Friday Five: Remembering RHE, exiting Catholics, Pakistani Christian trafficking, fact-checking satire

Bobby Ross Jr., left, with sons Brady and Keaton at PNC Park in Pittsburgh

Bobby Ross Jr., left, with sons Brady and Keaton at PNC Park in Pittsburgh

This is one of those weeks when I’m putting together Friday Five after not paying a whole lot of attention to the news.

So if I miss something really crucial, blame it on my “bucket list” baseball trip to see my beloved Texas Rangers play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is the 23rd major-league stadium where I’ve seen a game. Of course, four of those ballparks (old Atlanta, New York Mets, St. Louis and Texas) no longer exist, so I have 11 left on my bucket list. The new Rangers stadium next year will make that 12. 

OK, that’s enough for now, but feel free to tweet me at @bobbyross for more baseball talk.

In the meantime, let’s dive into the (distracted) Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: Rachel Held Evans’ untimely death at age 37 was the major headline of the week.

The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey, the New York Times’ Elizabeth Dias, The Atlantic’s Emma Green, Religion News Service’s Emily McFarlan Miller and Slate’s Ruth Graham all covered the sad, sad news of Evans’ passing.

Here at GetReligion, Terry Mattingly wrote a post on the importance of focusing on doctrines, not political choices, in coverage of Evans’ legacy. And Julia Duin voiced her opinion that Evans’ death offered “a rare look at journalistic grief.”

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Our No. 1 most-clicked piece of the week concerns USA Today’s massive feature on why many are leaving Catholicism.

The national newspaper’s answer: the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

But tmatt makes the case that it’s more complicated than that single factor.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): We’ve praised Associated Press senior correspondent Kathy Gannon’s religion reporting from Pakistan previously.

This week, Gannon and colleague Dake Kang have a report on Pakistani Christian girls trafficked to China as brides.

It’s a must read.

4. Shameless plug: “Tremendous. Life changing,” veteran religion writer Kimberly Winston says of the Senior Journalists Seminar offered by the East-West Center.

Find details for applying here.

5. Final thought: Curious to know whether Babylon Bee is doing real news or satire?

Well, start here with this Snopes piece that tries to zap the Bee. The headline:

Did U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar Say ‘If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist on Being Jews?’

A quote needn't make sense for some people to believe it's genuine.

That led to this long, long response noting that the Bee stings people on the right side of the cultural aisle, as well as the left.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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