A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘religion

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes that Union Station’s old GO concourse is going to be under construction for the next two years.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to papers on hunting for large-scale artifacts like Dyson spheres, searches for signatures of self-destructive civilizations, and speculation on how to discover Kardashev III civilizations.
  • Languages of the World reports on Google’s ability to translate Russian sentences.
  • Language Log reports on one woman who can correlate the languages she reads in and the content to her health.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the importance of Confederate memorials.
  • Marginal Revolution discusses the stagnation of the economy of Japan.
  • Savage Minds reports on an anthropology conference in Papua New Guinea.
  • Transit Toronto describes how this summer’s adaptation of transit to the Pan Am/Parapan games is fading out.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes how a ridiculous lawsuit intended to make Yelp pay contributors was dismissed.
  • The Way The Future Blogs reports that Frederik Pohl’s Gateway series is being adapted to television.
  • Why I Love Toronto reports on local Toronto-area craftsmakers.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s economic decline is leading to dropping numbers of Muslim pilgrims, and looks at the relationship between Russia and the Donbas republics.

[LINK] “UAE allocates land for Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple”

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Al Jazeera reports on the decision of Abu Dhabi to allow the construction of a Hindu temple in that UAE state.

The Indian government has lauded a decision by the United Arab Emirates to allocate land for the building of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

[. . .]

On Sunday, Modi became the first Indian premier to visit the country in 34 years, meeting with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The trip is seen an important step in burgeoning trade relations between India and the UAE, and the decision to allocate land for a temple in Abu Dhabi underpins the strategic vision of the two nations.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, is home to about 2.6 million Indian expatriates who comprise a third of the total population and outnumber the local Emirati population. Annual Indian remittances from the UAE are estimated at $14bn.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm

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

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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

[LINK] “Porter passenger says she was asked to move for another passenger’s religious accommodation”

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The extent of the misogyny described by the Toronto Star‘s Holly Honderich, developed to the point that the man in question refused to talk to the woman whose existence offended him, staggers me. If these people have such problems with being near women, should they perhaps not book their tickets accordingly?

A passenger aboard a Porter flight on Monday said that she was asked to change seats to accommodate another passenger who she says would not sit beside a woman for religious reasons.

Christine Flynn, executive chef for iQ Food Co. in Toronto’s financial district, said that she was buckled in her seat, awaiting takeoff on a flight from Newark back home to Toronto, when a man wearing traditional Orthodox Jewish garb walked down the aisle to his assigned seat beside her.

Looking “bewildered,” Flynn said that the man “swivelled around to the gentleman across the aisle . . . and just said ‘change,’ ” without acknowledging her.

Porter spokesperson Brad Cicero confirmed that Flynn was asked by an airline attendant if she would be willing to move but would not say the reason the request was made. Cicero also maintained “she was not ever put in the position of being told to move.”

[. . .]

“If this man had made eye contact with me, if he said ‘I’m very sorry but because of my religion I’m forbidden’ . . . I would have absolutely moved, I would have had no problem with that, but to not be included in the conversation, to take away my words and my right to choose . . . this is the 21st century,” she said.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 31, 2015 at 10:39 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Anger grows at NY archdiocese for closing dozens of churches”

Debora Fougere writes for Al Jazeera America in describing the conflict in New York City in the Roman Catholic Church, as parishoners–often of immigrant background and belonging to tight-knit communities–are trying to keep their parishes intact.

On a warm and sultry summer night, a couple dozen worshippers gathered recently at the Church of the Nativity in New York City’s East Village for a mass celebrating the life of Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement dedicated to helping the poor.

The church, housed in a simple, cinder block and brick building, has none of the usual gleaming gold and majesty one would often expect from a Catholic house of worship.

But the celebration was bittersweet. On Aug. 1, Nativity will be “merged” with another parish, Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, effectively shutting it down for good, leaving the immigrants, working families, young professionals, poor and homeless who pray there without their spiritual home.

Mildred Guy has lived in the neighborhood for 45 years, and worshipped at Nativity for 35. Her son was an altar server there, and graduated from the now closed Nativity Mission School. She lost her home in March when a deadly gas explosion levelled four East Village buildings, and now she’s losing her church. “It’s not the prettiest church. But it’s very comforting, it’s very homely”, she said. “When you come here you feel like you’re in a second home, at least for me. So to lose this church, it’s a big hurt.”

The church has built a reputation for embracing everyone. Claudia Marte, one of the parishioners fighting to keep the parish open, said the neighborhood needs Nativity. “We have a very diverse community,” she said. “We have a lot of homeless in the community, and we get together after mass sometimes and we invite them to join us. Some of them actually sleep in front of the church and we have become friends with some of them and we ask them to join us. They’re part of our community.”

Nor is Nativity alone. A reorganization plan dubbed “Making All Things New” is being rolled out that will merge 112 parishes in the Archdiocese of New York, the second largest in the country, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island in New York City, as well as seven upstate counties. Around 55 of those churches will effectively close.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 29, 2015 at 10:24 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that ferry tickets for the Toronto Islands can now be bought online.
  • Discover‘s Crux considers SETI.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering habitable exoplanets around nearby red dwarf stars, defends the potential existence of exoplanets at Kapteyn’s Star, and looks at the Epsilon Eridani system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a second Scottish referendum on independence is possible, according to Alex Salmond.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Mormons are unhappy with the Scouts’ gay-friendly shift.
  • Language Hat considers the history of family name usage in Russia.
  • Languages of the World examines in two posts the argument that primitive peoples have simple languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the strategies of Spanish populist group Podemos.
  • Peter Watts considers the peculiar thing of people lacking large chunks of the brain who nonetheless seem normal.
  • Diane Duane, at Out of Ambit, is quite unhappy with an impending forced upgrade to Windows 10.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes how labour-saving technologies improved the lives of women.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers proposals to explore small solar system bodies.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers what would happen if Bernie Sanders won the nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to statistics on the population of Abu Dhabi.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the depopulation of South Ossetia and looks at the Russian Orthodox Church’s hostility to Ukraine’s Uniate Catholics.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes that although Labour apparently did a good job of convincing potential voters it was right, it did a worse job of getting them to vote.

[LINK] Maddy Crowell of Slate on the problems of Auroville

In Slate, Maddy Crowell travels to India to visit a famed utopian community that actually is no such thing.

We drove in silence for 20 minutes down East Coast Road, a highway jammed with motorbikes, passing brightly colored tea and samosa stalls. In a sharp, 90-degree turn, the taxi lurched off the highway onto an unmarked dirt road where a wall of leafy trees brought the chaos and the color to a jolting stop. And suddenly, we weren’t in India anymore.

Auroville was built by hand by the flower-power generation of the 1960s. It was a “psychological revolution,” as W.M. Sullivan noted in his book The Dawning of Auroville—a venture in which Marxist-flavored socialism met anarchy. There is no money, no government, no religion, no skyscrapers or expressways, no newspapers with headlines of war, poverty, and genocide. Built for 50,000 people, Auroville today has only about 2,500 permanent residents and roughly 5,000 visitors—self-selected exiles from more than 100 countries. Auroville wasn’t just some hippie haven; it was designed to be a poster child for India itself. According to a 1982 Indian Supreme Court ruling, Auroville is in “conformity with India’s highest ideals and aspirations.” The Indian government donates more than $200,000 to Auroville every year, and UNESCO has protected the township since its birth in 1968.

But for a professed utopia, Auroville has a laundry list of problems; high up on the list are robbery and sexual harassment cases in the non-gated community surrounded by local villages, but there have been more drastic cases of rape, suicide, and even murder.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 27, 2015 at 7:38 pm


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