Here’s your periodic reminder that — from “Save Chick-fil-A” legislation to the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals — the Dallas Morning News sure could use a religion writer.
When police this week raided Diocese of Dallas offices related to allegations of sexual abuse by priests, the Texas newspaper — to which I subscribe — put a team of reporters on it and produced two front-page stories (here and here).
The team included a projects/enterprise writer, two police/crime reporters and a city hall writer/columnist. A Godbeat pro on the team? Sadly, the Dallas Morning News doesn’t have one, despite the importance of religion in that Bible Belt city. (There’s another Page 1 report today, again by a public safety reporter.)
Ironically, the paper’s initial coverage included an opinion piece (“Why it's good Dallas police ran out of patience with the Catholic Diocese on sex abuse”) by metro columnist Sharon Grigsby. Those of a certain age will recall that in the 1990s, Grigsby founded the Dallas Morning News’ award-winning religion section (now defunct) and oversaw a team of six religion writers and editors.
Those were the days!
Turning from the Big D, let’s dive into the Friday Five:
1. Religion story of the week: Alabama’s passage of a law banning abortion in almost all cases tops the week’s headlines.
Since my post pointing out the holy ghosts in much of the news coverage, the religion angle has received major treatment from the New York Times (here and here) and showed up in The Associated Press’ headline on the state’s governor signing the anti-abortion bill into law.