A new Pew Research study has some interesting findings on some very surprising trend reversals over the past few years, and maybe the most curious findings involve American perceptions on faith and politics.

Back in 2010, research indicated that fewer Americans were interested in mixing faith and political issues. Today, that's changing. 49 percent of Americans say they want houses of worship to “express their views on day-to-day social and political issues." That's up six percentage points since 2010. 41 percent of Americans say politicians show “too little expression of religious faith and prayer,” which is a four percent increase over 2010. Perhaps most surprising: 32 percent of Americans say they want clergy to endorse candidates from the pulpit. That's an eight percent jump from 2010, but it's still a long way from the majority. Nearly twice as many don't want their religious leaders weighing in on who to vote for ... Discuss

Over the weekend, Emma Watson took to the UN to deliver a speech on gender equality. Par for the course for any celebrity of note to take on some cause and give a few speeches about it, but Watson separates herself from the pack by delivering a fourteen-minute powerhouse of raw, eloquent truth.

When I was 8, I was confused about being called "bossy" because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn't want to appear "muscle-y," when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.

And so on. The speech is well worth watching in its entirety, or you can read the entire text here ... Discuss

Sadness Doesn’t Mean We Are Struggling in Our Faith

You can cry because it's over and smile because it happened. Read More

The director of Save the Children’s devastating ad about the Syrian civil war has created another video about the conflict that’s just as powerful—but even more difficult to watch. The PSA is from a coalition of NGOs that is attempting to raise awareness about the years-long war that has killed nearly 200,000 people and left millions displaced. The goal of the ad—and the #WithSyria campaign it is promoting—is to get viewers to sign a petition asking the UN Security Council to take measures to protect civilians and the innocent lives constantly being targeted in Syria ... Discuss

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the début of The Cosby Show, one of the most influential sitcoms of all time. The NBC hit was a primetime staple for nearly decade, breaking new ground for comedy, challenging social stereotypes and always maintaining its ethos of strong family values.

In recent days, the Internet is reflecting on the show’s legacy with listicles that look at the sitcom’s parenting philosophy, cultural influence and creative choices, as well as think pieces that examine the show’s under-appreciated social impacts and the complicated personal legacy of its namesake. Sadly, there’s still no think piece out there about the show’s lasting impact on sweater design, but give it time ... Discuss

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