By Christy Barritt
Most Americans Don’t Trust Religious Leaders
Each year Gallup releases a poll showing which professions are considered the most and the least trustworthy.
For the first time since the question was introduced in 1977, trust in clergy has dropped below 50 percent. This means that a large number of Americans no longer rate ministers and religious leaders’ honesty and ethical standards as high.
“If views of a certain profession have changed, it usually has been a function of scandal surrounding it,” said Art Swift, Gallup’s managing editor. “The Catholic priest abuse stories from the early 2000s helped lead to a sharp drop in Americans’ ratings of clergy, a decline from which the profession has yet to fully recover.”
At the top of the list, ranked as most trustworthy, were healthcare providers like nurses and pharmacists. At the very bottom were car salespeople, members of Congress, and lobbyists. Also receiving low rankings were lawyers, business executives, and bankers.
Time Magazine Names Pope ‘Person of the Year’
Time named Pope Francis their “Person of the Year” for 2013.
Time said that he’d shifted the church’s message away from condemnation and toward mercy. “But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all. . . . Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church . . . above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors.”
Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs added: “He prays all the time, even while waiting for the dentist. He has retired the papal Mercedes in favor of a scuffed-up Ford Focus. No red shoes, no gilded cross, just an iron one around his neck. . . .
He is—embracing complexity and acknowledging the risk that a church obsessed with its own rights and righteousness could inflict more wounds than it heals.”
Museum Removes “God” from Exhibit
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles removed a quote that referenced “God’s creatures” from one of its exhibits after controversy ignited around the wording.
The quote, attributed to an anonymous donor, was placed in the museum’s Natural Lab exhibit and read “The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God’s creatures and enable NHM to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery.”
The removal came after a blog post by a biologist at the University of Chicago, who said the quote was “misleading the public because it implied that the museum was giving its scientific imprimatur to the idea that animals are God’s creation.” The director of communications for the museum said that other members of their staff shared the same concern.
As of press time, there was no word on if the donor has requested his money back upon removal of the quote.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.