A Gallup poll has found that Pope Francis' favorability rating in the U.S. has fallen significantly from last year, and now less than half of conservatives have a favorable opinion of him. Gallup suggested that the change is due to the pope's strong messages on human responsibility in climate change and his condemnation of the world's "idolatry of money."
"This decline may be attributable to the pope's denouncing of 'the idolatry of money' and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives' beliefs," Gallup analyst Art Swift wrote on Wednesday, according to Religion News Service.
Among all Americans who responded to the survey, most, or 59 percent, still held a favorable view of the pontiff, with 16 percent holding an unfavorable view, and 25 present stating they have no opinion. The level of support is down from the last poll from February 2014, however, where Francis enjoyed 76 percent favorable ratings. more >>
Christian Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson insists he has no regrets after publicly announcing his decision to follow God and refrain from sexual intercourse with his singer girlfriend Ciara Harris.
Wilson, 26, took to the stage at The Rock Church in San Diego, California on July 5 where he revealed that God told him to lead Ciara in abstaining from sexual activity until marriage. The announcement was received with some harsh criticism, like CBS Chicago sports radio host Dan Bernstein from the show "Boers & Bernstein" implying that Wilson could be a homosexual or ESPN journalist Bomani Jones questioning the QB's honesty.
After KIRO radio personality Rachel Belle questioned Wilson about his endorsement deal with Austrian bread company Eat The Ball Tuesday, she asked if he regretted sharing so much of his personal life with the world. more >>
Roman Catholic parishioners at a church in Sydney claim to be witnessing a miracle concerning a painting of the Virgin Mary, with a video that has gone viral online showing her moving her lips during prayer time.
Members of the congregation at Saint Charbel's Maronite Catholic Church in Punchbowl in Sydney have uploaded a number of videos of the alleged miracle, Yahoo7 News reported, which are now being shared around social media.
One such video uploaded by church-goer George Akary from Sunday shows the old Middle Eastern Catholic painting of the Virgin Mary, who is holding the baby Jesus, moving her lips as prayers are read at the church. more >>
It all began as part of a joke about fighting giraffes early Wednesday morning but the hashtag #IfICouldTalkToGod has quickly snowballed into a serious trending topic on Twitter and many are recommending that people simply just pray.
America magazine reported that the trend picked up shortly after Twitter user @MustBeTheMeds tweeted, "#IfICouldTalkToGod I would ask him for 4 talking giraffes so I could start a giraffe fight club," shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday and it was just a joke.
Twitter users seeing the hashtag, which was last used in 2013, saw a lot more than a joke and turned it into a trending discussion. more >>
The Rev. Chris Hill, senior pastor of The Potter's House of Denver in Colorado, has shared that members of his congregation who were once critical of the presence of armed guards in the sanctuary now understand the necessity of such security measures in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.
The Charleston shooting was certainly not the first time a church had been targeted by a gunman. The Christian Post reported in 2012 that a former employee of Creflo Dollar's World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, had walked into an early morning Bible study and shot a member point blank while he prayed. In 2009, late-term abortion Dr. George Tiller was murdered while serving as an usher at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. In fact, Carl Chinn, a former Focus on the Family safety manager and a church security expert, tracks "deadly force incidents" at faith-based organizations. According to Chinn's data, there have been 971 such incidents between Jan. 1, 1999 and Feb. 15 of this year.
"You are not safe on a plane. You are not safe in an elementary school. You are not safe in a high school. You are not safe in a movie theater. Guess what? You are not safe in a church," Hill told The New York Times in a "Protecting the Sanctuary" video feature on The Potter's House of Denver published this week. more >>
Republican Senator from Kentucky, presidential candidate and noted state's rights proponent Rand Paul expressed support for the federal government playing a role in restoring voting rights for former felons.
Senator Paul, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2016 president election, told a bipartisan group of justice system advocates Wednesday morning about a bill he supports to help restore voting rights to ex-felons.
"Now some have objected to this and said 'well states control voting rights.' It's a little bit complicated actually. The [Supreme Court] has looked at this question," said Paul. more >>