March 31, 2014 |
The box office results of Russell Crowe's “Noah” this weekend ushered in, as it inevitably would, report cards on how the movie fared with religious audiences. The run-up to the film's release included plenty of conversation about whether director Darren Aronofsky sufficiently took into account more devotional readings of the text (and, more to the point, people who have devotional readings of the text). The post-release debate could, then, only continue that examination, asking to what extent the film's $44 million in U.S. box office came from that constituency, and the feelings toward the movie from same.
March 26, 2014
Re “Religious rights case at high court could have a ripple effect,” March 24 The religious right wants to take us back to the good old days when women were denied access to birth control and contraception. The fundamentalists in all religions have this in common: They discriminate against women, and they want to control them. The Supreme Court must decide whether for-profit companies, because of the religious objections of the owners, can deny employees the health coverage to which they are entitled by law. Hobby Lobby has 13,000 employees from all walks of life and religious persuasions.
March 25, 2014 |
Simon Schama, the British historian and television personality and name-in-the-title host of "Simon Schama's History of Britain," "Simon Schama's Power of Art," "Simon Schama's Shakespeare" and "Simon Schama's Obama's America," is back with "Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews. " Premiering Tuesday on PBS, it attempts to distill 3,000 years of Jewish history into five hours of TV and does a fine, if necessarily incomplete, job of it. Like many British documentaries - the series originally aired in September on the BBC - "The Story of the Jews" comes with a personal touch.
March 23, 2014
Re "These claims shouldn't have a prayer," Opinion, March 18, and "Religious rights in a for-profit world," Opinion, March 19 Both these compelling Op-Ed articles allude to conundrums that inevitably arise from allowing religious beliefs to trump common sense. It's regrettable that the Obama administration exempted churches and some religious organizations from providing employee health insurance that covers contraception. But had that legal bone not been thrown to Christian legislators, the Affordable Car Act - enacted by the narrowest of margins - probably would not have survived.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 |
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear 90 minutes of oral arguments in a case that will determine whether bosses who have religious objections to birth control can deny their female employees the contraceptive coverage to which they are entitled under federal law. We're not talking about bosses who are nuns. Or bosses who run parochial schools, or Catholic-affiliated hospitals, or other explicitly religious organizations. We're talking about bosses who own secular, for-profit businesses -- crafts stores, in the case of Hobby Lobby, and kitchen cabinet makers, in the case of Conestoga Woods.
March 18, 2014 |
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate - the requirement that employers provide employee health insurance that covers contraception - impermissibly infringes on the religious liberty of religiously motivated corporations. The legal battles over the mandate have been legion; more than 300 plaintiffs have filed more than 90 cases across the country, all contending that providing health coverage for contraception would require them to violate their faith.