Inside the Beltway

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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KEEP THE FAITH

The battle over religious symbols on public property is not confined to the Christmas season. It is a year-around phenomenon. Atheists have filed suit to bar the Ground Zero Cross created from 9/11 wreckage from the attack site itself. San Diego residents are wrestling with a California Department of Transportation plan to remove three crosses that have stood by the same roadside for more than 100 years. There are “cross issues” in veterans’ cemeteries.

There’s so much turmoil over the issue that Michael Youssef, pastor and founder of the Evangelical-Anglican Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, has written “When the Crosses are Gone,” a book that tracks the growing trend, to be published later this month.

“The eradication of crosses in public spaces signifies a worrisome trend that politicians need to recognize and address. Although those who wish to take down the cross state that they are upholding a separation between church and state, the truth is that religious symbols are a constant reminder to many people that they are ‘Gods law breakers’ and people hate to feel convicted,” he tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Youssef adds, “Politicians need to remind Americans that faith was a founding cornerstone of our country, and it should not be cast aside simply because of a growing social movement toward secularization.”

NEWT’S SIX SIGMA

Newt Gingrich give up his quest for the White House? The presidential hopeful does not appear to be slowing down in the least. Mr. Gingrich journeys to Manchester, N.H., on Thursday to investigate a local industrial sealant company that uses the “Six Sigma” business management strategy to improve quality and reduce waste.

Mr. Gingrich advocates the use of the method in the federal bureaucracy, to save $500 million in taxpayer money annually and eliminate unnecessary waste and abuse, he says.

Then it’s back to the Peach State. The former House speaker will attend a down home “Georgia GOP fish fry” in the town of Perry.

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of U.S. voters would vote for President Obama and 45 percent would vote for Mitt Romney in an Obama/Romney presidential match-up.

• 80 percent of Democrats, 48 percent of independents and 5 percent of Republicans would vote for Mr. Obama in the match-up.

• 83 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats would vote for Mr. Romney.

• 49 percent of voters overall would vote for Mr. Obama and 43 percent would vote for Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an Obama/Perry presidential match-up.

• 81 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and 10 percent of Republicans would vote for Mr. Obama in the match-up.

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