A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘christianity

[LINK] “Latin America’s Indigenous Peoples Find an Ally in the Pope”

Emilio Godoy’s Inter Press Service article is enlightening.

“We want Pope Francis’ message to come true…We want the rights of indigenous people to be supported, respected and strengthened,” Yuam Pravia, a representative of the Misquito native people, said in this city in southern Mexico.

Pravia, a Misquito indigenous woman from Honduras, was taking part Feb. 13-14 in a gathering of native people from Latin America in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

The forum was part of the activities organised ahead of the pope’s Monday Feb. 15 visit to this impoverished state with a mainly indigenous population.

“With the ‘Laudato Si’ encyclical we defend the rights to land, territory and forests,” was the theme of the two-day gathering, which referred to the first encyclical in history dedicated to the environment, published by the pope in June 2015.

“We want tangible results, for each country to take the pope’s message on board,” Pravia, the representative of the non-governmental organisation Asla Takanka Miskitia-Moskitia Unity of Honduras, told IPS.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Nuns who feed San Francisco’s homeless face eviction”

Al Jazeera America notes that rising rents are driving a Catholic sisterhood out of San Francisco.

Sister Mary Benedicte wants to focus on feeding the hungry lined up outside a soup kitchen in a gritty part of San Francisco.

But the city’s booming economy means even seedy neighborhoods are demanding higher rents, threatening to force out an order of nuns who serve the homeless.

The sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame’s Mary of Nazareth House said they can’t afford a monthly rent increase of more than 50 percent, from $3,465 to $5,500, and they have asked their landlord for more time to find a cheaper place to serve the poor.

“Everywhere the rent is very high, and many places don’t want a soup kitchen in their place,” Sister Mary Benedicte said Tuesday, in French-accented English. “It’s very, very hard to find a place for a soup kitchen where people can feel welcome and where we can set up a kitchen for a reasonable price.”

Since 2008, the modest kitchen has sat on a derelict street in the Tenderloin neighborhood, long associated with homelessness and drug use. But it’s within walking distance of a revitalizing middle Market Street area, led by the relocation of Twitter in 2012.

There’s been a “dramatic increase” in residential and retail rents in the middle Market area since 2010, spilling over into the Tenderloin, said Brad Lagomarsino, an executive vice president with commercial real estate company Colliers International.

The still-seedy neighborhood, in other words, is trending up.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 12, 2016 at 4:25 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • As noted by The Dragon’s Gaze, Centauri Dreams hosts an essay hotly defending the argument that KIC 8462852 has dimmed sharply.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the links between classical liberalism and the refusal to aid the victims of the Irish famine.
  • D-Brief notes that ancient Babylonian astronomers were close to developing calculus.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that a large majority of Germans and a majority of Australian MPs back marriage equality.
  • Marginal Revolution speculates that much of China’s growth slowdown is a consequence of declining construction.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares photos from Chang’e 3.
  • Peter Rukavina describes his work creating an online Schedule for Charlottetown transit.
  • Savage Minds considers authenticity in relationship to digital models of artifacts.
  • Science Sushi, at Discover, notes the complex social lives of at least some octopi.
  • Transit Toronto notes rising GO Transit prices.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the decline of the Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • blogTO looks back to see when Yonge and Dundas was cool.
  • James Bow is decidedly unimpressed about Toronto’s ever-shifting plans for mass transit.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the opposition of Pope Francis to Italy’s civil unions bill.
  • Language Log notes Hong Kong’s mixture of Cantonese and English, and shares a bit of pop music.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders if Australia has peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, if its originality ended then.
  • Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Science Blog shares XKCD’s charting of the spaces for undiscovered but possible planets in our solar system.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that the Ukrainian population is continuing to decline.
  • Spacing Toronto examines the history of the Toronto Coach Terminal.
  • Transit Toronto suggests that current mass transit plans evoke Transit City, the difference being that Transit City would be substantially done by now.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO identifies five fast-changing neighbourhoods.
  • Crooked Timber praises Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze examines the formation of supermassive stars.
  • A Fistful of Euros reflects on global income inequality.
  • Geocurrents examines Russia’s demographic issues.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has blamed ISIS on gay pride parades.
  • Language Log looks at how language issues influenced the outcome of Taiwan’s election.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that First Worlders are responsible for poor conditions in Bangladeshi factories.
  • The Map Room examines “persuasive cartography”.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that discrimination hurts economies.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg notes Ukraine’s rapid shifts in natural gas consumption by source country.
  • The Power and the Money considers if the United States might be governed by people who think it a good idea to provoke a war with China.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to sources on the Circassian genocide.
  • Strange Maps notes Chinese cartographic propaganda.
  • Transit Toronto favours a partial pedestrianization of King Street.

[LINK] “A conflict of faith between Russia and Ukraine”

Al Jazeera’s Tamila Varshalomidze notes how the collapse in Russia-Ukraine relations is encouraging many Orthodox Christians in Ukraine to break away from churches linked with the Russian Orthodox Church, with entire parishes breaking away.

Father Sergei Dmitriev meets us at a hospital in Kiev where he has been admitted for two weeks suffering from kidney problems. We suggest holding our interview in the garden of the hospital’s church, just a few metres away. The Father refuses, sternly but politely. He will “never set foot” on the ground of the Church, he says, accusing it of “using propaganda to cover up Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict”.

The Church he is referring to is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy which is ultimately governed by the patriarch of the Russian Church, who is accused of being an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Moscow Patriarchy is different from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchy, which was established after the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. And the two churches are perceived as taking very different positions on the current conflict.

Before the conflict, a divided Church had hardly been an issue for Ukrainians. Worshippers would usually choose which church to attend for prayers and services based on where they were and their personal preference for the individual priests.

But that began to change when the conflict broke out and some Ukrainians found themselves questioning the supposed pro-Russian position of the Moscow Patriarchy.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 29, 2015 at 11:04 am

[LINK] “The War on Jewish Christmas must be stopped”

Daniel Drezner’s Washington Post opinion piece of the 24th of December touches on an interesting issue. The homogeneity with which North Americans of Christian background have celebrated this key holiday is no more.

[B]efore I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season, I’d like to close the year with a plea to stop the War on Jewish Christmas.

Let me explain, As the short documentary film right below this paragraph demonstrates, many Jews have a very specific set of rituals when it comes to Christmas:

Chinese food and a movie. Perfectly pleasant rituals, made special by the fact that the Gentiles are all at home or at church. After a month or two of listening to Christmas music blasted everywhere, after weeks of avoiding malls and shopping centers because of frenzied Christmas shopping, finally the Jews can emerge and just enjoy a simple ethnic meal and a movie with the other minorities that make help make this country great.

No longer.

I don’t know when it became a thing for Christian families to also go see a movie on the day commemorating the birth of Jesus, but personal experience tells me this is a relatively recent phenomenon — i.e., the past 15 years or so. All I know is that what used to be a pleasant movie-going experience is now extremely crowded.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm


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