Tuesday’s Religion Roundup: The real St. Nick, defending Newt, awkward Bachmann

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas! Or that “jolly old elf,” as we’ve come to know him.

Though in fact – as this recent facial reconstruction from his 1,600-year-old-skull shows – he was a tough, olive-skinned battler for Christian orthodoxy back in Asia Minor, or what we know today as Turkey.

And, yes, he was born into a patrician family and used that wealth to help others, hence the reason so many Americans who can’t afford basics go into credit card debt at Christmas buying stuff.

The draw of the season is so powerful, in fact, that a sizeable minority of atheists in one study liked to go to church more than a year. Christmas is a good bet for one of those times.

Read full post here.

“Our research shows just how tightly linked religion and family are in U.S. society – so much so that even some of society’s least religious people find religion to be important in their private lives,” said Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund, a lead researcher in the study.

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