Thursday's News & Ideas

  • Running the papal numbers
  • Elephant in the Sistine Chapel
  • Pope retired. Should your pastor?
  • Lessons for picking a new leader
  • U.S. religion at a new low point
  • Reducing complexity to either/or

Running the numbers behind Pope Francis' electionNational Catholic Reporter: A strong Latin American did, in fact, sew things up fast.Religion News Service: Reactions to Pope Francis' election

The red and the blackNational Catholic Reporter: Of course, the elephant in the Sistine Chapel is female, and she's not leaving.

Quitting time: The Pope retired. Should your pastor?Christianity Today: Benedict's decision shows how to serve well and leave well, experts say.

Choosing a new CEO? The Vatican method might be onto somethingThe (Toronto) Globe and Mail: Leadership experts believe there are lessons corporations can take away from the papal conclave -- the oldest ongoing process of picking a leader.

Religion among Americans hits low point, as more people say they have no religious affiliationHuffington Post: The number of Americans who claim to have no religious affiliation is the highest it has ever been.

The Spark

The emotional psychology of a two-party systemFor many Americans today, the enemy is within. Indeed, America seems to be engaged in another war, but in this one, both sides are domestic: the left and the right. For both sides, the Other often lacks true dimension and a legitimate point of view. As the Atlantic reports, defense mechanisms against emotional ambivalence incline us to embrace one side and reject the other -- which makes compromise nearly impossible.

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