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September 30, 2010

Thursday's News & Ideas

White Prince George's churches seek diversity to survive
Washington Post: Traditionally white churches in county next to DC try to attract more blacks and other minority members to offset declines and mirror changing demographics.

Jury says church must pay $4.75M
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune: Florida church must pay $4.75 million over a church ski trip that left a then-teenager with severe injuries.

Are you smarter than a Christian?
Salon: A study finds atheists know more about religion. For believers, it's a bracing reminder that faith is not enough.

Power and peace
Inside Higher Ed: Diana Chapman Walsh walked out of a university presidency having found her personal power -- and her voice -- by learning to survive in the vortex of positional power.

Apple logo is an agnostic's crucifix, Star of David
Fast Company: Study finds that brand name logos may do the same thing for some people that a pendant of a crucifix or Star of David does for others.

Buzz builds around new unofficial saint of abuse victims, whistle-blowers
Religion News Service: Some Catholics already have unofficial title for 19th century nun, Mother Mary MacKillop: Patron Saint of Whistle-blowers.
America: Mary MacKillop: Patron saint of sexual abuse victims?

The Spark

Why so many people can't make decisions
Some people meet, fall in love and get married right away. Others can spend hours in the sock aisle at the department store, weighing the pros and cons of buying a pair of wool argyles instead of cotton striped. For decades psychologists largely ignored ambivalence because they didn't think it was meaningful. But now researchers are investigating how ambivalence, or a lack of it, affects people's lives, and how they might be able to make better decisions.

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