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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 ‘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.

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?

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: 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 ...

The ’Splainer: Why is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount so disputed?

By Lauren Markoe — July 24, 2017
(RNS) — The Temple Mount is the holiest place for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims. Why is it a launching pad for violence?
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