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Duck Dynasty: two things Phil Robertson did right

Phil Robertson of A&E's Duck Dynasty with his famous duck call (Credit: A&E via Facebook)Phil Robertson is one of America's pop icons.  It's an amazing story: college quarterback to barroom brawler to "Bible-thumping Christian" (as he calls himself) to duck call inventor to founder of a Dynasty.  His television program is the highest-rated cable reality show in history.  He and his family made Barbara Walters' "most fascinating people of 2013" list; you can't check out of a grocery store without passing their calendars and other paraphernalia.

Now Phil is in the news for a very different reason.  He gave an interview to GQ in which he expressed his views on homosexuality, sparking a backlash that has led to his "indefinite suspension" by A&E, the channel that airs his show.  The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay-rights group in the U.S., called his statements "dangerous and revisionist."

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How Pope Francis still loves the 'least of these'

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina waves from the steps of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome, March 14, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi) Before he was Pope Francis, he was Jorge Bergoglio, a Cardinal in Argentina. He has a few other nicknames; recently he has become known as the "Cold Call Pope" for calling Catholics who have reached out to him for help or prayer. He was known simply as "Father Jorge" in Buenos Aires where he lived in a small apartment, rode the bus, cooked for himself and cared for the poor. It was this simple, selfless lifestyle that has earned him the nickname, the "Slum Pope."

This past week, the pope further unveiled his evangelistic vision for the Roman Catholic Church in an 85-page mission-statement-like document. In it he said, "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security."

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The Deep Web: the online black market

A person wearing black gloves at a keyboard, a concept design to illustrate the deep web, black market, and identity theft (Credit: hfox via Fotolia)The closest thing I have seen to the black market are the vendors selling knock-off watches and sunglasses on the streets of Washington DC and New York City. But apparently we are all only a few keystrokes away from accessing the "Deep Web," which has become the online haven for the likes of drug-dealers, for-hire killers and child pornographers.

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Why should you care about Auburn's Homecoming Queen?

Molly Anne Dutton, left, is announced as Auburn University homecoming queen Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, during halftime of the Western Carolina game at the Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. (Credit: Julie Bennett via al.com)Auburn University's 2013 Miss Homecoming, Molly Anne Dutton, did not win the vote with the backing of a major sorority or by being the most popular, but by telling her amazing story. Dutton's birth mother was sexually assaulted and became pregnant. Her husband gave her an ultimatum: get an abortion or get a divorce. She chose life.

Miss Homecoming's mother went to Lifeline Children's Services, a Christian adoption agency, in Birmingham for help, resources and to ultimately give her daughter up for adoption. In one of her campaign videos, Dutton gives this agency, along with her mother, credit for her life saying, "Because that resource was made available to my mother, she decided to give birth to me... and here I am talking to you guys 22 years later."

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Vatican to Nancy Pelosi: No more Communion

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the press on Capitol Hill on February 28, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed) Though she considers herself a devout Catholic, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi now has no right to receive the holy sacrament of communion after Cardinal Burke, the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican, cut her off.  Her unapologetic view on abortion as a right has caused this rift between her political/professional life and her personal/spiritual life.

Cardinal Burke said, "this is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic... This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must—in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family."

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