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French tourist gives food to 'hobo' Richard Gere

Richard Gere filming 'Time out of mind' film in which a homeless man tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Credit: Lightstream Pictures) Karine Gombeau was visiting New York City recently when she encountered what appeared to be a homeless man sifting through garbage.  She gave him her leftover pizza.  As she explained later, "He was going through a bin, I had food with me.  I thought, 'He should have my pizza instead of going through that bin.'"

It turned out Gombeau had stumbled onto the set of Richard Gere's new movie, "Time Out of Mind," in which he plays a homeless man.  According to Gombeau, the actor was dressed in character and "looked like a man going through a rough time."  Gere thanked her for the pizza and said, "God bless you," never revealing his identity.

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Humanists compete with 'National Day of Prayer'

2014 National Day of Reason (Credit: nationaldayofreason.org) Congress created the National Day of Prayer in 1952, following precedents set by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and continued by Presidents Washington and Lincoln.  This year's theme is "One Voice, United in Prayer," based on Romans 15:6, "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Not everyone is united in prayer today.  In fact, the American Humanist Association is sponsoring a competing National Day of Reason.  Rhode Island's governor has signed a gubernatorial proclamation of support; atheists in Omaha, Nebraska are holding a public rally; two members of Congress have offered their official affirmation as well.

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Blind man could be first openly atheist congressman

James Woods, first openly atheist and blind Congressional candidate, who is running for Congress in Arizona's 5th Congressional district, poses for a campaign photo (Credit: James Woods via chrisstedman.religionnews.com) James Woods is running for Congress in Arizona's Congressional District 5.  If successful, he would be the first blind member of Congress in nearly 100 years.  And he would be the first person elected who campaigned openly as an atheist.  (Other atheists have been elected, but none made their religious views public during their campaign.)

Woods lost his vision to a MRSA infection seven years ago.  His courage in dealing with his physical challenges is commendable.  And his atheistic views do not disqualify him for public office in America.  The U.S. Constitution, in Article VI paragraph 3, clearly states: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

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Donald Sterling, racism, and the Bible

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) sit with his wife Rochelle (L) as they watch a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center, March 22, 2014 (Credit: USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, has long been infamous for racist views and actions.  For instance, he settled a housing discrimination lawsuit with the government for $2.7 million when he was accused of refusing to rent apartments to Hispanics and blacks.  He made more headlines over the weekend when a racist rant was released to the media. Reaction has come quickly: President Obama called the remarks "offensive" and "ignorant," and Michael Jordan is "completely outraged." And rightly so.  


How does God feel about racism?  His word is clear:

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Super Bowl quarterback getting a divorce

Russell Wilson and his wife, Ashton Meems Wilson, pose for a photo on a gondola while on vacation in Venice, March 2013 (Credit: Russell Wilson via Instagram) Russell Wilson is quarterback of the NFL champion Seattle Seahawks.  Before the Super Bowl he was part of a video making public his faith in Christ.  He posts daily Bible verses on his Twitter feed.  Now he is in the headlines again with the announcement that he and his wife are divorcing.  Some claim that he wants out of his marriage before signing a large contract extension in a few years.  A critic reacts, "Saint Wilson isn't so perfect after all huh?"  A more positive commenter writes, "Will pray for you brother."  So should we all.

Pope Francis is making news on the same subject.  One report states that he called a Catholic woman in Argentina who is divorced and remarried to tell her that she could "safely receive Communion."  This would be a significant departure from established Catholic doctrine.  Others claim that he made no such sweeping pronouncement.

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