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The Tea Party Goes Prime Time

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Like the mariner drawn to the Loadstone Rock, I am incapable of pulling myself away from watching the video of Rand Paul’s victory speech last night in Kentucky. The son of Congressman Ron Paul won the GOP nomination for the Senate in a low-turnout primary. That might have enticed Paul to think about what he was going to say to the hundreds of thousands of voters who did not turn out last night but will come November. And, what he said was illustrative.

One of the problems faced by incumbents who have served too long in Washington, is that they develop a bad case of Inside-the-Beltway-speak. They use the jargon and lingo and acronyms of policy-making and fail utterly to present a narrative with which the average voter can connect. Rand Paul does not suffer from this affliction. Instead, his language betrays a different kind of insider talk, and his talk comes from having spent way too much time at Tea Party events.

Ecomony pinches church workers

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Religion News Service publishes every day a quote of the day. Here's the latest:

“The irony is not lost on me.”

Tim Ryan, a former children's minister at West Shore Evangelical Free Church in Mechanicsburg, Pa., who lost his job last year and is now working as a carpenter, the biblical profession of Jesus. He was quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal reports "While the economy appears to be recovering from the worst downturn in generations, more clergy are facing unemployment as churches continue to struggle with drops in donations. In 2009, the government counted about 5,000 clergy looking for jobs, up from 3,000 in 2007 and 2,000 in 2005.

"Church staff are feeling the pinch, too. In an October survey, about one in five members of the interdenominational 3,000-member National Association of Church Business Administration said they had laid off staff amid the recession."

Read the full story: Joblessness Hits the Pulpit

OSV publisher, editor on Benedict and sex abuse

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Greg Erlandson, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, and Matthew Bunson, editor of The Catholic Almanac, have written a book Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal. They will be doing a live chat on the Faith & Reason blog of USA Today today at 1 p.m. eastern time. Check it out.

Erlandson and Bunson have thier own blog for the book: BLOG: Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis

Here is more about the book itself: BOOK: Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis

Global women religious pledged to 'new paths of light in the darkness'

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Some 800 international women religious superior generals met in Rome May 7-11 under the auspices of the International Union of General Superiors (UISG) to ponder the twin themes of mysticism and prophecy. During the meeting they collaborated to write a draft of a brief conference declaration. Some conference delegates stayed on following the assembly. Among their post-conference work was the completing of the conference statement, which they released today.

The statement aims to express the spirit, intent and direction of the organization for the next three years through a series of public commitments.

Tonight's Primaries

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Tonight’s primaries have made for some strange “branding.” In the Kentucky GOP primary, the insurgent, outsider is Rand Paul, although it is difficult to see how the son of a congressman can really be considered an outsider. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter, who has spent his career defeating Democrats, now asks the Democratic primary electorate to make him their standard bearer in November.

New discoveries about the beginning of the universe

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Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois report that they have discovered a new clue that sheds light on one of the biggest mysteries of cosmology: Why the universe is composed of matter and not its opposite, antimatter. If confirmed, the finding portends fundamental discoveries at the new Large Hadron Collider on the border of Switzerland and France. as well as a possible explanation for our own existence.

In a mathematically perfect universe, we would never have existed. According to the basic precepts of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang and then immediately annihilated each other in a blaze of energy, leaving nothing behind with which to make stars, galaxies and us. And yet the universe as we know it, with its infinite variety, exists, and physicists want to know why.

Ex-Scranton Catholic teachers awarded $700,000

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The sad legacy of Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop Joe Martino in Scranton diocese continues.


"The arbitration awards stem from complaints filed by the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers, which had represented some teachers until 2006, when then-BishopJoseph Martino restructured the entire Catholic school system, eliminating local school boards and parish councils the union had dealt with. The union asked to represent teachers under the new system of four regional school boards, but was rejected. The diocese opted to start an “Employee Relations Program” it repeatedly insists gives all school employees fair representation.

Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, Takes Down James Carroll

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Father Jim Martin, SJ, has a bracing takedown of James Carroll over at America magazine's group blog that is well worth reading. It stunning, indeed, the way some writers on both left and right use the sex abuse scandal to augment arguments that are as unrelated as they are tired. Bill Donohue blames the gays. James Carroll blames celibacy. They deserve each other.

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August 15-28, 2014

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