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Entries in religion in America (8)

Saturday
Aug312013

Lancaster, PA to Jalouse Paris Re 'Amish Grunge': Amish People Don't Pose For Photos & Hate Guns Except For Hunting

I was intrigued to see this fashion editorial ‘Amish Grunge’ featuring models Zippora Seven and Dolores Doll, lensed by Mathieu Cesar for Jalouse magazine’s September issue. When AOC friends read our tag line “from fashion to flogging, teeling women’s stories”, they smile at the irony.

The flogging reference is to my work on behalf of the 40,000 women a year flogged for inappropriate dress and other offences against modesty and Islam in Sudan — not the global fascination with women getting flogged in bed ‘50 Shades of Grey’ style.

Evaluating these images as both a fashion editor and former fashion director, who also has two GlamTribale shops at Building Character in Lancaster, PA — the heart of America’s Amish country, I wonder just how accurate ‘Amish Grunge’, styled by Jennifer Eymere is, in its stylish portrayal of the Amish people.

Amish People Do Not Pose For Photographs

For starters, writes National Geographic, the Amish do not have their picture taken because they believe that photographs are ‘graven images’. Although most Amish refuse to be photographed, most make a distinction between a photograph taken in their natural setting — perhaps by a tourist on an Amish farm tour near Lancaster, as an example. The critical issue for the Amish is that they are not posing for the camera, as fashionistas do from morning to midnight.

The Amish and Guns

As for lavish display of guns in this editorial, let’s not send the fashionable message that the Amish belong to the NRA. They don’t. The Amish are pacifists and their traditions dictate that they abstain from any acts of violence. Most Amish are conscientious objectors, avoiding any involvement with the military. The Amish do hunt deer and other animals because of its involvement with nature. They believe hunting allows them to enjoy God’s creations while ostensibly fulfilling a practical need for food.

 

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Thursday
Jul112013

Senate Promises New Abortion Bill DOA | Immigration Reform & Taxes | PA's Kane Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

1. Republicans around America have made abortion the nation’s biggest political issue. Anticipating that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) will sponsor the Senate verson of the House-passed bill that limits abortions at 20 weeks, a key date when a woman first has reliable sonograms about the health of her fetus, Democratic Senators went on the offensive yesterday, portraying the proposed abortion limits as ‘political showboating’.

“I can tell you this: No matter who introduces it, it is not going anywhere in the Senate,” Sen. Patty Murray said. “We are not going to let it come up in the Senate. There is no reason for it. This is settled law. We are not going to be sidetracked by a debate on women’s health yet again.”

Rubio is in a tight spot with social conservatives, who are angry with his support of immigration reform. Sponsoring the bill in the Senate is one way of appeasing those same social conservatives.

2. Immigration reform would boost state and local tax contributions by an estimated $2 billion annually, concludes a new study conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan research organization. If allowed to work legally, undocumented immigrants would participate fully in all the federal, state and local tax systems. Presently undocumented immigrants contributed $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.

- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concludes the immigration reform bill would shrink the deficit by $197 billion over the next decade.
- Rather than lower wages for US workers, a study by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project that found an increase in immigrant workers may lead to a boost in wages for U.S-born workers.

75 percent of Americans agree that immigration reform will benefit the economy.

3. Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane (D) says she will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week by the ACLU that challenges the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports the Washington Post.

“Kane is named as a defendant in the suit, along with the state’s governor Tom Corbett (R-Penn.). Kane is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to the position of Pennsylvania state attorney general, which became an elected office in 1980.”

When a similar occurrence happened in Ca. with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and then attorney general Jerry Brown (D), a third party stepped in to defend the law.

A new survey focused on the re-election of Gov. Tom Corbett is in serious jeopardy, with only 24 percent of all voters and 43 percent of Republicans believing that he deserves a second term. AOC supports Rep. Allyson Schwartz in her bid for to become the first woman governor of Pa.

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4. Americans are split pretty evenly on whether the decline in religious affiliation in America is a good thing, bad one or generally irrelevant, reports Pew Research. The more religious persons polled in a nationwide survey of 4,006 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points felt the strongest about the trend being a bad one for society.

At a top level analysis, 48 percent of US adults surveyed say that America’s declining religiosity is a bad thing. Eleven percent say it’s a good thing, with 39 percent saying it doesn’t matter.

One segment worth noting is Hispanic Catholics, with only 36% saying the trend is bad for society and 48% saying the trend does not matter.

5. Despite the title of Brian Resnick’s ‘How Power Corrupts the Mind’ and it often does — one shouldn’t conclude that it always does, says Pamela Smith, a power researcher at the University of California San Diego.

“There is a tendency for people to assume power holders are uncaring, they’re cold, they don’t care about the little people,” says Smith. But it depends on who has the power.

“You put someone in an experiment, temporarily, in a high-powered role, and what you find is that people who say they have pro-social values, the more power they have, the more pro-social they are. The people who say they have more self-centered values tend to be more selfish the more power they have.”

Read Smith’s ‘You Focus on the Forest When You’re in Charge of the Trees’.

Sunday
May202012

Romney, God & American Exceptionalism | Rev. Thomas Williams" & A New Legion Scandal | Baptist Teachers Revolt

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

image via Soda HeadMaking God-related news and opinion the topic of today’s DFR was easy. Without plotting the result in any way — like Googling “Catholic bishops” to see what new legislation the boys club has in mind for women this week, God came to me today.

Romney’s Faith Runs Deep

Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas, dissects Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s relationship with God in today’s NY Times.

Dozens of Romney’s friends, relatives and fellow church members “describe a man whose faith is his design for living”.

Clayton M. Christensen, a business professor at Harvard and a friend from church, said the question that drove the Sunday school classes — how to apply Mormon gospel in the wider world — also drives Mr. Romney’s life. “He just needs to know what God wants him to do and how he can get it done,” Mr. Christensen said. via NYTimes

Like Rick Santorum, candidate Romney’s frequent tributes to American exceptionalism are grounded in his belief that God has chosen the United States to play a special role in history — with its constitution divinely inspired.

In 1992 Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve  wrote an essay The Divinely Inspired Constitution, explaining the position of Romney’s church on the matter. In a thorough but swift read of the document, it lays out many precepts that most Americans agree on. Oaks stresses the “farsighted young statesmen” James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, “who favored a strong federal government” as necessary in leading the country forward.

Is the Catholic Church Uncatholic?

NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd thinks so. The ever-acerbic challenger to papal dogma in Rome, Dowd argues that today’s Catholic church is “intent on loyalty testing, mind control and heresy hunting. Rather than all-embracing, the church hierarchy has become all-constricting.”

The Catholic bishops hunt down nuns and lecture American women on the immorality of birth control and wanting to control our family planning, while that plagued-with-scandal Old Boys Club The Legion of Christ suffered another set back this week when the order’s superstar Rev. Thomas Williams admitted that he fathered a child. (cont)

More DFR

Rev. Thomas WilliamsRev. Thomas Williams, a moral theologian, author, high-profile television personality and former superior of the Legion’s office in Rome, admitted Tuesday that he had fathered a child “a number of years ago.” The Legion of Christ order, still in clean up mode from the scandal created by its pedophile founder Rev. Marciel Maciel, acknowledged that it has known about the child and apologized for not acting sooner to remove Rev. Williams as a moral leader for the Legion’s Catholics.

Huff Po reports that just last week, the “Legion admitted that seven of its priests were under investigation by the Vatican for allegedly abusing minors”, cloaked by the same secrecy and silence that allowed it founder to engage in a lifetime of abuse.

Back to Maureen Dowd who touched base with former New York governor and Catholic Mario Cuomo, whose son Andrew is weighing running for president.

“If the church were my religion, I would have given it up a long time ago,” he said. “All the mad and crazy popes we’ve had through history, decapitating the husbands of women they’d taken. All the terrible things the church has done. Christ is my religion, the church is not.

Cuomo continued, saying “The church would be wiser to take the path laid out for us by Kennedy than the path laid out for us by Santorum.”

South Baptist Educators Revolt

Shorter University is a 139-year-old Baptist school located in Rome, Ga. Recently, the school mandated that its 200 employees, including about 100 faculty members, sign ‘a personal lifestyle pledge’ declaring that they reject homosexuality, premarital sex and adultery.

The pledge may have backfired, as reports surface that only 12% of the faculty have signed the pledge. Many professors including tenured professor Sherri Weiler, have resigned.

“Lest anyone think I am ‘promoting’ homosexuality, please know that I am not,” professor Sherri Weiler, who resigned last week, wrote in the Rome News-Tribune, according to the “Save Our Shorter” site. “I am simply not going to judge anyone who expresses his/ her sexuality in this way.”

Students writing on the “Save Our Shorter” site say they welcome the focus on homosexuality but the even bigger issue is the school’s loss of academic freedom, which it has enjoyed for decades while respecting its religious heritage.

Anne of Carversville

Elza Luijendijk | Ben Toms | Dazed & Confused June 2012

AOC Private Studio

Vita Cagnone | Neil Francis Dawson | The Creatives | Rhinestone Cowgirl

Marlijn Hosk | Perla Maarek | L’Officiel Ukraine May 2012

Martina Klein, Veronica Blume, Leticia Dolera + | Sergi Pons | Marie Claire Spain May 2012 | ‘Spanish Noir’

Kamila Filipcikova | Oscar Falk | Plaza Kvinna May 2012 | Never Walk Alone

Meagan Callen | Chris Nicholls | Flare June 2012 | Into the Deep

Carolyn Murphy | Alexi Lubomirski | Vogue Germany June 2012 | ‘Murphy’s Law’

Leah de Wavrin | Seiji Fujimori | Marie Claire Spain May 2012

Kristen Stewart | Tom Munro | Elle US June 2012 | ‘She’s the Man’

Claire Danes | Mark Abrahams | Harper’s Bazaar Russia June 2012

Noomi Rapace | Solve Sundsbo | Dazed & Confused June 2012 | ‘Super Nova

Sophie Vlaming | Richard Bernardin | Grazia France No. 140 May 18, 2012 | ‘White LIght

Hanne Gaby Odiele | Michael Schwartz | Black #16 | ‘They Reminisce’

Calder Kusmierski Singer & Alexandra Marzella | Daniel Jackson | i-D Summer 2012 | ‘The Artist’

AOC Style

Audrey Tautou | Shayne Laverdière | Marie Claire Russia | ‘Belle Femme’

Cara Delevingne | Chanel Cruise 2013 by Karl Lagerfeld | ‘Cruise Pastel’

Lara Mullen | Tim Gutt | Vogue UK June 2012 | Paper Plates

Karolina Waz | Natalia Alaverdian | Harper’s Bazaar Russia June 2012

Masha Markina | Andrew Soule | Flare June 2012 | World’s Fair

Heidi Harrington Johnson | Matt Hind | Vogue UK May 2012 | ‘The Great Escape’