Lunchtime Links: March 19, 2010

The final showdown on health care reform legislation in set for Sunday when the House votes on the measure.

Catholic bishops have traditionally trumpeted the cause of expanded health care as part of the biblical mandate to help the poor. But Catholic leadership’s opposition to the current health care reform legislation over abortion language signals an about face and would be a key reason if the bill is defeated.

Despite the slow economic recovery and continued high unemployment, Americans set a record for generosity in giving to the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign at Christmastime. Bell ringers and private donations hauled in $139 million in 2009, a seven percent jump from the year before. “America is an incredibly generous nation and philanthropy is alive and well, despite the current economic conditions impacting so many,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, national commander of The Salvation Army.

Texas pastor’s daughter Lacey Brown was the first to exit the Top 12 on “American Idol” on Wednesday night. It was the second straight year Brown had been cut from an advanced stage of the competition.

The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years. The “perversion files,” a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.

Fess Parker, who played legends Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on television, died Thursday. He was 85.

The madness has begun. Upsets of Georgetown and Vanderbilt were the to headlines from an action-packed first day of the NCAA Tournament.

Sanctus Real ( is the real deal and a must-listen for Christian music fans.

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