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Health Care and the Common Good

BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: As Congress assembles a health care reform package, a longtime expert on medical ethics writes in a recent issue of Commonweal magazine that there has been an important idea missing from the debate–the concept of the common good. The expert is Daniel Callahan, founder and now president emeritus of the Hastings Center. His new book is Taming the Beloved Beast. He joins us from New York.

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Healthcare Bill Faces Tough Path in Senate

Reuters  by John Whitesides.  WASHINGTON – After a landmark win in the House of Representatives, President Barack Obama’s push for healthcare reform faces a difficult path in the Senate amid divisions in his own Democratic Party on how to proceed.  On a 220-215 vote, including the support of one Republican and opposition from 39 Democrats, the House backed a bill late on Saturday that would expand coverage to nearly all Americans and bar insurance practices such as refusing to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.

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Categories: Journalism.

Pro-Choice Caucus: Bill Contains ‘Unprecedented’ Attack on Abortion Rights

by Eugene Kiely, USA Today Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today released the text of a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they are circulating on the abortion provision in the health care bill.  USA TODAY’s John Fritze says the House bill would prohibit people who receive government subsidies from getting insurance coverage for an abortion procedure even through a private health insurance plan. It also would prohibit the government-run insurance plan from offering abortions.

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Categories: Journalism.

The Burning Times

By Bob Chaundy (BBC, October 30, 2009) London, UK – Witches remain a significant cultural presence centuries after thousands of women, and men, accused of sorcery were burned at the stake. But what caused the craze for burning witches, and why did it stop?

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Categories: Journalism.

Lutheran Church Elects First Female Leader

Berlin, Germany – Germany’s Lutheran Church has elected a woman to lead the nation’s Protestants for the first time in its history.

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Categories: Journalism.

Focus of Gay-Marriage Fight Is Maine

By Abby Goodnough,  The New York Times.  Less than a week before Maine voters decide whether to repeal the state’s new same-sex marriage law, donations and volunteers are pouring in to sway what both sides call a nationally significant fight.  Supporters of the marriage law, which the Legislature approved in May, have far more money and ground troops than opponents, who have been led by the Roman Catholic Church. Yet most polls show the two sides neck and neck, suggesting that gay couples here, as in California last year, could lose the right to marry just six months after they gained it.

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Categories: Journalism.

Industries have spent $585.7 million since 2007 on lobbying and campaign contributions

Washington, D.C. – A campaign finance watchdog’s analysis of insurance and HMO political contributions and lobbying expenses found the industries spent $126,430,438 over the first half of 2009 and $585,725,712 over the past two and a half years to influence public policy and elected officials. The group, Public Campaign Action Fund, found that in the first part of 2009, the industries were spending money at nearly a $700,000 a day clip to influence the political process and that the monthly pace of political spending this year has increased by nearly $400,000 over the average spent per month in the previous two years.

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Categories: Press Release.

November 6-8, 2009: TCPC President to Lead Regional Event in Lafayette, CA

Guiding your Church through Change in Our Changing Times:Guiding congregational change requires a healthy sensitivity to the various dimensions of change that are taking place within the life of your community. Fred Plumer, TCPC President, will share a multilayered approach to guiding change within the vibrant life of your congregation that harnesses current cultural trends and the emerging spirit of Progressive Christianity.

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Obama – We Will Rebuild This Region

New Orleans – President Barack Obama jetted to this hurricane battered city Thursday to deliver a fiery call to action, vowing to rebuild to the Gulf Coast area as a boisterous crowd chanted “yes we can!”

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Categories: Journalism.

Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth is a medieval fake.

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Categories: Journalism.

Global Ministries University Offers Contemporary Theology

Global Ministries University is a unique university that offers nondenominational Christian theology, that is, theological training that does not require a belief in certain tenets. GMU embraces a vision of inclusiveness which honors the sacred in all religions and spiritual traditions. 

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Categories: Announcements.

U.S. religious conservatives and progressives profiled

Reuters.com  The first ever comparative surveys of U.S. conservative and progressive (or liberal) religious activists has just been published by the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron and Public Religion Research.

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Categories: Journalism.

Unregulated Capitalism and Christian Fervor: Report from the 9/12 Rally at the Capitol

By Lauri Lebo.  ReligionDispatches.org   Comparing Obama to Hitler and Al Qaeda, and claiming to be agents of God, protesters in Washington-supported by a coalition of conservative Christian groups, as well as pharmaceutical lobbyists-raise the bar on unreasonable discourse.

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Categories: Journalism.

New President of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

The Rev. Mary E. McNamara has begun her term as the seventh president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, an ecumenical Protestant seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota. For the last decade, Rev. McNamara served as the executive vice president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, located near Columbia University, which offers a joint doctoral program with the university.  Rev. McNamara said, "What attracted me to United was the opportunity to work with a fine seminary with an established reputation for academic excellence, highly responsive to the many changes occurring in the church, and a commitment to progressive values within the tradition of the United Church of Christ…"

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Categories: Announcements.

Is Barack Obama a “Fierce Advocate” For Gays or Just Pragmatist-in-Chief?

The Obama administration has gone from indifference to actively promoting religious opposition to the civil rights of gay Americans, comparing same-sex marriage to incest and pedophilia. Only when “pink dollars” were pulled did the president approach the …

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Categories: Journalism. Tags: Barack Obama and DOMA. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe.