New today: Genesis in the Declaration of Independence, least restrictive means and religious freedom, mainline decline?

Daily lectionary readings: Psalm 119:161-168Jeremiah 18:1-11Matthew 11:20-24

Saints, commemorations, and other witnesses from the cloud: Walter Rauschenbusch, Washington Gladden, and Jacob Riis (Episcopal calendar), Swithun (Catholic calendar)

New today from the Century

The Genesis of the Declaration of Independence, by Zach Hutchins. Phrases such as “Nature’s God” had been used for centuries before Thomas Jefferson put pen to paper. John Locke traced natural law back to the divine injunction in Genesis 1:28.

Joyce Ann Mercer reviews Simon Blackburn's book Mirror, Mirror. In Simon Blackburn's inquiry into how to get our love of self into balance, self-esteem and shame appear alongside traits such as integrity and sincerity.

The "least restrictive means" in theory or in reality? by Steve Thorngate. The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling hinged in part on the majority’s contention that the government has other ways of providing contraception coverage. Justice Alito suggested the accommodation in place for nonprofits. But will this work?

The things we do, by Diane Roth. I spent part of the afternoon drawing eyes with the children. We were encouraged to see all the different colors inside our eyes.

Glory days? The myth of the mainline, by Ted A. Campbell. For decades, the notion of mainline decline has dominated interpretation of church life. But just how mighty were the churches before?

In the news

Report: Minnesota Archbishop Nienstedt under scrutiny for same-sex relationships

ANALYSIS: Hobby Lobby beat the contraception mandate. Here’s why the nuns may not

LGBT workers may feel impact of Hobby Lobby ruling

In the CCblogs network 

A love letter to my brothers and sisters in Christ, by Joanna Harader

When inclusion is not enough, by Jonathan Melton

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