Jack Jones (left) and Marcel Williams, image courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

Arkansas carried out back-to-back executions on Monday night, administering lethal injections to two men convicted of rape and murder to become the first U.S. state to put more than one inmate to death on the same day in 17 years. Marcel Williams, 46, was pronounced dead at 10:33 CDT, a little more than three hours after the execution of 52-year-old Jack Jones, according to officials at Cummins Unit prison, about 75 miles southeast of the state capital, Little Rock.


Inmates Bruce Ward(top row L to R), Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Stacy Johnson, Jack Jones (bottom row L to R), Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams and Jason Mcgehee are shown in these booking photo provided March 21, 2017. Courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS
 

Arkansas, which has not conducted an execution in 12 years, at one point had planned to execute eight inmates in 11 days, the most of any state in as short a period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Image via RNS/Creative Commons/Jason Howie

What a Christian author started on a whim rapidly turned into a whirlwind. Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Review the Bible’s View of Women, created a Twitter hashtag on April 18 called #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. She kicked it off with a couple things that have been addressed to her.

the Web Editors 4-19-2017

Bill O’Reilly, host of the O'Reilly Factor, will leave Fox News, the channel's parent company announced today. The move comes after several sexual harassment complaints and a subsequent loss of corporate sponsors.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” a statement from 21st Century Fox read.

The Supreme Court is seen ahead of the Senate voting to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Justice in Washington, DC, U.S. April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The case, which examines the limits of religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution, is one of the most important before the court in its current term. It also marks the biggest test to date for the court's newest justice, President Donald Trump's appointee Neil Gorsuch.

the Web Editors 4-18-2017

Image via Rainier Martin Ampongan / Shutterstock 
 

Rutledge claims that nothing is in place preventing the next five executions, according to the AP. She says she will continue to fight against any legal challenges hindering the executions.

Image via RNS/Tyrone Turner

A new study shows there may be more than twice as many atheists in the U.S. than previous studies have found.

The report by two University of Kentucky scholars suggests that because people may be embarrassed to admit they don’t believe in God, the number of Americans who say they are non-believers may be artificially low. Polls from Gallup, Pew, and Barna have reported that number between 3 and 10 percent.

Image via RNS/ACNS/Scott Gunn

John, a 64-year-old theologian and dean of St. Albans Cathedral, has made no secret of his own homosexuality, and is in a civil partnership with another priest, a relationship he says is celibate. He has also made clear his support for same-sex marriage.

That has made John the subject of hard-liners’ ire. Supporters say his honesty about his homosexuality, and his views about same-sex marriage, have cost him the bishop’s seat, while some other bishops are known to be “quietly gay.”

Kaitlin Curtice 4-17-2017

What if Easter is our starting over point, our "New Year" packed with resolutions to begin again in the ways of grace? What if Easter for us is like those days for Barabbas, those days after he watched this innocent man die on a cross and find him after he'd resurrected? What began again in Barabbas, what new life and fresh perspective?

Image via RNS/Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis used his traditional Easter Sunday message to call the bombing of a refugee convoy near Aleppo, Syria, a “despicable attack”, and urged world leaders to “prevent the spread of conflicts” despite mounting tensions in Syria and North Korea.

In his Easter blessing, known as “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world”), the pope urged the faithful to remember “all those forced to leave their homelands as a result of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine, and oppressive regimes.”

the Web Editors 4-17-2017

Image via mikeledray/Shutterstock.com

An analysis by the 2016 American National Election Study has revealed that racism played a bigger part in Trump’s election than authoritarianism, reports the Washington Post.

The 2016 American National Election Study consisted of about 1,200 people from across the U.S. answering survey questions for more than an hour, the questions structured to reveal their political leanings.

the Web Editors 4-17-2017

Image via fpolat69/Shutterstock.com

On April 15 a bomb attack struck buses that were transporting evacuees to safety from dangerous Syrian towns, reports BBC News. The attack killed 128 people, at least 68 of whom were children. The attack occurred at a transfer point for the evacuees.

As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and it is believed that Syrian rebels are not to blame, since some of their supporters were slated to evacuate from those same Syrian towns.

the Web Editors 4-15-2017

Inmates Bruce Ward(top row L to R), Don Davis, Ledell Lee, Stacy Johnson, Jack Jones (bottom row L to R), Marcel Williams, Kenneth Williams, and Jason Mcgehee. Scheduled to be executed in Arkansas, beginning April 17. Courtesy Arkansas Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

A U.S. judge in Little Rock on Saturday temporarily blocked plans by Arkansas to hold a rapid series of executions this month, after the inmates argued the state's rush to the death chamber was unconstitutional and reckless.

Amanda Maldonado, right, reads a poem about refugees during a ‘Women for Syria’ vigil in northwest Washington on Thursday. Photo by Maryam Saleh/Medill News Service

About 100 small groups of Syrian refugee activists held vigils Thursday evening to send a message to President Donald Trump that accepting refuges from Syria is at least as important as taking military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A damaged statue of Jesus Christ is seen inside a church in the town of Qaraqosh, south of Mosul, Iraq, April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica SEARCH

In the desecrated churches of Qaraqosh, Christians are busy removing graffiti daubed by the Sunni Muslim militants during two and a half years of control — only for new slogans to have appeared, scrawled by Shi'ite members of the Iraqi forces fighting street to street with the jihadists in Mosul.

Ruben Enaje, 57, who is portraying Jesus Christ for the 31st time, grimaces in pain as he was nailed on a wooden cross during a Good Friday re-enactment. April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Nine Filipinos were nailed to crosses in three villages in the province of Pampanga, 80 km (50 miles) north of the capital, Manila, drawing hundreds of tourists despite the Catholic church's disapproval of what it sees as a form of folk religion.

Pope Francis washes the feet of some inmates at the Paliano prison, south of Rome, Italy April 13, 2017. Osservatore Romano/Handout via REUTERS

"We are all sinners. We all have defects," the pope told the inmates, in an improvised sermon broadcast by Vatican Radio.

By washing their feet, Francis told them, he was willing to do "the work of a slave in order to sow love among us". He urged them to help each other.

Two of the 12 are serving life sentences, and the others are due to be released between 2019 and 2073.

the Web Editors 4-12-2017

Image via Reuters/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

“Fearless Girl” — a statue of a young girl standing with her hands on her hips, as though in defiance — is a temporary installation installed in commemoration of International Women’s Day. Arturo Di Modica, the sculptor of “Charging Bull,” is now calling for the statue’s removal, with his attorney Norman Siegel stating in public that there are “copyright and trademark infringement issues.”

the Web Editors 4-12-2017

Image via Nagel Photography/Shutterstock.com

Randall Marshall, the legal director of the ACLU of Alabama, expressed the ACLU of Alabama’s opposition to both Briarwood’s request and a bill that would give churches in Alabama permission to hire armed congregants and protect them legally if they shoot anyone.

“It’s our view this would be plainly unconstitutional,” said Randall Marshall.

Layton E. Williams 4-12-2017

Princeton students listen to Tim Keller's lecture on campus, April 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Princeton Theological Seminary. Photographer: Kevin Birch

Yesterday, we spoke with Princeton Seminary president Dr. M. Craig Barnes about the controversial decision to rescind the award — which he revealed to us was actually Keller’s suggestion — and his hopes for the school moving forward.

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