Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
Millions of Catholics mark the the beginning of the Lenten season by attending Ash Wednesday church services and receiving ashes on their foreheads. Some Catholics leave the mark on all day, while others choose to wipe it off. Religious scholars told CNN that either option is fine.
Some people were curious what GOP presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich would do - both are Catholic and are scheduled to participate in Wednesday's debate in Arizona.
The question generated an interesting discussion about displays of faith in politics and in daily life.
Many commenters, including those who identified themselves as Catholics, said it didn't matter to them if the candidates wore the ashes, and some like Alan wondered why we were even bringing it up.
"Why is this even an issue! It will have nothing to do with the debate, election or anything else. CNN just likes to make an issue out of nothing. I am Catholic, I got my ashes, now do you really think I care which one of the candidates did or did not elect to get theirs, NO, NO, NO."
Phil in KC says he doesn't expect Gingrich or Santorum to have the ashes during the debate.
"They'll be so busy sweating, it will all be wiped off by the time the cameras roll. And that's if the make-up lady doesn't remove it first.
The bigger question is, why do I care?"
Some Catholic commenters said they were uncomfortable about making public displays of faith, but Danny, an Orthodox Jew, thought it was nice.
"It was so amazing to see so many people I passed this morning on my way to work in Midtown Manhattan, with ash on their forehead in observance of Ash Wed! As an Orthodox Jew who always wears a yarlmulka/Kippah on my head and thereby always proudly display my love and pride of Judaism and my being Jewish, it's nice to see some Christians stepping out and wearing their religion 'on their sleeve' (or their forehead)."
"As a Catholic, be it one who doesn't like Rome or Bishops, I went to Church today. The Gospel was about not wearing one's religion on one's sleeve. Ironically we all received the ashes afterwards and walk around all afternoon with our faith on our foreheads. Something doesn't make sense here."
"I know. I heard the same gospel. And it is kind of odd that we all walk out with the ashes after hearing that. But I keep mine on as more of a reminder to myself than anyone else. I hope I"m not doing it to "show off." And I don't care if anyone else rubs their ashes off. I don't particularly try to keep them on. They usually rub out by mid-afternoon."
I have ashes on my forehead â€“ I will go around town today and I don't plan on taking it off (by the way guys, they don't last that long. If Mr. Santorum went in the morning, they'd be gone by afternoon at the latest). I don't wear them to "show off" that I'm a Christian, but I'm not ashamed of it either. I figure if anyone asks me about it, it gives me an opportunity to share what it means.
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Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.