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Challenging the Legend of King David, The Bishop of Bling, and More
October 31, 2013
Summary: Why King David wasn't so glorious; Pope Francis busts a bishop for high rolling; and a nun calls for mercy from lengthy prison sentences.
Credit: HarperCollins
King David: Not So Glorious October 31, 2013
The underdog who beat Goliath, the author of the psalms, the ancestor of the Messiah: this is how we imagine King David. But historian Joel Baden calls him an invented hero. And David probably didn't kill Goliath - it was more likely a Biblical nobody who offered a convenient story to burnish David's legend.

Joel Baden, author of The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero
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Pope Francis Busts a Bishop for High Living October 31, 2013
He's accused of dropping $475,000 on walk-in closets, $20,000 on a delux bathtub and $33,000 on a dining table. Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany is now immortalized as "The Bishop of Bling." The high roller was just suspended by Pope Francis after he reportedly spent more than $42 million renovating his official residence and allegedly lied under oath in a legal case.

Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service
Christian Weisner, leader of church reform movement We Are Church Germany
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A Call for a 'Clemency Sabbath' October 31, 2013
Every Thanksgiving, the President pardons a turkey. Yet the President doesn't show much mercy to the thousands of human beings who languish in prisons long after they're a public threat. That's the contention of a nun who wants the President and governors to weild their power of official forgiveness more often. She's calling on religious leaders to preach about clemency to their congregations one Sabbath per year - scheduled the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Sister Mary Ann McGivern, creator of the Clemency Sabbath