June 25, 2013
Re "Devious ban on abortion at Hoag," Column, June 23 How reprehensible that officials at Hoag Hospital in Orange County blatantly lied when they stated that the discontinuation of abortion services had nothing to do with the hospital's merger with the Roman Catholic St. Joseph Health System. Hoag was a leader among community hospitals and could have partnered with any number of other facilities. One has to ask why Hoag's leaders chose St. Joseph when the cost to their own autonomy was so high.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2013 |
As the Supreme Court prepares a decision on the fate of Proposition 8, nearly six in 10 California voters now believe same-sex marriage should be legal, with support rising among older voters and in all regions of the state, a new poll has found. The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll reveals that attitudes in the state toward gay marriage have changed significantly since Californians banned it in 2008 by a vote of 52% to 48%. The Supreme Court will decide this month whether the ban will continue.
May 28, 2013
Re "Prayers in public offices," Editorial, May 21 Here we go again: A few people are offended by official meetings in Greece, N.Y., beginning with a prayer. Just how do such occurrences actually constitute a "law respecting an establishment of religion"? I have never heard a good explanation of how the few activists who take offense to these things have actually had any rights infringed upon. In this case, there is no official religion and no way to enforce one. To the best of my knowledge there is no constitutional right not to be offended.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A bearded young comedy writer espousing progressive views in Hollywood in the early 1970s might not have surprised anyone. But when the same man, who is now the Very Rev. Gary Hall, started advocating the same views from the Washington National Cathedral's pulpit, people noticed. Shortly after Hall became the Episcopal cathedral's 10th dean in October, the church's leaders announced the cathedral would start performing same-sex marriages. The ensuing wave of news stories surprised Hall, who said he has been blessing same-sex relationships since 1990, when he was a priest at Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church.
May 21, 2013 |
Ideally, governmental bodies would refrain from including prayers - even ecumenical, "lowest-common-denominator" ones - in their public proceedings. But if prayers are to be offered, they certainly shouldn't be monopolized by a single religious tradition. That is how the Supreme Court should rule in a case involving a town in New York state. On Monday, the justices agreed to hear a case involving the town of Greece, N.Y., which since 1999 has begun its official meetings with a prayer.
May 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will revisit the issue of church-state separation and decide whether a town council can begin its monthly meetings with a prayer from a Christian pastor. Thirty years ago, the court upheld a state legislature's practice of beginning its session with a non-denominational prayer. The justices said that “to invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making laws” did not violate the 1st Amendment's prohibition on an “establishment of religion.” But since then, several lower courts have said that a city council or county board may violate the 1st Amendment if its opening prayers favor one religion only.
May 10, 2013 |
High-end jeans seller True Religion Apparel Inc. will be sold to investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners for $835 million, the companies said. The Vernon, Calif., designer denim brand, known for pricing its products well into the three figures, said its board unanimously accepted the $32-a-share offer. The deal represents an 8.7% premium on Thursday's $29.44-a-share closing price and a 52% increase from the stock price on Oct. 9, the day before True Religion disclosed that it would explore strategic alternatives for the company.
May 10, 2013 |
True Religion Apparel Inc., the Southern California purveyor of pricey designer denim, may have gotten too small for its britches. More than half a year after putting itself up for sale amid growth struggles and fluctuating stock, the high-end-jeans seller said its board unanimously accepted an $835-million takeover offer from investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners. The $32-a-share deal for the Vernon label represents an 8.7% premium on Thursday's $29.44-a-share closing price and a 52% increase from the stock price Oct. 9, the day before True Religion said it would explore strategic alternatives.
April 15, 2013 |
A famed Turkish pianist was convicted Monday of insulting religion after sending a string of tweets deemed denigrating to Islam. Fazil Say was handed a suspended prison sentence of 10 months, according to news reports, stoking concerns in Turkey and abroad about freedom of speech. The pianist reportedly invoked a verse by the Persian poet Omar Khayyam, which rhetorically asks believers if heaven is a tavern or a brothel, since wine and virgins are said to be waiting there. Say also joked about an unusually short call to prayer, “Why such haste?
April 9, 2013 |
The newer, smaller and more centrally organized a religion is, the less prone it is to reformed versions breaking away. It also helps if the religion's followers form an insular group, to one extent or another, away from the tug of societal trends. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has typically had a very strong form of this identity. It's a highly centralized organization, with a clear set of rituals and behaviors that are expected, with clear outcomes for those who follow suit -- and those who don't.