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NEWS
September 19, 1990 | By Desmond Ryan, Inquirer Movie Critic
In Denys Arcand's Jesus of Montreal, Jesus may have moved from Nazareth, but He still confronts the temptations proffered by Satan and takes on the Pharisees. In Arcand's arch and eclectic satire, the seductive devil these days is - what else? - a lawyer. And the Pharisees are sleazy advertising men who worship mammon in a television studio instead of a temple, and whose goal in life is to peddle a new beer by selling sex with the suds. The last major director to consider the life of Jesus was Martin Scorsese, whose superb, courageous and deeply spiritual The Last Temptation of Christ was venomously attacked by clergy representing a wide range of denominations.
NEWS
March 20, 2007 | DEBBIE WOODELL
MAKE NO mistake, Kittredge Cherry did not set out to write "Jesus in Love" to advance the cause of lesbian and gay rights. In fact, engaging in that long-term battle on the religious front made her "sick to death," she writes in the introduction to her novel, an account of a Jesus with both heterosexual and gay desires. "I was working as the ecumenical officer for the Metropolitan Community Church, and in this role, I was advocating for equal rights for gay and lesbian people in the church," Cherry said in a recent telephone interview.
NEWS
December 4, 2002 | By Trish Boppert
Drive, He said . . . Thanks to gas-frugal Rev. Jim Ball, the topic of which vehicle the Son of God might drive has captured the nation's attention. Now that the Rev. Ball has already gone there (in an apparently Jesus- approved Toyota Prius, no less), there's no putting a lid on the speculation. Why stop at what Jesus would drive? How about prophet-approved tires, gasoline, and roadside assistance plans? Surely He has a soft spot for Manny, Moe and Jack? And then there's the troubling question of air fresheners.
NEWS
October 26, 2000 | by Joshua Green
Last week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a new ad campaign that features an image of the Shroud of Turin and the slogan "Make a Lasting Impression - Go Vegetarian. " PETA explained in a statement that it "chose Jesus as its new 'poster boy' because he is widely believed to have been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish religious sect that followed a vegetarian diet and rejected animal sacrifices. " Jesus a weed-eater? It's not a new claim, but a new spin on an old one. Vegetarianism's true believers have long held that the Garden of Eden was a meatless paradise ("And God said, Behold, I have given you . . . the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat," Genesis 1:29)
NEWS
April 29, 2011
EASTER Sunday is the holiest day in the world. Our Savior rose from the dead, sacrificing his body and blood to save us. Jerusalem is the most holy city in the world, where Jesus was laid to rest. There is so much turmoil there between the Arabs and Jews, but it's sacred ground that should be worshipped with no spilling of blood. Our Lord preached there, and miracles were performed there. I wish for peace in the whole area. Leave the land pristine for the Savior to come back.
NEWS
September 20, 2012 | By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
ROME - Is a scrap of papyrus suggesting that Jesus had a wife authentic? Scholars on Wednesday questioned the much-publicized discovery by a Harvard scholar that a fourth-century fragment of papyrus provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married. Experts in the illicit antiquities trade also wondered about the motive of the fragment's anonymous owner, noting that the document's value has likely increased amid the publicity of the still-unproven find.
NEWS
August 19, 1988 | By BEN YAGODA, Daily News Movie Critic
It is only one of the ironies surrounding "The Last Temptation of Christ" that the publicity and resentment generated by fundamentalist groups bitterly protesting the movie's release have turned it into a box-office smash. Here is another irony: No one is better able to appreciate this movie than the devout Christians who are protesting it. If you have a deep interest in Jesus, you may find the movie infuriating, but you will probably also find it consistently engaging and at times inspiring.
NEWS
December 3, 1987 | By Douglas J. Keating, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Let's all go on down to Gainesville" urges the opening song of Cotton Patch Gospel, for in that Georgia town something big has happened - a boy named Jesus has been born to a virgin named Mary. No, this isn't the second coming of Christ; it is the story of the first retold in a grits-and-cornpone context with a Jesus who calls his Heavenly Father "Daddy" and whose chief disciple is a fellow named Rock, who is recruited while bass fishing. Those big doings in Georgia translate into a small, somewhat fatuous but likable musical, and in the Walnut Street Theater Company's zesty, very well- performed production, which opened last night, it can be liked a great deal indeed.
NEWS
November 18, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
BOISE, Idaho - An Idaho man accused of firing an assault rifle at the White House believed he was Jesus and thought President Obama was the Antichrist, according to court documents and those who knew him. At one point, he even suggested to an acquaintance that Obama was planning to implant computer tracking chips into children. Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, of Idaho Falls, was charged yesterday with attempting to assassinate the president or his staff. He is accused of firing nine rounds at the White House Friday night - one cracking a window of the first family's living quarters - while Obama and the first lady were away.
NEWS
April 6, 2007 | By The Rev. Donna Schaper
Many see this holy day as the day that Jesus died for our sins. I think not. I think Jesus died with our sins. There is a big difference. In the first formulation, Jesus is not really human but instead God, the pure and holy. In the other, Jesus is really human and has his own faults, which he takes to his death. The first formulation, we have "atonement": Everybody is a bad guy, Jesus overdoing his virtue and humanity underdoing its. The second formulation is "At-one-ment": There is room for that great character, the shadow, who is often eliminated from both Christian and American plays.
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NEWS
December 8, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
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.
NEWS
December 4, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
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.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By Molly Eichel
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.
NEWS
November 19, 2014 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
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.
NEWS
November 16, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Michael Grant, who has become a Center City fixture as "Philly Jesus" with his long hair, beard, robes, and staff, was arrested Friday in his LOVE Park stomping grounds, shortly after taking a few laps around the new Dilworth Park skating rink. He has been charged with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. "Those are charges that, in my experience, the government uses when you don't do whatever the government wants you to do, or that the police officer wants you to do," said Charles M. Gibbs, the lawyer Grant retained Saturday morning to represent him. Gibbs asked Grant to refer media inquiries to him. "He's a very decent young man who is simply exercising his First Amendment right of speech," Gibbs said Saturday.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
Becoming a consecrated virgin, says Judith Stegman, means there's one thing you'll do without - obviously - and one you'll definitely need: A sense of humor. In the era of The Bachelorette and Dating Naked , of Fifty Shades of Grey and Snoop Dogg's "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)," a woman who chooses to live in reverent chastity can seem a curiosity. " 'Are you married?' - it's a common question," Stegman said. "I say, 'Well, I have a ring. I'm a consecrated virgin in the Catholic Church, and that means I'm married to Christ.'" Stegman, 58, is president of the U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins, dozens of whom gathered Wednesday at the Philadelphia Archdiocese's offices to talk about their lives in advance of a formal convocation in Malvern.
SPORTS
July 3, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
AMERICA'S MOST popular athlete - for the time being, anyway - is Tim Howard, soccer goalie extraordinaire. Howard had 16 saves, many of them miraculous, in the United States' 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium on Tuesday. And fans reacted in a big way. There were tweets comparing Howard to Jesus: * "Jesus puts on 'Tim Howard saves' T-shirt. " * "Have you ever seen Tim Howard and Jesus in the same room? Just saying. " * "Difference between Tim Howard and Jesus - Jesus had 11 guys he could trust.
NEWS
December 26, 2013
Christmas in America has become a commercial holiday, with an emphasis on gift-giving and the shopping required to dole out and accumulate presents. But even as some ignore or obscure what makes this time of year special, it becomes more apparent to those who believe. Christmas is about believing, though it's certainly up to the individual to choose his or her beliefs. Small children believe in Santa Claus, placing their faith in the jolly old elf's ability to find their homes, be they ever so humble, and leave toys that let them lose themselves in play.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jesus of Nazareth was not a religious prophet with a message of peace and universal love - much less the Son of God. He was a revolutionary, a Jewish resistance fighter who worked to overthrow Israel's Roman rulers. So writes comparative religionist Reza Aslan in Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth , which he will discuss at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (A limited number of tickets are still available.) As radical as this may sound, Aslan's theory is hardly new or particularly revolutionary.
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