Southern California

Another day, another mass shooting in America — this time at a country music night in California

Another day, another mass shooting in America — this time at a country music night in California

Another day.

Another mass shooting in America — this time at a country music dance hall in Southern California.

I woke up this morning to news alerts of the 13 people killed, including the gunman and a sheriff’s deputy trying to stop the carnage.

Within minutes, my daughter, Kendall, a Pepperdine University sophomore studying in Shanghai this school year, texted me to ask if I had heard that “a bunch of Pepperdine students” had been there.

“It’s like a super popular place, too — like I’ve been there,” she said. “Super scary.”

At that point, it really struck close to home. My son, Keaton, a junior journalism major at Oklahoma Christian University, had the same feeling. He expressed his emotions in a must-read opinion column (full disclosure: I’m his father, so perhaps I’m biased) that he wrote for his campus newspaper, The Talon.

A religion angle? Obviously, a shooting at a grill and bar will have a different storyline than one at a Baptist church or a Jewish synagogue.

But Pepperdine — which one of the victims attended — is a Christian university and organized a prayer service that drew reporters this afternoon:

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Greg Laurie goes Southern Baptist and newsrooms in Southern California are clueless

Greg Laurie goes Southern Baptist and newsrooms in Southern California are clueless

I can’t say I’ve ever heard the Rev. Greg Laurie preach, but the evangelist is certainly a heavyweight in some circles. Which is why I was surprised to hear he was moving from life in a charismatic denomination to the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise did a piece (which I found in the Orange County Register) on Laurie’s switcheroo nearly a month after Christianity Today reported on it. The writer of the Press-Enterprise piece might have done well to have googled Laurie’s name, as she would have found CT’s vastly better-reported piece.

As it was, this is what the newspaper reported on Monday:

Harvest Christian Fellowship will be joining the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant body with about 15 million members. The Rev. Greg Laurie, pastor and founder of the 15,000-member Harvest and its Harvest Crusades, announced the move in June.
Some theologians see this as Laurie’s official shift toward mainstream evangelicalism and worry that Riverside-based Harvest could be overshadowed by the denomination. Laurie has been seen as one of the biggest crusaders of Calvary Chapel, an association of evangelical Christian churches to which Harvest belongs. Calvary was born as a movement away from religious denominations.
But, in a statement, Laurie calls the new partnership an extension of the collaboration already taking place between Harvest and a network of evangelical churches that participate in the annual Harvest Crusades -- a Southern California Christian institution that’s drawn millions of people to stadiums and arenas around the world.

So far, so good -- although we could talk about whether the vague "evangelical" terms is the best way to describe the Calvary Chapel movement. Then:

Laurie, who has an office in Irvine, was not available for an interview last week, spokeswoman Laura McGowan said.
For Southern Baptist, which has been reported to be struggling with declining membership, this is a gain…

Yes, you read that right. it really did say, "For Southern Baptist" -- singular.

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The Los Angeles Times misses wrestler's prayer refrain: 'Christ is in me, I am enough'

The Los Angeles Times misses wrestler's prayer refrain: 'Christ is in me, I am enough'

Does anyone have time for yet another Rio 2016 religion-news post?

One of the responses that your GetReligionistas hear when we criticize the faith-shaped holes in mainstream news coverage goes something like this: You guys just aren't realistic. In today's age of short, quickie digital journalism -- with journalists dashing off three or four stories and 10 tweets a day -- reporters just don't have the time and space to add secondary, deep-background details about religion and stuff.

Or words to that effect. Trust me, we understand the pressures, in an age when the advertising crisis in mass media has left fewer reporters in mainstream newsrooms, while the World Wide Web demands more and more 24/7 content. We know that reality issue is there.

The veteran scribes here at GetReligion -- with nearly 200 years worth of experience in religion news, when you add us all up -- can see the challenges. Trust me, we know that people on beats that bump into religious content, from arts to politics, from sports to business, don't have the time to write religion feature stories.

But they do have time to listen to what people say and then include a few details and quotes about faith, when it is clear that these details are at the heart of a person's life and work.

Take team USA wrestler Helen Maroulis, whose win over three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan was -- in one NBC soundbite -- something like an unknown sprinter beating Usain Bolt (that Catholic mega-star from Jamaica) in the 100 meters.

Now, it helps to know that Maroulis has been training for several years in Southern California. Thus, you would expect The Los Angeles Times to be anxious to tune her in and capture the essence of this huge Olympics upset. So here is some key material at the top of a feature about the gold-metal winner:

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Tiny little news stories about booming Diocese of Orange

The Diocese of Orange — as in Orange County — has a new leader, Bishop Kevin W. Vann, who has moved from one rapidly growing Catholic flock, in Fort Worth, to lead another in a diocese that the experts believe is one of the most rapidly growing in the United States. It is already the nation’s 10th largest and, with its rising tide of Latino and Asian believers, there is little sign this growth will stop anytime soon.

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