A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘christianity

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • blogTO looks at atypically-named TTC subway stations, the ones named not after streets.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the protoplanetary disk of AU Microscopii.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at China’s nuclear submarine issues.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog examines the intersections between game theory and water shortages.
  • Far Outliers notes the travails of Buddhism in Buryatia and the decline of Russia’s Old Believers.
  • Geocurrents looks at rural-urban–potentially ethnic–divides in Catalonia.
  • Savage Minds examines controversies over tantra in contemporary Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Torontoist notes that the TCHC is only now investing in energy-saving repairs.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests contemporary Syria could have been Ukraine had Yanukovich been stronger, notes Belarusian opposition to a Russian military base, and notes discontent among Russia’s largely Sunni Muslims with the alliance with Iran and Syria.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO notes Uber competition could mean lower taxi rates.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the New Horizons data is starting to come in.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to some papers suggesting that the solar system is not exceptional.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the linkage between Enceladus’ surface features and its geysers.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel writes about efforts to convert Japanese in Hawai’i.
  • Language Hat links to an article on endangered languages.
  • Languages of the World reports on the complexities of describing the history of the Slavic laqnguages.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the Syrian-Lebanese diaspora of Haiti.
  • Out of Orbit’s Diane Duane announces a new Young Wizards novella.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the exceptional size of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
  • Spacing Toronto describes the complexity of education in inner-city Toronto.
  • Transit Toronto notes the repairs at Dupont Station.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the scale of the Russian HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[LINK] “Proposed mosque in Detroit suburb draws sharp opposition”

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Al Jazeera America’s Steve Friess reports on conflict between Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims in the Detroit area on the location of a mosque in a Christian neighbourhood, a conflict rooted in past conflicts.

The nation’s largest concentration of Iraqi Christians, many driven from their homeland by persecution at the hands of Muslim groups, is mounting an intensive campaign to block a proposed mosque in Sterling Heights, Michigan — sometimes by deploying public anti-Islam invective unusual in its bluntness even in this post-9/11 era.

The 20,500-square-foot mosque, to be built on four acres by the American Islamic Community Center (AICC), is to stand 60 feet tall along a major thoroughfare in a middle-class neighborhood if the Sterling Heights Planning Commission approves the plan at its meeting this Thursday. Opponents have dubbed it a “mega-mosque,” while Muslim leaders say it is of average size for houses of worship, including some nearby churches.

American leaders of the Chaldeans, an ancient Christian sect also known historically as ethnic Assyrians and originating from Iraq, have insisted in recent days that their opposition is based on concerns about traffic and property values, not religious enmity.

Yet a parade of speakers at a four-hour Sterling Heights City Council meeting on Aug. 13 offered vicious accusations that the group behind the mosque planned to use it to plot terrorist attacks and store weaponry, and attacked women who wear headscarves as scary to children. More of that sort of ire is being spewed on popular Chaldean group pages on Facebook and in signage and comments to local reporters at recent street-side protests near the proposed mosque site.

“This mosque is going to bring people like this. I do not want to be near people like this,” one resident, Saad Antoun, said at the City Council meeting as he held up a photo of women in burkas. “This is not humanity. … It is not right to live with people like this. This is not acceptable at all because these people are scaring the public. And they don’t care. … Can we prohibit this kind of public thing? We see them at the mall every day. We see them at shopping. Can we prohibit this? Can we make law against this? It’s scary and disgusting.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

[LINK] “For the love of god — or safety — Muslim refugees converting to Christianity in Berlin”

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The Toronto Star shared Kirsten Grieshaber’s Associated Press report

Mohammed Ali Zonoobi bends his head as the priest pours holy water over his black hair. “Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds?” pastor Gottfried Martens asks the Iranian refugee. “Will you break away from Islam?”

“Yes,” Zonoobi fervently replies. Spreading his hands in blessing, Martens then baptizes the man “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian.

Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighbourhood.

Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that John Tory wants private industry to fund a Toronto bid for the Olympics.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a paper suggesting that the effects of panspermia might be detectable, via the worlds seeded with life.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that the Earth’s geological composition is likely to be unique.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the technological advancement of Neanderthals in Spain.
  • Far Outliers notes the extent to which some opposition to the Anglo-American invasion of Europe in the Second World War was motivated by pan-European sentiment.
  • Geocurrents dislikes very bad maps of human development in Argentina.
  • Language Hat notes that Jabotinsky wanted Hebrew to be written in Latin script.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the Sad Puppies.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes a book talking about a specifically Orthodox Christian take on demography.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the first ride at the CNE.
  • Torontoist notes a Toronto libraries “passport”.
  • Understanding Society notes M.I. Finley’s excellent book on the dynamics of the Roman Empire.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes a bizarre article published in a journal arguing that professors are equivalents to terrorists.
  • Why I Love Toronto recommends Dream in High Park.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO reports on the mysterious alleged new neighbourhood of Bricketowne.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly wonders whether things or fun are ultimately preferable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales provides updates on the war in the Donbas.
  • Commenters at Joe. My. God. have fun with the Catholic priest who compares gay sex to trying to eat a bagel with your ears.
  • Language Hat links to the story of a woman who learned Uzbek.
  • Marginal Revolution notes slow economic growth in the European Union.
  • Peter Rukavina suggests that this year, the southeastern Prince Edward Island communities of Murray Harbour and Murray River are where it’s at.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at historical waves of emigration from Russia.
  • Torontoist looks at the efforts of the city government in the 1940s to regulate traffic.
  • Towleroad notes how British rugby player Keegan Hirst has had a good time of it since coming out.
  • Window on Eurasia notes some Central Asian migrants returning from Russia bring HIV infections with them, suggests Russians are not innate fans of authoritarianism, notes the dim demographic prospects for Russia, and looks at Russian women marrying Chinese men.

[LINK] “United Church votes to sell off its fossil fuel assets”

CBC reports on the decision of the United Church of Canada.

The United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, has voted to sell its fossil fuel assets and commit financially to funding an economy based on renewable energy.

The United Church General Council, which is meeting in Corner Brook, N.L., voted 67 per cent in favour of the move on Tuesday.

“Given the lack of political and industrial leadership to address climate concerns in a way that matches the scale of the problem, we wanted to signal that we are so serious about averting climate crisis that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is,” said Christine Boyle, general council commissioner and a longtime climate advocate.

The move will mean selling off about $5.9 million in holdings, or 4.7 per cent of the United Church of Canada treasury.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 13, 2015 at 7:31 pm


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