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Meet the enemy of big government: J.R.R. Tolkien

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22, 2014 – Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan once famously said: “I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the world’s most beloved authors, likely would have agreed with President Reagan, much to the surprise of many literary critics. In THE HOBBIT PARTY: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and The West Forgot, coauthors Dr. Jay Richards, a Catholic, and Dr. Jonathan Witt, an Evangelical Christian, show how Tolkien’s Middle-Earth novels championed liberty, trade and limited government, key issues in the upcoming midterm elections. They believe Tolkien’s novels of Middle-Earth draw us a map to freedom and liberty.

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Pontiff and Prophet: Pope Paul VI predictions in On Human Life ring true throughout the world

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2014 – ON HUMAN LIFE, also known as Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI, who was beatified Sunday by Pope Francis, is perhaps the most controversial Church document ever written. It also might be the Church’s most prophetic document. Pope Paul VI explained in ON HUMAN LIFE why the Catholic Church rejects contraception and warned of the consequences if contraception became widely practiced — greater infidelity in marriage, confusion regarding the nature of human sexuality and its role in society, the objectification of women for sexual pleasure, compulsive “family planning” and contraceptive policies by government, and the reduction of the human body as an instrument of human manipulation, all of which have resulted in the implosion of our culture. Ignatius Press has rereleased ON HUMAN LIFE, with a foreword by Mary Eberstadt, afterword by Dr. James Hitchcock and postscript by Jennifer Fulwiler, to coincide with the beatification of Pope Paul VI.

Quote of the Day: Actor Joshua Jackson

“I can tell you why we’re not married: We’re not religious. I don’t feel any more or less committed to Diane for not having stood in front of a priest and had a giant party.”

— Actor Joshua Jackson explaining to Glamour magazine why he and actress Diane Kruger have not yet tied the knot.

Quote of the Day: Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland

“The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”

— Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland, in announcing the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize to 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India.

Quote of the Day: Novelist Anne Rice

“The vampires represent those of us in society who feel damned and I am always seeking a way for them and those of us who identify with them to be saved.”

— “Interview With a Vampire” novelist Anne Rice, in an interview with America magazine.

Quote of the Day: The Rev. Susan Russell

“NOW it starts to get real, people! When gay people have the same rights straight people do to get drunk and drive to Las Vegas to get married by an Elvis impersonator then marriage equality in the USA has crossed a Rubicon for sure.”

— The Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., a longtime advocate for gay rights, after a federal appeals court struck down Nevada’s ban on gay marriage, in a Facebook post.

Quote of the Day: Sen. Ted Cruz

“We stand for life. We stand for marriage. We stand for Israel. We bring back jobs and opportunity and unleash small businesses to make it easier for people to achieve the American dream. We abolish the IRS.

Religion Newswriters award winner releases book tackling faith, race & today’s issues

Newly released from Wipf and Stock Publishers, “Getting From Here to Eternity: A Spirit-filled View of the News” (226 pages, softcover) is a compilation of newspaper columns on religion written by the Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., winner of second place in the 2014 Cassels Religion Reporter of the Year competition of the Religion Newswriters Association as well as a pair of Indiana Society of Professional Journalists awards for opinion writing. Huckins’ columns address top issues regarding faith across the nation and world from 2012-2014, including gay rights, separation of church and state, the rise of non-Christian religions and more. There also are pieces about Christian living, theology and worldview. All items are written from the perspective of an evangelical Christian journalist with a quarter-century in the news business who’s one of the few Caucasians ordained by an African-American denomination. Major Christian figures are endorsing Huckins’ book.

Quote of the Day: Sen. Cory Booker

“I’m a Christian & believe we should listen to Athiests especially if they challenge us. Christians have no monopoly on truth.” — Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., in a tweet

Quote of the Day: The Dalai Lama

“Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jihad in their hearts, including me.”
— The Dalai Lama, rejecting claims by Islamic militants that the Muslim concept of jihad, or inner struggle, involves killing your enemies.

Religion Newswriters Association names winners of 2014 RNA Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

ATLANTA — Religion reporters from across the country won top honors Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Religion Newswriters Association’s 2014 awards banquet. Roy Larson was presented the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award for his intrepid reporting and commitment to fostering a new generation of religion writers. Larson was a religion reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. He later began a joint journalism and religion program, which he directed as well as taught courses, at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Quote of the day: Sen. Ted Cruz

“If you hate Jewish people then you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.” –Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was booed off the stage when he gave a keynote address Wednesday (Sept. 10) at a Washington, D.C. conference intended to raise awareness of beleaguered Mideast Christians.