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Kasich hugs a hurting supporter

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks with members of the media during a campaign stop, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Pawleys Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)John Kasich's bid to be the Republican presidential nominee dwelt in relative obscurity for the first several months of the campaign process. His often conciliar and more hopeful perspective was frequently drowned out in a setting dominated by brash comments, insults, and grand promises. That began to change in New Hampshire where the Ohio governor finished second to Donald Trump in the polls but still ahead of more prominent candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush.

But despite his success in New Hampshire, questions lingered about how his platform would translate to South Carolina and the other southern states. On Thursday, those questions took a back seat to one of the more powerful moments of the campaign thus far.

At a meeting with supporters prior to his appearance on CNN's televised Town Hall that night, Brett Smith, a young man who had, in quick succession, lost a close mentor to suicide, saw his parents get divorced, and his father lose his job, told Kasich how he found hope in the Lord, his friends, and in his preferred presidential candidate. He then asked Kasich for "one of those hugs you've been talking about" and the two embraced.

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Does character matter in the race for President?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a campaign rally in Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)The writer of Proverbs found that a good name was more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1). He believed your name, which encompasses both your reputation and character, to be of greater value than your situation. But what if that situation is being the President of the United States?

Are candidates willing to trade in their character in order to attain the office? Are constituents willing to bypass character in order to satiate their outrage?

This election season has had its share of noteworthy moments. These moments were lights that illuminated the name and character of particular candidates. Recently, Donald Trump has made the news for his usage of vulgarity at campaign rallies. To the extent that crowds even cheer for him to say something offensive.

If the axiom holds true that you are whom you associate with, Hillary Clinton's character found the spotlight last week as well. Supporter Madeline Albright said there is a special place in hell for women who don't support each other. In a rather indirect fashion, the former Secretary of State insinuated and sought to coax support for her female candidate friend, who also happened to be the Secretary of State.

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What are you gaining during Lent?

Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday (Credit: Jennifer Balaska via en.wikipedia.org)Most go to great lengths to avoid lint throughout the year. We have lint rollers for our clothes. Our dryers have lint traps that are equally functional but also inconveniently bothersome. And then there is bellybutton lint, an unfortunate result of the fall and gross instrument of torture among siblings.

But something magical happens forty-six days prior to Easter. On this day, also known as Ash Wednesday, we as a society no longer avoid lint but celebrate Lent. We go so far as to tell our Facebook friends, coworkers, and family members about our plans for this stretch of the year. Our repulsion of lint morphs into an attraction to Lent.

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Should women be drafted for military service?

US Navy (USN) Construction Mechanic Third Class (CM3) Morgan Cameron, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seventy-Four (NMCB 74) listens during vehicle inspection training being conducted at the Central Command area of responsibility (AOR), while deployed in support of Operation, July 13, 2004 (Credit: VA Comm via Flickr)Let's consider the difference between can and should. For example, I can eat seven donuts. But just because I can eat those calorie-laden fried sugar bombs does not mean I should. It may not be right, for me or my wardrobe. I can do the Macarena, but that does not mean I should. It may not be right, for me or those within viewing distance. All might be permissible, but not all things are beneficial.

On Tuesday, top military officials in the Army and Marine Corps testified before a Congressional committee, saying that it is time for women to register for future military drafts. General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and General Robert Neller, Marine Corps commandant, were in agreement for this progression that would reflect societal norms onto the military community. This follows Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's historic decision last December to open all jobs in the military to women.

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The Trumpless debate

Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida., former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talk after the Republican presidential primary debate, Des Moines, Iowa, January 28, 2016 (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Fox News hosted the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucus on Thursday night with an interesting shift from the previous debates in that frontrunner Donald Trump chose not to participate. He cited an ongoing feud with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, one of the event's moderators, as the reason he would not participate. Apparently, he told Fox to replace her as a moderator and they refused. The feud largely began after Trump took offense to Kelly's question regarding whether or not he had the temperament to be president in the first debate, later implying that she asked the question because it was her time of the month (though he has since denied that that was his intention).

Many questioned whether or not the debate would suffer in the ratings as Trump not only refused to participate but held his own event at the same time. While Fox News' ratings did likely suffer somewhat, the dip was not as great as many feared (or as Trump predicted). The candidates that did attend took a few shots at the absent frontrunner but largely kept the debate's focus on their own policies and credentials. And, as CNN's Eric Bradner notes, while the event did lack some of the "personality" of previous debates, its substance was largely the same.

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