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…]
By Michael-Leonard Creditor
Our president has a bug up his ass about the Johnson Amendment, part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 prohibiting 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office. He thinks it unfairly restricts free speech.
But here’s the thing: the Johnson Amendment doesn’t stop church leaders from speaking out. Firstly, political activity is allowed so long as pastors stop short of directly or indirectly endorsing. But, even if pastors do actually endorse a candidate or ballot measure, only one church is known to have actually lost its tax-exemption due to electioneering. Also, some defiant clergy have repeatedly and for years, deliberately disregarded the Johnson Amendment. Some have even sent transcripts of their speeches to the IRS. That one church that lost its exemption, that was back in 1995.
All this rule does is pose a choice for clergy: do you wanna be a church or in politics? If you want the tax-exemption of being a church, you should simply stay out of politics. Can’t do both; choose. And this gets to the heart of the whole separation clause thing. I think the amendment solidifies the separation-of-church-and-state intent of the founding fathers. [Read more…]
The Southwest tribe is rebuilding sacred buildings critical for teaching Zuni youth the pueblo’s core values of community and devotion to collective prosperity
Michael J. Dax / Yes! Magazine
“Do you know the secret of the kachinas?”
It was a whispered question, between two young girls—one Zuni, one white—as they watched Zuni night dances in 1979.
Bronwyn Fox, then 9 years old, had moved to the town of Zuni in far western New Mexico for her mother’s teaching job. Fox found that, because of her age, she was treated like any of the other children and allowed to attend and participate in festivals and ceremonies, like the series of six night dances held each spring, that might otherwise be closed to a non-Zuni-member. [Read more…]
“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America… How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”
By Jon Queally / Common Dreams
Boxing great Muhammad Ali, known around the world as a humanitarian who spoke out forcefully against racial inequality, social injustice, and the Vietnam War during the 1960’s, has died at the age of 74.
The news of the athlete’s passing was confirmed by several news outlets late Friday night as well as a brief statement released on behalf of the family.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” said family spokesperson Bob Gunnell in the statement.
The first time
i heard the call to prayer
Nicosia’s Venetian walls
melted into mosaic pigments
colors bleeding into anonymity
The first time
i heard the call to prayer
i was released
from a prison of architectural semantics
above lilting cities of clouds [Read more…]
We have some fairly odd opinions
By Kali Holloway / AlterNet
Cultural differences exist across borders, and because monoliths are mostly fantasies, often within them, too. That said, America, in particular, is culturally perplexing, and even confounding, to a lot of the rest of the world. I am not, as Americans are wont to do, laboring under the delusion that people in other places spend all that much time thinking about us. We are all, as a species, just trying to get through this thing called life. The conservative American notion that people with far better healthcare, civil rights laws and gun control “hate our freedom” is a wishful imperialist delusion. Worse, it’s not fooling anybody at this point.
That said, if all the world’s a stage, America is a prime player: a rich, loud, attention-seeking celebrity not fully deserving of its starring role, often putting in a critically reviled performance and tending toward histrionics that threaten to ruin the show for everybody else. (Also, embarrassingly, possibly the last to know that its career as top biller is in rapid decline.) To the outside onlooker, American culture—I’m consolidating an infinitely layered thing to save time and space—is contradictory and bizarre, hypocritical and self-congratulatory. Its national character is a textbook study in narcissistic tendencies coupled with crushing insecurity issues. [Read more…]
Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism
By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams
Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.
When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”
In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm. [Read more…]