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Man steals football from woman, has no remorse

New Orleans Saints fan, Tony Williams, gives a thumbs down after taking a football away from Cincinnati Bengals fan, Christa Barrett, which Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham tossed to her, after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, November 16, 2014 (Credit: AP/Bill Haber)Here's what should be leading today's news: a man was arrested Wednesday after Secret Service officers found a rifle, ammunition, and a gun in his car near the White House.  But with the recent White House break-in, this is no longer new news.  There's been another campus shooting as well, this time at Florida State University.  With so many recent shootings, this tragedy doesn't shock us as much as it should.

And a federal judge has overturned Montana's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman.  The judge admits that the amendment was approved by the voters (67 percent voted in its favor), but is convinced that he is right.  With all the judges doing the same thing around the country, this is no longer new news, either.

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Is the Internet making churches obsolete?

Chris Noth as Peter Florrick texting during a church service in a scene from the episode Boom of CBS's The Good Wife (Credit: CBS)Have you heard of "Text Neck"?  That's the term therapists use for the effects of texting on our spines.  They tell us that the average human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds.  Tilting it down to look at a mobile device increases gravitational pull, so that the neck experiences a force of 60 pounds at a 60 degree angle.  This is equivalent to putting four adult-sized bowling balls on your neck.  Since the typical American spends an hour on his or her smartphone a day, spinal stress may lead to early wear, degeneration, and possible surgery.

Text neck is not the only unintended consequence of the technological revolution.  The Islamic State continues to broadcast beheadings on YouTube because their videos shock the world and advance their cause among jihadists.  The cousins who massacred Jewish rabbis in their synagogue on Tuesday knew their actions would bring instant global attention to their cause.  (For more on the recent violence in Israel, see my article 'Violence in the Holy Land: my view.')

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Group wants to give satanic coloring books to children

A religious group wants to hand out the Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities to counteract evangelical Christians in central Florida (Credit: The Satanic Temple)"This might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism.  We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer."  So explains a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple in announcing that the group would distribute its publications, including coloring books, to schools in the Orlando, Florida area.  In response, the school board has now banned the distribution of all religious materials, including Bibles.

Meanwhile, a high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado has told students that they can no longer gather informally to pray, sing religious songs, or discuss religious topics at school during class hours.  The students are now required to meet before or after class.  This in a city which is home to so many Christian ministries it has been called "America's Christian Mecca."

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Learning from the Bill Cosby tragedy

Entertainer Bill Cosby gestures during an interview about the upcoming exhibit, Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue, with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art (Credit: AP/Evan Vucci) Bill Cosby has been an American icon for decades.  As Dr. Cliff Huxtable, he was star of The Cosby Show and the quintessential American father.  He wrote the bestseller Fatherhood and was a spokesman for Jell-O, Coca-Cola, and other venerable American institutions.  His comedy act has sold out theaters around the world.

How tragically things have changed.  A comedian recently called him a "rapist" in a video that has now gone viral; last week a woman wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post claiming that Cosby assaulted her numerous times.  The allegations go back to 2005, when a woman claimed that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home.  He denied the allegations.  More than a dozen women (one of them wrote the recent Washington Post article) then said they were prepared to testify to similar stories of assault; the case was settled before going to trial.

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'Duck Dynasty' family plans musical in Las Vegas

Si Robertson (L), Willie Robertson (C) and Phil Robertson (R) from A&E's Duck Dynasty speak at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Cable Show in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Andrew Harrer) When I was in New York City recently, I witnessed some unusual expressions of culture.  One restaurant wall featured depictions of Buddha, Elvis, Mary and Jesus, and a South African Krugerrand under the banner, "ALL IS ONE."  Times Square had its usual combination of blinding lights and street hawkers.  What I didn't see was a musical on Broadway based on the "Duck Dynasty" family.  But according to The New York Times, that may change soon.

"The Duck Commander Family Musical," a 90-minute show with actors playing family members from A&E's "Duck Dynasty," is being produced for Las Vegas.  Broadway producer Michael David, who developed "Jersey Boys," is producing the show.  The Robertson family has approval rights over script and casting.  Some are wondering if Christians will go to Las Vegas to see it, or if Las Vegas tourists will see a show based on Christians.  Others are wondering how the musical would do if it came to Broadway.

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