Friday Five: Abortion, Catholic and Baptist scandals, Emanuel AME, disaster deacon, The Bachelorette


Anybody seen any abortion-related headlines lately?

I kid. I kid.

They keep coming fast and furious — some stories better than others.

Here’s three that have come across my screen just today. I haven’t had time to read them yet:

Southern Baptists descend on Alabama, epicenter of abortion debate, by Holly Meyer of The Tennessean

Biden reverses long-held position on abortion funding amid criticism, from CNN

Poll: Majority Want To Keep Abortion Legal, But They Also Want Restrictions, from NPR

At the only abortion clinic left in Missouri, doctors live and work in uncertainty, from the Los Angeles Times

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: It’s been a week of big exposés concerning major religious institutions.

We highlighted the Washington Post’s bombshell investigative report on the lavish spending of West Virginia’s former Catholic bishop.

Richard Ostling pointed to the latest investigative pieces by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News on the Southern Baptist sex abuse scandal.

The Associated Press’ Rome correspondent, Nicole Winfield, reported from Houston on accusations that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo — president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — mishandled a sex abuse case involving a top aide.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: First, I need to correct the record. Last week, I reported that my post on prayers for Alex Trebek’s “mind-boggling” cancer recovery was our most-clicked item. Somehow, I totally missed Julia Duin’s post on an NPR editor’s memo that said “Babies are not babies until they are born.”

As it turns out, I was a week ahead: The Trebek post actually did occupy the No. 1 spot this past week, barely edging out Terry Mattingly’s analysis of headlines concerning a Catholic Democrat in Louisiana taking a stand against abortion.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Adelle Banks and Jennifer Berry Hawes are both journalists whom I’ve praised often here at GetReligion.

So how could I not call attention to Banks’ Religion News Service interview of Hawes about her new book, “Grace Will Lead Us Home,” about the 2017 massacre at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

4. Shameless plug: I enjoyed writing a Christian Chronicle profile of Kenneth Hearrell, the 87-year-old “disaster deacon” for the Crosstown Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla.

Hearrell explains his motivation — “I do it because I can” — for working long hours to help neighbors displaced by historic flooding in Oklahoma’s second-largest city.

5. Final thought: You, sir, are my new favorite meteorologist!

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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