Dalai Lama speaks to thousands in suburban Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) — The Dalai Lama has told an audience in suburban Atlanta to focus on love and to be grateful for all that they have.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader spoke to thousands of people Tuesday at the Gwinnett Center arena.
The focus of this visit is "secular ethics," which is described as a system of shared principles that go beyond religious differences while still respecting and valuing the significance of religion in people's lives.
The Dalai Lama has held the title of presidential distinguished professor at Emory University since October 2007 and has visited Emory's campus five times.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to participate in a series of lectures and panel discussions through Thursday.
Congressional chaplains pray for divine intervention
WASHINGTON (AP) — Can prayer move an unmovable object, like the U.S. Congress?
As the federal government remains partially shut down and about to hit a debt ceiling, Senate Chaplain Barry Black continues to appeal to God in his daily invocations.
Before Tuesday's Senate session, he prayed, "May the tirades of majorities or minorities be equally impotent to sway our lawmakers from doing what is best for America." He also prayed that the senators will be ethical "as they strive to match their words with deeds."
On the other side of the Capitol, House Chaplain Father Patrick Conroy prayed that lawmakers will use the power they have to help their constituents "who possess little or no power, and whose lives are made all the more difficult by a failure to work out serious differences."
Pittsburgh Diocese sues again over health mandates
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is suing the federal government again seeking to overturn a looming requirement that employers offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans.
A judge in November dismissed a previous lawsuit, saying the diocese has not been harmed by the legislation and that the government had promised to take steps to address religious objections.
But the new federal lawsuit claims such promises have proven to be "empty words" — and said the final regulations that take effect Jan. 1 are worse than the proposed regulations that prompted last year's lawsuit.
The Department of Justice, which will defend the new suit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mormons pushing church stance on homosexuality
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church's stance on homosexuality has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's Proposition 8.
The Utah-based Church of Latter-day Saints launched a new website this year encouraging more compassion toward gays. It also implores gay members to stay in the faith, and clarifies that Mormon leaders would no longer necessarily counsel gays to marry people of the opposite sex. In May, church leaders backed the Boy Scouts' policy allowing gays in the ranks.
But church apostle Dallin Oaks reiterated this past weekend during a biannual conference that human laws cannot "make moral what God has declared immoral."
Gobble tov! American Jews ready for Thanksgivukkah
NEW YORK (AP) — This year, for the first time in living memory, Hanukkah will start on Thanksgiving, creating a Jewish-American frenzy.
There's the commerce: A 9-year-old New York boy invented the "Menurkey" and raised more than $48,000 on Kickstarter for his trademarked Turkey-shaped menorah. Woodstock-inspired T-shirts have a turkey perched on the neck of a guitar and implore "8 Days of Light, Liberty & Latkes (LAHT'-kuhz)." The creators nabbed the trademark to "Thanksgivukkah."
Let's not forget the food mash-ups commemorating the staying power of the Pilgrims and the fighting prowess of the Jews, along with the miracle of one night's oil lasting eight days. Pumpkin latkes, apple-cranberry sauce and deep-fried turkey, anyone?
The Jewish calendar makes Hanukkah appear to drift slightly from year to year, but it hasn't coincided with Thanksgiving for 125 years, and isn't expected to do so again for more than 79,000 years.
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Seven people were injured in a Vermillion County crash Wednesday.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding a missing 70-year-old man.
Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with just under a minute left and the Miami Heat erased a 15-point deficit in the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-94 on Wednesday night.