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Honor student sues parents for school fees

Rachel Canning is sworn in during a hearing at the Morris County Courthouse, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Morristown, N.J. Canning, an honor student who says her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18, is now suing them, asking a court to make them support her and pay for her college. (Credit: The Star-Ledger/John O'Boyle) Rachel Canning is an honor student, cheerleader, and lacrosse player in New Jersey.  She moved out of her parents' home last November, on her 18th birthday.  Now she's suing them, demanding that they continue to pay her private school tuition as well as the legal fees she has incurred in her lawsuit.  She claims to be a victim of domestic abuse.  They claim that she is "spoiled" and is lying about their family.  Her father says, "This is terrible.  It's killing me and my wife.  We have a child we want home."

David Schorr refused to take his four-year-old son to McDonald's.  The boy had been eating "too much junk food," he explains.  He gave the boy two options: another restaurant or no dinner at all.  He chose not to eat dinner, so Schorr returned the hungry boy to his mother.  The two are separated and are involved in a bitter custody battle over their son.

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Why did 'Son of God' exclude Satan?

Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey at Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids to promote their new movie Son of God on Thursday, December 5, 2013. (Credit: MLive.com/Andrew Kuhn) "Son of God" grossed $26.5 million at the box office on its opening weekend, far surpassing predictions of $17.5 million.  Yahoo fans gave the movie 4.5 stars; on March 4, it became the No. 1 fan-rated film on Fandango.

The film was adapted from the mega-popular miniseries, "The Bible."  It includes Jesus, his mother, his disciples, and his enemies.  But one figure it excludes is Satan.  Even though the devil tempted Jesus early in his ministry (Matthew 4:1-11) and again at Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:23), even though he sought to destroy Peter and the other disciples (Luke 22:31) and led Judas Iscariot to betray our Lord (Luke 22:3-6), he appears nowhere in a movie about Jesus and his movement.  Why?

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Muslim barber refuses to cut lesbian's hair

Faith McGregor, stands outside Toronto's Terminal Barbershop on Bay Street where she was refused a haircut after the barber said it is against his religion to touch a woman outside of his family (Credit: National Post/Peter J. Thompson) A lesbian walks into a Muslim's barbershop and requests a "businessmen's haircut."  It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it's a very real dilemma in Toronto.  The Muslim doesn't believe in touching women other than his own wife.  The lesbian doesn't like the haircuts at women's salons, and wants a man's hair style.  So she appeals to the Human Rights Tribunal of Toronto, demanding that the Muslim give her a haircut.  This conflict was quietly resolved, but attacks on religious liberty are making the news more frequently than ever.
 
Christian baker in Colorado faces a year in jail for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  The ruling party in Quebec wants to ban religious symbols from public work places.  As I noted last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently claimed that "extreme conservatives who are right to life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay . . . have no place in the State of New York."

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Pope cusses in weekly blessing

Pope Francis has said he wants to bring the activities of the Vatican bank more in line with the universal mission of the Apostolic See (Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile) Pope Francis is the most popular religious figure in America today.  A recent poll found that nearly three in four Americans view him favorably; 88 percent of American Catholics approve of his job performance.  He has captured attention by washing the feet of women and Muslims, embracing a severely disfigured man, and initiating ministry to those in need.  TIME named him their "Person of the Year," to no one's surprise.

Now the pope is making headlines for another reason: he inadvertently used an obscenity in his weekly blessing from the Vatican.  He was speaking in Italian, which is not his native language.  At one point he stated, "If each of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this [obscenity], in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity."  He meant to use caso, the Italian word for "example."  Instead he used the word cazzo, which is an obscenity.  The error immediately went viral on Italian websites and on YouTube.

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The faith of Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey accepts his Oscar for Best Actor for the film Dallas Buyers Club at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/ Lucy Nicholson)Seven words set off a Twitter firestorm: "First off I want to thank God."  Not because it's radical to thank God in public (at least not yet), but because the person who did had just won Best Actor at the Academy Awards.  And because he isn't a person known for public displays of religiosity.

Matthew McConaughey's statement in full: "First off I want to thank God, because he's the one I look up to, he's graced my life with opportunities which I know are not of my hand or any other human kind.  He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.  In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said, 'When you got God you got a friend and that friend is you.'"

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