- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 28, 2008

Matter of faith

The 534 members of Congress “are often accused of being out of touch with average citizens,” but by religious affiliation, they look just like the rest of the country, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.


Among our lawmakers in the Senate and House, 161 are Catholic, 66 are Baptist, 57 Methodist, 45 Jewish, 43 Presbyterian, 39 “unspecified’ Protestant, 38 Anglican or Episcopal, 24 Lutherans, 14 Mormons, seven Orthodox, six Congregationalist, five nondenominational Protestant, five unspecified, four Church of Christ, three “other faiths,” three “other” Christian, two Muslim, two Pentecostal, two Reformed, two Buddhist, two Holiness, one Quaker, one Pietist.

None said they are unaffiliated, according to the Pew tally, taken Dec. 18.

Among Democrats, 44 percent are Protestant, 36.6 percent Catholic, 13 percent Jewish. Among Republicans, 71 percent are Protestant, 21 percent Catholic and 1 percent Jewish.

In broad strokes, in the House, 55 percent overall are Protestant, 31 percent are Catholic and 13 percent are Jewish. In the Senate, 54 percent are Protestant, 26 percent Catholic and 13 percent Jewish.

Transition, Pt. 2

It’s not going to be All-Obama-all-the-time after Inauguration Day. The Pentagon has quietly announced that some 250 political appointees from the Bush administration will stay on the job for a while, or at least until their replacements are found.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates — who has agreed to stay at his post for the Obama administration — has asked them to stay on. Lest we forget, we live in dire times.

And duty still calls.

“A smooth transition at the Defense Department while we are engaged in two wars is very important,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman pointed out.

Days of yore

The news media has been self-promoting from the get-go. Today marks the anniversary of the very first newspaper advertisement — published in 1732. “The Pennsylvania Gazette,” owned by Benjamin Franklin, ran an ad for the first issue of Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack.”

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who became the 28th president of the United States, was born on this day in Staunton, Va., in 1856.

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