RNS Updated Budget — Friday, December 20, 2019

RNS-CT-Editorial: Christianity Today editor argues morally compromised Trump should be removed from office
(RNS) — Mark Galli, the editor-in-chief of the influential evangelical magazine Christianity Today, says that President Donald Trump should be removed from office. In an editorial on Trump's impeachment published Thursday (Dec. 19), Galli argued that even though Democrats have "had it out" for Trump since his election, the case for the president's impeachment — which the House of Representatives voted to approve to Wednesday — was convincing. By Jack Jenkins. 938 words. (category: a)

RNS-Germany-Rabbi: New Reform rabbi in Dresden explains ultra-Orthodox traditions to German Jews
PARIS (RNS) — The story of a Hasidic New Yorker who was ordained in Israel and started over again as a Reform rabbi in Germany, sounds like a made-for-TV movie saga. But Akiva Weingarten's unlikely biography is true, and for the past five years he has settled into the relatively routine life of a rabbi in Dresden. By Tom Heneghan. 1,010 words. (category: i)

RNS-Freedom-Violators: State Department cites religious freedom violators, notes Sudan’s progress
WASHINGTON (RNS) — The State Department issued its latest designations of the world’s most serious violators of religious freedom, moving Sudan down to its next-tier watchlist. By Adelle M. Banks. 500 words. (categories: a)

RNS-Methodist-Marriage: A Dallas United Methodist Church will end 2019 affirming all marriage vows 
(RNS) — Ahead of a clampdown on ordination and marriage of LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Dallas, a venerable 172-year-old downtown institution, will close out 2019 with a service reaffirming marriage vows — heterosexual and same-sex. By Yonat Shimron. 650 words. (category: a)

RNS-Burton-Oped: How we all became Jedis
(RNS) — After nearly 40 years, the Star Wars saga is almost complete, and the decades-long journey of the Jedi is ending. But the spiritual legacy of the Jedi is sure to last much longer. The implicit metaphysics of Star Wars — that there’s a vague energy called The Force that flows through us all, that has both Light and Dark Sides between which we all must choose — has by 2019 become an indelible part of our collective conversation. By Tara Isabella Burton. 600 words. (category: k)

RNS-Hammerman-Oped: What is the miracle of Hannukah's first night?
(RNS) — From earliest childhood, Jews are taught that the great miracle of Hanukkah involves the discovery by the victorious Maccabees of a tiny cruse of oil, just enough to illumine the grand candelabrum at the reclaimed Temple in Jerusalem for one solitary night; miraculously, it lasted for eight nights. A natural question arises: What was miraculous about the first night? On that night, there was plenty of oil to keep the flame burning. It was expected to remain lit through the night, so was there anything miraculous going on? By Joshua Hammerman. 1,171 words. (category k)

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