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Religious Rites

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OPINION
March 27, 2004
Re "Marriage Is a Misstep for Gay Rights," Commentary, March 22: Imagine my surprise when I read that marriage should be done away with because people like me want in! Apparently Alexander Cockburn doesn't want to belong to Western civilization, but I do. I was raised in a strong and spiritual family, and I believe in the sanctity of family. I also believe that my partner and I should be allowed by our state and country to make the same choices, wise or not, that all the other adult members of our families are permitted to make.
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OPINION
September 14, 2013
Re "Animal rites protest," Sept. 12 Regarding the use of live chickens in the sacrificial Orthodox Jewish ritual of kaparot, I have to ask: What would Sholem Aleichem say? In the late 19th century, this great Yiddish humorist wrote a story in which he imagined the ritual coming to an end when a flock of "shtetl" chickens go on strike. This deceptively light story can be interpreted in many different ways: as a commentary on scapegoating, anti-Semitism, superstition or animal cruelty, or as a plug for political uprising or union organizing.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 1996 | LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They streamed into the modest living room and made the sign of the cross to the statue of the Virgin Mary that stands regally on a mantle draped with white cloth. Then the 50 or so people knelt on the floor as they sang hymns, prayed and recited the rosary, never taking their eyes off the Blessed Mother. With the rites finished, the entourage ferried the statue to another house to recite another set of prayers and welcome the Blessed Mother into the home.
WORLD
December 26, 2009 | By Borzou Daragahi
The haze from burning esfand, a Persian weed, and the scents of thick-brewed tea and rose water fill the black funeral tents that have bloomed across Tehran. Sweeping black banners of mourning and small green lights hang outside mosques. In the Grand Bazaar, thousands of new customers have descended on the stands selling paraphernalia for the upcoming holiday. On the streets, at bus stops and on the subway, young Iranians ask one another: What mosque are you going to for the holiday?
NEWS
April 17, 1997 | PAUL RICHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Soldiers of American Indian descent will be permitted to use the hallucinogenic plant peyote in religious services under a draft rule proposed by the Pentagon. The rule would apply to more than 9,200 service members who belong to the Native American Church, who until now have been subject to court-martial or lesser punishment for what they describe as the sacred sacrament of a 10,000-year-old faith.
NEWS
November 18, 1989 | From TIMES WIRE SERVICES
Human sacrifices and religious rites are no longer the essence of the game, but in Mexico a 3,000-year-old sport remains an addictive national pastime. For pre-Hispanic Indians, hulama , which is somewhat like volleyball, had sacred significance. But most of today's aficionados play it as a sport in its own right rather than for its historical meaning.
NEWS
May 28, 1991 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Visible five abreast in the hazy distance, the horsemen kicked their steeds into motion, as if jump-starting a car. Out of a cloud of red dust they thundered, galloping past the ancient mosque of Kano and straight for the dun walls of the emir's palace, as if trying by sheer momentum to burst through its tiny dark doorway into the labyrinthine chambers within. But at the last moment, the horses skidded to a stop and reared high on their hind legs.
NEWS
July 12, 1998 | MARY ROURKE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Some say the world will end in fire. Zoroastrians say it was born of fire, the most important symbol for God. Flames danced high above a deep urn during a recent initiation rite for teenagers at the Zoroastrian fire temple in Westminster. Six young people, most of them from family trees rooted in Iran, wore white and tied hemp cords around their waists to symbolize their commitment to the faith during the Sedra-Pushi, a Farsi term that refers to a rite of passage into adulthood.
NEWS
October 30, 1990 | NICK B. WILLIAMS Jr., TIMES STAFF WRITER
You could argue that men in the Middle East wear Western-style jackets so they can stash their beads in a nice loose pocket. A shirt pocket is a bit small, and a pants pocket is too tight, and you might have keys and coins in there as well. Traditional Arab gowns have slash pockets--not bad. The point is not to worry about it. Worry beads won't help you there. An informal survey of peddlers and users on the purpose of the addictive beads produced only one consistent reaction.
NEWS
December 16, 1995 | MARK ARAX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Hmong shaman tried all the usual offerings. He burned paper money, sacrificed a chicken and a pig, even sought the remedies of American doctors. Yet nothing could appease the angry spirit that he believed was vexing his wife's health. So Chia Thai Moua brought out his last best offer: a 3-month-old German shepherd.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2009 | By Richard Marosi
The church bells rang all afternoon. Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz was on his way to say a Mass marking the transfer of Father Raymundo Figueroa, the beloved priest at Santisimo Sacramento parish. Hundreds of men, women and children answered the call of the bells. But they weren't there to greet the bishop. They chained the gates and locked the doors. They hung signs. "This church belongs to the people; not the church," read one. When Romo stepped out of his SUV, 20 robed priests from the Tijuana diocese tried to form a procession, but burly men blocked their way. The archbishop tried to say a prayer, but the crowd drowned him out with bullhorns and bells.
WORLD
December 20, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Thousands of supporters of Iran's most senior dissident cleric marched through streets in his hometown and descended upon the country's main theological center today to mourn his passing just days before the climax of a politically charged religious commemoration. Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a pillar of the Islamic Revolution three decades ago who became a staunch defender of the nation's current opposition movement, died late Saturday of complications due to advanced age, diabetes and asthma, his doctor told state television.
NATIONAL
October 14, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter and Duke Helfand
After weeks of listening to parishioners sniffle in the pews, and worrying about the spread of the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend decided its flock needed to make some sacrifices this flu season. So this week, the priests will be locking up their Communion chalices and, as a precaution against the spread of germs, temporarily stopping the practice of offering wine during the sacrament. "When you have 4,500 people showing up for Mass, and you have eight cups for the populace, it's easy to see how this could become a problem -- fast," said Father John Kuzmich of St. Vincent de Paul in Fort Wayne, whose church in northeastern Indiana has about 10,000 members.
NATIONAL
January 30, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A Sioux City man has been convicted of killing his two stepdaughters during a ritual from a satanic bible. Sentencing for Lawrence Harris Sr. is scheduled for Feb. 18. The first-degree murder convictions carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Ten-year-old Kendra Suing and her 8-year-old sister, Alysha Suing, were found stabbed and strangled on Jan. 6, 2008, when authorities responded to a fire at their home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2008 | Steve Padilla, Padilla is a Times staff writer.
More than 2 million Muslims from across the globe descended on Saudi Arabia over the weekend to perform the ancient rituals of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that is considered the spiritual pinnacle of a devout Muslim's life. As Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj notes in a website on the event, the word "hajj" merely means "to set out for a place."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2008 | Jessica Garrison, Garrison is a Times staff writer.
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has announced that church leaders can bless the unions of same-sex couples as a matter of policy. The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, whose diocese encompasses Los Angeles County and five other Southern California counties, made the announcement Friday during a diocesan convention in Riverside.
MAGAZINE
April 11, 1993 | ALAN WEISMAN, Contributing editor Alan Weisman's last article was on the Gray Ranch in New Mexico. Cristina Garcia Rodero, the first Spaniard honored by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, has more than 6,000 photographs at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. Her work will be shown at Santa Monica's Gallery of Contemporary Photography starting April 20.
THE ROOM IS A TINY CELL IN A FAMILY COMPOUND ENCLOSED BY unmortared slate walls more than a thousand years old. Precisely how much more, the four women and two men squeezed into this windowless space don't know, any more than they understand exactly why they will spend the forthcoming hours engaged in feverish ritual. What they do know, they insist, is that like their fathers and grandmothers and forebears beyond them, they were born to this moment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 1994 | BERT ELJERA
Except for a three-foot statue of Buddha in the midst of bonsai trees, dwarf bamboos and a flower garden, this three-bedroom house looks no different from the single-family homes clustered near a park on West Street. But once inside, the sweet scent of burning incense greets the visitor. A Buddhist monk in a brown robe is usually found meditating at an elaborate altar decked with red candles, flowers, fruits and more Buddha statues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2008 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
Every seven years since AD 301, priests from around the world have trekked to the ancient Cathedral of Etchmiadzin in Armenia to retrieve jarfuls of freshly brewed muron -- a sweet-scented holy oil stirred with what is said to be the tip of the lance driven through Jesus' side -- and carry them back to their respective dioceses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2008 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
Still in a daze from the crash, Donald Ashman walked over to the first body. Ashman knelt down and lifted a corner of a white blanket covering the body, placed his hand on the man's forehead and said the words he had said so many times before, almost always at a hospital: "May God Almighty have mercy upon thee, forgive thee thy sins and bring thee to everlasting life." The prayer took just a few seconds.
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