The Common Good

Weekly Wrap

Weekly Wrap 3.28.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

 1. The 5 Photos You Need to See of President Obama's Meeting With Pope Francis
Laughing, joking, exchanging gifts. Check out these photos of President Obama's Thursday meeting with the pontiff.

2. Alarm raised over violence in Sudan's Darfur
The United Nations and the African Union have sounded an alarm over worsening violence in Sudan's western Darfur region, which is forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and hampering the distribution of aid.

3. Again, Don't Stop Sponsoring Kids
And while the responses to the controversy were many and varied, one thread rang throughout: regardless of the organization's policy, change of policy, reversal of change — don't stop sponsoring the kids World Vision serves. 

4. What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent
"As Christians, we subscribe to the belief that we all bear the image of God. Our best faces are already put forward—not because of Botox or Clinique but because of a divine Creator. As parents, we have the responsibility to model what it means to be secure in our identities, not only spiritually but physically as well."

5. WATCH: Everything You Hate About Advertising in One Fake Video That's Almost Too Real
McSweeny's "This Is A Generic Brand Video" script comes to "life" in this hilarious of actual stock footage. "Lest you think we’re a faceless entity, Look at all these attractive people. Here’s some of them talking and laughing And close-ups of hands passing canned goods to each other. In a setting that evokes community service."

6Lawmakers Call for Full Accountability From BP on Lake Michigan Oil Spill
The spill, while likely cleaned up soon, is of concern to many given plans to begin shipping tar sands across the Great Lakes by barge. 

7'Noah:' Deeply, Passionately Biblical
Since trailers started trickling out, people have criticized filmmaker Darren Aronofsky for taking the story of Noah to Hollywood. But, as Cathleen Falsani points out after interviewing the producer and writer and seeing the film, "They breathed new life into an ancient story, putting flesh and blood and a racing heartbeat into one of the Bible’s most emotionally complex and spiritually confounding stories."

8. Leaving the World a Little Better
Not the type to fast or give something up for Lent? Maybe it's not part of your faith tradition. But if you're still looking for a way to observe the holy season, read this blogger's take. "Every relationship is an opportunity to leave others better than we found them."

9. Will Women Ever Feel Completely Safe on Mass Transit? 
"As cities try to figure out how to boost transit ridership, and unpredictable gas prices force people to reconsider their commute, the threat of harassment and assault has been granted surprisingly little airtime. But short of solving the widespread societal problems of harassment and sexism — a tall order for even the most committed activist — there are piecemeal solutions cities can undertake to convey to women that they care about their safety on public transportation."

10. Supreme Court Divided as it Hears Argument on Contraceptive Coverage
The Washington Post offers a helpful breakdown of the two cases before the Supreme Court on the matter of the contraceptive coverage mandate. 

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Weekly Wrap 3.21.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. 'Frozen,' Evangelical Purity Culture, and What It's Like Being a Girl
The narrative of purity culture — not unlike the narrative of many, many Disney princesses — implicitly and sometimes explicitly promises that passive virtue will exert a sort of magnetic pull on worthy young men, who will come flocking to her father for permission to ‘court’ her."

2. Urban Church Planting Plantations
Christena Cleveland examines the trend of white suburban church planters flocking into urban centers to "save the city," disregarding the indigenous religious leaders already working. A helpful reminder.

3. WATCH: ReMoved
This is why fostering is so important: "It would be impossible to fully understand the life and emotions of a child going through the foster care system, but this short narrative film portrays that saga in a poetic light, with brushes of fear, anger, sadness, and a tiny bit of hope." - Santa Barbara Independent
Watch the full short film.

4. A God With Teeth
Esther Emery writes for A Deeper Story about the transforming power of nature, and a God who is bigger than it all. "I never had a pastor say, 'It says it right here, on page three. We were charged to steward the earth. Now get to stewarding.' I did it anyway."

5. 7 Deadly Sins: A Lenten Series
We all know the seven deadly sins. From pride to sloth and envy, our daily sins sometimes go unnoticed. Join Sojouners as we dig into how the deadly sins still root themselves in our lives today. And while you're at it, you might as well listen to the 7Deadly playlist curated by our own associate web editor, Catherine Woodiwiss.

6 . Patriarchy and Abusive Churches
Rachel Held Evans highlights the Bill Gothard abuse allegations to talk about sexual abuse in the church: "My evangelical brothers and sisters, we have an abuse problem and we need to talk about it."

7. Generational Poverty: Understanding a Different Culture
"The church that wants to reach its neighbors with the message of the gospel and see the community thrive must understand its neighbors’ culture. Offering middle-class solutions to generational poverty problems can be extraordinarily helpful, but without knowing, loving, and appreciating the venerable aspects of the generational poverty culture, those solutions will not be embraced and will fail to generate lasting change."

8. Ukraine, Russia, Crimea: How the Story Evolved
With new news coming out of Crimea by the day, USA Today provides a helpful breakdown of the crisis.

9. American Jesus Madness
Who needs March Madness when you can vote in a bracket that includes Rachel Held Evans v. Every Calvinist Dude on the Internet? They're down to the final four, and it's between A God Article's (and Sojourners') Mark Sandlin v. Nadia Bolz-Weber's Tattoos and Willem Defoe (in The Last Temptation of Christ) v. Greg Boyd. Cast your vote!

10. WATCH: Elementary School Choir's Cover of Pharrell's 'Happy' Will Make Your Whole Week Better
Because you need a little happy to kick off your weekend.

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Weekly Wrap 3.14.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Pope Francis' 10 Most Quotable Quotes of the Year
Yesterday, the pope celebrated his one-year anniversary. And while there was certainly many, many to choose from, Catholic News Service compiles his top 10 quotes.

2 . Twitter Conversation Responds to Myth That Clothing Encourages Sexual Violence
"Pink princess pajamas. Jeans and a t-shirt. Sweatpants and a baggy sweater. When Twitter user Christina Fox (@Steenfox) asked her followers, “What were you wearing when you were assaulted?” some answered with these clothes."

3. America's Most Unequal Metros
Income inequality has risen across the board in U.S. metro areas over the past two decades. But which metros are feeling it the most? Does your city make the list?

4. Fake Magazine Covers That Expose Real Inequality
"What would happen if, instead of celebrities and supermodels, magazine covers showcased women and girls who are invisible to society?" Check out the photo gallery to see.

5. Catholics, Evangelicals Press GOP on Immigration
Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders joined together Wednesday to meet with top House Republicans and tell them a vote on immigration reform must come before August.

6. How Helpful — and How Christian — Is Dave Ramsey's Financial Advice?
Anyone who has gone through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class can probably extol its virtues and it's debt-free result. But how biblical is its basis?

7. BP Closer to Restoring U.S. Operations After Deal With Government Agency
An agreement that includes five years of EPA monitoring means the BP is allowed to bid for new projects in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is still mired in civil lawsuits and cleanup efforts after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

8. Poll: Americans Think Hurricane Katrina Worse Crisis Than Syria
On the 3-year anniversary of the conflict in Syria, a new poll shows how little Americans still understand about the issue. So far the conflict in Syria has affected more than 9 million people. Read more about the conflict at the link.

9. Brief Moments When I Did Not Hate the Bible
"Over and over, I commission myself to read Scripture in a way that makes my heart sing. To interpret it in ways that free me. To regard it with joy instead of obligation. To read it, or not read it, and know that Jesus loves me anyway."

10. Dads Pose With Their Babies in New Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign
While the American Academy of Pediatrics has affirmed and reaffirmed its guidelines that breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of life, many women struggle due to lack of support — like one mom who was told she couldn't breastfeed onboard an airplane. The new "If I Could, I Would" photo series shows men with their babies as a sign of support for breastfeeding moms.

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Weekly Wrap 3.7.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Why Do We Need an International Women's Day?
Saturday is International Women's Day. The Guardian offers a great take on the day as four gender-equality campaigners share their views on feminism and the backlash against women's rights.

2. The Bible Reduced to Minimalist Posters
Design nerds, unite! This beautiful series of graphics depicts the books of the Bible as retro posters. Fast Company highlights designer Joseph Novak, a Presbyterian pastor, and his gallery of biblical graphics. His intent? Encouraging people to think more deeply about the Bible. Done and done.

3. To #Ashtag or Not to #Ashtag?
The age-old debate of publicly wearing ashes to commemorate the beginning of Lent (a time of self-examination and repentance) vs. the biblical "pray in a closet" exhortation went on steroids this year as Christians pondered whether #ashtag selflies were an appropriate form of prayer and penitence.

4. Everything I Know About Racism I Learned in the Church
"As a millenial, I’ve lived most of my years in our so-called 'post-racial' American church. Yet my earliest and most painful experiences of racism have all occurred in the church – at the hands of sincere Christians. And unfortunately, my stories are consistent with the stories of many other people my age and younger."

5. Unreal Sales for Mark Driscoll's Real Marriage
Did the megachurch pastor buy his way on to the New York Times bestseller list? And what are the implications for bestseller lists and for Christian witness?

6. Baptist Target Gun Enthusiasts for Outreach
It's long been a staple for some large evangelical churches to lure in the unchurched with raffles, bands, bright lights and bold colors. But now … guns?

7. Millennials in Adulthood
While many in the media still paint millennials with a certain teen-angsty brush, it's worth noting that the high end of the generation is now in their 30s. Pew Research takes a closer look at the generation as adults in its new study. Highlights = less religious, less attached to political parties.

8. QUIZ: Do You Really Have a Clue How Much Water You Use?
Answer: probably not. Take this quiz at The Atlantic Cities to find out.

9. So, What Is This 'Lent' Thing?
Want to go a step further in your lenten study and reflection? Check out this blog series on Lent, and follow throughout these 40 days for weekly study and inspiration.

10. WATCH: Baby Girl Directs Her Church Choir
CUTE BABY ALERT! This future church choir director takes her job very, very seriously.

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Weekly Wrap 2.28.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Walking the Second Mile: Jesus, Discrimination, and 'Religious Freedom'
Rachel Held Evans addresses the failed anti-gay legislation attempts in Arizona and Kansas: "Crying persecution every time one doesn’t get one’s way is an insult to the very real religious persecution happening in the world today.  It's no way to be a good citizen and certainly no way to advance the gospel in the world."

2. How Obama Is Trying to Lift Up Young Men of Color: A Q&A with Joshua Dubois
Joshua Dubois, former director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, sits down with the Washington Post to talk about President Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative: "What I believe the president is saying … is that these boys and men matter just as much as any other American. And if they succeed, that’s something that will help all of us. It will help the entire country."

3. Border Control Killings of Migrants Raise Questions on Training, Accountability
More than 20 fatal shootings of civilians by U.S. Border Patrol agents since 2010 expose massive problems within the federal agency. 

4. MAP: Does Your State Pay a Fair Wage?
As the federal minimum wage stagnates at $7.25 an hour, many states have taken the lead to raise wages on their own. Check out the map to view the 21 states that now have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. Where does yours stand?

5. Recline! Why 'Leaning In' is Killing Us
Another take on the ubiquitous and ever-evolving "having it all" debate, this time from Foreign Policy: "Ladies, if we want to rule the world — or even just gain an equitable share of leadership positions — we need to stop leaning in. It's killing us."

6. 10 Mr. Rogers Quotes You Need to Read
On the anniversary of his death, Relevant magazine compiles some of his wisdom, like: "We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say, 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."

7. How Anti-Poverty Measures Marginalize Fathers
"The biggest flaw in anti-poverty policies is that they don’t take into account the role that fathers play in children’s lives."

8. A Prayer: Belong
From Sarah Bessey at "For those of us who have been told that we are too much—too loud, too opinionated, too smart, too bold, too quiet, too curvy, too skinny, too sexual, too intense, too feeling, too soft, too tough, too bossy, too tender, too young, too old, too liberal, too conservative—may we say: you belong here with us."

9. A Study Claims Global Warming Could Cause 180K More Rapes by 2099
The Atlantic Cities reports on a controversial new study that correlates a rise in temperatures with a rise in violent crime and property crime. 

10. To Young Christians Speaking Out Against Anti-Gay Discrimination: Thank You
From Jim Wallis: "Differing theological views on important issues of sexuality will need time, patience, deep biblical reflection, respectful discourse, and religious liberty to be worked out in the churches. But the perception of Christian faith is in grave danger when Christians try to use the law to publically discriminate against those who don’t adhere to their point of view."

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Weekly Wrap 2.21.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. From Modesty to Maxim
Are Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry the unintended consequence of evangelicalism's modesty mandate?

2. The Problem with Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist
"I don’t want a little girl in Ghana, or Sri Lanka, or Indonesia to think of me when she wakes up each morning. … I want her to think about her teacher, community leader, or mother. I want her to have a hero who she can relate to — who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language, and who she might bump into on the way to school one morning."

3. WATCH: What's Going On in Venezuela in a Nutshell
(Warning: Some graphic images) This 7-minute film, produced and posted on YouTube by 21-year-old Andreina Nash, paints a picture of the violence going on amid student protests in Venezuela.

4. An Evangelical's Plea with the GOP on Immigration Reform: Put People Before Politics
"It has become abundantly clear that immigration reform is the moral test of our politics."

5. The Dalai Lama Talks Pot, Facebook, and the Pope
Elizabeth Dias of TIME sits down with the Dalai Lama, who says "Ecology" is the issue the U.S. should be paying more attention to.

6.How Not to Raise a Daughter
"This week I caught myself doing something that has the potential to harm my daughter more than being drenched in pink and purple for the next 18 years ever could."

7. Feminism, Depravity, and Power in House of Cards
Is Claire Underwood a feminist icon as many articles have asserted? Another take: "America is in deep trouble if the prevailing reaction to a ruthless, self-serving, power-hungry sociopath is to assess her political effectiveness."

8. What the Most Violent Nations in the World Have in Common
"It's important to remember that correlation does not equal causation, but, overall, it is certainly intriguing to note that inequality, rather than poverty, appears to be associated with higher levels of violence — and that pride and machismo appear to be significant factors as well."

9. 3 Reasons the Abortion Rate Is at it's Lowest Since Roe v. Wade
Activists at both ends of the political spectrum are using the news to promote their own narratives, but Jonathan Merritt writes in his Religion News Service blog about what is behind the statistics and offers good news for the future: "Pro-life Americans have reason to celebrate, and it seems the party is just getting started."

10. 'Nones' and the Common Good
Eboo Patel poses interesting questions: "Right now, one out of every five checks “none of the above” on U.S. surveys of religious identity. … And so the question remains: What will happen to U.S. civil society as the pews empty out? Who will support all those schools, hospitals, and social service agencies? Who will build new ones?"

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Weekly Wrap 2.14.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

This Valentine's Day, we're highlighting stories about women or written by women. Did you know Sojourners has its own section dedicated to issues surrounding women and girls? Check it out HERE and follow @SojoWomen on Twitter.

1. Getty Images Creates the 'Lean In' Collection of Stock Photos
The Sojourners Web Team constantly sifts through stock photos to run along with blog posts. It's always a mind-numbing endeavor trying to find appropriate, non-condescending, or non-sexualized images of women. Enter Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, and Getty Images to create this fantastic collection that lifts up both women in the workforce and men in the home. Check out the gallery at the link.

2. Amy Poehler's Smart Girls #GalentinesDay 2014 Round Up
Thanks to the brilliance of funny gal Amy Poehler and her show "Parks and Rec," Feb. 13 is now known as Galentine's Day: "ladies celebrating ladies." If you missed the festivities, head on over to this link for the full round up: Galentines Google Hangout, memes, Galentine's Day e-cards, and more.

3. 8 Women. 8 Dreams of Gold.
ESPN is highlighting the journey of 8 women Olympic hopefuls in a special section. Check out the photo feeds from athletes like figure skater Ashley Wagner and skier Emily Cook.

4. WATCH: Breaking the Habits of Machismo
Some churches continue to act as if women are second-class citizens in the kingdom of God— despite what the Bible says. Together, Jim Wallis and Dr. Michelle A. Gonzalez discuss what the Bible really says to encourage, affirm, and empower women and girls in their call to be leaders.

5. Hillary Clinton Launches Global Data Project on Women and Girls
"With the 20th anniversary approaching of a historic 1995 women’s conference, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and study data on the global progress of women and girls and the gaps that remain. The 'No Ceilings' project will aggregate data from traditional sources, such as the World Bank, as well as less traditional ones, such as Google, to document progress since the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing."

6. A Psalm for Nobel Nominee Dr. Catherine Hamlin, 90, Who's Still Operating
Rachel Marie Stone sings the praises of Dr. Hamlin, who at the age of 90, still performs fistula surgeries at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia — a hospital she and her husband founded after moving from Australia in 1959. Read her tribute at RNS.

7. Sugar Todd is the Games' Sweetest Olympian
Not many people would celebrate a 29th-place finish in speed skating, but Sugar Todd of Wisconsin is thrilled to be at the Olympics. Check out her sweet Tweets, highlighted at Mashable.

8. V-Day: When Was the Last Time Your Pastor Preached on Violence Against Women?
Tragically, violence against women is all too common in our world — affecting up to 70 percent of women, the UN estimates. Odds are it has affected the lives of many sitting in the pew beside you on Sundays. It's time to talk about it and become a place of healing. Don't know how to get started? Here's a FREE toolkit with a draft letter to your pastor, social media prompts, and educational articles for study.

9. Questions About Egalitarian Dating
Kate Wallace writes for the Junia Project: "In theory, all you have to do is find someone who you can love and who can love you back. But if you’re a Christian you also have to find someone who loves Jesus and the Church. And, if you are an egalitarian Christian, you also have to find someone who truly thinks of you as an equal and can live that out in everyday ways."

10. Elizabeth Gilbert's Advice to Women: Get Out of Your Own Way
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love writes for "Many of the big external obstacles (political, legislative) have been cleared for us by the great and brave women who came before us. We stand on their shoulders and should be grateful. But now we are left to battle the lingering prejudices in our own minds that say we are not worthy — not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough."

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Weekly Wrap 2.7.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Philip Seymour Hoffman Did Not Have Choice or Free Will and Neither Do You
Philip Seymour Hoffman died this week after an apparent heroin addiction relapse, leading many to eulogize the renowned actor and comment on the seeming waste of a good life. But this interesting post examines the terrifying lack of free will for addicts, "It is time for all of us who got through unscathed to stop patting ourselves on the back for our genetic good luck, and it is time to stop judging those who were not born with the same good genes as defective."

2. How Evolution Helps Me Trust God
Emily Maynard writes at A Deeper Story about her journey from creationist to evolutionist and how it deepened her faith in God. "I am intrigued by a God who breathes into a process and lets it run wild. I am captivated by the idea of a God who is mysterious and so steady, so enamored by small processes, that it would be worth billions of years of wait for this revelation."

3. Boehner 'Taps Brakes' on Immigration Reform Due to Obama Distrust; Evangelicals Decry Inaction
Evangelicals, business leaders, law enforcement officials, and more are ready for immigration reform, and many are speaking out against a possible roadblock in Congress.

4. Sorry, Canada: The Americas According to Google's Autocomplete
Check out this map of the Americas using Google autocomplete function and the search terms, "Why is [country name] …?" Poor Canada's top autofill: "Why is Canada a country?"  Click to see the U.S. and Latin America's terms.

5. This Is Your Bible on Drugs
Corrie Mitchell writes for OnFaith about the various biblical citations Christians are using to justify their pro- or anti-pot stance.

6. UAE Law Requires Mothers to Breastfeed for First Two Years
According to the World Health Organization's Global Data Bank on Infant and Young Child Feeding, while 93 percent of UAE children have breastfed at some point in their lives, only 29 percent are still breastfeeding at 2 years old. According to the social affairs minister, the new law could mean that husbands could sue wives for not breastfeeding.

7. What MASH Did Not Teach Me About Marriage
Does this sound familiar to your 12-year-old self? "Megan gets married to Jordan and lives in a shack with fifty kids, a Ferrari, vacations in Timbuktu, and is employed as a ditch digger. *Insert wild shrieking.*" Megan Gahan writes for on MASH v. reality.

8. 6 New Facts About Facebook for its 10th Birthday
Baby spam? "Which [fill-in-the-blank] character are you" quizzes? FarmVille? Find out the top thing users dislike about Facebook. 

9. How a Poor Theology of the Cross Created America's Broken Justice System
Our prisons are overflowing. Why? Because our theological framework has told us that justice can only be satisfied when someone has been properly and fully punished, instead of telling us that justice is most fully satisfied when a life has been restored. The justice we seek in society today all gets traced back to how we view the justice of the cross."

10. WATCH: President Obama's Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast
In a speech highlighting international and domestic religious freedom, President Obama also reflected on his own religious life at the annual Prayer Breakfast. Watch the video here.

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Weekly Wrap 1.31.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Pete Seeger Was Folk Music
Pete Seeger died this week at 94. The legendary folk singer and champion for social change spurred countless tributes, like the above from Slate. Also see 2. this 2006 profile in The New Yorkerand spend some quality music time with 3. this clip of Bruce Springsteen paying tribute by singing "We Shall Overcome" at a concert this week.

4. The Super Bowl and What It Teaches Us About Inequality
"If you are a family of four and want to attend a Super Bowl, even if you are lucky enough to get tickets, you could easily be looking at a $10,000 outing. The other 99 percent of the tickets are reserved for the teams, advertisers, sponsors, and corporate folk, many of them resold at levels way above the list price."

5. Privilege and The Pill
Rachel Held Evans gives a pro-life defense of contraception coverage and takes on economic privilege and male privilege in this thoughtful piece. "… those who oppose coverage of birth control based on their religious or pro-life convictions must take into consideration the fact that lack of coverage may actually lead to more abortions. And we must remember that shrugging off birth control as something people should be able to easily pay for on their own betrays some of our own economic privilege in this conversation."

6. Women Front and Center in Obama's State of the Union Address
From the wage gap to early childhood education to his Twitter-friendly "Mad Men" reference, President Obama lifted up women in Tuesday night's speech. Al-Jazeera has the breakdown and reaction. 

7. Video of The Beatles' Last Show, On It's 45th Anniversary
Because it's Friday, and you need some more throwback music clips. 

8. God, Same-Sex Marriage, and 33 Weddings at the Grammys
ICYMI: During Sunday's Grammy Awards, Queen Latifah married 33 couples, some of them gay and lesbian, in a 51-second "ceremony(?)" set to Macklemore's "Same Love." Adam Ericksen argues that this "shortest wedding ceremony ever" actually trivializes marriage.

9. Polar Vortex and Climate Change: Why Rush Limbaugh and Others Are Wrong
It's frigid in most of the country (see: the Atlanta mess), so naturally, out stream the blog posts and talk radio noise repeating something along the lines of "it's cold, so global warming must not exist." The Weather Channel sets straight these, ahem, not-climate-scientists.

10. WATCH: Kid President: The Kids Need To Know
And a favorite: the latest installment from Kid President. "You can't spend your life relying on autocorrect. Learn to spell." Wise words, Kid President. This editor salutes you.

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Weekly Wrap 1.24.14: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. Richard Sherman Explains What People Mean When They Call Him a 'Thug'
The day after the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers — and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gave his now-infamous sideline interview with Erin Andrews — the word "thug" was spoken 625 times on U.S. television. Sherman tells us why that's a problem. 

2. What We Can and Can't Know About Our Babies Before They Are Born
We can tell gender, possible genetic defects, even see 3D images of babies in utero. But that's only part of the story. Ellen Painter Dollar offers a beautiful reflection on her experience.

3. Victim of Sex Trafficking in U.S. Tells Her Story
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has the story of one woman caught up in the often overlooked epidemic of sex trafficking right in our own backyard. *Caution: adult language  

4. The Art of Presence
New York Times columnist David Brooks reflects on a story told on the Sojourners blog — a story of trauma, recovery, response, and the importance of being present when trauma enters the lives of loved ones.

5. Study: Upward Mobility No Tougher in U.S. Than Two Decades Age
But: The United States remains among the most difficult industrialized nation to move up the economic ladder. See the NPR report at the link.

6. 40 Must-See Photos From the Past
This stunning photo set offers an interesting glimpse into the past — from times of war to the advent of women's bathing suits, to the sadness of Prohibition.

7. What Really Happened When a U.S. Drone Hit a Yemeni Wedding Convoy?
“Whatever we do, they will never look at us as human beings,” said Dahabiya, the elderly mother of one victim, a cousin of the groom, who left a wife and six children. “We end up with wounds they cannot see."

8. 10 Things You Can't SAY While Following Jesus
If you've ever been frustrated by "Everything Happens for a Reason," this listicle is for you.

9. South Sudan Factions Sign Cease-Fire
After more than five weeks of fighting during which thousands have been killed, warring factions in the fledgling country of South Sudan have announced a cease-fire.

10. The Myth of the Absent Black Father
From the report: "Although black fathers are more likely to live separately from their children — the statistic that’s usually trotted out to prove the parenting 'crisis' — many of them remain just as involved in their kids’ lives. Pew estimates that 67 percent of black dads who don’t live with their kids see them at least once a month, compared to 59 percent of white dads and just 32 percent of Hispanic dads."

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