In the age of the 24 hour news cycle, here are my picks for Mockingbird’s Top News Stories of 2010

Jimmy McMillan, candidate for Mayor of NYC, has found the solution to all of New York’s problems. The rent is just too damn high. Take the rent part out, replace it with unmerited grace, and you pretty much have Mockingbird’s philosophy of preaching- repeat the gospel over and over again till people start to change.
Jim Joyce, professional MLB umpire, blows a perfect game call for Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga. The teary eyed, apologetic ump becomes the woman caught in adultery, and while the rest of the world is ready to stone him, the Tigers extend him forgiveness and grace. The previous M-Bird post can be found here.

Katie, a first-grade gal, was bullied by the boys for having a Star Wars water bottle. Once the all-powerful Star Wars fan base heard her story, Katie was bombarded with toys, lightsabers, and Star Wars school supplies from every corner of the U.S. She was even photoshopped in a poster with a lightsaber! The Gospel in this situation? Katie, who was adopted at an early age, was so loved by her parents (and the greater Star Wars community) that her rejection by her classmates was overpowered by unmerited love of her family. (See Galatians for a further discussion on salvation & adoption)
7) Lindsay Lohan & Tiger Woods– Summer & Fall 2010
In the bound will category, LiLo, child star, actress, and Hollywood socialite, spends the second half of 2010 in and out of jail and rehab. Similarly, Tiger Woods confesses to, well, a lot of marital indiscretion. But still, at the end of the day, we’re just as addicted to ourselves and in need of just as much grace as our starlet and athlete friends. Grace and peace to you both!
While Julian Assange is no messiah, there is a familiarity about a man who exposes deep dark secrets and is suddenly the target of universal prosecution. I can’t wait till this whole saga gets turned into a movie (the Social Network 2, anybody?). While we may disagree over the moral and political consequences of Mr. Assange’s wikileak organization, let’s take note at how un-David like governments responded to this Nathan-esque situation.

Vick’s redemption has been the subject of a prior Mockingbird post, but now that President Obama is throwing his lot in with the Philly Quarterback, it’s worth repeating again. The power of second chances and forgiveness is truly transforming (though Tucker Carlson, who said this week on national television that Vick should have been executed, might disagree).
Mel Gibson, actor, producer, and Passion of the Christ director, gets caught verbally abusing and threatening his ex-girlfriend/baby mommy over the phone. While other Evangelicals may look down, blush, and shuffle their feet in embarrassment, I think Mr. Gibson was the perfect person to direct the Passion. The real-life passion was meant for such a man as Mel, and truth be told, you and I are no different.
For many, the story of the trapped Chilean miners was the one inspirational news story in a year of oil spills and jobless angst. But every now and then, a piece about the Chilean miners would come out detailing how the families of the miners were confronted by their husband’s secret lovers as both tried to lay claim as the significant other. It just goes to show you- there’s a dark side to any news that celebrates the achievement and tenacity of the human spirit!

In a textbook case study of the relationship between law and sin, a flight attendant decided to quit his job in style. After saying a few choice words into the jet’s PA system, he grabbed a couple of beers from the beverage cart, popped the emergency shoot, slide out of the plane, walked to his car, and drove home. It goes to show you that the command to smile and be nice to rude passengers doesn’t engender the ability to obey that command, but instantly feeds the desire to disobey. Just as important: the near universal response from the rest of America: “Oh, I wish I could do that…”

What started as an angry, despairing rant with the local news crew turned into an escape from the projects for the Dodson family. After youtube picked up Antoine’s rant and turned it into an autotuned remix, the Bed Intruder Song flipped what was the darkest day for the Dodson family into their ticket out of the slums. It was a true-to-life example of how the darkest day and the brightest day can be joined together- not unlike Good Friday.
Honorable mentions: The secretly Evangelical Insane Clown Posse releases Creationism Rap, BP Oil Spill is Sign of the Apocalypse, and Dallas Pastor Caught Allegedly Burglarizing a House on Christmas Eve.
Happy New Year, Mockingbird! See you all in 2011!