Daily Links, Jan. 24: Burning questions answered

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Plenty of election-related news floating around today... with still more than nine months until Election Day.

Mitt Romney finally released those tax returns everyone has been eagerly waiting to see and--surprise!--he's really rich. But there are other details in those returns that might make Catholic voters raise an eyebrow.

Last night, the candidates has yet another debate, where a question about the possible death of Fidel Castro left Nicholas Hahn wondering why Romney and Newt Gingrich danced around the idea of hell in talking about where Castro would end up.

Yesterday, Michael Sean Winters at NCR told us that he can't bring himself to vote for Barack Obama after Obama's failure to protect Catholic institutions from the HHS mandate to cover contraception in employee health plans. For all those who were up all night worrying about it, Winters today explains he isn't voting for a Republican, either. Thankfully he cleared that up for us.

OK, enough about politics. Have you heard about the cruise ship that crashed in Italy? Meghan-Murphy Gill has. In fact, she's heard all she can stands, and she can't stands no more!

This is an admittedly terrible transition, but have you been for a good swim lately? Members of the Franciscan Action Network have, as they participated in a polar plunge last weekend to draw attention to climate change concerns.

If you're in the mood to read statistics (and who isn't?) CARA has a whole selection of them today on their blog, from Catholic schools to Catholics Come Home, and even a look at the impact of Tebow 3:16.

In news from my home state, the bishops of New Jersey are once again gearing up for a fight over same-sex marriage. In 2009 the church in New Jersey campaigned against a same-sex marriage measure that ultimately failed to pass the legislature, but it is being introduced again, and this time it may have the votes to pass. Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, says he'd veto the bill but would rather see the issue decided by voters.

Finally, I assume by now that you've all heard about the viral video on loving Jesus yet hating religion, but you've asked yourself, "what does Father Robert Barron think about this?" Well, your worries are over, because he has finally commented. As it turns out, this is nothing more than a modern version of Martin Luther, just with more rapping. And 16 million Youtube hits.