Religious art, arguably like religion itself, ultimately deals with the trials of being human, and this is something those of all faiths and none can share in. The pope is right when he says that "art can express and render visible humanity's need to go beyond what one sees, revealing a thirst and quest for the infinite", but that "infinite" is the unfathomable in ourselves, whether we call that "God" or not.

Jesus Daily, a page that has 8.4 million “Likes” and belongs to a North Carolina-based diet doctor...features a picture of Jesus dressed as a shepherd and is updated daily with biblical quotes, prayers and reflections on the man who Christians call the savior. The New York Times notes that Jesus Daily is hardly the only wildly popular religious page and that the page speaks to a trend of people connecting with their faith outside of traditional religious institutions.

A particularly frustrating feature of the U.S. narrative, for Muslims, is that it divides Muslim society into a progressive liberal and secular sector on one hand and on the other a regressive Islamist sector that seeks to impose backward Islamic traditions. America then seeks to promote the liberal forces and to undermine the Islamist forces.

For the most part, Muslim Americans disavow Islamic extremism, are happy with the way things are going in the country and in their lives, and are about as religious and educated as the general American public. Those are a few of the lessons from a new report from the Pew Research Center...sparked, in part, by a desire to know whether recent concerns about home-grown terrorism and other pressures had led to increased alienation and anger among Muslim Americans and support for extremism.

So goes one of the fundamental laws of physics. In the face of recent "actions" in the West -- economic crisis and rampant Islamophobia, there is an inexorable "reaction", as the eternal values of Islam continue to manifest themselves.

Before Beck's arrival, most Israelis were unfamiliar with the former Fox News host. But his rally has triggered a debate over whether he should be embraced as a pro-Israel friend or condemned as a fanatic who has battled allegations of anti-Semitism. Beck is calling his Jerusalem rally "Restoring Courage". The purpose, he has said, is to demonstrate American solidarity with Israel

the appointment of authoritative religious figures as special representatives of the president...could these representatives perform an important liaison function with their religious communities, but their individual and collective presence could help inform our foreign policy and public diplomacy with a more nuanced understanding of their respective faith traditions.

In a sphere often dominated by celebrities and lighter fare, the presence of a prayer campaign is a bit unusual. At the heart of the #prayforlondon tweets is the Evangelical Alliance, the largest body serving Evangelical Christians in the UK. It called for a prayer vigil in the Gaumont State of London at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Christians were invited to join in prayer for those afflicted by the riots shaking the country.