Friday Five: Synagogue shooting, Messianic controversy, young evangelicals, Squirrel Hill memories


Saturday’s synagogue shooting, which claimed 11 lives in Pittsburgh, has dominated religion headlines this week. Here at GetReligion, we’ve produced a half-dozen posts on that unimaginable tragedy.

If you get a chance today or this weekend, check out what we’ve written, and feel free to let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.

Among our posts:

• Julia Duin’s thoughtful commentary on how “Pittsburgh horror marks the start of what could become a new atrocity — synagogue shootings.”

Ira Rifkin’s expert analysis noting that “Pittsburgh surprised many: But not those who repeatedly reported rising American anti-Semitism.”

• And my own piece reflecting on “Charleston. Sutherland Springs. Pittsburgh. Why local reporters are crucial in a 'national' tragedy.”

I’ll mention some of our other Pittsburgh-related offerings below as we dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: In a post Thursday, I called Emma Green’s Atlantic report headlined “The Jews of Pittsburgh Bury Their Dead” one of the best religion stories of 2018.

Washington Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein praised Green’s “lovely reporting,” and CNN religion editor Daniel Burke lauded the "sensitivity, nuance, context — and the insights” of the story.

By all means, check it out.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly’s post on “Was it anti-Semitism to invite a Messianic pastor to pray at a GOP rally, after Pittsburgh?” occupies the No. 1 spot this week.

Religion News Service national correspondent Jack Jenkins delved into the issue in a helpful piece published after tmatt’s analysis.

Read it here.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): In non-Pittsburgh news, New York Times religion writer Elizabeth Dias this week profiled six young evangelicals out of a reported 1,500 who responded to an online request for feedback from the national newspaper.

Spoiler alert: Most, but not all, of those profiled have problems with the white evangelicals who helped elect President Donald Trump.

4. Shameless plug: Paul Glader, tmatt’s journalism faculty colleague at The King’s College in New York City, wrote a column for The Media Project’s website on how “The Attack On Jews In Squirrel Hill Is An Attack On Religion And Civility In America.”

Glader reflects on his experience living in Pittsburgh when he served as a steel reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

5. Final thought: I usually end the Friday Five on a humorous or witty note. But this week, I’d like to focus on a serious issue: Would you prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (tmatt’s choice), Milk Duds (mine) or another option?

Here’s your chance to let your voice be heard:

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

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