barber shop

Friday Five: Godbeat trend, United Methodist future, Wheaton 'proof texts,' targeting atheists

Friday Five: Godbeat trend, United Methodist future, Wheaton 'proof texts,' targeting atheists

In a post this week about religion writer Tim Funk retiring from the Charlotte Observer, I asked about the status of religion reporting at the nation’s regional newspapers.

I mentioned a few metro dailies — the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Peter Smith), The Tennessean (Holly Meyer) and The Oklahoman (Carla Hinton) among them — that still rock the Godbeat.

But I asked readers to help me compile a list of all the big papers with full-time religion writers. Got a name to add to the list? By all means, comment below or tweet us @GetReligion.

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: Did you hear that the United Methodist Church had a high-stakes meeting in St. Louis, the latest battle in decades of warfare over marriage, sex and the Bible? LGBTQ issues are at the heart of this drama, as always (it seems).

Of course you heard about that and here are some of our posts from that major shindig:

Next big news story: After 40 years of war, is United Methodist establishment ready to bargain?

Big United Methodist questions: Has left embraced 'exit' plans? Do 'coexist' clauses work?

Yes, the United Methodist Church's big meeting in St. Louis is national news, but it's something else, too

Out of all the news coverage that I read, my favorite piece was this one by The Atlantic’s excellent Emma Green. Got a different nominee? Share a link below or tweet us at @GetReligion.

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Why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz getting a haircut wasn't just news — it was, believe it or not, religion news

Why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz getting a haircut wasn't just news — it was, believe it or not, religion news

Dude.

Religion stories pop up in the most unexpected places. For example, the barber chair.

That's where U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz found himself over the weekend as the Texas Republican campaigned for votes in his re-election bid against Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Cruz's well-financed Democratic challenger.

In the nation's most expensive Senate race, perhaps it's no surprise that Cruz getting a haircut — "and an earful," as the Dallas Morning News described it — made headlines.

But was there really a religion angle in the snip, snip, snip?

Believe it or not, yes, as noted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy.

Check this off as example 3,127,629 why the religion beat is never boring.

Also, give credit to the Texas media who covered Cruz's retail politics (which later included Texas barbecue, which beats anything cooked in Tennessee, as I'm sure tmatt will attest) for not missing the faith angle.

The name of the barber shop offered the first clue: It's called Kingdom Cuts.

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