Almost exactly six years ago, inspired by "The Daily Show," I started a weekly feature called "This Week in God," covering news related to religion, politics, and government. It's now a Friday afternoon feature.
The God Machine has plenty to offer this week, and let's start with the above image, which was reportedly sent by Rick Santorum's team in South Carolina to Jewish supporters for Hanukkah. You'll notice that it includes an "I am the light of the world" message from the Book of John as part of the holiday well-wishes.
The problem, of course, is that John 8:12 is a New Testament reference -- generally not the sort of thing one finds in a Hanukkah message.
There were some questions this week about the legitimacy of the image, but when asked, the Santorum campaign did not deny its authenticity.
Also from the God Machine this week:
* TV preacher Pat Robertson is encouraging his followers to steer clear of the "Twilight" movies and books, calling the vampire-themed stories "demonic" and "evil." Don't tell Mitt Romney -- he's apparently a fan of the "Twilight" series.
* Three dozen Republicans in the U.S. House are outraged that the new Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office has a patch logo that no longer references "God." The ringleader of the effort, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), spearheaded the recent "In God We Trust" vote on the House floor. Apparently, job creation is no longer at the top of the GOP's to-do list.
* And in New York, former Archbishop Edward Egan caused a painful stir this week. In 2002, before his retirement, Egan, referring specifically to parishes in New York and Connecticut, apologized for his church's handling of scandals involving the sexual abuse of children. This week, Egan reversed course, telling a reporter he "never should have" apologized, adding, "I don't think we did anything wrong." Egan went on to say that he does not believe his church has an obligation to report accusations of sexual abuse to the authorities.