I'm Not One Of Those 'Love Thy Neighbor' Christians

In light of the aftermath of Proposition 8, we thought you would enjoy this column from The Onion (hint to the humor-impaired: this is satire):

Everybody has this image of "crazy Christians" based on what they hear in the media, but it's just not true. Most Christians are normal, decent folks. We don't all blindly follow a bunch of outdated biblical tenets or go all fanatical about every bit of dogma. What I'm trying to say is, don't let the actions of a vocal few color your perceptions about what the majority of us are like.

. . .

I'm here to tell you there are lots of Christians who aren't anything like the preconceived notions you may have. We're not all into "turning the other cheek." We don't spend our days committing random acts of kindness for no credit. And although we believe that the moral precepts in the Book of Leviticus are the infallible word of God, it doesn't mean we're all obsessed with extremist notions like "righteousness" and "justice."

My faith in the Lord is about the pure, simple values: raising children right, saying grace at the table, strictly forbidding those who are Methodists or Presbyterians from receiving communion because their beliefs are heresies, and curing homosexuals. That's all. Just the core beliefs. You won't see me going on some frothy-mouthed tirade about being a comfort to the downtrodden.

. . .

Now, granted, there are some Christians on the lunatic fringe who take their beliefs a little too far. Take my coworker Karen, for example. She's way off the deep end when it comes to religion: going down to the homeless shelter to volunteer once a month, donating money to the poor, visiting elderly shut-ins with the Meals on Wheels program—you name it!

But believe me, we're not all that way. The people in my church, for the most part, are perfectly ordinary Americans like you and me. They believe in the simple old-fashioned traditions—Christmas, Easter, the slow and deliberate takeover of more and more county school boards to get the political power necessary to ban evolution from textbooks statewide. That sort of thing.

Read it all here. Enjoy.

dad@hvn,ur spshl

Elizabeth Kaeton tells us of a contest at Ship of Fools to condense the Lord's Prayer down to 160 characters or less.

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Letter crisis

_ worldwide letter short_ge m_y bri_g _ h_lt to the __gli_an _rises if someo_e does_'t _ome up with _ew __ro_yms soo_.

We tip our h_t to Greg Griffith _t Sta_d Firm who h_s well __d truly s_ooped us on this bre_king story:

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Notes of secret panel selection leaked to Episcopal Café

The notes of a meeting at which the House of Bishops' Theology Committee discussed nominations to the secretive committee currently preparing a report on same-sex relationships have been leaked to Episcopal Café. While the list is partial and the members of the panel remain unknown, the document may offer insight into the bishops' thinking.

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Schrute to help bishops staff secret theology committee

The House of Bishops Theology Committee has retained Dwight K. Schrute to help screen candidates for the secret theology committee on same-sex marriage according to interview notes leaked to Episcopal Café. The interview subject is Pam Beesley, a receptionist at a fictitious mid-sized paper company in the Diocese of Bethlehem.

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Top wedding reception songs

Christian Pop Culture discusses the top wedding receptions songs. Here are their picks - what are yours?

5. The Chicken Dance: everyone actually flaps their arms to look like chickens.

4. Brick House: nobody even knows what it means but it’s fun to watch people “bust-a-move” on this one.

3. Love Shack: 40 year old women really dig this song and it’s pretty funny to watch...

2. Don’t Stop Believin': Everyone who doesn’t play guitar air jams to the guitar solo on this one.

1. Thriller: Choreographed dances are hilarious, particularly this one.

Add your songs to the comments.

The Prayer Book is a girl's best friend

The Rev. Suzanne Guthrie, Edge of Enclosure has prepared a video just in time for General Convention.

Caption contest

Madpriest is running a caption contest for the picture found in yesterday's post on St. Francis day.

Here's the pic:


The one on the right is our very own Ann Fontaine.

Enter your caption here. It's easy, it's blogger.

You've got mail

In the swirling mix of reactions to the statement from the Vatican, there have been all kinds of responses from all quarters. Of course, the Cafe has done its part to stir the pot as well, hopefully in helpful ways. In the midst of it all, humor, and especially satire, can be an extremely helpful palate cleanser. Satirist Gregory Beyer "Delivers the Email You Can't Miss" courtesy of NPR.com.


You've Got Mail: Greetings From Vatican City! by Stephen Beyer at NPR.org

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Jesus is coming. Do you have a pet-sitter?

Trendwatchers beware: A UK-based group of atheists calling itself Post Rapture Pet Care will look after your domesticated animals once the eschaton is in full force.

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God twitters creation

Eileen Taub imagines divine twittering back when it all began.

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Clayboy explains the Vatican offer in plain English

Blogger Clayboy explains the offer by the Vatican to the Anglicans. Some excerpts:

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Touchless Eucharist?

Tim Schenck blogging at Clergy Family Confidential has a new idea for preventing transmission of flu this season.

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Anglican Communion snowball fight

And, predictably, Rowan has invited the Pope.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

With Google all things are possible

Not to get, err, overly cheeky, but we got lured into clicking on Simon Sarmiento's Saturday tweet and just had to share.

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She couldn't have aimed a little lower?

Forgive her; she knows not what she does.

Lindsay Lohan thinks she knows how to rock the Jesus look. She sports a modest crown and sprawled arms in a crucifixion pose on the cover of the latest issue of Purple Fashion Magazine.

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A little reformation now and then is a good thing

David Walker noticed that there is a new twitter site for the Church of England called, and we are not making this up, "Twurch of England." It is for the the bishops and clergy and...the clergy and bishops of the CofE. This caused our friend to mount a small revolution. #reformthetwurch.

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Why on this night do we drink the bitter oil?

Passover starts at sunset on Monday and runs through the remainder of Holy Week, ending Monday. The Computer Science Department at the College of Management in Rishon-LeZion, Israel, has a novel way of commemorating.

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Peep-Thedral leading in Peeples' Choice contest

The winners of the Washington Post Peeps Show 2010 have been announced. See the winner and finalists here. It is not too late to help the Washington Peep-Thedral: a house of prayer for peeps, become the Peeples' Choice winner.


Go to the Peeples' Choice voting site here or by clicking the link at the upper left of the page of winners.

Vote for your choice (we hope the Peep-Thedral) and click Submit Your Vote.

Go Episco-Peeps and fans!!

'Resurrection eggs' scrambling to become a trend

At first it was just a shell of a notion, but it's beginning to crack into the ranks of Sunday School rooms and homes where Christian formation is taken seriously (but not too). And, it can be laid down with little in the way of eggspence.

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Stuff Christians like...

There's an old tradition amongst the Orthodox Churches of sharing jokes during Easter season in honor of the great "trick" that God pulled on Death in the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps this story can be read in that light.

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Convention buttons 2.0

File the following under wearing your heart on your sleeve: from noted blogger Lionel Deimel, a line of "No Anglican Covenant" themed merchandise: shirts, caps, tote bags, bumper stickers ... even an apron:

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Lord Jesus Christ hit by a car

We don't actually have a "news of the weird" category here at the Café, but if did, this story would qualify:

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Keeping their spirits crushed, one duck at a time

One of my pastoral theology professors used to say that one definition of ministry is "to be nibbled to death by ducks." Of course, that goes back to Eric Sevareid (if not before), and he was speaking about network executives, but that doesn't make it any less true.

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No, dear, it's Mother Teresa - no 'h'

Irony and misspelling in the corrections department at the Grey (or is that Gray with an "a"?) Lady last week in its coverage of the now-infamous news flash that Christians might not be the most educated about religion:

An article on Tuesday about a poll in which Americans fared poorly in answering questions about religion misspelled the name of a beatified Roman Catholic nun and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was Mother Teresa, not Theresa.

We're the last folks to add to other publications' miseries, and we sure like the New York Times, but the inelegant contrariness of it all has us cackling.

h/t The Atlantic Wire and, originally, @ifnotwinter via Twitter

He prays with, and to, his master

Since we're only a few hours from the commemoration of Francis of Assisi, here's a gentle and furry reminder to stop and give thanks.

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Doing stand-up for God

Can you say the word “breast” in a sermon? If so, how often?

When trying to keep a congregation’s attention during a long homily, how much disrobing in the pulpit is too much?

And what is the deal with communion tablecloths? Can they be used for anything besides communion — say, as props or costume accessories?

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Jay Leno has some fun with Washington National Cathedral

CNN did an excellent little story on Joe Alonso, head stone mason at Washington National Cathedral. Have a look. Then take a look at what Jay Leno did with it.

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They go great with the Baby Cheeses

By now the Wise Men may have appeared at the back of your local parish's sanctuary, but they've got a lot of miles to cover until January 6th. What better way to feed them than with an edible setting of the Nativity? (Warning: "sacra-licious")

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Happy Postmodern Christmas

Bryan Stone of Boston University School of Theology has reworked 'Twas the Night before Christmas into a Postmodern version:

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Lenten Study Group

Is this familiar? Thanks to Dave Walker at Church Times.

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Wait...! Wait...!

Revised. We can't record Jim Naughton's voice on your home answering machine, but can you guess which of these stories are April Fool's pranks and which ones ought to be?

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What #AnglicanRulesForTwitter says about Anglicans

How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten. One to call the electrician, and nine to say how much they liked the old one better.

On Friday, Elizabeth Drescher writes, #AnglicanRulesForTwitter was born.

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O come, let us bake him

Paramount Pictures is said to be pushing this clip of Justin Beiber and friends praying over pizza to promote Beiber's new movie, "Never Say Never."

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Christ seeks control over next film

Oh, but wouldn't it be nice if it were true!

Jesus Demands Creative Control Over Next Movie
From The Onion

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Taking attendance at church

From vårtland kristenliv reports on an attendance plan for the Norwegian church:

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Bits and pieces from the news

And in the news of the church division:

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News of the religious

A wedding spoof meets an unhappy Rector...the power of prayer...hoping lightning doesn't strike twice...and the best seder in the USA.

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Too kind?

Dave Walker, cartoonist at The Cartoon Church and Church Times (CoE) asks, "Am I too kind to the church?"

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Christians unite! These marathoners must be stopped

Writing for Religion Dispatches, Sarah Morice-Brubaker argues that as citizens we have a perfect right to tell other citizens what to do with their bodies, especially if what they are doing goes against God's design, and is likely to cost us money.

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We (sorta) want God!

A bit of humor and truth floating around the blogosphere in comic form:

God for President?

Found on on Andrew Plus and "Of course, I could be wrong" among others.

Personality typology as prayer fodder

Thanks to someone's sense of humor and the viral nature of social networking, adherents and aficianados of the Myers-Briggs indicator inventory now have a way to pray. It turns your "type dynamics" into an intercession of mercy upon oneself ... or the rest of the world.

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Does that make them Koptics?

Swedish lexicographers take note: We here in the U.S. often and carelessly use the phrase "practically a religion" and apply it to ideas that could never actually be a religion, but that for whatever reason are highly regarded by certain persons. Now, though, when referring to the practice of file-sharing, please remember to preface the term with "the religion of." Or, if you like, just Kopism for short.

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Forward Movement promotes Lent Madness

From email:
Lent Madness 2012 Announced

The third annual “saintly smackdown” begins February 23rd

Lent Madness pits holy saints against one another in a battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. But it is more than that: Lent Madness is really an online devotional tool designed to help people learn about saints. The competition begins on Thursday, February 23.

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Odds on favorite?

The bookies are already setting odds on who might succeed Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Smile at the end of the day

Would love to give the proper credit for this picture running around Facebook.

Until I can, consider me the "Opportunist".

Charade killers

Okay, this is bad,

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Local Church Procession Ends in Chaos

Breaking from the newswire:

SPRINGFIELD-- Police were called to a local bakery today to disperse an unruly crowd of approximately 75 Episcopalians after a religious procession degenerated into a dispute over doughnuts and coffee.

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Petition drive for next ABC

There is an on-line petition started to the Crown Nominating Committee seeking to have Geraldine Granger be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Queen, Really.

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Egging them on: or, The yolk's on us

File under cracked up: nzherald reports Christian students at Auckland University are lining up to become targets:

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Holy Humor Batman

Will you be telling jokes on the second Sunday of Easter? Joyful Noise Newsletter tells of this tradition and gives some ideas for church services:

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Getting snuggly with your faith

Killing the Buddha reports on the offerings of Vision Bedding:

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Pentecost is coming, wear red

Christ Church in Winnetka Illinois has a few fashion tips for people looking to dress properly for church this coming Sunday...

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Edification for Pentecost: The Book of Acts in 3 Minutes

Inspiration for the Pentecost season-- The Book of Acts in 3 Minutes! I especially like the part where "God rocks the house, literally."

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Seriously, watch what you tweet

Humor for a Sunday morning, from Lark News, "The Onion" of the church world:

SARASOTA, Fla. —John Royal, pastor of Peace Christian Fellowship, the largest church in the city, was long considered a pillar in the community.

Then he opened a Twitter account.

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Thumbs up for 'Rev.', available free on Hulu

Need some respite from head-banging debate over the future of the Anglican Communion? I have just the ticket: 'Rev.' -- a brilliant church-centric comedy that began airing on BBC a couple of years ago. The first season is now available to U.S. audiences for free at www.hulu.com/rev. The second season will begin airing on July 21. I LOVE this show.

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The church that welcomes everyone

Update: The church mentioned below is in Daytona Beach, Florida. Fr. Phil Egitto at Our Lady of Lourdes says he adapted this from text originally used at a Lutheran Church, where the pastor was happy to give him permission to reprint.

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Watching the odds on the next ABC

You can not only see the current line the bookmakers have on who might be the next Archbishop of Canterbury but you can look at the history of those odds.

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If you've licked a cathedral, does that mean you own it?

Lawrence Edmonds is out to win a bet. When challenged that he could not lick all the Cathedrals in Great Britain, he has risen to the task.

No. We are not making this up. (Well, we don't think we are....it is on the internet, after all.)

The Huffington Post reports:

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Arrrrrrrrg: international "talk like a pirate" day

Believe it or not, it is the 10th anniversary of "Talk Like a Pirate Day"!

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Garrison Keillor on clergy fashions

Some clergy fun from A Prairie Home Companion:

Calvin Klein clerical wear:

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Obsessing about storm and election properly

Are you obsessing about the storm and the election? Here are some tips on how to do it properly from @pourmecoffee's mom:


As a service to many who are struggling to properly obsess over both the election and hurricane, I have consulted with my mom, a recognized Thought Leader in the field.

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The saints are funnier than you might think

I love All Saints Day. I find "I sing a song of the saints of God" all day long (and I mean to be one too!) I recommend Fr. James Martin's "My Life with the Saints," a memoir that weaves stories of his relationship to certain saints in a wonderful accessible way. Martin (my favorite Jesuit) has an essay on Huffington Post today extolling the humorous side of certain saints. He writes:

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Warning: Time Change Ahead

We present the following public service announcement.

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Schrödinger’s bishop

An unlikely solution to the Church of England's stand-off over women bishops emerged recently following the unexpected intervention of Professor Brian Cox according to the blog "Tea and Cake or Death?"

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105th Archbishop of Canterbury to travel in TARDIS

Dr Who meets the Archbishop of Canterbury in news on Anglican Meme's last night:

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Lent Madness pits saint against saint

Sharpen those pencils, folks, and get ready to fill out your brackets. Lent Madness begins next week.

The brainchild of the Revs. Tim Schenck and Scott Gunn, Lent Madness began in 2010, and makes for a pretty lively Lenten devotional. From lentmadness.org:

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Calvin Klein launches clerical wear line

From Prairie Home Companion: Calvin Klein launches clerical wear line:

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Because I am the mom!

Happy Mother's Day -one last word:

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Flat Jesus: where will he go today?

St James Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Michigan has started a Flat Jesus project for summer. Take Jesus along with you wherever you go:

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Inviting people to church

Eighty percent of first-time church attenders go because someone they know personally invited them. Have you invited someone to church lately?

How about this?

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Religious shopping madness

The Religion News Service has released their first-ever interfaith holiday shopping guide for the hard-to-shop for religious (or non-religious) folks on your list. Meanwhile, the folks who brought us Lent Madness have given into to the crass commercialism of the season.

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SB 1062 sends Christian blogger over the edge

This just in from blogger Kristin Howerton: "PRESS RELEASE: Blogger loses will to write/live after being asked to weigh in on proposed gay discrimination laws:

As Howerton was faced with the prospect of writing yet another post gently reminding Christians of their duty to love others, she suddenly felt that she could no longer go on blogging. “I just cannot handle writing one more response to this kind of ignorance,” she said. “I quit.

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Lent Madness begins

female_saint.jpgA fun and educational way through Lent is Lent Madness - an Episcopal Church take on March Madness (the NCAA basketball version). Print out your bracket - choose your "saints" and join the discussion. Everything you need to know (except which saint to pick) is at Lent Madness . My personal favorite is Christina the Astonishing.

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Innovative marketing deal announced

Forward Movement has entered into an agreement with international fast-food giant McDonald's to issue special Lenten Happy Meals featuring popular saints in what will be called “Holy Heroes Happy Meal.”

Starting this Holy Week, you can get an action figure of saints voted on by fans of Lent Madness, an annual project of Forward Movement of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Good news for today

In case the new Pope has not wowed you yet - from Bosco Peters in New Zealand at Liturgy:

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Church is an option

Portlandia takes a look at religion in this video featuring Ed Begley, Jr., as Father Timothy who reminds us that "church is an option."

Matt Wilstien on Mediaite:

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Satan calls in to The Colbert Report

A statue of Satan may be coming to a spot outside the Oklahoma State Capitol. Stephen Colbert has the story, and an interview with Satan.

Former heroin addict finds new life as Philly Jesus

He carries a cross through one of the country's toughest neighborhoods, dressed as Jesus. He's conducted baptisms in Philadelphia's Love Park. He dreams of creating Philly Jesus wine, Philly Jesus bread and Philly Jesus Halloween costumes. Stephanie Farr of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

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The Onion's take on the ideal youth space at church

I'm not sure I can recall a piece in the Onion that more closely mirrored reality than this one. (How many aspects of your church's youth room are depicted here?)

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