Crossroads in Sweetwater: The Sweetwater Reporter describes a recent group of visitors to the small Texan town: the prolife pilgrims of Crossroads, who make an annual walk across the entire continental United States, “‘in atonement for the abortion holocaust and prayerfully seeking the conversion of our nation.'”

9:16 am: The Religion News Service’s Kevin Eckstrom reports on a controversial messianic Jewish congregation outside Philadelphia. “Avodat Yisrael, a fledgling Presbyterian congregation that looks and feels like a Jewish synagogue, has come under fire from Jewish groups as a deceptive attempt to convert Jews to Christianity. The congregation celebrates Jewish holidays, uses Jewish ritual music and sacred objects such as menorahs and Torah scrolls…”

9:05 am: “Could the devil guard and protect Hitler in his life?” How about Stalin, Castro or Napolean? Vadim Chernobrov, translated in Pravda, speculates on divine intervention in assassination attempts.

8:53 am: Todd Gitlin on David Brooks and “God’s Election”: “Conservative New York Timescolumnist David Brooks, in one of his better documented efforts, thinks the Democrats are idiotic – that is, myopic secular humanists – for failing to cultivate the religious vote, which is not necessarily in the Republicans’ pocket…Brooks leaves out the other, harder part of the church–state tangle when he sniffs at secularists, who have the nerve to be a pushy minority. Americans may like to feel a soft mist of religiosity sprayed by their leaders, but they don’t like being pushed around by the Pope and his Roman Catholic hierarchy, or by Jerry Falwell and his Protestant legions, or by anyone who has the power to influence the state at his or her disposal…”Read more.