Monday Mix: Church vs. football, religion in schools, scandalized bishops, His (Islamic) Holiness

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Welcome to another edition of the Monday Mix, where we focus on headlines and insights you might have missed from the weekend and late in the week.

The fine print: Just because we include a headline here doesn't mean we won't offer additional analysis in a different post, particularly if it's a major story. In fact, if you read a piece linked here and have questions or concerns that we might address, please don't hesitate to comment below or tweet us at @GetReligion. The goal here is to point at important news and say, "Hey, look at this."

Three weekend reads

1. "I think we can all thank the Lord for Saturday night services and TiVo." The Tennessee Titans played the Los Angeles Chargers at 8:30 a.m. CDT Sunday in London (they lost a heartbreaker).

In advance of the odd kickoff time, religion writer Holly Meyer of The Tennessean had a timely, interesting feature on the clash between Sunday morning church and football:

While the extra-early Titans game is atypical, it is not uncommon for late Sunday morning worship services to run past the usual noon-or-later kickoffs in the 17-week regular season.

Die-hard, church-going Titans fans devise game-day routines that ensure they can watch their team and worship their God.

2. "(T)here is more student religious expression today in public schools than probably anytime in the last hundred years." For two decades, Charles Haynes has been a go-to source for journalists (including myself) reporting on the intersection of religion and public schools.

Religion News Service’s Adelle Banks interviewed Haynes, who is retiring from the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center.

3. “I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures.” Religion writer Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times delves into this unmistakable fact about the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis:

The bishops charged with rebuilding trust are still facing accusations that they neglected victims and protected abusive priests.

Also in the Mix

4. For Ahmadi Muslims, their faith’s spiritual leader coming to Baltimore was as inspirational as a papal visit to Catholics. That’s how the Baltimore Sun characterized Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Khalifa of Islam, coming to inaugurate a mosque.

The Sun reported:

Like the pope, the khalifa (caliph) is known to his tens of millions of followers in more than 200 countries as His Holiness. And to many of roughly 1,000 Ahmadi Muslims who waited for hours in the mosque’s parking lot to await the 68-year-old cleric’s visit, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“When the spiritual father is here, it’s like heaven on earth,” said Nasim Rehmatullah, national vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

“He’s like a father to all of us,” said Abdullah Dibba, imam of the mosque. “If you write to him, he responds.”

5. Alabama will celebrate its bicentennial next year, but there’s a church even older than the state. Religion writer Greg Garrison of the Birmingham News highlighted the Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Dolomite, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

From Garrison’s story:

The first church was a log cabin made from hand-hewn logs cut by Adam, a slave owned by the first minister, the Rev. James Tarrant.

The smooth, sturdy logs were saved and now form a rustic ceiling for the fellowship hall in the church basement. They are a testament to the church’s history.

“They are now in the ceiling of our downstairs,” said church member Jeanette Peterson.

In case you missed it

6. Here are two GetReligion posts that you might have missed over the weekend:

Lots of news stories linked to this one: Does modern science rule out religious faith? (by Richard Ostling)

This weekend's think piece? It has to be Khashoggi defense of freedom of expression (by Terry Mattingly)

Question to start the week

7. Here’s a question for journalistic style geeks: Where do you come down on the “over” vs. “more than” question?

Me? I’m slowly getting used to the new Associated Press Stylebook guideline. But I’m not all the way there yet.

If you have any feedback, by all means, reply below or tweet us at @GetReligion.

Happy Monday, everybody. Have a terrific week.

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