Attention all members of the media — today is Ash Wednesday.

Every year one of you foolishly tells someone you are interviewing that they have a smudge on their forehead. It happens every single year.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and the palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday are burned to ash and used for this year’s Ash Wednesday. Yes, the church recycles.

Not all churches practice it. I do not. But a very large number of Christians do. The ash symbolizes that we are from the dust and will return to the dust. Lent, itself, is a forty-six day period of fasting representing the forty days of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. The six Sundays in Lent are not fasting days, hence forty days of fasting in a forty-six day period.

Stuart Varney ended his career at CNN after Ted Turner called Christians who participate in Ash Wednesday “Jesus Freaks”. It is inevitable that someone, each year, makes an insulting comment about faithful worshippers today.

Try not to be that guy. The cross on the forehead, which will probably be more a smudge by the afternoon, is supposed to be there.