April 28, 1995 |
For years, people who had seen Decalogue - Krzysztof Kieslowski's soul- stirring series inspired by the Ten Commandments, produced for Polish television in 1988 and forever unavailable in the United States - lorded it over the rest of us. They had some special knowledge, they'd touched the Holy Grail, they'd been to Europe. Watching The Double Life of Veronique or Kieslowski's Three Colors - Blue, White and Red, these blessed few would snigger with recognition when a character, a motif, a scene echoed something recalled from the Decalogue.
March 8, 2002 |
One of the women whose federal lawsuit led to Wednesday's ruling ordering that the 1920 plaque listing the Ten Commandments be removed from the Chester County courthouse received two threats yesterday. Margaret Downey, founder and president of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, who along with atheist Sally Flynn filed the suit, said she received two threats yesterday morning, by phone and e-mail. Downey said the telephone call from a man was laced with obscenities and included the warning: "You're going to get it. " "It was a pretty horrible phone call," said Downey, adding that she retrieved the telephone number from a Caller ID device and reported it to Birmingham Township police.
May 4, 1995 |
"I'm a pessimist who desperately searches for hope," Krzysztof Kieslowski confessed in an interview a couple of years ago. It's a telling self- appraisal, at once soul-baring and ironic. The Polish filmmaker's work - including 1991's The Double Life of Veronique and his epic 1994 trilogy Three Colors, Blue, White and Red - are artful embodiments of that dark-but-hopeful philosophy, representing a personal but somehow panoramic view of the human condition. With his longtime writing collaborator, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Kieslowski shows us people in search of love, of spiritual succor, of the goodness in the soul.
March 13, 2002 |
U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell recently ruled that a plaque bearing the Ten Commandments must be removed from the Chester County Courthouse. Soon afterward, I happened to be speaking on a panel entitled "Kieslowski's The Decalogue and its Relevance for American Law" at a law school conference. Krzysztof Kieslowski is a renowned Polish filmmaker, best known in this country for his trilogy, Blue, White and Red. I was speaking on a film series he made based on the Ten Commandments.
March 5, 2002 |
Two Chester County officials yesterday defended keeping a large 82-year-old plaque of the Ten Commandments in place on the courthouse exterior, telling a federal judge the Biblical laws have become so "ubiquitous" in the public mind they no longer have purely religious meaning. "I believe they have a secular purpose and a religious origin," said County Commissioner Colin A. Hanna. And Commissioner Andrew E. Dinniman said that, as a Jew, he was not offended by the church-donated plaque.
March 7, 2005
Other guidance Re: "Posting Ten Commandments unlikely to have desired effect," Feb. 27: I cannot understand why columnist Jane Eisner and some other people are so concerned about such postings. Some believe that the display is important for the moral health of the United States. The world population is estimated at 6.129 billion, of which about 2 billion are Christian and Jewish. Thus, approximately 4 billion people do not have the Decalogue per se as part of their religious writings.
May 16, 1995 |
It came. Philadelphians saw. And, if the fourth annual Festival of World Cinema didn't exactly conquer, its attendance did exceed 20,000 - a robust 25 percent increase over 1994's figure. "Clearly, people have faith in the programming," PFWC director Linda Blackaby said yesterday. "We came down from the mountain with the schedule and asked Philadelphians to go forth and festival. And for 12 days they did. " And on the 12th day, they took their moms. The festival ended its run Sunday with a special Mother's Day offer: "Buy one ticket, Mom gets in free.
June 30, 2005 |
Every American ought to read a Supreme Court opinion from time to time. I'm not kidding. Read past the citations of obscure case law and the reams of footnotes, and you find a robust, free-wheeling debate on constitutional issues that is not for the faint of heart. The men and women sitting in the highest court in the land may seem imposing, aloof and impossible to decipher, but their opinions can read like verbal wrestling matches (or, when Justice Antonin Scalia is involved, a round of boxing)
March 5, 2000 |
We're riding shotgun with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, wandering Chinatown in his wife's white minivan, his cell phone at his ear, his tallis in a plastic bag on the backseat, his six children's toys clattering behind him with each pothole. Funny, he doesn't look like The Love Rabbi. Oh, but he is. This slight scholar, with a wise bearing and full beard that add decades to his 33 years, says he knows how to find and keep that special someone by following "the Rules. " The ultimate Rules.
July 2, 2003 |
The 10 Commandments get to stay in the Chester County Courthouse despite the best efforts of Sally Flynn and Margaret Downey, the founder of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, the atheists' group that filed the lawsuit. Downey said, "We're feeling a little powerless right now. " I am sorry for her distress but, at least for the moment, she knows how most people feel in countries whose governments are based on Downey's antireligious beliefs. This case was not designed to get the government to be "neutral" in its attitude toward religion.