Two-thirds of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on U.S. life—a sharp jump from just three years ago when Americans were nearly evenly split on the question, according to a new Gallup Poll.
Older and wiser: Henry Alford, 46, has written a book about old age based on conversations with more than 100 people over 70 (How to Live). Althea Washington, a retired school teacher, lost her husband and house in Hurricane Katrina and now lives in a small apartment close to train tracks. When asked how she's coping, she responded: "Can you hear that train? As long as it stays on its tracks, I'll stay on mine" (USA Today, December 30).
When President Barack Obama tapped megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, many liberal activists decried the choice of a high-profile evangelical figure who has opposed gay marriage and abortion rights.
A longtime official of evangelical organizations is the new president of the American Bible Society. R. Lamar Vest, the current executive vice president of Global Scripture Ministries for the New York–based society, was chosen by the society’s trustees to begin duties on January 1.