In meeting with a lightning-rod figure who has been embraced by two of the most conservative Republican candidates for president, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, the Pope of Inclusiveness has alienated many who were just starting to feel more included in the Church.
Everyone I know is sick of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk, and so am I, but I want to share a couple of stories about her religion and Mr. Huckabee's, as well. He's Southern Baptist and she's Apostolic/Pentecostal which is more rigid in their edicts for women and their boisterous rituals.
Depressed, weary, or frightened by stories of USIS and ISIS and other horrors, plus by debates over "religious extremism" and the role of Islam, we focus instead on the not-unimportant figure of Pope Francis, who makes news and inspires reflection.
Pentecostal presidential candidate Marina Silva didn't make it into the runoff against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but her charismatic faith remains a significant factor in the final round of voting.
The word "Pentecostal" has implications that, unless you identify already as a Pentecostal Christian, is usually a bit of a turnoff. But if we consider the Pentecost story -- the birth of the Christian Church, as many understand it -- as a story of liberation, it's actually pretty exciting.
Biblically informed observers observe that there is something biblically-nuanced about movements which, though obscure and once-powerless, are now changing the Christian Church in European and other parts, while the big and powerful churches rarely prosper. Yes, how ironic.
Pope Francis is a charismatic. Though I made the case for this in another HuffPost blog almost a year ago, the Argentine pontiff's penchant for Spirit-centered Catholicism has been one of the most underreported aspects of his dynamic papacy.
This strange early twentieth-century expression of religious faith is not widespread -- confined to a small number of churches in the southeastern United States -- but has its roots in a literal reading of a cluster of biblical metaphors.