Friday Five: Nassar victim forgives, nuclear Mass, #WeRemember, KFC halal and more

I'm a Christian.

Jesus tells me I'm supposed to forgive people. 

He also says I'm supposed to love my enemies and pray for people who persecute me.

In cases such as someone cutting me off in traffic or rooting for the Evil Empire, I'm (eventually) all about that W.W.J.D.

But I wonder: If a gunman had just shot up my high school, would I be concerned for the soul of the 15-year-old whom police took into custody? 

That's why I found these words from a student at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky. — site of a mass shooting this week — so remarkable:

I also find it hard to comprehend how a victim of Larry Nassar — the molester sports doctor who abused countless girls and women — could talk in terms of grace and forgiveness.

More about that in just a second as we proceed with today's Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: As I noted in a post Thursday, the Washington Post reported on former gymnast Rachael Denhollander using her statement against Nassar as a testimony and message of grace and forgiveness. Watch her full statement in the video above. As a bonus, check out Aaron Earls' blog post on "Rachael Denhollander, C.S. Lewis and a Good God in Horrific Times."

2. Most popular GetReligion post: GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly occupies the top spot this week with his post headlined "'This is not a drill': The Washington Post pays attention after nuclear threat interrupts the Mass." Yes, that post concerns the ballistic missile threat that alarmed residents and tourists of Hawaii on Jan. 13.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): International Holocaust Remembrance Day is Saturday, and the Houston Chronicle has a story in today's paper supporting the #WeRemember campaign. Organizers told the Chronicle that the campaign has reached 125 million people in 50 countries and 23 languages.

4. Shameless plug: Our own Julia Duin wrote a piece for our friends at The Media Project on "Why Trump Administration Officials Cited Religious Freedom When Cutting Off Funds To Pakistan."

Among the compelling quotes in Duin's report:

“Pakistan is one of the worst hell holes and money pits we have,” said Lela Gilbert, an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. “Trump is looking at dollars and cents on foreign aid and he’s looking at what we’re getting back."

5. Final thought: Wait, there's a religion angle on the Colonel's chicken!?

Apparently so, as Religion News Service's Yonat Shimron reports:

(RNS) — The owner of eight Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Illinois may not advertise that the chicken he sells is halal, even if it is, a federal judge has ruled.
The owner of the franchises, Afzal Lokhandwala, a Muslim, sued KFC, arguing that the chain had initially agreed to allow him to advertise that his chicken met Islamically approved slaughter requirements beginning in 2002.
But Judge John Robert Blakey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that KFC has “the absolute right” to approve or deny any advertising by franchise owners in their stores.


And by the way, what's for dinner?

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!



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