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White House announces final contraception rules

President Barack Obama, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius behind him, announces a new health care policy that requires a woman's insurance company to offer contraceptive care free of charge if the woman's religious employer objects to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan coverage (Credit: White House/Pete Souza)Where ever you stack up on the morality of contraceptives, the healthcare mandate known as "Obamacare" is making many think twice about what religious freedom means.  The White House made an announcement last week stating that all privately owned employers must include contraception measures for their employees.  

The rule states that houses of worship and related organizations such as universities and hospitals do not have to cover the bill for contraceptives. Instead, the insurance companies get the bill. 

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Is America building her house on sand?

People view one of many homes badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy is pictured in the Cosey Beach neighbourhood of East Haven, Connecticut, October 30, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin)America is facing a crisis.  Studies indicate that less than a quarter of our 8th and 12th grade students are proficient in reading, writing, and civics.  Not surprisingly, three out of four employers want schools to do better in teaching critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and written and oral communication.

In response, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has released a significant report titled "The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a vibrant, competitive, and secure nation."  What does the Academy suggest that we do?

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The Mentoring Project: The story of Quinn and Xavier

The Mentoring Project, founded by Donald Miller: a promotional photo of Quinn and Xavier with slogan Mentors Win by Showing Up (Credit: The Mentoring Project)"I believe in the power of story and invite you into the new story we are telling. I believe we can rewrite the story of the fatherless generation. This narrative does not have to be cyclical. It can end with fewer men in prison, less families abandoned, and the fatherless being cared for by positive role models who believe, like I do, that we can choose to live a better story." -Donald Miller, Founder, The Mentoring Project

We all have a strong, built-in desire to be in relation with one another. This is absolutely true of mentoring. The children impacted by fatherlessness are used to having authority figures leave.

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Boston bombings: 2 ways to respond

Boston bombings: a view of the second explosion, facing east down Boylston Street and Copley Square, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013 (Credit: Dan Lampariello via Twitter)The Boston Marathon is New England's most widely viewed sporting event.  Over 500,000 people, 80 percent of Boston's population, show up to cheer on more than 20,000 runners.  Begun in 1897, it's the world's oldest annual marathon.  Until today, it was known for history and prestige.  Now it will forever be known for tragedy as well.

At 2:50 PM EST, two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the marathon's finish line.  Three people were killed; over 100 were injured.  "It sounded like a sonic boom.  I haven't stopped shaking yet," said one onlooker.  Security has been heightened at airports and cities across the nation.  The White House believes the bombings to be an act of terrorism.  At this hour, we don't know anything more about the perpetrators of this cowardly act.

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The faith of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln at age 54, head and shoulders portrait taken on November 8, 1863 by Alexander Gardner (Credit: Alexander Gardner)Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian?

Mr. Lincoln was never a formal member of a church (though in 1860, only 23 percent of Americans were).  His early law partner, William H. Herndon, claimed that Mr. Lincoln was an infidel and that he wrote a book defending this position, but no conclusive evidence supports Herndon's claim.  As a young man, he read Voltaire and Thomas Paine, and participated in a debate society in which he often took positions counter to orthodox faith.

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