As voted by the Religion Newswriters Association's members, among the year's most consequential religion newsmakers were Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Pope Benedict XVI, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, and the U.S. bishops.
How would you have ranked them? Has their influence been harmful or constructive? What issue or person do you expect to have the biggest impact in the year to come?
We wholeheartedly welcome Julia (and we are thankful to RNA also for at least keeping us in their system), but Hinduism, being the oldest and third largest religion with about one billion adherents, is much more than that and it went through lot of noteworthy issues during 2010.
Religious leaders who made the news did not do all that much to lead or inspire people to get closer to God. At the end of the day, it felt like religious newsmakers were religious noise makers, more interested in protecting themselves than leading people to God.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on December 30, 2010 3:19 AM
Perhaps in 2011 we can be the leaders in finding true religious inspiration behind the negative headlines. Despite all the hype, people do make justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God and each other. Now that's a religion story.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on December 28, 2010 11:50 AM
Pastor Terry Jones, the Florida-based minister who planned a public Koran burning gets my vote for the most influential American religious figure of 2010. Why? Because he showed us the limits of our fear and rage, or at least the limits of their expression.
Posted by Brad Hirschfield, on December 28, 2010 11:09 AM
We need more of the spirit of Cardinal John O'Connor- unafraid of the media, eager to use mass communications to present the Church's positions, and willing to engage in the battles that will inevitably result.
Posted by Fr. Frank Pavone, on December 28, 2010 10:18 AM
I predict in the coming year, as in past years, I will have reason to quote the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg: "With or without religion, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things--that takes religion."
Posted by Herb Silverman, on December 27, 2010 5:04 PM