Friday Five: Chick-fil-A, Southwest pilot's faith, Waco anniversary, clergy sex abuse scandal and more

I have a confession to make, dear reader.

I eat too much Chick-fil-A. Way too much Chick-fil-A.

I love Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits for breakfast. I love Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches — minus the pickles, which I know is heresy to some— for dinner. I love anything on the Chick-fil-A menu for Sunday lunch. Or, I mean, I would if Chick-fil-A would just do me a favor and open on Sunday.

Go ahead and encourage me to #EatMorChikin (not to mention waffle fries). I'm just not sure it's possible. My waistline will back me up on this.

Yes, in case you're wondering, there's a religion news angle on Chick-fil-A in this week's Friday Five.

Let's dive right in:

1. Religion story of the week: A devout Christian pilot with "nerves of steel" calmly maneuvers a Southwest Airlines flight to the ground after a blown engine kills one passenger and injures seven others.

How can that not be the religion story of the week?

But the notes of faith and prayer from Flight 1380 go beyond the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults: The New York Times' riveting narrative on the passengers' experience is my favorite account so far.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: I promised a real news angle on Chick-fil-A. 

Here goes: Terry Mattingly's excellent piece headlined "The New Yorker stirs up a storm with analysis of Chick-fil-A evangelism in the Big Apple" occupies our No. 1 spot this week. 

If you haven't read it yet, please do go ahead and do so now. It's definitely worth your time. The key is that tmatt thinks the New Yorker piece is (wait for it) anti-New York City.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): As we've established — read here and here if you missed it — Peter Smith of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is one of the best religion writers on the planet.

This week, Smith has a must-read report on a grand jury report on the clergy sex abuse scandal that looms of Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

Read it.

4. Shameless plug: I wrote a package of stories for Religion News Service on this week's 25th anniversary of the massive fire that killed David Koresh and 75 Branch Davidian followers outside Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993.

Read the main story.

Also, check out a related interview I did with Bob Ricks, who was the FBI's main spokesman throughout the 51-day standoff.

5. Final thought: We began this week's Friday Five with chicken. We might as well it end with, um, mackerel.

Kate Shellnutt, associate editor for Christianity Today, noted that she's getting email pitches from a public relations person working on behalf of mackerel. If you don't know, mackerel is a fish.

My mom used to fry mackerel patties when I was growing up. I ate them then and liked them. I don't miss them now.

I'm tempted to say that I'd be curious to know what the religion angle is with mackerel. But I'm scared to death that PR person might be reading this and find my email address. Noooooooo!

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!



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