Friday Five: Paige Patterson furor, Jehovah's Witnesses abuse, Austin bomber's life, NRA prayer and more

This is going to be a briefer-than-normal intro to Friday Five.

That's because I've been on vacation most of the week (read: hanging out at the ballpark watching my beloved Texas Rangers take two out of three from the Detroit Tigers).

Suffice it to say that I haven't kept up with religion headlines as much as I usually do. My thanks to boss man Terry Mattingly for some help with this week's five.

Let's dive right in:

1. Religion story of the week: Washington Post religion writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey's trip to Texas to report on Paige Patterson's controversial comments concerning domestic violence and divorce is the obvious pick this week.

I'll link to the former GetReligion contributor's front-page report, but for more details and other vital coverage, check out Bailey's Twitter feed.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: This time around, Julia Duin has the No. 1 post. That was a commentary entitled "Jehovah's Witnesses and sexual abuse: The Philadelphia Inquirer lays it out."

A close second: Another tmatt post, this time on "How to cover Jordan Peterson, while avoiding truth-shaped holes in his 'secular' gospel."

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Back in March, we highlighted the initial coverage of reporters delving into the religious background of Austin, Texas, serial bomber Mark Conditt.

Now comes the Austin American-Statesman with an exclusive report on how Conditt struggled with religion (and the loss of faith), sexuality and used the app Grindr before attacks. 

4. Shameless plug: While Bailey was in Cowtown, I headed to Dallas to cover the NRA's annual prayer breakfast Sunday for the Washington Post.

The keynote speaker was retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, who the next day was revealed as the next president of the NRA.

Side note: I've always known Bailey to be an exceptional reporter. Now, I can report that she is a fantastic editor, too. 

5. Final thought: If you missed ESPN's moving video report about the death of baseball player Stephen Piscotty's mother — "Piscotty's journey home more than a baseball story" — then, by all means, check it out.

But a faithful GetReligion reader — Father Geoff Horton of the Roman Catholic diocese of Peoria, Ill. — does ask one highly relevant question:

It's a beautiful and sad story, well told, but don't you wonder why the music box plays "Amazing Grace" and why that's what Stephen sings to his mother at night? Is it just a sentimental thing, or is there a faith-related reason for it? My cursory Googling couldn't tell.

My Googling didn't turn up anything either. Anybody know?

Anyway, happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend! Baseball!

Please respect our Commenting Policy