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.
November 16, 2014 |
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.
August 1, 2014 |
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.
July 3, 2014 |
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.
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.
September 18, 2013 |
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.
July 29, 2013 |
When the artist formerly known as Dolores Hart attended the Academy Awards in 2012, it was her third time on the red carpet and the first time she didn't fret about what to wear. She wore black - her nun's habit, a crisp white wimple framing her radiant face. On a recent sultry July afternoon in Philadelphia, she demonstrates the garment's versatility. It has built-in ventilation, says Mother Dolores, 74, gentling her hem to circulate cool air. Over her headpiece she sports a jaunty black beret.