Friday Five: Billy Graham rule, Marianne Williamson, nun's curveball, MZ's Kavanaugh book


A famous steakhouse off Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas, offers a free, 72-ounce steak.

The only catch: You must eat it all in one setting.

On a reporting trip this week, I stopped there for lunch. Spoiler alert: I didn’t order the 4.5-pound hunk of beef. I chose something slightly smaller.

While I savor the delicious memories, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: This may not be the most important story of the week. In fact, veteran religion journalist G. Jeffrey MacDonald questioned on Twitter whether it’s news at all.

But I’m fascinated by the coverage of a little-known Mississippi gubernatorial candidate who invoked the “Billy Graham rule” in declining to allow a female journalist to shadow him for a day. I wrote about all the national media attention state Rep. Robert Foster has received — and the lack of details on Foster’s actual religious beliefs — in a post Thursday.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Those of us who write for GetReligion don’t always come to same conclusions about religion stories that we read.

For example, I always enjoy and appreciate Sam Kestenbaum’s religion reporting, including his recent New York Times profile of Marianne Williamson. But our own Terry Mattingly praised the piece, but still had several questions about how the story might have dug a bit deeper. Tmatt’s post —  “Evil, sin, reality and life as a 'Son of God': What Marianne Williamson is saying isn't new” — was our most-clicked item of the week. The upcoming “Crossroads” podcast will be on this topic, as well.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): I missed Emily McFarlan Miller’s Religion News Service feature on curveball-throwing Sister Mary Jo Sobieck when it was published last month, but I enjoyed reading it this week as Sobieck headed to the ESPY awards.

By the way, Sobieck did not end up winning.

4. Shameless plug: In case you missed President Donald Trump tweeting about it, our friend and former GetReligion contributor Mollie Hemingway is the co-author for a new book on last year’s contentious confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It’s already Amazon’s No. 1 nonfiction bestseller.

I’ve got it loaded on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it.

5. Final thought: Hahahaha.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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