Friday Five: RNA finalists, church-state questions, 'Sing Hallelujah,' Sikh truck stops, 'just' praying

The Religion News Association announced the finalists this week for its 2019 Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence.

Regular GetReligion readers will recognize many of the names.

Julia Duin is one of the finalists for pieces she wrote for GetReligion and the Wall Street Journal. I am honored to be included for my work with The Christian Chronicle.

In other Godbeat news, The Associated Press has named Sally Stapleton as its new global religion editor. She’ll oversee the wire service’s new global religion team, funded by an 18-month, $4.9 million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant in partnership with Religion News Service and The Conversation.

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: With no obvious choice this week, I’ll point readers to two interesting GetReligion posts at the intersection of church and state.

The first is Richard Ostling’s post reflecting on the U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow a century-old, 40-foot cross at a public war memorial in Maryland.

The other is Terry Mattingly’s post on the latest round in the Catholic school wars. The question, once again, is: Can teachers take public actions that defy church doctrines?

2. Most popular GetReligion: We have a sequel this week.

For the second week in a row, Julia Duin takes the top spot with a look at a strong religion-news angle in the massive demonstrations in Hong Kong, protesting legal changes sought by the government of China.

See ”American media ignore 'Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,' the anthem of Hong Kong's protests.”

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): The Los Angeles Times’ Jaweed Kaleem went on the road with a Sikh truck driver — Interstate 40, to be precise — to produce this colorful piece.

Check it out.

4. Shameless plug: Here’s a big plug for journalism itself.

The Associated Press reports on the staff of the Capital Gazette a year after a gunman killed five of their colleagues.

5. Final thought: I just, um, just don’t know how to respond to that. Amen.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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