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The Slingshot: GOP and immigration; Trump’s pilgrimage; Praying with presidents

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Need to know: Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Jersey cardinal blasts GOP for ignoring immigration reform

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, one of the U.S. hierarchy’s most visible champions for the marginalized, ripped Republicans for “inflicting cruelty on innocent people.”

Trump’s first full education budget: Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice

Documents obtained by The Washington Post show how the president wants to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools.

Trump’s speech on Islam is rife with pitfalls. Experts say there’s little upside to it.

Here's what could go wrong when the president visits Saudi Arabia to deliver his sermon on Islam, writes Sarah Posner.

Evangelicals hail Trump’s request for release of US pastor in Turkey

“Not only were we able to make the President and Vice President aware that this was a priority of ours, we were pleased that they shared our concern and acted upon it,” said Johnnie Moore, an advocate for persecuted Christians.

The precarious task of praying with presidents in a media age

When the world is watching, trust between a president and his spiritual advisers becomes even more fragile.

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Australia police weigh abuse charges after investigating top Catholic

SYDNEY (Reuters) Cardinal George Pell, who before his Vatican appointment was archbishop of Sydney, has rejected any involvement in alleged child abuse in Australia.

Dancing for fertility in the northern Philippines

OBANDO, Philippines (Reuters) There was dancing in the streets of Obando town in the northern Philippines on Wednesday (May 17) as people feted patron saints they believe bring spouses, fertility and good harvests.

As Catholic influence in Ireland wanes, some hope abortion will be legalized

The parallel tracks on which the Roman Catholic Church and Irish civil society run appear to be separating.

More views from RNS

You need to see ‘A Serious Man’ again

Do rabbis still have things to teach? Ask the Coen brothers.

On the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, remembering Martin Luther’s contribution to literacy

By demanding everyone read the Bible, Luther helped to provide one of the most effective arguments for universal literacy in the history of Western civilization.

The Mormon temple wedding photo game

Mormons too often judge each other's righteousness just by glancing at clothing choices, hairstyles, and piercings -- and guest blogger Mette Harrison has had enough of this superficial judgmentalism.

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