November 4, 2012 |
CINCINNATI - It would be unfair to suggest that the fates of President Obama and Mitt Romney rest on the shoulders of two devoted partisans from opposite sides of Cincinnati. But Tim Burke and Alex Triantafilou know that after polls close Tuesday, one of them may be called a hero and the other, well, the opposite of that. "There will be people in the party who will seek to blame," Triantafilou said. "Absolutely. " He would know. Triantafilou, 42, is chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party.
November 3, 2012
Re "Measure to legalize gay marriage loses ground in Maryland," Nov. 1 Baptist minister Harold L. Dugger asked his Maryland congregation to vote against marriage equality. Isn't this the antithesis of separation of church and state? How does his church keep its tax-exempt status? During George W. Bush's presidency, a much more subtle message got a Pasadena church in trouble. What gives? Barry Davis Agoura Hills One wonders how Dugger, a self-styled "biblicist," would explain the fact that there is no clear biblical statement that marriage is between one man and one woman, or that most mentions of marriage relate to political or financial arrangements among families, tribes or kingdoms.
October 31, 2012 |
I didn't plan to set up our annual Day of the Dead altar this year - too much work, I thought. That is, until my daughter called me on it. When I arranged a few pumpkins near the front door, she asked expectantly, "When will you put up the dead relatives?" Perhaps "putting up dead relatives" sounds a bit morbid. Perhaps the dancing calacas and catarinas (male and female skeletons, smiling and dressed up in their best outfits) that are a prerequisite for the holiday give the afterlife an unaccustomed vibrancy.
October 25, 2012 |
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Celebration Church sits tucked away in the corner of a repurposed shopping mall, one of the more modest venues for worship in this city of booming megachurches and superstar preachers. It has no cafe, bookstore or multimedia wizardry, but it compensates with warmth, friendliness and an especially erudite pastor who has a day job as an entrepreneur. Still, the message from the pulpit on Sundays this month is not so different from that being heard in conservative evangelical churches across America.
October 24, 2012 |
Talk about tests of faith. Douglas Kmiec is an influential Roman Catholic scholar, a veteran of Ronald Reagan's Justice Department and a Pepperdine University constitutional law professor. What he's gone through in the last handful of years, he sums up pretty well with the title of his latest book, "Lift Up Your Hearts: A true story of loving your enemies, tragically killing your friends, and the life that remains. " His interfaith work earned him President Obama's appointment as ambassador to Malta.
October 18, 2012 |
Conceived and underwritten by Ryuho Okawa, leader of a Japanese religious group known as Happy Science, the anime film "The Mystical Laws" is a strange mix of action-adventure and religious sermon, "G-Force" meets a Chick tract. Credited to director Isamu Imakake, the film's sincerity in breaking down its religious teachings to a level of digestible, childlike simplicity also makes it reminiscent of those Bible adventure kids cartoons that used to be a staple of Christian cable channels, albeit with a sci-fi twist and Buddhist underpinnings.
October 14, 2012 |
Fifty years ago this month, the Roman Catholic Church embarked on a period of soul-searching that reverberated far beyond St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Pope John XXIII called Catholic bishops across the globe to the Second Vatican Council, opening the windows of a monarchical church to the modern world. The first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, sat in the White House. Clergy infused the civil rights movement with moral transcendence. These were heady days for religious progressives.
October 12, 2012
Re "Shifting dynamic of U.S. religion," Oct. 10 The fact that the numbers of Protestants and members of other religious affiliations are in decline in the U.S. should surprise no one. Since the early 1980s, religion in this country has been politicized as a wedge issue. The religious right wing of the GOP has used its political power to demonize those it disagrees with. Leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Tony Perkins have made plenty of money while espousing beliefs with questionable biblical merits that are in sync with the GOP platform.
October 10, 2012
Re "A banner day for Scripture," Oct. 5 I wonder how the high school cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas, would react if a Muslim student wanted to have the football team run through a banner festooned with quotations from the Koran. Would they support that individual's right to free speech, or would they consider it an affront? This likely contradiction is the reason the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public school-sponsored religious expressions are constitutionally prohibited.