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First Baptist Church Pastor John Crowder leads an open-air Sunday service four days after a deadly fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, near Waco, Texas, on April 21, 2013. Reuters/Adrees Latif

How much does the Johnson Amendment curtail church freedom?

The Johnson Amendment requires houses of worship to stay away from politics to receive tax exemptions. Yet, their leaders can speak out in a variety of ways that could reflect their religious views.
'Crayons' via www.shutterstock.com

Who counts as black?

With the number of multiracial Americans growing, there's a fierce debate in the black community over who's black – and who isn't.
Trump poses with his brain trust. Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

White House in turmoil shows why Trump’s no CEO

He campaigned on the notion that his business experience would equip him to 'make America great again,' but running a family company is poor training for the presidency.
The New Thought movement left behind an important legacy. Wesley Nitsckie

Why you should know about the New Thought movement

A 19th-century movement, New Thought, came to a have deep influence on the prosperity gospel - that faith could lead one to health and material wealth. What does it tell us about Trump's faith?
Efforts to combat climate change are making extracting oil from areas like Canada’s tar sands fields more expensive. Emily Beament/PA Wire via AP

Are fossil fuel companies telling investors enough about the risks of climate change?

The Trump administration may reverse a recent push to require oil companies to disclose more information about climate change risks to investors. Is that a good thing?
Too sick to attend school in person, but perfectly able to participate with a robot’s help. AP Photo/David Duprey

How robots could help chronically ill kids attend school

Students with chronic illness often get only a few hours of education a week. Telepresence robots could let them participate fully in classroom and school activities.
A worker at the Wynwood Community Service Center hands a local resident a can of insect repellent Aug. 4, 2016, in Miami. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

How best to prepare for epidemics? Strengthen primary care

We need to take a close look at how primary care systems function in places at great risk of epidemic disease, and what we can do to make these systems more resilient.
After the Army Corps of Engineers approved an easement for the North Dakota Pipeline, two tribes requested – unsuccessfully – to halt construction while their lawsuit over the project is resolved. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

How will native tribes fight the Dakota Access Pipeline in court?

More than an easement: A scholar of Native American law lays out the legal arguments in the Dakota Access Pipeline and why they matter to all of us.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB350 on Oct. 7, 2015. The bill calls for increasing the state’s renewable electricity use to 50 percent and doubling energy efficiency in existing buildings by 2030. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Will blazing a low-carbon path pay off for California?

California has set ambitious goals for cutting carbon emissions and shifting to a clean energy economy. How will this strategy affect the state's huge economy? An economist weighs the evidence.