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The Slingshot: ‘Scarlet Letter’ sequel; Vatican stargazers; Luther’s greatest hits

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Need to know: Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vatican stargazers look for divine inspiration

“The observatory exists to show the world that the Catholic Church supports science,” says Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer from Detroit who is also the observatory’s director.

‘Because she was immoral’: Christian school defends decision to deny pregnant teen graduation ‘walk’

Amid a torrent of criticism, the principal called the punishment an “application of love.” Anti-abortion activists say the move shows a lack of love.

Martin Luther: Father of protest songs?

The reformer's music forged a path for “We Shall Overcome” and “Give Peace a Chance.”

How Manchester attacker turned from cannabis-smoking dropout to ISIS suicide bomber

Salman Abedi’s transformation echoes those of Islamist terrorists across Europe. “There is now a perfect fit between these young men and a group that has shed any attempt at serious theological discourse,” said one expert.

Why Melania Trump wore a head covering in Rome but not in Saudi Arabia

“I think people are reading into it and misinterpreting it,” said Jane Hampton Cook, a presidential and first lady historian.

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Pope Francis gives President Trump some homework at their first meeting

“I will be reading them,” the president told the pontiff after Francis gave him his encyclical on climate change and other papal writings at their summit meeting.

A group fires up the glitter blessings for a sparkly Pentecost

(RNS) Fire-colored glitter in special anointings and 'glitter blessings' are intended as a way to show support for LGBT Christians.

VW’s ‘dieselgate’ poses ethical challenge for German Protestants

Should Christians at a major conference ferry speakers and participants around in Volkswagen cars, vans and trucks after the car company’s emissions’ scandal?

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Updating the American spirit

McCullough is a master at dealing with public life, but religion, if we mean to refer to formally defined versions, happens to be only slightly treated. Yet one cannot listen long to McCullough speak, as some of us did at the Chicago Public Library last week, or read this book, without seeing how complementary and reinforcing all of this is.

Manchester: What kind of person does this?

Of all the paths one could pursue in life, all the choices one could make, this was his: his path, his final choice, would be to kill as many children as possible, writes David Gushee.

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Bonus tracks