Friday Five: Trump Baptists, Roe v. Wade detractors, Catholic sex abuse, top Bible app and more


One of the most talked-about religion stories this week was the Washington Post's front-page Sunday narrative on a Baptist church in Alabama.

"Hit piece or masterpiece?" I asked about the in-depth news feature exploring why the rural congregation supports President Donald Trump. 

I invited readers to offer feedback, and I am pleased that several, including our own Terry Mattingly, did.

Here is what tmatt had to say:

Here is the question that kept bugging me: What is so crucial about this one congregation?
In terms of reporting methodology, how do we know that this congregation perfectly illustrates the state of mind in the complex world of American evangelicalism, even among SBC people?
Also, as always in this age, there is no serious attempt at all to engage the very, very conservative critics of Trump -- including some who said that they voted for him, but didn't want to do so. They wanted other options.
The story says that this congregation matters. Period. This is the perfect choir. Why?

By all means, check out all the comments. If you're so inclined, join the conversation.

In the meantime, let's dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: I earlier highlighted New York Times religion writer Elizabeth Dias' front-page story going "Inside the Ground Game to Reverse Roe v. Wade."

As I mentioned, Dias does an exceptional job of painting what feels, to me, like an authentic picture of these anti-abortion activists.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Reader interest in the ongoing Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal remains immense. Our top two posts of the week both related to the scandal.

The most-clicked post: Julia Duin's piece on "How journalists can nail down the rest of the Cardinal McCarrick story — for good." 

A close second: tmatt's commentary on "Fire keeps falling: 'Uncle Teddy' the DC cardinal faces the reality of Matthew 18:6."

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Speaking of the clergy sex abuse issue, Peter Smith, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's veteran Godbeat pro, has a helpful trend report.

Smith notes that abuse accusations against priests, bishops and cardinals reach levels not seen in years.

Read the full story.

4. Shameless plug: I did a feature for Religion News Service this week on how an Oklahoma church came to develop the most popular Bible app in the world.

Since its launch 10 years, YouVersion has been downloaded on 330 million devices and in every country in the world.

5. Final thought: Is Twitter sinful?

That's the question raised in a Washington Post story on Thomas Tobin, the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence, R.I., leaving the social media platform.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

Please respect our Commenting Policy