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The ‘Splainer

The ’Splainer: What happened at the United Methodist General Conference?

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 7, 2019

(RNS) — What does the Traditional Plan actually do, and what happens now? Let us ’Splain …

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The ’Splainer: The ‘gifts’ of Pentecost and Shavuot

By Kimberly Winston — May 16, 2018

(RNS) — This weekend marks the Christian holy day of Pentecost and the Jewish holy day Shavuot. Both involve ‘gifts,’ but not the kind that come with bows. Let us ’Splain …

The ’Splainer: Paige Patterson and the SBC’s stance on wifely submission

By Yonat Shimron — May 4, 2018

(RNS) — Patterson’s comments touched off a flurry of condemnation. But the Southern Baptist Convention has had a long history of conservative stances on women that it maintains are based on Scripture.

The ’Splainer: The YouTube shooter’s Baha’i faith

By Jack Jenkins — April 6, 2018

(RNS) — When news broke that an assailant had shot several people at YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters this week, social media were awash with speculation about the alleged shooter, Nasim Aghdam — including her faith.

The ’Splainer: The stormy, surprising history of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

By Kimberly Winston — March 29, 2018

(RNS) — What’s the back story on this British import being revisited and reimagined on television Sunday night? Let us ‘Splain …

The ’Splainer: Why do Jews eat gefilte fish at the Passover seder?

By Kimberly Winston — March 22, 2018

(RNS) — The much-maligned Passover appetizer has come to epitomize the gastronomic experience of the shtetl, or ancestral towns of many Jews of Eastern European origin.

The ’Splainer: Why are Catholic bishops backing unions at the Supreme Court?

By Jack Jenkins — March 13, 2018

(RNS) — Where does this affinity between Catholic bishops and labor movements come from? Let us ‘Splain …

The ’Splainer: Billy Graham, lying in honor and civil religion

By Kimberly Winston — February 28, 2018

(RNS) — Some see the honor as worthy of a preacher who had the ear of American presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, while others see it as a violation of the separation of church and state.

The ’Splainer: Who are you calling a Puritan?

By Kimberly Winston — November 21, 2017

(RNS) Quick — what’s the difference between a Puritan and a Pilgrim? Did either of them actually ‘land’ at Plymouth Rock? And who sat down for the original Thanksgiving? Let us ’Splain …

The ‘Splainer: A wedding cake for the Supreme Court

By Kimberly Winston — October 3, 2017

(RNS) — The court will hear the ‘cake case,’ which may not be a yummy delight for all.

The ’Splainer: What is Navaratri?

By Kimberly Winston — September 28, 2017

(RNS) — What’s the deal with this nine-night Hindu religious holiday you’ve never heard of? Let us ’Splain …

The ’Splainer: Will the world end on Saturday?

By Kimberly Winston — September 19, 2017

(RNS) Short answer — no. But it can be perilous to ignore the predictions.

The ’Splainer: Did a solar eclipse darken the skies during Jesus’ crucifixion?

By Emily McFarlan Miller — August 18, 2017

(RNS) — ‘From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land’ as Jesus was crucified, according the Gospel of Matthew. Was it caused by a solar eclipse? ‘Let us Splain …

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