Wednesday's News & Ideas

  • God & the inaugural address
  • Preaching on unity
  • A closer look at nones
  • Pushback on synagogue dues
  • 101-year-old pastor's last trip
  • Johnny Cash, prison reformer

Divine rhetoric: God in the inaugural addressNPR: The word "God" wasn't used in the inaugural address until 1821. Since then, it has been invoked by every president. Except two.

Preachers pray for unity at National Cathedral inaugural serviceReligion News Service: President Obama started his second term with a traditional worship service and a challenge to help heal the nation's divides.

Much ado about 'nones'Salt and light, blog: Sloppy analysis of data is creating the false impression that U.S. society is turning away from religious convictions, says CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton.

Young Jews rebelling against paying duesWashington Post: Across the country, young Jews are rebelling against the old, dues-paying model of synagogue membership.

Pastor's last trip to church on his 101st birthdayLincoln (Neb.) Journal Star: Pastor's family and flock to gather today for the funeral of the Rev. Reinhard Beckman, one year after his 100th birthday and his last sermon.

The Spark

Johnny Cash and his prison reform campaignJohnny Cash's live albums at Folsom Prison and San Quentin -- just two of many prison concerts he played over 30 years -- are the stuff of music legend. But Cash was also well-known for his activism on prisoners' rights. BBC Magazine looks at the impact he had on the prison system.

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