USA Today has a word cloud that shows “jobs” was the most used word at last night’s State of the Union.
Public pollster Robert Jones says the nation is divided on many of the issues President Obama spoke about: climate change, gun control, gay rights and the budget.
But Reuters reports that immigration reform may not be among them — at least among evangelicals, who are now advocating for reform.
“I don’t know” was the most common response from the Vatican’s top spokesman at a press conference on Tuesday. The Vatican, it appears, is navigating unchartered waters with Pope Benedict’s XVI’s retirement.
Evangelicals were among those lamenting losing a pope they saw as a powerful spokesman for their conservative causes. Of note: Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said evangelicals might be tempted to view Benedict as the retiring coach of a rival football team. Hmmm.
Could Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York be a serious contender? David Gibson has the pros and cons.
Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. It will be Pope Benedict XVI’s last major liturgical celebration before he steps down Feb. 28.
Stephen Prothero says he’s not a betting man, but he still wagers that the next pope, will be “an old, white man.”
Since any baptized man in good standing could be elected pope, according to canon law, CNN wonders, why not Stephen Colbert?
Some Catholics in L.A. are rankled: Cardinal Roger Mahony was relieved of all public duties amid revelations about his handling of the sex abuse scandals. But now he’s one of 117 cardinals who will elect a successor to Benedict XVI.
Could technological changes in the way we communicate have driven the pope to retirement? Religion Dispatches speculates.
In other news: Judges across the country are increasingly split over whether private employers and their companies can cite their religious beliefs as a valid reason for denying birth control coverage to their employees.
An investigation by an independent council of Buddhist teachers indicates that Joshu Sasaki Roshi, 105, may have abused hundreds of followers, the Los Angeles Times writes.
Weeks before the release of a nearly two-year investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of missionary kids, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) has fired and replaced its investigator.
Christian writer and speaker Greg Boyd’s megachurch is weighing its affiliation options. The church’s Minnesota pastoral team is in talks with leaders of both the Mennonite Church USA and the Brethren in Christ denominations.
And in “Billy Graham & Me,” a new book in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul’’ franchise that was released Tuesday (Feb. 12), celebrities recall their experiences with the holy man from Montreat, N.C. Sojourners founder Jim Wallis recalls a moment of vulnerability when the elder Graham doubted how effective he could be answering questions from Harvard students.
On that note, we’re here to say that you can be very effective by answering our short survey on the right. And you might win an iPad mini for your efforts.