June 5, 2015 |
PHILLY JESUS has started a digital collection plate for his ministries on GoFundMe.com, with a goal of raising $70,000. "We chose 70 because the number seven is God's number," said Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant. Grant, a 29-year-old recovering heroin addict, has been dressing as Jesus and hanging out at LOVE Park since April 2014. He has a large following on Twitter and Instagram and said he dresses as Jesus as a way to get others to approach him so he can share the story of Christ.
May 11, 2015 |
ANY GIVEN Sunday, open the blue door to the storefront Church of the Living God at 2nd Street near Somerset in West Kensington, and you won't be able to sit still. The band, including a 10-year-old boy strumming a guitar and a 14-year-old girl on the drums, could pass for a professional rock/soul group. Even the oldest member, 100-year-old Anna Lee Green, stands, claps, dances and sings in this self-proclaimed "Happiest Church In The City of Philadelphia. " Happy it is. The church exudes joy even when parishioners cool themselves with fans that depict an ad for a funeral home in the Powelton neighborhood.
April 27, 2015 |
ANTONIO ANDERSON heard the call in 2013 to "plant" a church in his hometown. He and his family were living outside Manhattan. He and his wife had well-paying, steady work. Their two daughters, now ages 11 and 9, were happy in their schools. They were all active members of Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, a megachurch with more than 4,000 members. But there was that call. "I told my pastor, 'God is calling me back to Philadelphia.' I was listening to the news and the crimes against children, and I wanted to come back and make a positive difference," recalled Anderson, who was born and raised here.
April 1, 2015 |
Elva Parker was a familiar face in downtown Chester. On her good days, she picked up trash in a patch of parkland off the Avenue of the States where she liked to sit. She gave away some of the little money she got from Social Security to people who said they needed it. But on her bad days, she screamed, cursed, and threw things at passersby on the street whenever she thought they got too close. She was arrested for hitting an officer who told her to move along. She lived on the streets.
March 26, 2015
I AM COMPELLED to write this letter as the result of a judge's decision to allow a very hurtful anti-Islamic ad to be placed on SEPTA buses. I am well aware of the First Amendment right to free speech, but in my humble opinion to place an ad of Adolph Hitler on these vehicles is not only insensitive and incorrect, but also causes great harm to many people. A federal judge has ruled that since SEPTA has accepted religious, political and public-service advertising in the past, it cannot refuse ads that call for ending U.S. aid to Islamic countries that compare Islam to Hitler.
March 3, 2015 |
THERE'S A FUNNY T-shirt available for sale about the importance of punctuation. It points out the different meanings of "Let's Eat Grandma!" and "Let's Eat, Grandma!" Tattle thought of that yesterday when Rolling Stone mentioned the title of Kanye West 's next album as "So Help Me God. " All we could think of was a perhaps more accurate title, "So Help Me, God. " The daily Cosby Bill Cosby 's lawyers asked a federal judge Friday to throw out a defamation suit filed by three women accusing the comedian of decades-old sexual offenses.
February 22, 2015 |
FIRE AND brimstone messages that she read as a kid from the back seat of the family car put the fear of God into West Chester photographer Stephanie Kirk - and the fear of church signs. "They were often punitive. Mean," she said. "I can't in my heart of hearts believe that God's mean or nasty. " Kirk, raised in an interfaith household - Catholic and Eastern Orthodox - grew up to become a Quaker. And those dread-inducing church signs stayed in her mind. "As an adult, I said, I have to go back and explore that.
February 8, 2015 |
A Monmouth County, N.J., lawsuit alleging that the words under God in the Pledge of Allegiance violated the rights of an atheist schoolchild and sought to have them stricken has been dismissed. For a local high school senior, that was good news indeed. Samantha Jones, 18, who attends Highland Regional High School; her parents; and two of her siblings had intervenor status in American Humanist Association v. Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District . The decision "does affirm our right to say under God in the Pledge of Allegiance," Jones said.
January 21, 2015 |
Reuben Amaro expects to file for unemployment by the end of next month - or in early March. That's when the Saladworks in the Gallery will close for renovations at the Center City mall. Amaro, 48, has twice been manager of the restaurant, for a total of seven years. "I'm looking at unemployment for now," said the man with almost the same name as the Phillies' general manager. (The baseball Amaro spells his first name Ruben.) Amaro found out when he returned to work Dec. 16 - three days after his wedding - that the restaurant was shutting down for as long as two years.
January 11, 2015 |
Twenty years ago, I wrote a story for Inquirer Magazine about the last days of my grandfather. It was a story about a man reckoning with his mortality and reflecting on his life. I was privileged to watch, from an intimate vantage, as this family patriarch of 96 years gracefully surrendered and began anticipating a reunion with his loved ones in the afterlife in which he believed. Belief was a sub-theme, his faith that God would recognize his efforts to lead a good life versus my skepticism about the very existence of a merciful Supreme Being.