Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons

Trump + Gillibrand + faith: 'Why is religion only talked about when reporters profile Republicans?'

Trump + Gillibrand + faith: 'Why is religion only talked about when reporters profile Republicans?'

Did you happen to hear where Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was last week when President Trump posted a tweet about her that the president's critics labeled "sexually suggestive and demeaning?"

Yep, that's right: The New York Democrat was at a bipartisan Bible study.

So what are the odds that the New York Times political writers who profiled Gillibrand in Sunday's newspaper — in a lengthy A-section piece tied to the president's kerfuffle with the senator — delved into her faith?

Hint: The Times makes passing reference to the aforementioned Bible study. 

But any actual consideration of Gillibrand's faith? Not so much. (Interestingly enough, the profile does point to the senator's propensity to curse "freely in public venues."

I first became aware of Gillibrand's participation in the regular Bible study when I did a Religion News Service profile of Sen. James Lankford earlier this year. I asked the Oklahoma Republican's team for the names of Democrats involved in the study. They put me in touch with Gillibrand's office.

I visited with Gillibrand about Lankford and her own faith, and a portion of that interview ended up in my story:

“He’s definitely sincere about his faith, and it’s absolutely a guidepost in his public service,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a Roman Catholic who joins a weekly bipartisan Bible study with Lankford and other senators.

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Breaking: Babylon Bee buys RNS, will publish mix of fake and real news (SATIRE)

Breaking: Babylon Bee buys RNS, will publish mix of fake and real news (SATIRE)

How's this for a scoop?

We've learned that the Babylon Bee, the fake religion news website, has purchased Religion News Service and will merge the two media organizations.

"For several years, it's been difficult to tell where the snark ends and the real news begins at RNS, so we decided this partnership would be a match made in heaven," a high-ranking source said, speaking on condition that no one accuse left-leaning RNS of believing in a literal "heaven."

I kid. I kid.

But hey, RNS asked for it by poking fun at your friendly GetReligionistas. More on that in a moment.

First, though, if you're not familiar with the Babylon Bee, it really is a bastion of fake religion news excellence. 

Veteran religion writer Bob Smietana wrote a neat feature about it for the Washington Post last week:

What would the Onion look like if it were written for the godly?
How about these headlines?
“Mountain Climber Recovering After Decision to Let Go and Let God”
 “Worship Leader Caught in Infinite Loop Between Bridge and Chorus
Local Family Attending Church on Easter Just in Case God Is Real
At the Babylon Bee, the news is always fake but the stories are often true.
The satire site, which began in early March, features witty headlines that poke fun at the foibles of churchgoers.
The site is the brainchild of Adam Ford, 32, a Detroit dad who quit his day job a year and a half ago to produce Web content.
His first project was, a Web comic supported by small group of donors and a few ads. He’s aiming bigger with the Babylon Bee, which he said attracted more than 1 million visitors in its first three weeks.

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