Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Friday Five: Southern Baptists and Catholic bishops and White House Bible verses, oh my! What a week!

Friday Five: Southern Baptists and Catholic bishops and White House Bible verses, oh my! What a week!

Looking for religion news? It's "Everywhere" this week.

Southern Baptists in Dallas? Yep.

Roman Catholic bishops in Florida? Yep.

Bible references at the White House? Of course.

"This week has been a religion writer's dream," said Bob Smietana, veteran Godbeat pro.

"When 'Bible' is trending in one of the most secular regions of America [San Francisco], you know you need to hire more religion writers," said Kaya Oakes, who writes for a variety of publications.

Preach it!

In the meantime, let's dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: Obviously, there's no shortage of possibilities this week. But given our half-dozen posts on the Southern Baptist Convention (just since the last Friday Five), it's hard to argue with the annual meeting in Dallas as the week's top story.

To catch up here are those posts (with Terry Mattingly's podcast post still to come):

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What makes a GetReligion post go viral? Wish I knew, but these were my Top 10 posts of 2017

What makes a GetReligion post go viral? Wish I knew, but these were my Top 10 posts of 2017

Happy New Year!

As we plunge into 2018, I'm excited about another year of writing for GetReligion. At this journalism-focused website, we highlight both positive and negative examples of mainstream reporting on religion news. 

I write four posts a week (including the all-new "Friday Five"). That adds up to 200 times a year that I offer my insights and opinions. Some of my posts go viral on social media. Others, um, do not. 

These were my 10 most-clicked posts of 2017:

10. Bravo! Washington Post religion writer delves masterfully into the faith of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

9. Oh no, look what Trump's done: He's appointed someone to Cabinet who ONCE PRAYED

8. Chicago Tribune reporting on Wheaton College hazing incident seems solid, but pay close attention

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Bravo! Washington Post religion writer delves masterfully into the faith of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Bravo! Washington Post religion writer delves masterfully into the faith of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Washington Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein has a must-read story today on the faith of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Boorstein, recently honored with the Religion News Association's top prize for religion reporting at large newspapers and wire services, demonstrates once again why she is one of the best in her field.

"How Sarah Huckabee Sanders sees the world" is the headline on the Godbeat veteran's masterfully crafted piece that opens like this:

This is the world as seen through the eyes of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
As a girl, she watched her father, Southern Baptist pastor-turned-GOP-governor Mike Huckabee, sidelined when he entered politics. Arkansas Democrats literally nailed his office door shut.
In the years after, she saw conservative Christians — like her family, like most everyone she knew — ridiculed in American pop culture.
As a young woman, she moved to Washington for a government job, and noticed right away, she says, that people in the nation’s capital care more about your job than who you are. “Certainly not like where I’m from,” she says.
Sanders described this perpetual interloper experience from her other world: an elegant, well-appointed office at the White House, where reporters from places such as the New York Times and CNN metaphorically prostrate themselves at her door day in and out, and from where she can receive guidance on the phone every day from her father, long a political darling of conservative Christians, a TV celebrity now worth millions.
As the public face of the U.S. president, Sanders is a fitting symbol for her fellow religious conservatives, who are both insider and outsider, powerful and powerless.
Religious conservatives “aren’t outsiders in this White House, but generally speaking, they are,” the 35-year-old said recently in an interview in her West Wing office.

Regular GetReligion readers may recall that my August critique of a New York Times profile of Sanders was much less charitable. In fact, that analysis relied heavily on sarcasm.

With tongue firmly in cheek, I noted how shocking it was — at least to the NYT — to discover Sanders is "AN EVANGELICAL WHO READS A CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONAL BEFORE NEWS BRIEFINGS."

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Absolutely shocking news! Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads Christian devotionals

Absolutely shocking news! Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads Christian devotionals

Shocking!

Absolutely shocking!

Perhaps you saw the news today — via a tweet by the New York Times to its nearly 39 million followers — about White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

In case you're standing, I'll hold on just a second so you can sit down.

OK, brace yourself. Here it is. Deep breath, everyone!

Without further weeping and gnashing of teeth, the tweet from the Times:

President Trump's new press secretary is an evangelical who reads a Christian devotional before news briefings

Did you catch that!?

To repeat, Sanders IS AN EVANGELICAL WHO READS A CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONAL BEFORE NEWS BRIEFINGS.

Stop the presses!

I kid. I kid. But more than a few folks on Twitter chuckled at the Times' characterization of Sanders' spiritual discipline:

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