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Every year on this weekend I attempt to connect my thoughts here to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is hard because I am the recipient of "white privilege." However I believe that a thing being difficult to write about is one of the best reasons to do so. Even if it exposes ignorance and blin…

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Hypocrite alert! This is very much a do as I say and not as I do column. I think it is the nature of desperately wanting human beings to focus on those things that are inclusive rather than exclusive. It is also important to understand the focusing on inclusive does not eliminate boundaries.…

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis cautiously waded back into the crowds on Wednesday after video of him swatting away the hand of a pilgrim who grabbed him went viral and sparked a papal apology.

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LEXINGTON -- After winning her first professional fight in the first round, there's no denying that Lexington boxer Samantha "Sammy" Kinchen has power in the ring. The trick, her coach says, is training her to rein in that power.

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I was having a conversation many years ago with a neighbor in England. At some point he said, "The difference between the English and Americans is that you still believe in your flag and we don't." I was not sure exactly what he meant by that, or even if it is accurate but recent events have…

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OPELIKA, Ala. -- An Alabama woman who survived a deadly tornado that blew down most of her home is getting a new place to live thanks to an aid group.

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A couple of months ago, my son and I stumbled into a window of opportunity to clear some trees, a dead limb about 20 feet off the ground, and some underbrush in our backyard. I had been looking for a window and on that day it happened. I got the ladder, a harness, ropes, chains, rakes, limb …

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CHICOPEE, Mass. -- More than a century ago, waves of Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Poland and Quebec settled in Chicopee and other western Massachusetts mill towns, helping build churches, rectories and schools to accommodate their faith. Today the priests leading those churches are unde…

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There are times when waiting for someone else is considered polite, but for most of life it is better to go first. It takes courage, experience, and character to go first most of the time. Good leaders know this.

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It begins with a message born on the wind, one of the frequent metaphors for the movement of God's Spirit in the world. It ends with proclamation to pray for peace throughout the world. It is one of the most popular of Christian (as opposed to secular) Christmas Songs (not quite a hymn in my…

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MANDAN, N.D. -- A group of parishioners at a Mandan church is applying newly acquired skills for an ancient art form to create a set of eight stained glass windows that will adorn the sanctuary for years to come.

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NEW YORK -- Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo resigned Wednesday, forced to step aside amid mounting calls for his ouster from his staff, priests and public over his handling of allegations of clergy sexual misconduct.

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Today, the sun in shining and it is seasonably warm for this time of year. But, being December, the sun will set around 4:30 and it will be dark by 5. Many of us rise before the sun does and work until after it sets. The arc is low in the sky and even midday casts low-light hazy shadows. And…

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For centuries they waited. They waited through good kings and (mostly) bad kings. They waited through good times and bad, invasions, pestilence, deportation and captivity. They waited during the rebuilding of the temple and restoration of the community. They waited while Alexander the Great …

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ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE -- Pope Francis is planning to change official Catholic Church teaching to declare the use and possession of atomic weapons as "immoral," a move that makes clear that his rejection of the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence is to be official church policy.

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NEW YORK -- At a time when anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise worldwide, schools should take steps to teach empathy as an antidote to racism and religious hatred, several rabbis attending an international conference said.

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One of the challenges of history will always be that there are people alive today that have been dramatically affected by those who lived before us. Some have benefited and some have been irreparably damaged. What makes some of us even more uncomfortable is that those who have benefited were…

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BALTIMORE -- Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico, pledged to push for a more welcoming immigration system after winning election Tuesday as the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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From the very beginning, we insert self into places where it seems to fit so naturally but really has no business being. It is a true fake out that nearly everyone believes to be an inviable truth. There are numerous programs, education courses, and self-help (a ridiculous notion) books that…

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STAUNTON, Va. -- The Stuart Hall auditorium was silent Tuesday afternoon as nearly 200 students gazed at a moving geometric shape projected on a screen, breathing in as it expanded and out as it collapsed.

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On April 22, 1915, Allied soldiers in their trenches in Flanders (a part of Belgium) watched as a mysterious cloud rolled down the hill toward them. It was 150 tons of chlorine gas that would kill nearly everyone in the target area. It was the opening of the Second Battle of Ypres which prod…

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The changing seasons, spring and autumn, lend themselves to reflection on the rhythm of life. For different reasons, they each are reminders of the Old Testament covenant God made with Noah and "all flesh" on the earth, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer an…

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One of the great tells of a preschooler's life is to ask what they want to be when they grow up. It might be something they just saw, something they watch on TV (probably over and over and over again), or whatever random thing pops into their head. It may be a genuine profession, or it might…

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WATERLOO, N.Y. -- An Amish father who says childhood vaccines run counter to his family's religious beliefs is suing to overturn New York's ban on religious exemptions that let unvaccinated children attend school.

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Acclaimed singer-songwriter Kate Campbell will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Union City, Tennessee.

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Liberal. Conservative. Christian. Atheist. Illegal immigrant. Black. White. Addict. Preacher. Car dealer. Lawyer. Doctor. Plumber. Roofer. OK, that's enough. What images flashed in your head as the words on this list passed your eyes. It may have happened so fast that it did not rise to cons…

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis urged South American bishops this week to speak "courageously" at a high-profile meeting on the Amazon, where the shortage of priests is so acute that the Vatican is considering ordaining married men and giving women official church ministries.

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Four Rivers Behavioral Health Regional Prevention Center will host a free conference for area faith leaders from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24 at Murray State's Paducah Campus, 4430 Sunset Ave. Trauma-informed care, how to support veterans and their families, and how prevention and faith commu…

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After evading English Law by going to the continent, William Tyndale was arrested in Belgium after being betrayed by a friend. He was held in the castle at Vilvoorde for about 16 months before being killed and burned at the stake on Oct. 6, 1536. The charges were heresy and treason. His famo…

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The Mission Friends from First Baptist Church Paducah collected stuffed animals, crafts and small toys to deliver to Baptist Health. They will be given to children who come to the emergency room for treatment. Their next project is a "Mile of Pennies" for Sunrise Children's Service. From lef…

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis will voice his opposition to nuclear weapons and honor victims of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster during a visit to the country that is expected to be a highlight of his upcoming trip to Asia.

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I know people who love steak, but they are thoroughly unwilling (or unable) to slaughter a cow, process it properly, and cook it to perfection. I know people who love vegetables, but if they were not available in the grocery store, they would starve. I know people that enjoy a good meal but …

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ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Around 22,000 pounds of wood, metal, leather and cork will make its way south this fall.

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The Serpent in the garden, Cain and Abel, the flood (as in Noah), Sodom and Gomorrah, barbarian invasions, drought, plague, war, slavery, civil war, pollution, atomic bombs, nuclear meltdowns, dictators, AIDS, global cooling, ozone depletion, global warming, climate change. From the day that…

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Kindness has been getting a lot of attention lately. There have been several kindness challenges issued to encourage us to be kind to strangers. The world needs more of this.

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PROVO, Utah -- The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed the religion's opposition to gay marriage Tuesday, while explaining that leaders lifted a short-lived ban on baptisms for children of gay parents because they felt the "heartache" it caused.

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Television, radio, streaming services, social media, internet, mobile devices. You have heard it before, we are always connected -- always. The only way we are not is if we turn our devices off and shut down the location tracker. Even then we can be found. What was written about the governme…

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ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE -- Pope Francis said Tuesday he wasn't afraid of a U.S. Catholic Church schism led by his conservative critics, but sees a "rigid" ideology opponents use to mask their own moral failings has already infiltrated the American church.

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MAPUTO, Mozambique -- Pope Francis opened a three-nation pilgrimage to southern Africa on Wednesday with a strategic visit to Mozambique, just weeks after the country's ruling party and armed opposition signed a new peace deal and weeks before national elections.

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"If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory…

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Have you put a tool in the hands of a teenager lately ... any tool; hammer, screwdriver, knife, drill, shovel? I could stretch that to most people under the age of 25.

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PHILADELPHIA -- A summer-camp symphony of dribbling basketballs, screaming leaps into the spring-fed lake, and bugled reveille floated into a pavilion where boys sat cross-legged in a circle, whispering to one another. Some wore white plastic masks, to hide the feelings their words conjured …

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Rest and waiting are not quite the same thing, but they are connected. Eugene Peterson (d. 2018) put them together this way, "Sabbath is that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing." There is not much room for sab…