12 reasons to be happy

Let’s ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive and take a look at reasons to celebrate, including: “All You Need Is Love;” a gun dealer has a change of heart; praise for a role model and a peacemaker; Muslims help Christians celebrate Christmas; Illinois clergy come through; executions decline; and cool new ideas to save lives from landmines and pancreatic cancer. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

Philippians 2:3-11: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” [Read more…]

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Saturday salmagundi

Leftovers from a slow week: Reading the Bible alphabetically, “Twas the night before Rapture” (not a parody); the Pope of the Nones; “in-your-face” evangelism and its Unitarian Universalist opposite; Fr. Jim Martin revisits some parables; and jaw-dropping pics from Phil Plait. [Read more…]

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Vox click: Top posts from the past week

Just in case you missed something this week, here are the 10 posts that got the most traffic in the week ending Friday. [Read more…]

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Hobby Lobby takes human biology to court, loses

It doesn’t matter if the evangelical gazillionaire owners of Hobby Lobby believe that emergency contraception causes abortions. It does not do that. Nor does it matter if this belief is passionately sincere and sincerely passionate. Sincerity and passion won’t make it any less incorrect. [Read more…]

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Republicans continue post-election outreach programs

Following their losses in the 2012 elections, Republican officials across America have stepped up their outreach efforts to improve their standing with black voters, voters over age 65, college students, disaster victims, voters with disabilities and women voters. [Read more…]

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NRA: We’re back in the car again

I’m willing to give Jerry Jenkins the benefit of the doubt here and guess that repeated close and slow readings of this scene might yield some coherent sequence of physical events. I’d bet that if we gave him a half hour, some graph paper, a white board and some miniature models, he could walk us through all of that and show us what he was imagining in a way that made sense. [Read more…]

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Christmas carols

It’s the Friday music game — I’ll show you mine and you show me yours. This week, 10 Christmas carols, because now that the mall has stopped playing them, the church can finally start singing them. [Read more…]

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Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

“We support biblical families,” Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy says of his fast-food corporation. So let’s take a look at some of those biblical families. Today’s entry: Pastor’s kids. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things

Brian McLaren writes an Open Letter to a Ugandan legislator; Terence Weldon on “heteronormative;” Rebecca Levi on why worship, for the powerless, must be political; Steven Hill says it’s time to double Social Security benefits; and Steve Benen asks why the conservative argument for school vouchers doesn’t also apply to housing, nutrition and health care. [Read more…]

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