Friday Five: Tornadoes, Tim Conway's faith, weekend reading list, parents' grief, GOT spoilers

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Hey folks, it’s been one of those weeks.

Between severe weather warnings here in Oklahoma (aka Tornado Alley) and working on press week deadline at my regular job (The Christian Chronicle), I’ve missed as much religion news as I’ve caught. But I do have a holiday weekend reading list that I’ll share with you.

Speaking of tornadoes, a truck driver caught in the big one in Jefferson City, Mo., credited God with saving him, according to CNN. (There might be a holy ghost or two there.)

Anyway, let’s dive into the preoccupied edition of Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: See earlier caveat, but no single major religion headline really stood out to me this week.

That said, my colleagues here at GetReligion covered a whole lot of interesting territory, as always. That includes — just to cite a few examples:

Richard Ostling exploring the idea of an evangelical crisis.

Julia Duin pointing out another case of the Los Angeles Times suffering from a lack of religion reporting expertise.

And Clemente Lisi highlighting the collision between nationalism and Catholicism in the run-up to European elections.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: I failed to mention Terry Mattingly in the above list because I knew he’d be included here.

His insightful post on the holy ghosts in coverage of Tim Conway’s death ranks No. 1 this week.

Check out his viral piece, headlined “Tim Conway was a kind soul, with a gentle sense of humor. Maybe his faith played a role in that?” (Hint: Yes, it did. But be sure to click to learn more and enjoy a few funny videos, too.)

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Here’s that weekend reading list, featuring stories I want to take time to read this weekend (and Monday, since I’m off for Memorial Day).

Among them:

Emma Green’s cover story in The Atlantic on “The Impossible Future of Christians in the Middle East.”

The six-part series in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Peter Smith & Co. on sexual abuse in Mennonite and Amish communities.

NPR religion correspondent Tom Gjelten’s report on the growing debate over what religious freedom means.

The New York Times review of “Grace Will Lead Us Home” by Jennifer Berry Hawes, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Silver Foster-Frau’s San Antonio Express-News coverage of the opening of the new sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

4. Shameless plug: For Bertrum and Allison Jean, the nightmare never goes away.

Nearly nine months after an off-duty Dallas cop killed their son Botham Jean in his own apartment, I talked to them about their emotional journey and fight for justice.

Read my front-page Christian Chronicle story.

5. Final thought: Yeah. What jaboukie said.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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