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Three Talks Now Online: Can God Take a Joke? How Can Mormons Do Justice? And Why Is That Chick in Luke 7 Washing Jesus' Feet with Her Hair?

The last month has been a whirlwind for me. And at the risk of wanton self-promotion, I'm posting links here to three talks or interviews I've given in the last few weeks -- at Ideacity in Toronto, at the Mormon Stories conference in Salt Lake City, and over the interwaves (is that a word?) courtesy of Darkwood Brew's nifty online TV show.

Sikh TSA agent wins suit over religious wristband

(RNS) A high-ranking Sikh security officer at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport has won $30,000 after the Transportation Security Administration said he could not wear a kara, a metal wristband that reminds Sikhs to be devoted to God. By Lauren Markoe.

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N.C. black pastor treads carefully on gay marriage

RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) Most black churches consider homosexuality a sin, and have resisted any attempt to reinterpret biblical passages condemning it.  But some pastors are finding ways to skirt the theological issue, and support equal treatment of gays and lesbians as a legislative concern. By Yonat Shimron.

Audio: Are Protestants and Catholics coming together on Communion?

Five hundred years after the Protestant reformation, Catholics and Protestants are coming closer together, theologically and practically, over the Eucharist, or Communion. Katherine Brewer speaks to Monsignor Kevin Irwin, professor of liturgical studies at Catholic University, and the Rev. Dean Snyder of Washington's Foundry United Methodist Church in this audio report.

Scotland Yard says witchcraft abuse a hidden crime

LONDON (RNS) British police have disclosed that they have investigated more than 80 witchcraft-based child abuse cases in the last decade and warned that the practice is "far more prevalent" than previously believed. By Al Webb.

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Mainline Protestants up for grabs heading into November

WASHINGTON (RNS) In a matchup between Obama and GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, mainline Protestant voters are nearly evenly divided, with 41 percent supporting Obama and 43 percent for Romney. The same holds true between Obama and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- each is the choice of 41 percent of white mainline Protestants. By Lauren Markoe.

Has Matisyahu left Judaism?

(RNS) Matisyahu, the improbable but undeniable reggae star, announced on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec. 13) that he is shaving the beard that has long marked him as a Hasidic Jew. ...