Monday Mix: #RNA2018, Hurricane Florence faith, Botham Jean justice, Beth Moore vs. Trump

It’s the post-#RNA2018 edition of the Monday Mix.

Look for a link below concerning a letter submitted this past weekend at the Religion News Association’s annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, by seven former presidents of that professional association. Yes, the letter relates to the controversy earlier this year when Religion News Service’s former editor in chief, Jerome Socolovsky, was fired.

For those needing a refresher on this new GetReligion feature, Monday Mix focuses on headlines and insights you might have missed from the weekend and late in the week.

We'll mention this again, too: 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. "It’s easy to say, ‘I love God,’ but put on your boots, get your hands dirty." The faith-based response to Hurricane Florence is front-page news in today’s New York Times.

The Times offers an excellent overview of the crucial role people of faith play in disaster relief:

From the first moments of the rolling disaster of Florence, there has been no sharp divide separating the official responders, the victims and the houses of faith.

2. "There's this fatigue and frustration that has definitely hit a nerve, because we just want it to end." In a front-page story Sunday, The Dallas Morning News delved into why Botham Jean’s killing by a police officer “has prompted skepticism, anger and fears that justice will prove as elusive as it has before.”

To its credit, the Dallas newspaper turns to faith leaders as it explores the issue.

3. "She’s a singularly influential figure among evangelicals as a woman leader.” The headline makes you want to read the story: “The Tiny Blond Bible Teacher Taking on the Evangelical Political Machine.”

The article summary:

Beth Moore grew her flock by teaching scripture to women — and being deferential to men. Now her outspokenness on sexism could cost her everything.

It’s an enlightening profile, which is no surprise given the author: The Atlantic’s Emma Green.

Also in the Mix

4. As mentioned above, seven former RNA presidents submitted a letter to the group’s board this past weekend.

“In our opinion, recent events — especially the firing of Jerome Socolovsky and the resignations of Kimberly Winston and Lauren Markoe at Religion News Service — seriously jeopardize the stated purpose the Religion News Association and the Religion News Foundation,” the presidents said.

I tweeted a copy of the letter:

I also tweeted a response from RNA’s outgoing president, Manya Brachear Pasham:


Ironically, Winston was honored at the RNA’s annual awards banquet with first place for Excellence in Religion Reporting — Large Newspapers and Wire Services.

5. It seems like I’ve seen this storyline before, but I always enjoy articles by talented New York Times Godbeat pro Elizabeth Dias.

Dias notes that Democrats are “taking aim at a Republican stronghold: evangelicals.”

Pointing to the 80 percent support that President Trump got from white evangelicals in 2016, the Times reports:

Democrats have largely stood on the sidelines as Republicans forged this alliance. But now a group is moving more aggressively to bring evangelical voters and the Democratic Party together as the midterm elections approach.

In case you missed it

6. Among the weekend GetReligion posts that you should check out: Terry Mattingly’s latest commentary concerning the “Uncle Ted” McCarrick scandal.

Tmatt writes:

Attention all Catholic readers and other news consumers who want to keep up with news reporting about the life and times of ex-cardinal Theodore “Uncle Teddy” McCarrick: It appears that you are going to need to read the opinion pages of The Washington Post.

Yes, the opinion pages.

7. Another weekend GR post worth checking out: Richard Ostling explores a Trump-era question.

That would be: “Should national flags or patriotic songs be allowed in church?”

Question to start the week

8. What should readers make of created dialogue in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear”?

That’s the question raised in a recent column by the Washington Examiners’s Byron York.

My friend Joe Hight, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor who now teaches media ethics, pointed me to this blog post on the use of dialogue in nonfiction works. Our own tmatt wrote a post on a related issue just the other day, linked to coverage of the current Catholic abuse crisis.

I’d welcome your feedback on the question.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Have a terrific week!

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