The Russian Orthodox Church warns that the legalization of gay marriage spells impending doom; former President Carter proclaims “America does not have a functioning democracy”; meanwhile, Booz Allen Hamilton took over Washington, and nobody noticed until Edward Snowden blew the whistle. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Same-Sex Marriage Apocalyptic, Patriarch Says The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has condemned the legalization of same-sex marriages as a sign of “the coming of the apocalypse.”

Harvard’s Nasir Jones Fellowship Shows Hip-Hop’s Impact, Scholars Say The announcement last week that Harvard University is establishing the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship has drawn praise from scholars lauding the work of the Queens, N.Y.-born rapper, as well as for the scholarship of Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, who is credited with laying the groundwork for the fellowship.

Obama’s Escalating War on Freedom of the Press The part of the First Amendment that prohibits “abridging the freedom … of the press” is now up against the wall, as the Obama administration continues to assault the kind of journalism that can expose government secrets.

Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning Udacity cofounder and CEO Sebastian Thrun says more AI is coming to online education, but we’ll still need humans to grade our English essays.

Jimmy Carter: America Does Not Have a Functioning Democracy All of us really need to stop getting involved in distractions and look at what has happened in the last few months.

How Booz Allen Hamilton Swallowed Washington Because it provides the government with data services rather than fighter jets—and because so much of its work is classified—Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) doesn’t have the name recognition of government contractors like Lockheed Martin (LMT) or Boeing (BA).

Neocons and Democracy: Egypt as a Case Study If one thing has become clear in the wake of last week’s military coup d’etat against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it’s that democracy promotion is not a core principle of neoconservatism.

Everything You Know About the Brain is Wrong What does Einstein’s brain size say about his IQ? Is the left-brain/right-brain divide a myth? There’s new research.

The Seeds of Rebellion Are Taking Root, and Protests Against Injustices Are Blooming Across the Country As these movements grow, they become a power unto themselves that can reshape nations.

Cable TV to the Rescue: Will the ‘Quality’ Subscription Model Work for Books, Movies, Music? Movies are dying, bookstores disappearing, radio’s awful — but it’s a golden age of TV. Can we all learn from HBO?

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