July 17, 2015
"WHO AM I to judge?" I've heard that a lot lately, from my recent lunch companion who didn't even blink at the waiter with the pierced nipple (visible through his uniform) all the way up to Pope Francis, who makes it a point of speaking off the cuff on airplanes, balconies and the other end of a telephone. In between those two extremes are the rank and file Americans who think that tolerance means not expressing an opinion about moral standards, or lack thereof. In this "don't bully" society, etiquette trumps authenticity.
June 24, 2015 |
IT'S A THURSDAY night in Kensington, and a hectic boxing practice is winding down. "Butts down!" a coach yells at the 20 boxers, and the 10-to-15-year-olds all drop to the floor for push-ups. As the clock ticks closer to 6 p.m., they hang up their gloves, grab some water and towels and follow their coaches into a large auditorium off the training room. Everyone waits silently. Suddenly a bald man wearing an open-collared white shirt strides into the room from the rear. They know Buddy Osborn.
June 10, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - Marlon Byrd suffered a fractured wrist last Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, which prompted a promotion for another player with Phillies ties. The Cincinnati Reds summoned Ivan De Jesus Jr., the son of the shortstop the Phillies acquired in the infamous 1982 trade that sent Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to the Chicago Cubs. It wasn't until the series opener Monday night that the younger De Jesus, a 28-year-old infielder, earned a start. With Sandberg, the Phillies' manager, and Bowa, their bench coach, looking on from the opposing dugout at Great American Ball Park, De Jesus hit his first major-league home run, off of Cole Hamels no less, to send the Phillies to a 6-4 loss.
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.
March 30, 2015
* CALL THE MIDWIFE. 8 p.m. Sunday, WHYY12. Season 4 of the popular series continues without Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine), but with a new face (Charlotte Ritchie) at Nonnatus House. Missing Raine? "Wolf Hall," which premieres on "Masterpiece" April 5, will have you seeing her in a whole new light. * GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF. 8 p.m. Sunday, HBO. This eye-opening documentary from Oscar winner Alex Gibney traces the history of the Church of Scientology, including interviews with several disenchanted former members and more about Tom Cruise than you may want to know.
December 8, 2014 |
AND ON THE second day, the city said, "Thou shalt not go to trial. " Yesterday, the District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against local icon Philly Jesus, his attorney said. Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the DA's Office, confirmed that prosecutors decided not to pursue the two summary offenses lobbied against the roving preacher. The announcement came two days after Philly Jesus - a/k/a Michael Grant, 28, a recovering heroin addict who now lives to spread the Gospel - pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, charges stemming from his arrest in LOVE Park on Nov. 14. Charles Gibbs, Grant's attorney, said his client was "ecstatic" at hearing the DA's decision.
December 4, 2014 |
Just as Santa Claus was put on trial at Christmastime in the film "Miracle on 34th Street," so too will Philly Jesus be put on trial just days before his namesake's big day. Perhaps the old "In God We Trust" defense will work this time too. Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, was at the Criminal Justice Center yesterday for a status hearing on two charges against him - disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. In front of a packed courtroom, Grant, 28, dressed in his trademark white robe, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was scheduled for trial on Dec. 15. Grant turned many heads as he entered the courthouse on Filbert Street near 13th dressed as Jesus and carrying his trademark wooden staff.
November 21, 2014 |
WHEN Michael Grant a/k/a "Philly Jesus" was arrested on Friday , the story blew up nationally. Now it appears he's going international. Grant's attorney, Charles Gibbs , confirmed to me that Grant was followed around by a BBC News crew, for BBC Trending, in LOVE Park yesterday, meaning that Britain and beyond will get a taste of Philly Jesus. The BBC was "examining his prolific social-media presence and his ridiculous arrest and prosecution for standing in the park as Philly Jesus," Gibbs said.
November 19, 2014 |
POPE FRANCIS should bring his "breastplate of righteousness" and his "belt of truth" when he travels next year to "satan's playground," also known as Philadelphia. That's according to the most recognizable man in a long, white robe currently within city limits, Philly Jesus. Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, has been dressing as Jesus Christ and hanging out at LOVE Park for the past seven months, posing for pictures with tourists and "spreading seeds" for God, as he likes to put it. Pope Francis should know that being a visible religious figure in the City of Brotherly Love isn't always easy.