Give Us This Day Our Daily Links

A small parade was held in Philadelphia this weekend, made up of area Muslims.  Their objective was to counter media representation of Muslims as terrorists and to bring awareness to the fact that about two thirds of Muslims in American cities are black.  There are about 100 mosques in the Philly area. || A New Jersey mother and her roommate are being held for the death of an 8 year old.  The family claims that the women were under the influence of a local pastor who enforced extreme fasting on church members, encouraged them to avoid family, and to not hold jobs, even preaching that swallowing one’s own saliva is a sin. || Indian doctors have advised that Baba Ramdev, the Indian yoga guru on hunger strike to protest goverment corruption, should be force-fed. ||  Iranian journalist Hoda Saber has died in prison from a heart attack brought on by a 10-day hunger strike he began in protest of the death of a fellow journalist dissident.  Both were members of the Nationalist-Religious movement in opposition to the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. || Mark Oppenheimer writes for the NYT about a recent picnic in Utah that aims to close the door on the Mormon Church’s racism.  The picnic featured members of the Genesis Group, a social organization for black Mormons that was founded in 1971. || Meanwhile, the Mormon Church has issued a statement on immigration. ||  Despite much skepticism that conversion of Anglican’s to Catholicism will catch on en masse under guidelines recently instituted by the Vatican, an Episcopal congretation in Maryland has become the first to do so. ||  The current “Mormon Moment” is, of course, not without some push-back. || An art handling agency is looking for a miracle in Encinitas, California.  A mural of a surfing Madonna, the Virgin of Guadalupe, has caused a stir there, with some collectors offering to buy the piece as the city searches for a way to have it removed from where it suddenly appeared, on the side of a train bridge support.  Because of regulations that qualify the mural as graffiti, the city must find a way to remove it. Continue Reading →

Dogs Go To Church

Michael Croland: Maryann Fuchs does not know why she takes her dogs to Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church year after year for the St. Francis Blessing of the Animals. The October 3 ceremony, which lasted less than a half-hour, drew a crowd of about 20 leashed dogs, two cats in carriers, and animal lovers from the surrounding Astoria area.

At first thought, Fuchs seemed certain that 9-year-old Pomeranian Patrick, 8-year-old Schnauzer Joseph, and 1-year-old Schnauzer Timothy do not understand what takes place at the ceremony. Fuchs said that her dogs do not behave better or become more pious after they are blessed. “No, because they’re dogs—they don’t have souls,” she said. “It’s nice, St. Francis—but they don’t know.” Continue Reading →