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Weekly Roundup

Here are a few stories from this week that deserve notice:

* After failing last year, Missouri legislators overrode a gubernatorial veto to pass a new tax cut plan that creates a loophole for wealthy owners. A New York Times reporter nicely captured the moment the vote passed in the Senate:
When the votes were tallied, [the bill's sponsor] leaned back in his chair, clasped his hands and laughed.
Kind of brings to mind the image of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons!

* Tea Party conservatives suffered a big defeat in North Carolina on Tuesday as establishment candidate Thom Tillis easily won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate - even avoiding a runoff election. The Tea Party's favorite candidate fell way behind, while a third candidate trailed even more. That third candidate, Mark Harris, ran as the conservative Christian candidate. Harris, who recently served as President of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, took a leave of absence as pastor of First Baptist Church of Charlotte to run. He left the church at the start of December (the start of Advent) to run full-time (until just past Easter). He might return to the church, but his run has probably hurt his ministry since he so closely identified with one political party and offered some fiery political rhetoric. In fact, he even cited a line from the Christian children's song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" during a debate, but did so in a way that seems to miss the point of the song. He noted that Jesus loves them all, but then argued we should deport those who break the law. So much for living out his faith in the public square!

* Three Christian leaders - a Lutheran, a Baptist, and a Catholic - penned a great column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch critiquing a horrible new food aid provision recently passed by U.S. House of Representatives (and now headed to the Senate).  Hopefully our Senators will listen and fix the language to better help those who are hungry.

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