Former President Gerald R. Ford, praised in death as a low-key healer for the nation in the troubled aftermath of the White House Watergate scandals and the Vietnam War, was eulogized in a succession of Episcopal services at the turn of the new year.
Billy Graham has been named in the Gallup Poll’s top 10 “most admired men” list for a record 50th time. In a poll taken in mid-December, the 88-year-old evangelist came in fifth. Ranked before him, in order, were President George W. Bush, former president Bill Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and Senator BarackObama (D., Ill.).
In a surprise move, Massachusetts legislators took a first step toward banning same-sex marriages in the first and only state to make them legal. If the state legislature approves a ban in another vote during the 2007-2008 session, the initiative will be placed on the November 2008 ballot.
The Amish community, which inspired the world with acts of forgiveness after a Pennsylvania schoolhouse shooting, has been named the newsmaker of the year by the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) and Beliefnet.