Thursday’s Links To Go

‘Us,’ not ‘Them’: My Christian Calling to Advocate for Immigrants

I traveled to Alabama to support the resident bishop of my denomination, who had joined three others in suing the state for criminalizing Christianity. Earlier in 2011, the state legislature passed a law whose many effects included abridging the church’s ability to carry out its role in the world by making it illegal to transport or harbor an undocumented immigrant.
That should be a story we read about in history textbooks of Soviet Russia, not the national section of the New York Times.

Targeting the Dove Sellers

By going after the dove sellers we see Jesus directly attacking the group who were having economic dealings with the poor. When the poor would go to the temple they would head for the dove sellers.
The point being, while we know that Jesus was upset about economic exploitation going on in the temple, his focus on the dove sellers sharpens the message and priorities. Jesus doesn’t, for instance, go after the sellers of lambs. Jesus’s anger is stirred at the way the poor are being treated and economically exploited.

What Brings Atheists to Church? Their Children, Research Shows

As Patheos “Science on Religion” blogger Nicholas C. DiDonato notes, atheists may attend religious services for a variety of reasons. However, “the attendance rate of atheists with children jumps 70% compared to those without,” he writes.

U.S. Franciscan friars go digital, accept prayer requests via text

The faithful simply text the word ‘prayer’ to 306-44, free of charge. A welcome message from the friars comes up along with a box to type in the request. When the it is sent, the sender receives a reply.
The intentions are received on a website and will be included collectively in the friars’ prayers twice a day and at Mass.
It is one of several ways the friars hope to reach a younger audience, increase the number of faithful and spread the faith. They have already renovated their website and the next step is moving into Facebook and tweeting.
“If the Pope can tweet, friars can text,” said Father David.
The friars also have a presence on LinkedIn and have been streaming some of their church services.

Why You Need a Seriously Fast Website

Last summer Sherice Jacobs reported on a speed test run by Google. Then-Google VP Marissa Mayer asked users if they’d like 10 or 30 results per page. Hands down, web users wanted 30 results per page.
But when Google rolled out the changes and tested for speed (they are obsessed with speed) their jaws dropped. Traffic had dropped by 20% on those pages with 30 results.
The download speed difference? Half a second.

The TSA Blog: A Look at the Dangerous, Scary, and Downright Unusual Items our Officers Found in 2012

And of course, there are those items that fit into the odd/interesting category. A few examples would be bear mace in a sock, a spear gun, dead venomous snakes, a chastity belt, more cane swords than you could shake a cane sword at, a shocking amount of stun guns, a gassed up chainsaw, an 8oz. bottle of vodka discovered in a passenger’s pants, a knife mounted on a walker, eels, prohibited bling, a marijuana filled grenade, another speargun, samurai swords, a stun cane, and jingle bell shotgun shells.

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