December 11, 2012 |
Christmas in Santa Monica has gotten a whole lot darker and a whole lot less tolerant. For almost 60 years Santa Monica's Palisades Park embodied the Christmas spirit with its displays depicting the birth of Jesus. Through the use of large dioramas, the Christmas story unfolded chronologically, based on the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. The life-size statues of baby Jesus, along with Mary, Joseph and others, added a visual reminder of our nation's religious underpinnings. The Nativity scenes were an impermanent acknowledgment of the timeless role faith and organized religion plays for the residents of Santa Monica and visitors alike.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2012 |
The schedule of Sunday Masses for Catholic students at USC accommodates their studying, partying and sleeping habits. Services are offered at 10:30 a.m., 7 p.m. and at 10 p.m., a popular option that is lightheartedly nicknamed the "Last Chance Mass. " Upward of 400 USC students previously attended at least one Mass a week at a now-demolished chapel just north of the university's main campus. The showing was respectable but still a small fraction of the estimated 10,000 Roman Catholic students - about a quarter of the overall enrollment - at the nonsectarian university.
December 2, 2012 |
Despite the increasing number of those who hold other faiths or no faith, Christians still wield substantial influence on our nation's cultural and ethical norms. After all, 73% of Americans still identify as Christian, according to a 2012 Pew Forum Study. So the fact that many churchgoers have changed their views about gay civil rights in recent years is one of the major under-reported reasons why same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states. It is also one of the reasons that the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, which took away gay Californians' right to marry, may get a hearing in the Supreme Court this term (an announcement is expected on Monday)
November 30, 2012 |
I was on my way to lunch with one of the partners at a prestigious law firm when we both heard it: a random person on the street yelling at me, "Terrorist … hey, terrorist!" I was in the process of trying to secure a job. Like any other law school student, I just wanted to fit in at the firm where I was spending my summer. I smiled and changed the subject, avoiding what would inevitably be an awkward conversation, even though the taunts tore me up inside. Sadly, what happened isn't a rare event.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 21, 2012 |
Federal agents' use of a paid informant to ensnare four Southern Californians plotting to join Al Qaeda is expected to be a focus of their defense against federal terrorism charges, allegations that continue to mystify family, friends and local Muslim leaders. An attorney for one of the suspects on Wednesday criticized the case for hinging on evidence gathered by a confidential informant who had been convicted of drug-related charges. The informant, who received $250,000 from the FBI and "immigration benefits" for his work over the four years, infiltrated the group in March and wore recording devices that provided evidence crucial to the case.
November 8, 2012 |
PROVO, Utah - Sitting cross-legged on a lawn with two other students, Whitney Call, a 23-year-old creative writing major at Brigham Young University, took satisfaction in at least one aspect of the outcome of the 2012 presidential election: Mitt Romney might not have won, but he demonstrated that being a Mormon, like her, was no barrier to winning the nation's highest office. "His faith was not a factor in the election at all. Maybe that means that people are beginning to realize that Mormons are more mainstream than they thought," she said.
November 7, 2012
Re "Keeping politics out of the pulpit," Editorial, Nov. 5 Today I consider myself a freelance Catholic. I still go to Mass daily because I really enjoy the experience, but that's about it. I don't want anything to do with the organization. Two quotes from your editorial - one in which a Roman Catholic bishop says those who enable the destruction of life also reject Jesus, and another from a bishop who suggested that hellfire awaits those who vote the wrong way - are particularly egregious but typical of present-day Catholic hierarchical thinking.
November 6, 2012
Re "Rev. Schuller says church owes him," Nov. 2 Regarding the bankruptcy court fight over the millions left over in the Crystal Cathedral sale and bankruptcy, I would like to volunteer to testify on behalf of the taxpayers who have been forced to subsidize these mega-corporations masquerading as churches. This is an absolute scam. The whole Schuller mob has been living high on the hog for years while enjoying an outdated tax system that shielded their church from paying taxes.
November 5, 2012 |
True Religion Inc., the struggling luxury denim maker that recently put itself up for sale, reported a slight rise in third-quarter profit due to growth in its wholesale business. In the three months ended Sept. 30, the Vernon retailer said profit was $12.3 million, or 49 cents a share, a 1.7% rise from $12.1 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Total sales jumped 9.4% to $118.5 million. Its wholesale segment, which sells to off-price and specialty retail stores, grew 35.4% to $29.8 million.