November 19, 2012 |
After seeing Montgomery Theater's production of Sean Grennan's Making God Laugh , I think biblical standards of humor have declined a bit since Job's time. Grennan's play spans 30 years, beginning at Thanksgiving 1980 and progressing through Christmas 1990, New Year's Y2K, and Easter circa 2010. On each of these holidays, a trio of siblings learn the painful lesson that you can't go home again. The audience, watching the characters' lives move from youthful promise to adult discontent, gets beaten over the head with Grennan's continual insistence on his theme: If you want to make God laugh, create plans, so he can delight in frustrating them.
November 3, 2012 |
Mark St. Germain's two-character play, Freud's Last Session, ran for two years Off-Broadway and has made the rounds of regional theaters, winning prize after prize. The Arden's admirable production, directed by Ian Merrill Peakes, adds yet another debate drama about religion to the ever-lengthening roster so far this season. (Since the six shows I listed for my review of The Runner Stumbles on Oct. 22, we can add two more.) The debaters here are illustrious: Sigmund Freud (David Howey)
November 2, 2012 |
CAIRO - Some anti-American Muslim clerics have cast the deadly Superstorm Sandy as divine punishment for a film mocking the Prophet Muhammad or for other perceived ills of American society. The remarks by some on the fringe brought a backlash from other Muslims who said it was wrong to relish the suffering of others. In Egypt, one radical cleric described the hurricane as revenge from God for the crude, anti-Islam film made in the U.S. that sparked waves of protests in the Muslim world in September.
October 26, 2012
RICHARD Mourdock, a conservative Republican who is favored to win a U.S. Senate seat in Indiana, pulled a Todd Akin on Monday night, pontificating that pregnancies from rape or incest are "something God intended" - and therefore the victims should not be able to obtain abortions. But this time, the reaction of the Republican Party establishment was quite different from the reaction to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's assertion in August that, if a rape is "legitimate" (that is, the woman didn't secretly want it)
October 15, 2012
Robert Benne is the author of "Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics" Gerald R. McDermott is coauthor of "Evangelicals and Mormons: Exploring the Boundaries" Evangelicals who have had concerns about Mitt Romney's Mormonism, and who make up a large portion of Republican voters, should consider Romney's religion a positive in this election. One of their concerns has been that Mormonism is non-Christian. Some fear that it would advance the Mormon Church and blur the boundaries between true Christian faith and its counterfeits.
October 11, 2012 |
GOLDA Lillian Nichols could be found every morning at 5:30 on her knees, offering up prayers for family, friends and anyone else she thought needed a blessing. It was faith that guided Golda's life and made her a person who was always looking for a way to help those who needed her special brand of compassion and love. "She was a perfect example of caring for others," her family said. "She was an adviser, giver and a great friend. She would lend a helping hand to anyone who was in need.
October 9, 2012 |
God's work, it seems, is never done. That's why, rather than resting on the seventh day, he called upon Live Nation to put together a gospel music tour, "The King's Men," and unite the top-selling salesman of the Word. On Sunday, four formidable headliners - Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, and Israel Houghton - laid bare their souls and their most impassioned voices at the Liacouras Center. And it was good - the three-hour-plus showing of holy music's Traveling Wilburys, to devotees of God and to his performers.
September 30, 2012 |
Televangelist M.G. Pat Robertson exhorted a crowd of thousands to reclaim the nation for God at a prayer gathering Saturday on Independence Mall. "I don't care what the ACLU says or any athiest says, this nation belongs to Jesus," said Robertson, 82. The founder of the 700 Club and stalwart of the Christian Right addressed a crowd who met on the mall for America for Jesus 2012, a national prayer gathering. A park ranger estimated the crowd at 8,000 to 10,000. The two-day event was organized by One Nation under God, a coalition of ministries that organized a similar series of events in Washington, D.C., during the 1980s and 1990s.
September 27, 2012 |
CARMELLA Renee Steele wasn't about to let a debilitating disease keep her from having a productive life. In fact, Carmella encouraged and inspired others with handicaps to overcome their disabilities and to live full lives. Carmella Steele, a victim of the painful autoimmune disorder lupus, a mother of three children, an active churchwoman and a role model for the many people she touched, died Sept. 18 at age 46. "Carmella had a heart of gold," her family said. "For many years, she was found encouraging and uplifting others through the word of God. She loved the Lord and she loved people.
September 21, 2012 |
Birth isn't often pretty. Such was the reassurance offered at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, where combined choirs from all around Philadelphia were navigating the thickets of the newest Hannibal Lokumbe cast-of-hundreds piece, Can You Hear God Crying? , to premiere Friday at the Kimmel Center. "You can't do this by ear," exclaimed conductor Donald Dumpson, who has prepared several of Lokumbe's works. "One person off is unacceptable. " "But if you think about the music too hard you'll miss it," said Lokumbe.