week's Friday Five because it gave me an excuse to post the video of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer."

See if you can guess which one.

Woah, we're halfway there
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, livin' on a prayer …

But anyway. Let's dive right into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes profiled the jury foreman in last year's trial of Dylann Roof, the gunman sentenced to death in the Emanuel AME Church massacre in Charleston, S.C.

In a post this week, I described Hawes' story in The Post and Courier as "an amazing narrative piece."

"Jennifer Hawes is AMAZING. The end," the jury foreman, Gerald Truesdale, commented in response to my post. 

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Julia Duin's post headlined "Only ABC News got the God angle on deranged California parents of 13 children" occupies the No. 1 spot this week.

The post concerns news coverage of a couple living outside of Riverside who kept their 13 children shackled in an innocent-looking suburban home.

The religion angle? If you haven't already, go ahead and check out Julia's post.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): In my Associated Press days, I wrote a feature on "frequent-flier rabbis" who traveled all over the country to help Jewish communities too small to support a full-time rabbi.

I thought their commute was something.

But recently, I came across a story from The Sun-Herald in Gulfport, Miss., about a pastor who — three weekends per month — makes a 1,000-mile round-trip to serve a Baptist church.

However, he doesn't fly — he drives.

4. Shameless plug: I made a quick trip to Arkansas this week to cover the funeral of a 17-year-old high school senior killed when he opened fire on police after a traffic stop.

My Christian Chronicle story contrasts two images of Charles Smith Jr.: the gang member facing robbery charges portrayed in news reports vs. the baptized believer and frequent church attendee described by loved ones.

5. Final thought: Did you know that even people who don't necessarily believe in God sometimes pray?

That's among the fascinating nuggets in a survey story from the British newspaper The Guardian.

Woah, livin' on a prayer …

Hey, thanks for reading this edition of the Friday Five, and enjoy the weekend!

P.S. This just came across my computer screen (hat tip to tmatt), so here's a second final thought:

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