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Christmas’ missing icon: Mary breastfeeding Jesus

(RNS) At its heartwarming core, Christmas is the story of a tender relationship between a new mother and her newborn child. Yet all the familiar images associated with the holy family are missing one obvious element: a breast-feeding infant. And therein lies a tale. By David Gibson.
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Martin Marty: Measuring religious intensity

Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in America rise together, hold steady together, and decline together. The reasons for the decline may vary, from group to group, but few in church life have it easy today. “Decline,” it turns out, is contagious.
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Catholic intensity fades as evangelical devotion surges

(RNS) New research shows that Catholics report the lowest proportion of strongly affiliated followers among major American religious traditions. Evangelicals, on the other hand, are increasingly devout and committed to their faith. By David Gibson.
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New Congress more religiously diverse, less Protestant

(RNS) Three Buddhists, a Hindu and a “none” will walk into the 113th Congress, and it’s no joke. Rather, it’s a series of “firsts” that reflect the growing religious diversity of the country. By David Gibson.
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Chastened Catholic bishops told they have to reform themselves

BALTIMORE (RNS) In the wake of sweeping setbacks to the hierarchy’s agenda on Election Day, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday (Nov. 12) told his fellow bishops that they must now look at their own failings, confess their sins and reform themselves if they hope to affect the wider culture. By David Gibson.
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Our Corner | The Election By the Numbers

Just before the 2012 election, Dr. Robert P. Jones was interviewed by Religion & Politics' Tiffany Stanley, who asked several important questions about what Dr. Jones will be looking for in the post-election data.
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Catholic bishops make last-minute pitch for Romney

(RNS) A number of Roman Catholic bishops are making forceful appeals to their flock to vote next Tuesday, and their exhortations are increasingly sounding like clear calls to support Republican challenger Mitt Romney. By David Gibson.
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Our Corner | State of Belief Radio

This weekend, Dr. Robert P. Jones appeared on State of Belief Radio to discuss the exciting findings from the 2012 American Values Survey.
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RNS-VOTER-BOYCOTT

Is it a sin not to vote? Or a virtue? Some disappointed Christians on both sides of aisle - especially evangelicals and Catholics - are advocating the merits of boycotting the ballot box on Nov. 6.
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The biggest slice of Obama’s religious coalition? The unaffiliated

WASHINGTON (RNS) The largest slice of Obama’s religious coalition -- at 23 percent --  is not very religious. They’re “nones,” also known as unaffiliated voters, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. By Lauren Markoe.
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