Monday Mix: Pittsburgh shooting, hate that kills, Sutherland Springs, white nationalism, 'double lives'

Surprised? No.

Numb? Yes.

After a weekend marred by yet another mass shooting in America, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s front page pays tribute to the victims in a special way today.

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. "The day closed with 3,000 people attending a vigil for the dead and wounded at the intersection of Murray and Forbes avenues.” GetReligion’s Julia Duin, who used to live in Pittsburgh, has a helpful overview of news coverage of the synagogue shooting.

As Duin notes, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff — including award-winning religion writer Peter Smith — is working overtime to cover the tragedy that claimed 11 lives and left six others wounded.

“You’ve seen the headlines,” my colleague writes. “The issue is what happens next and where.”

2. "The same hate that led (Byron De La) Beckwith and (Robert) Bowers to kill has never really gone away. Neither has Christian Identity.”

As I recently noted, Jerry Mitchell of Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper is best known for his hard-hitting journalism on civil rights era cold cases. His work has helped put four Ku Klux Klan members behind bars.

In the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, Mitchell wrote a helpful primer on “Christian Identity — the hate that still kills.”

3. "God has shown us how to combat evil: With love and caring about one another. And respecting and valuing life.”

It’s been almost a year since 26 people were killed and 20 wounded at a different house of worship — the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

As she has done so often since the Sutherland Springs massacre, Silvia Foster-Frau of the San Antonio Express-News goes behind the scenes to tell readers — in a heartwarming and compassionate way — how that church and community are moving forward.

Her remarkable story and exceptional photographs by Lisa Krantz filled five pages inside Sunday’s Express-News.

Also in the Mix

4. The list of houses of worship victimized by shootings keeps growing. The New York Times recounts some of them.

Among those shootings: a 2012 attack on Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.:

In the years since the attack on the Sikh temple, its worshipers have done their best to move forward. They forgave the assailant “that very day,” a priest, Harjinder Singh, has said.

But after the violent attack on the church in Sutherland Springs last year, he said that each new attack on a house of worship brings back the grief.

“Every time this happens, we feel the pain again,” he said. “It is like when you have a bandage on your body, and it is ripped away.”

5. Following the Pittsburgh shooting, Rep. Steve King’s Iowa supporters brushed aside concerns about his white nationalist views, reports religion writer Julie Zauzmer of the Washington Post.

In a dispatch from Remsen, Iowa, Zauzmer writes:

No one questioned whether their well-liked representative, Steve King — the U.S. congressman most openly affiliated with white nationalism — might be contributing to anti-Semitism or racism through his unapologetic embrace of white nationalist rhetoric and his praise of far-right politicians and groups in other nations.

“There’s still groups out there that praise Hitler and believe everything he taught. . . . A lot of that is going to get misconstrued,” said Joe Schuttpelz. If King’s goal is defending the status of native-born Americans as immigrants move in, then Schuttpelz approves. “He’s not so much protecting us from getting taken over as giving us some advantages that everybody else has when they come here,” he said.

In case you missed it

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

Ken Woodward, former Newsweek scribe: The 'double lives' elephant in the Catholic sex crisis (by Terry Mattingly)

Democrats after The Kiss: Did new left let enough 'blue dogs' run in 2018 midterms? (by tmatt)

Question to start the week

7. Is mainstream journalism out of touch with reality?: A column published at suggests seven ways news outlets can rebuild trust and sustainability.

Damian Radcliffe writes:

For many U.S. critics, journalism — and the journalistic trade — is all too often seen as elitist, left-leaning, out of touch with non-coastal audiences, and frequently the preserve of white, educated males.

There’s plenty of truth in many of these accusations, and there’s no doubt that if we wish to rebuild trust — and turn that trust into audiences willing to pay for acts of journalism — then we will need to do some things differently.

Based on my research over the past decade, much of it in the local news arena, as well as my on-going and previous journalistic work, here are seven recommendations which offer newsrooms — large and small — some potential ways forward.

Check it out. 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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