Tebow ad confused viewers. Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl ad featuring star quarterback Tim Tebow may have gotten a lot of press but left many viewers with confusion regarding the commercial’s meaning and sponsor, according to the Barna Group. According to a poll based on 1,001 telephone interviews, including the night of the Super Bowl, when asked to describe the main message of the commercial, one in five viewers could not venture a guess; 38 percent described it as an anti-abortion; and 19 percent said it was about being “pro-family” or “expressing that family is important.” The Barna poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Obama advisers split on tricky church-state issues. The 25-member council advising the White House on faith-based issues has voted on two contentious issues for religious charities that receive government funds. By a 13-12 vote, the council members said the government should require houses of worship to form separate corporations in order to receive direct federal funding for social services. When asked whether the government should permit charities to offer social services in rooms containing religious art, symbols, messages or Scripture, 16 said yes, two said no, and seven said they should be permitted if no other space is available. Melissa Rogers, chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, said the votes will be included in a forthcoming report for President Obama.
Want to make friends? Bars beat churches, survey says. Americans say bars are better places than church to meet new friends, according to a new survey. Restaurants, bars or pubs attract 18 percent of Americans as a place to meet people, while churches draw 16 percent and online venues like Facebook pull 11 percent, said the survey released in late January by Group Publishing, a nondenominational Protestant publishing house in Colorado. The online survey polled nearly 800 respondents, more than three-quarters of whom identified themselves as Christians, and has a plus or minus error rate of 4 percentage points.
Monks’ high-powered wine packs a punch. A small band of Benedictine monks in the south of England has come under fire for producing a fortified wine that critics describe as the “scourge of Scotland” for its high alcohol content. Officially known as “Buckfast tonic wine” but nicknamed “commotion motion” or “wreck the hoose juice” by devotees in Britain’s far north, the wine is turned out at Buckfast Abbey, a monastery in the Devonshire hills of southwest England. But “Buckie” has become a national favorite brew in Scotland—doubtless in part because it contains about 15 percent alcohol by volume. In other words, it packs a punch, as the police report. In one Scottish police constabulary, in Strathclyde, “Buckie” has been mentioned in some 5,000 crime reports, one of every 10 of them involving violence, over the past three years. Police Superintendent Bob Hamilton said, “I think it’s clear from the figures that there is an association there.”