Friday Five: California massacre, religious voters, Catholic bishops, tiny clay seals, blogger lawsuit

Thank God it’s Friday.

Between the election and yet another mass shooting — this one hitting especially close to home for my family — I’m ready for this weekend.

One of the victims of the massacre at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., was Alaina Housley, a freshman at Pepperdine University in nearby Malibu. I can’t help but think of my own daughter, Kendall, a fellow Pepperdine student who went dancing at that same country music venue during her freshman year last year.

May God grant peace and comfort to Housley’s family and all those struggling with this latest senseless tragedy in America.

The Los Angeles Times reported on some of the prayer vigils for the victims:

Before we head into the weekend, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: Tuesday was Election Day. You might have heard about it. It was a sort of big deal.

In case you missed it, I highlighted five post-election religion storylines to watch. Terry Mattingly delved into what the midterm outcomes means for the culture wars over the U.S. Supreme Court. And Richard Ostling explained why Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse stands out — politically and religiously — in the post-election GOP.

Curious about how religious voters leaned in Tuesday’s voting? The Pew Research Center has the must-read analysis.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Once again, a post related to the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal occupies the No. 1 most-clicked spot.

The specific post at the top of the chart: tmatt’s commentary on “Who will protect sheep from shepherds? Inquirer and Globe team spotlights sins of many bishops.”

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Former GetReligionista Mark Kellner had a fascinating story in my backyard (Oklahoma City) this week.

Kellner reported for Religion News Service on how “two tiny clay seals attributed to King Hezekiah of Judah and an Isaiah who could be the biblical prophet have drawn global notice this year — and raised the visibility of a tiny American church involved in their discovery.”

4. Shameless plug: Speaking of RNS, my own freelance piece on a lawsuit filed by an influential pastor and his Chicago-area megachurch against two bloggers and a journalist was published this week.

RNS editor-in-chief Bob Smietana noted on Twitter that he has covered religion for 20 years, and this lawsuit marks a first in his experience: “Never heard of a church filing suit against a freelance writer for a Christian magazine before their story ran.”

5. Final thought: So apparently, Indiana and Kentucky are trading places!? LOL.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

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