An article recently published in the Washington Post called into question the devotion of Speaker of the House John Boehner to his Catholic faith. Of itself, a suggestion that a politician is not genuinely pious is not news and is likely closer to home than the subject would like to admit. Few people are as committed to the tenets of their faith as they would like to be, and politicians are no different.

A new study conducted by a college in Ohio has found that up to a third of pre-teen girls' clothing available online in the U.S. is designed to be sexualizing. “Researchers led by Sarah Murnen, a professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Ohio, looked at 15 websites of popular clothing stores, ranging from bargain to high-end sectors of the junior US market,” reported AFP News. The researchers found that clothing marketed for girls as young as six is being designed to draw attention to their breasts, buttocks, and slimness, sending out signals that are sensuous and inappropriate. The researchers say it is a trend that is reinforcing destructive stereotypes for female attractiveness.

Sears Holdings Corp., parent company for national retailers Sears and Kmart, has apologized to customers after the conservative American Family Association revealed that pornographic videos were being sold through the Sears.com website. Following a nine-month campaign during which AFA officials tried to persuade Sears to pull scores of a “X-rated products” from its website, Sears executives finally relented and removed the videos, but only after thousands of individuals had e-mailed to express their anger and dismay that the retailer, which has long cultivated a family-oriented reputation, would carry such merchandise.

Robert WelchIn 1914, when the Old World was at war, the New, unaware of the designs of its political and financial leaders, expected to stay out of the latest European upheaval. American public opinion was firmly opposed to violating in any way our neutral posture, which meant that America’s young men were still graduating from high school, going to college, and finding gainful employment. One such crop of optimistic youth was enduring a philosophy class at the University of North Carolina, an exercise in sophistry taught by the venerable but insufferable Horace Williams. Professor Williams’ class, we may imagine, was typical for the time: a couple dozen well-groomed young men and a few young women sitting at buckling wooden desks made in the previous century, trying to grasp the contradictory axioms imparted by the tweedy, subversive Williams.

According to a poll conducted by Oxford University, faith and religion are an innate trait for human beings. Entitled the “Cognition, Religion, and Theology Project,” the initiative took three years to complete and includes over 40 different studies in 20 countries around the world.