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Love conquers all — even candidates with swoopy hair who call people names.

This letter from 7,000 faith leaders to Muslim Americans will burst your heart with joy.

Donald Trump called for an end to all Muslim immigration into the United States and it was pretty scary.

That’s old news by now. But the cool part you might not have heard about? As a response, a group of faith leaders from lots of different religions united in support of Muslims.

On Dec. 9, 2015, those faith leaders published an open letter to the American Muslim community pledging solidarity, love, and support to Muslims "with our voices, our actions, and our bodies."


The organizers of the letter included folks from many different religious groups: Sister Simone Campbell, leader of “Nuns on the Bus”; Rabbi Sharon Brous; Reverends Otis Moss and Dr. Jacqui Lewis; Bishop Gene Robinson; and Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.

Photo via Auburn Seminary, used with permission.

The letter’s authors represent an astonishingly diverse mix of religions that don’t usually come together—Sikhism, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, and Protestantism, among others.

While different in their faiths, the authors (who are all fellows at the Auburn Theological Seminary) are dedicated to bridging divides and building communities among people of all cultures and beliefs. After hearing Trump’s drastic and discriminatory measures, these 15 senior fellows at Auburn banded together to take action through their vast faith network.

“We knew we had to do something about it,” says Reverend Jacqui Lewis, an Auburn fellow and an author of the letter. “When there is violence and vitriol and hatred, when people on the edges are being persecuted, when people on the margins are ostracized, I always get engaged.”

Reverend Jacqui Lewis delivering the letter on her show "Just Faith." Photo via Middle Church, used with permission.

In the first few hours, the letter immediately garnered over 4,000 signatures supporting Muslims. Today, over 25,000 people have signed it.

7,000 of those people are faith leaders. The list ranges from Quakers to atheists, notes Michelle Reyf, director for Groundswell at Auburn and one of the main campaigners behind the letter.

The goal of the letter, she adds, was not only to call for people “to be transformed by a moment of compassion” but also to take action in the outside world.

To make sure their words didn’t fall on deaf ears, these faith leaders took their letter offline with handmade deliveries to Muslim communities around the country.

Beginning Dec. 11, in coordination with local imams and Muslim leaders, Auburn’s senior fellows organized national deliveries of their letter in person to mosques, Muslim community centers, and Muslim Community Network offices. In addition, all 25,000 signers of the letter were invited to deliver the letter to neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

Rabbi Sharon Brous, an Auburn fellow and one of the authors, delivered her letter to the leaders of LA’s Muslim community on Dec. 13. She stood with the mayor of Los Angeles, the mayor of San Bernardino, and the heads of LA’s Sunni and Shiite communities (the first time the two leaders have stood together publicly) and gave a rousing speech on the dangers of Islamophobia and religious persecution.

“We’re here today because it’s no longer enough to say ‘I’m uncomfortable with the rising tide of violence and the rising tide of hatred,’” Brous proclaimed. “We are here today because we know we must actively cast our lot on the side of love.”

Photo via Los Angeles County, Jon Endow, used with permission.

Another batch of the deliveries took place in New York City on Christmas Eve, the same day as the Prophet Muhammed’s birthday.

Reverend Lewis, who participated in the delivery of the letter that day to the Muslim Community Network offices, described the experience as profoundly moving. “A rabbi putting this letter in the hands of a Muslim leader surrounded by clergy and laypeople was the most amazing way to have Christmas,” she says.

Deliveries have now taken place nationally in California, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and of course, New York.

Stories like these are important because they serve as a reminder that love is one of the best ways to combat hate.

As message of divisiveness continue to dominate the headlines, I find the story of these faith leaders reassuring. Their unity and peaceful teamwork didn’t make front page news in most places, but it had a major impact on the ground for people all around the country.

If such a distinct group of religious leaders can find common ground together, the rest of us really don’t have much of an excuse.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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