The Common Good

Weekly Wrap 11.27.13: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week (So Far)

(Editors Note: Due to Thanksgiving, we''ve compiled the stories from the week so far. Enjoy that turkey!)

1. What Americans (Still) Want From Immigration Reform
Sixty-three percent of Americans favor providing a way for immigrants who are currently living in the United States illegally to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, while 14% support allowing them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens.

2. Religious Americans Give More, New Study Finds
The more important religion is to a person, the more likely that person is to give to a charity of any kind, according to new research released by Connected America. Among Americans who claim a religious affiliation, the study said, 65 percent give to charity. Among those who do not identify a religious creed, 56 percent make charitable gifts.

3. High Stakes Raids on Religious Groups?
From Scientology to the Apostles of Infinite Love in Canada, the Pinnacle Rastafari in Jamaica and Hikari no Wa in Japan, an expert claims that governments are raiding nontraditional religious groups like never before.

4. Wear Pants to Church Day
Last December, a grassroots effort by Mormon feminists urged women to wear pants to church  — something that is nowhere forbidden by LDS doctrine but in some locations has been frowned upon by the conservative subculture of Mormondom. Women will be doing it again Dec. 15.

5. Looking to Australia to Celebrate Thanksgiving
Australia acknowledges its Aboriginal culture far more than America acknowledges Native American roots. This Thanksgiving, should we look for inspiration Down Under? 

6. The Macy''s Thanksgiving Parade Balloons Used to Be Extremely Creepy
Windy weather may ground the giant balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, but decades ago, you might have preferred skipping these creepy-looking balloons.

7. The Supersized American Turkey
Those turkeys just keep getting bigger and bigger.

8. Solar-Powered Bikes
Here’s a way to give your two wheels extra power without relying on electricity — but balancing might be a bit tough.

9. Five Characteristics of Happiness
The science of positive psychology has revealed five character strengths especially connected with higher levels of happiness. Do you have any of them?

10. A new literary mash-up: Amish romance and vampire tales
Amish Vampires in Space is the latest literary mash-up to gain rave reviews and social media buzz. It’s part of a small but growing group of new bonnet and bloodsucker books that combine two of today’s best-selling genres: Amish romance and vampire tales. 

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