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  • Meacham: A Post-Christian America

    Reports of the death of the religious right or about the high hopes of the religious left are familiar, but something deeper and more fundamental (so to speak) than a tactical repositioning is going on at the moment. Christianity is not depleted or dying; it remains a vibrant force in the lives of billions. Only a fool or an ideologue would say otherwise. There is, however, a sense among believers and nonbelievers that America is less Christian than it has been, and may even be moving into a post-Christian phase.This argument, which I explore in our cover this week, would not have been as compelling five years ago as it is today. In 2004 came the release of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," which religious conservatives helped turn into a box-office success (unlikely for a movie whose dialogue was in Aramaic); this was also the era of Terri Schiavo.What has happened in the intervening years? John McCain, for one. Though he tried to get right with Jerry Falwell and others ...
  • Meacham: The End of Christian America

    The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.
  • The Third Annual Hottest Rabbis in America List

    Once is lucky. Twice is nice. Three times—well, anyone can tell you that's a tradition. It is a great pleasure, then, to unveil the third annual installment of what we at NEWSWEEK fondly call the "hot rabbis list." Created, maintained and revised by three Jewish media tycoons—Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton, News Corp. executive vice president Gary Ginsberg and Jewish Television Network CEO Jay Sanderson—the list ranks the 50 most influential rabbis in America based on an unscientific algorithm. Proximity to powerful people and opinion leaders, visibility in national media, size of congregation and good works all count.Last year the tycoons tapped Marvin Hier, the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as No. 1. This year the list is reshuffled to reflect the new president's priorities and the economic crisis. The top spot goes to David Saperstein, the social-justice advocate who sits on President Obama's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The...
  • Worth Your Time: "Breaking the Slump"

    Watching Tiger Woods, perhaps the most mentally tough athlete of all time, dominate the PGA Tour, you can forget how insidiously difficult golf actually is. It's such a lonely game, especially when played in front of huge galleries and millions of TV viewers. It isolates athletes like no other sport, setting them out there on the grass, all alone, with just their clubs, the ball, their talent and their twitchy, tortured minds.In his new book, "Breaking the Slump," NBC sports reporter Jimmy Roberts takes us inside those minds, and it's as hideous and fascinating a tour of anguished psyches as you will find outside of a medical library. In other words, a must-read. Roberts interviews 17 pros, including Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, about their "darkest moments in golf." He writes with wit and insight about "slump shame … a particularly pathetic form of self-loathing," and Norman's historic collapse at the 1996 Masters, when he blew a six-stroke lead in the final round and finished...
  • 50 Influential Rabbis

    Compiled by Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman & CEO Michael Lynton, News Corporation Executive Vice President Gary Ginsberg and JTN Productions CEO Jay Sanderson
  • Worst 'Star Wars' Costumes Ever

    Wow. From pathetic Chewys to paper-clad Stormtroopers (seriously), these truly are the worst "Star Wars" outfits of all time.
  • The District: SEASON FINALE

     All good things must come to an end -- especially when our hero is as overworked and underpaid as Barack.  And though it's time for "The District" to take a break, NEWSWEEK's satirical video team is hardly on hiatus -- you'll see more of the fun projects they've got cooking starting next week. I've heard whisperings that some Team Barack players will headline some spinoffs?  Fingers crossed for Reggie Love.In the meantime, join us this week as Timmy Geithner -- fresh off some props from the press, for once -- makes a last-ditch effort to save this sinking ship.  Check it out above!
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    Are We Turning Tweens Into 'Generation Diva'?

    Reared on reality TV and celebrity makeovers, young girls are using beauty products earlier, spending more and still feeling worse about themselves. If these trends continue, by the time your tween hits the Botox years, she'll have spent thousands on the beauty treatments once reserved for the "Beverly Hills, 90210" set.
  • Rx for Poor Vision: Video Games

    The idea that experience alters the adult brain in fundamental ways has finally become accepted, so the battle lines have formed around which aspects of brain function are too basic, too hard wired, for experience to change them. Whenever someone asserts that one or another function is fixed and beyond the reach of experience, I refer them to a study finding that the visual cortex—which you’d think is as hard-wired as hard-wired can be—can adapt to an environment of visual deprivation and segue into processing tactile and auditory sensations, as scientists reported last year....
  • Charles Darwin's Art Attack

    Darwin revolutionized our understanding of mankind's origins. Now scientists think they can apply his theories to the source of our creativity without it sounding like a lot of monkey business.
  • The Demise of Vegas's Fine-Arts Scene

    It was always an odd combination: Sin City and serious art. A decade ago, Las Vegas was full of brio about becoming the next Miami—a cultural mecca and art-tourism destination. But with the closure of the Las Vegas Museum of Art in February, the desert hotspot is now the biggest city in the U.S. without a public art museum. The LVMA's demise is only the most recent blow. In 2007, hotel magnate Steve Wynn converted his art gallery into a Rolex shop. Last year, the Guggenheim closed its outpost at the Venetian Hotel and Casino. "We were just wrong," says highly regarded art critic Dave Hickey, who moved to Las Vegas in the early 1990s, anticipating a cultural shift.The LVMA had its problems. Located about 10 miles west of the Strip, it was too far for all but the most hardy tourists. The museum greeted just 12,000 visitors a year, or about 30 a day. "And that would've been a really good day," says former executive director Libby Lumpkin, who is Hickey's wife. Also, with Nevada facing...