Miss Rhode Island won last night's "Miss USA" contest. Her support for transgendered contest participants drew loud applause from the crowd and is consistent with the pageant's official position. Miss Ohio is also in the news for citing "Pretty Woman" as a positive depiction of women on screen. In the film, Julia Roberts plays a prostitute who eventually leaves her profession with a man who had hired her services for a week.
In breaking news, the pope's butler has agreed to cooperate with investigators. Observers are now speculating that other church leaders will soon be implicated in the widening scandal. Meanwhile, Apple's CEO Tim Cook has passed on $75 million in dividend payments due to him over the next 9 years. His decision is a welcome departure from the inflated CEO salaries that regularly lead the news.
What do The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Avengers have in common? Nothing I can think of, except the fact that I saw them both over the weekend. What do they tell us about ourselves? A great deal.
Twenty-two percent of Americans think the world will end in their lifetime. According to a recent Reuters poll, nearly 15 percent of people worldwide agree. The numbers range from 6 percent in France to 22 percent in Turkey and the U.S. What explains this phenomenon?
In breaking news this morning, suicide bombers have killed seven people in Afghanistan and wounded 17, most of them Afghan children on their way to school. According to a Taliban spokesman, their attack was in response to President Obama's visit to their country.
The nation's Catholic bishops recently "urged resistance to laws that church officials consider unjust." They encouraged "fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad." I write each week for the Texas Faith blog of The Dallas Morning News. This week we were asked to respond to this timely question: "How far should people of faith go in resisting laws they consider unjust?"
Did you hear about the man who practiced twelve religions in twelve months? Andrew Bowen was Hindu in January, Baha'i in February, Zoroastrian in March, Jewish in April, Buddhist in May, and agnostic in June. He practiced Mormonism in July, Islam in August, the Sikh faith in September, Wicca in October, Jain in November, and Catholicism in December.
When the Titanic struck the iceberg, she kept sailing; if she had stopped, all her passengers would likely have been evacuated before she sank. Could it be that you and I are aboard our own Titanic this morning?
Marilynne Robinson is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gilead. Her latest collection of essays, titled "When I Was A Child I Read Books," calls mainline Protestants to task for "retreating from the cultivation and celebration of learning and beauty . . . as if people were less than God made them and in need of nothing so much as condescension."
Kony 2012 is stirring an incredible media storm this morning. This 30-minute video has been seen more than 41 million times since Monday and was mentioned yesterday by White House spokesman Jay Carney.
After defending his statements for several days, Limbaugh apologized for them over the weekend, saying his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir." Despite his apology, a seventh advertiser has now pulled its ads from his show.
Fans are snapping up Jeremy Lin jersey, TV ratings of Knicks games have skyrocketed, and shares of the team reached an all-time high on Monday. Lin's response? "I'm just thankful to God for everything. Like the Bible says, 'God works in all things for the good of those who love him.'"
If I were a sports journalist, here's the column I would write about Super Bowl XLVI. I would focus on seven plays, most of which won't appear in anyone's headlines.
Here are my questions: Could a Christian require an Islamic university to provide non-Muslim rooms for Christian use? Where do we draw the line once a faith-based university is required to remove elements of its faith in deference to those who choose to attend its classes but do not share its beliefs? Could a Christian university one day be forced to change any practice or symbol that a student finds offensive? Could it be made to hire an atheist to teach religion?
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was seen drinking in a Dallas area bar Monday evening, according to reports dominating the local news this morning. Teammate Ian Kinsler came to the pub to persuade Hamilton to return to his home. The Rangers said they are aware of a "situation," but have not commented further. This was Hamilton's second alcohol-related relapse in three years.
This headline caught my eye today: "America is drunk." Psychiatrist Keith Ablow cites new data from the Centers for Disease Control that reveals the crisis: One in six Americans downs eight mixed drinks within a few hours, four times a month. Twenty-eight percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 binge-drink five times every month. Thirteen percent of those between the ages of 45 and 65 do the same.
New Hampshire's primary results cemented Mitt Romney's front-runner status and made the question even more urgent: should Christians vote for a Mormon?
The issue of postmodernism aside, I am not writing today to critique Osteen's theology. Others who have heard more of his sermons and read more of his books can do that better than I can. My purpose is to learn from his popularity.
You can own Titanic. Not just the movie, but the real thing – the ship and all that's been recovered from it so far.
December 21, 2012 will mark "the ending of time as we know it," according to The Mayan Factor. This 1987 book sparked a frenzy that will only grow in the coming year. When the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar ends on that date, some say Planet X will collide with us or otherwise wreak havoc. Others predict a geomagnetic reversal of the north and south poles, with dire consequences. Still others warn that the star Betelgeuse will explode and cause catastrophes on our planet.
The Crystal Cathedral was once the best-known church in America. Rev. Robert H. Schuller's "Hour of Power" was watched by millions on television each Sunday. The church's glass structure in southern California is an architectural marvel. When I visited several years ago, I was awed by its beauty and sophistication.
I met Christopher Hitchens when we participated in a public debate on the existence of God and the relevance of faith nearly three years ago. Hitchens was one of the best-known atheists in the world. Before his death last Thursday, I often wondered how I would respond if given another opportunity to engage him.
America's military presence in Iraq has officially ended. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told the troops, "Your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside and to offer hope for prosperity and peace to this country's future generations."
Sometimes good guys finish first. Saturday night, Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest award. His unlikely story is worth reflection this morning.
Should I wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is in the morning news. He released a statement this week announcing that he will host "the annual State House holiday tree lighting." When critics complained about his depiction of Christmas trees, he urged them to volunteer to help Rhode Island's needy instead.