Wednesday's News & Ideas

  • Pope's last audience
  • Pre-sequester pray-in
  • Holy water gun
  • Jon Stewart apologizes
  • Go on, smile!

C. Everett Koop immortal as surgeon general: Our view USA Today: An editorial praises the former U.S. Surgeon General, who died Monday, because “he believed that the surgeon general had no more right to push his personal beliefs on others than any other doctor does.” Christianity Today: The embattled career of Dr. Koop

Thousands jam St. Peter's Square for pope's last general audience Los Angeles Times: Pope Benedict XVI recalled a papacy full of both joy and difficulty as he held his final general audience Wednesday. NPR: Benedict and Beethoven: The outgoing pope's musical life

As sequester looms, clergy stages "pray-in" at Boehner's office Today members of the clergy will lead a “Family Pray-In” at the office of the House Speaker. They hope to pressure lawmakers to ask corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share before the sequester kicks in.

Mexican priest dispenses holy water with water gun The (London) Guardian: Father Humberto Alvarez uses a water pistol to dispense holy water and wears a robe covered in cartoon characters at children's masses.

May we all be more like Dick Molpus Religion Dispatches: Jon Stewart recently lampooned the former Mississippi Secretary of State on The Daily Show, assuming he was an overt racist. In fact, Molpus gave a speech in 1988 that those who care about racial reconciliation have called a "watershed in Mississippi civil rights history."

The Spark

Stress-busting smiles Do you have a Duchenne smile or a Pan Am smile? It might not make a difference -- new research suggests that smiling has health benefits , whether it is natural (Duchenne) or forced (Pan Am).

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