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Friday Five: Matt from Walmart, pope vote, icky details, execution reprieve, butts and bagels

Friday Five: Matt from Walmart, pope vote, icky details, execution reprieve, butts and bagels

Hey Godbeat friends, can we please get a faith angle on Matt from Walmart — and pronto?

I kid. I kid. Well, mostly.

I heard about “How a dude named Matt at an Omaha Walmart went viral” via a tweet by Mary (Rezac) Farrow, a writer for Catholic News Agency. She described the Omaha World-Herald story as her “favorite piece of journalism” she’s read in a while.

After clicking the link, here’s my response: Amen!

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

. Religion story of the week: We are blessed here at GetReligion to have religion writing legends such as Richard Ostling on our team of contributors.

Ostling’s post this week “Down memory lane: A brief history of Catholic leaks that made news” is a typical example of his exceptional insight.

The news peg for the post is Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell’s recent scoop in America magazine on the precise number of votes for all 22 candidates on the first ballot when the College of Cardinals elected Pope Francis in 2013. Ostling offers praise, too, for Washington Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein’s coverage of the story.

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Nebraska newspaper overdoes it on 'injustice' faced by gay Catholic teacher

Nebraska newspaper overdoes it on 'injustice' faced by gay Catholic teacher

It appears that the Religion Newswriters Association has no members who live and work in the state of Nebraska right now. This might be a good time for a newspaper or two there to try hiring a pro on this beat.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, what he have here is another one of those all-to-common stories that's becoming so prevalent on the LGBT side of the religion beat these days. It's a classic example of the template currently being used over and over in mainstream newsrooms.

Start here: A gay teacher in a Catholic school is losing his job if he marries his partner. Supporters of the teacher are outraged. Articulate defenders of Catholic doctrine are either silent, absent or ignored (it's often hard to tell).

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star report is pretty predictable:

Students, parents and alumni of an Omaha Catholic high school have rallied behind a teacher who was told his contract would not be renewed if he marries his same-sex partner.
Supporters of Matthew Eledge, an English teacher and speech coach, took to social media Tuesday and thousands of people signed online petitions asking Skutt Catholic High School to reverse its decision.
Eledge and Elliot Dougherty were engaged in December, according to Kacie Hughes, a petition organizer and Eledge’s assistant speech coach.
When Eledge told school administrators about his marriage plans, Hughes said, Eledge was told he would not be invited back to teach in the fall, and if he told students he would be fired immediately. Eledge asked about the possibility of postponing the wedding so he could continue teaching but was told he would have to end the relationship, Hughes said.
Reached Tuesday, Eledge declined comment, as did the school and the Omaha Diocese.

Nebraska is not alone in this debate, as a similar story is playing out in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

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