April 20, 2012 |
Earth Day, the environmentalist holy day, is approaching again, reminding us that environmentalism has become a kind of religion. Which raises a question: Why is it OK to teach environmental religion in public schools, while the teaching of Judaism, Christianity, and other traditional religions is not constitutionally permitted? As Joel Garreau, a former Washington Post editor, wrote in 2010, "faith-based environmentalism increasingly sports saints, sins, prophets, predictions, heretics, sacraments and rituals.
April 3, 2012 |
M OMENTS after a Philadelphia jury on Monday found him guilty of the first-degree murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Tyrell Hart quoted Scripture, thanked God and opined that his victim was in a better place. "It may seem like I lost. But actually, I won because before I came here, I was a lost soul," Hart, 22, said before being led away to begin serving a life sentence without parole. The Common Pleas Court jury of eight women and four men convicted him of the fatal Oct. 14, 2009, shooting of Selene Raynor, 21. The jury also found him guilty of third-degree murder in the death of the couple's unborn child.
March 25, 2012 |
A hospital room is not a pulpit. That's Lesson One, explains Kundan Nasir, on his rounds as a student chaplain at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, Mercer County. "There's no liturgy for a patient visit, and I fall on my face a lot," says Nasir, 28, who is pursuing a master's degree in divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. "Sometimes I say the patient's name wrong when I'm praying with them. Or I misread their diagnosis on the chart. But that's OK. " The Washington Township resident is sharing these insights with patient Shereen Semple.
March 23, 2012 |
Two 11-year-old boys in a park. One of them says something (or doesn't), the other one takes a stick and bashes him. Whack! Two teeth are toast. That's what happens before the Tony-winning play God of Carnage begins, before the two sets of parents sit down to meet each other and discuss the - how do you say? - incident . Before the adult bashing begins. "Fortunately, there is still such a thing as the art of coexistence, isn't there?" says the bashed boy's mom - and you know, you just know, that the stage of the Walnut Street Theatre is bound to become a battleground.
March 6, 2012 |
Philip Barrett of Philadelphia works two jobs, but he doesn't want that to be his life. In February, battling stress, he withdrew from Towson University in Maryland, but he hopes to return to college. Marcy Allen of Salem, N.J., graduated from college in 2010 with degrees in theater and French, but the only employment she could find was as a part-time mail carrier - the job she held the summer after her freshman year at Rider University. The two, both in their 20s and navigating unexpected bumps in life, have found solace and strength in a Wednesday night Bible study group in Camden led by a man whose own youthful charisma, they say, is part of the attraction.
March 5, 2012 |
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Jesus Christ was mentioned in the opening invocation. Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A. " warmed up the crowd. And Mitt Romney quoted the "endowed by our Creator" line from the Declaration of Independence. But beyond that, at a rally Sunday night here in the heart of the Bible Belt - where folks readily remind you that you're in the heart of the Bible Belt - God wasn't on center stage. Instead, the Republican presidential front-runner used a brief stop in Tennessee, one of 10 states with presidential primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday, to pay homage to the almighty dollar.
March 2, 2012 |
Our relationship to nature isn't a done deal or a set formula. As a reminder of that, we only need look at the appealing simplicity and interest of several featured artworks relating to ancient Egypt in an otherwise diverse display, "The Decorated Book: Continuing a Tradition," at the Athenaeum. One of these, a big "scarab" woodcarving (actually a beetle-shaped case for a book), immediately caught my eye. John Magnan recently handcarved this solid and well-conceived sculpture with movable parts.
March 1, 2012 |
THEOLOGIAN William Hamilton, a member of the Death of God movement of the 1960s that reached its peak with a Time magazine cover story, has died in Portland, Ore. He was 87. Hamilton died Tuesday from complications of congestive heart failure, his family said. Hamilton told the Oregonian newspaper in 2007 that he had questioned the existence of God from when he was a teenager, when two friends - an Episcopalian and a Catholic - died from the explosion of a pipe bomb they were building, and a third - an atheist - escaped without a scratch.
February 27, 2012 |
ANCIENT Chinese gods and goddesses looking 12 feet tall strolled into Chinatown around noon yesterday to the clash of cymbals and the beating of drums as the heavy smoke from incense sticks wafted through the air. The fourth annual Hoyu Folk Culture Festival attracted participants from Philly, New York and Washington, and also hundreds of onlookers who gathered on 10th Street, mostly between Arch and Cherry. Boys and young men in lion costumes jiggled their lion heads as they marched to Chinatown's Friendship Gate.