Artist/animator Nina Paley is working on a feature-length animation and she showcases here a brief segment featuring the Pointer Sisters singing Norman Whitfield’s “You Gotta Believe“. [Read more…]
Ramadan is an entire month of abstinence and prayer celebrating the initial revelation to Muhammad of what would become the Quran. One of the Five Pillars of the Muslim faith, all Muslims are required to perform these religious duties unless elderly, ill, or “unclean”. Ramadan in San Diego began May 17 and ends on June 15.
This year, the Muslim holy month coincides with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which began May 19 and ended May 21. Seven weeks after the Jews achieved freedom from their slavery in Egypt, celebrated as Pasach (Passover), God gave the Torah (Old Testament) to the Israelites assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai. That is celebrated as Shavuot, which is roughly analogous to Christian Pentecost. Also, Shavuot celebrates an even older tradition, the Feast of Weeks harvest festival, so there’s a double meaning to the holiday for Jews.
Both holidays commemorate the delivery of their religion’s holy book to them. While Shavuot is tied to Pasach, and always happens at about this time of year, Ramadan moves around the year according to the Islamic lunar calendar, so this pairing happens once in about 25 years. This pairing makes a good-as-any reason to look at the architecture of the respective houses of worship. [Read more…]
I was listening to the soaring soundtrack of The Mission today, and it made me think of you. The film tells the story of a church-state conflict that arises in the 1750s and ultimately crushes a tiny Jesuit mission and the people who built it, members of the Guarani, indigenous peoples who inhabited tribal lands deep in the rain forests of central South America.
In the film, a tiny slice of the larger political fight for power over the Guarani takes place among Spain, Portugal, and the Vatican. The losers are the Guarani believers who took refuge in the mission – one of many that had been established by the Jesuits – in the hope not just of eternal salvation, but of earthly deliverance from the hands of the slave-trading countries that had invaded their lands. The natives’ hope is destroyed as Catholic European soldiers murder the natives as they attend Mass.
At this point, Dear Ohio, you’re probably wondering why the music from this film makes me think of you. As you well know from my previous correspondence, I write to you because you are the bellwether election state. And it seems of late that religion and politics have become welded together in a way that is galvanizing the electorate in Ohio and all other states in the Union. (How ironic to have this happen in a country where it is common to hear people say, “Never talk about politics or religion,” and where we celebrate a history of government and church being separate in order to promote freedom among all believers and non-believers.) [Read more…]
By Kilian Colin
When I started protesting the Muslim ban, a lot of people told me that I was blind, especially given that I’m a LGBTQ Muslim myself. The far right trolled my tweets with pictures of gay people being thrown from buildings and stoned to death in areas that ISIS controlled.
I had to spend a lot of time explaining to these people that ISIS controlled only a few villages in Iraq and Syria, and not the whole Muslim world. I also had to explain that the number of ISIS fighters only total a few thousand, whereas the global Muslim population is 1.5 billion.
Despite being an uphill battle, I’ve been able to make friends with many people who originally thought that Muslims come here for the sole purpose of killing Americans. One of those friends is a white female who lives in Lebanon, Missouri. She had never met a gay, a Muslim, or a refugee in her life. After being friends on Facebook for a few months, she told me she regretted her vote for Donald Trump in 2016. [Read more…]
In October, San Diego City Council Approved 18-Acre Christian-Themed Center
In our continuing saga to track developments in Mission Valley, we have to note that just about one month ago, on October 17, the San Diego City Council approved televangelist Morris Cerullo’s $130 – 160 million Legacy International Center project. The Center will replace the former Mission Valley Resort at 875 South Hotel Circle Drive on an 18-acre site at the west end of Mission Valley.
That’s the main headline.
But what the Council also did was approve a mini Disneyland-type of religious theme park that will promote controversial religious tourism. This project will be owned by the head of an extremist Evangelical empire who is outspoken in his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage; who was expelled from India for religious disturbances; who is criticized by rabbis for trying to convert Jews; and whose disputed claims of being a faith healer and miracle worker have led to at least one documented death. [Read more…]
The actual Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) isn’t until October 31st, but this year on Saturday, October 28th, Mexico City held its second annual Day of the Dead parade. In addition to the typical Catrinas, Calaveras and Grim Reapers, leading this year’s parade was a contingent of aid workers in tribute to the rescuers of Mexico’s September 19th earthquake. They marched at times with upraised fists, the gesture that was used to call for quiet when attempting to listen for sounds of survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings. [Read more…]
With nearly all of the media oxygen being sucked up by the POTUS lately, it’s important that we not forget that there is a world out there beyond the United States. And part of that world is experiencing an event that the the United Nations characterizes as what seems to be “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. It seems almost oxymoronic—violent Buddhists—but that indeed is the situation in the Western Rakhine state of the predominantly Buddhist country of Myanmar. The ethnic Muslim Rohingya are being targeted by the Myanmar military. The roots of this conflict go back to World War Two where each group supported opposing sides—the Rohingya supported the colonial British while the Buddhists supported the invading Japanese. [Read more…]
By Abby Zimet / Common Dreams
Sigh. Just when the country could use some healing, here comes the hateful, vengeful, medieval and distinctly unholy Nashville Statement, a 14-point manifesto on “Biblical sexuality” released Tuesday by 150 evidently godless evangelical Christians of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).
Convening earlier in August in Nashville, the CBMW affirmed their belief that “homosexual or transgender self-conception” is a sin and abomination, a ruinous “departure from Christian faithfulness and witness,” as is premarital sex. The only okay sex is married sex, between (duh) a man and woman. Any of you doing any of that other sketchy stuff: Sorry, but also not. Hell awaits you, as it should. [Read more…]
Filmmaker Isaac Artenstein likes to tell good stories, especially unknown ones, and if those stories inform and entertain others, even better.
He feels that the Jews of the Southwest have an untold story as the narrative has been mostly about the Anglo westward expansion; whereas, other immigrants are also part of the history. He wants to show one of the missing pieces of the puzzle.
To that end, he’s working on a four-part series of documentaries, “Frontier Jews,” which covers Jews of the Southwest, including New Mexico, San Diego, Arizona (specificially, Tucson), and El Paso, Texas. The documentary on New Mexico, “Challah Rising in the Desert” has just been completed and the one on San Diego, “To the Ends of the Earth,” is near completion.
Artenstein was born in San Diego and grew up as a child of the border. He went to school in Tijuana and high school in Chula Vista. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he moves comfortably between both worlds. In addition, with an Ashkenazi father and Sephardic mother, he was also exposed to the different aspects of Judaism, which has served him well while making the documentaries. [Read more…]
“The President’s sudden acknowledgment is a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.”– Anne Frank Center
For the second time this month, The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla was evacuated in response to a bomb threat. San Diego Police searched the facility following a 6am phone call on Tuesday.
On Monday there were 11 new bomb threats against Jewish community centers, from New York to New Mexico. Over the weekend, vandals toppled and damaged as many as 200 headstones at a St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery.
Prior to Tuesday morning’s threat, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Association of North America has documented 69 incidents at 54 centers in 27 U.S. states and one Canadian province since the start of 2017. [Read more…]
By Yuko Kurahashi
Coronado Playhouse is staging Altar Boyz, directed and choreographed by Michael Mizerany, as the first show of its 71st Season. In the intimate 120-seat theatre space adjacent to the Coronado Community Center, audiences are seated at tables to enjoy beverages and snacks before and during the show.
Set in Coronado at the present time, the Christian band members from a small town in Ohio are performing the last night of their national “Raise the Praise Tour.” The Boys—Mathew (Cody Ingram), Mark (SeeJay Lewis), Luke (Peter Armado), Juan (Patrick Mayuyu), and Abraham (Dennis Peters)—parody such contemporary issues as religious and racial tolerance and identity. Using music and dance from rap, hip-hop, funk, jazz, to modern, the Boys make fun of established religion, including the Catholic Church’s rules and customs in “Church Rules.” The show also criticizes, with humor, the impracticality of sexual abstinence for boys. [Read more…]
Today we’ll look at some recent developments as the divisions of power within the White House are coming into focus.
So-called President Donald Trump is there for the fame and fortune. Vice President Pence and his buddy Reince Priebus are there to oversee the dismantling of the new deal social contract. And ‘Economic Nationalist’ Steve Bannon is overseeing the reshuffling of the world order while tweaking domestic social policies.
The rise of a nationwide resistance continues. While Senate Democrats won’t actually achieve the historically rare feat of denying cabinet confirmations, the drip, drip, drip of damning information combined with an increasingly aware and active electorate will continue to challenge the administration’s priorities. [Read more…]