Monthly Archives: October 2014

Taqueria Misa

My husband picked up La Vanguardia Hoy, the regional Spanish-language newspaper, while he was in Cincinnati earlier this week. My eye was caught by an announcement of an upcoming Mass in honor of St. Jude, to be held at La Tienda y Taquería La Canasta (a Mexican market/restaurant). October 28 is Jude’s feast day; the article implies that this Mass is behind held as the culmination of a novena in Jude’s honor.

What intrigues me is the use of the taquería as the venue for the Mass. Why not a church? Why this commercial location? The uncaptioned photo accompanying the article, which I’m guessing shows a Mass from a previous year, includes a Latino-looking man in what appear to be clerical robes, which would suggest that the “misa” really is a Mass, not a lay-led devotion.

La Vanguardia Hoy, Oct. 16, 2014

La Vanguardia Hoy, Oct. 16, 2014

I’m curious to go. This is what La Canasta looks like from the outside:

As photographed by Google Maps

As photographed by Google Maps

Tagged , ,

Ferguson clergy call police to repent

I was leafing just now through a free copy of USA Today, and this headline in particular caught my eye: “Clergy, activist arrested in ‘Ferguson October’ march.”

“Moral Monday,” as the activists called it, began at Wellspring Church in Ferguson. The demonstrators walked two blocks to the police station in heavy rain as leaders with bullhorns read the names of people killed by police nationwide….

Clergy members then faced the police officers and asked them to confess their sins and repent for the deaths of black youths.

“We are saying that these officers are members of our society and that they are part of a racist and sinful system,” [Rev. Osagyefo] Sekou said. “We are offering them the opportunity to repent and to be reconciled into our community.”

Sekou and Cornell West were subsequently arrested for crossing a police line.

An open-ended question (not a rhetorical one, though obviously my posing the question implies that I see the possibility for a certain answer): The non-violent black civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s prominently featured participation from ministers, rabbis, nuns. Does Sekou’s call to repentance carry today the same level of moral/rhetorical force that, I presume, the nuns at Selma carried? If not, why not?

Nuns marching at Selma, 1965

Nuns marching at Selma, 1965

Clergy protesting in Ferguson, Sept. 29, 2014

Clergy protesting in Ferguson, Sept. 29, 2014

Cornell West marching in Ferguson with clergy, Oct. 13, 2014

Cornell West marching in Ferguson with clergy, Oct. 13, 2014

I just found this article in The Guardian which speaks to the question I posed: Ferguson activists reject religious leaders’ platitudes.

Tagged , ,

Joan of Ox(ford)

The student paper at my campus ran this editorial cartoon in yesterday’s issue. (Click the image for a larger version.) I’m intrigued by how dense the cartoon is with Catholic imagery. Are most students here able to “read” that imagery? Note especially where the Virgin Mary is saying, “I didn’t exist. You do…” To “get” that comment would require a pretty substantial level of iconographic literacy.

(I think that’s supposed to be the Virgin Mary, anyway. She’s riding a dragon reminiscent of the Beast from Revelation–the one the Whore rides–which is confusing–unless a rather obscure comment is being made about the juxtaposition of the Virgin and the Whore as images of femininity–or unless there’s an iconographic reference I’m missing out on because the imagery is that dense.)

cartoon-662x1024

By Chris Curme

Tagged ,

The Road to Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby flyer corrected

On Wednesday, I gave an on-campus presentation titled, “The Road to Hobby Lobby.” I was interested in tracing the connection between Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Oregon v. Smith, the 1990 peyote case in which a 5-4 majority represented by Antonin Scalia rejected the strict scrutiny standard for “free exercise” cases. As a result of that case, Hobby Lobby couldn’t appeal to the First Amendment in claiming a violation of their religious freedom; they appealed instead to RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the 1993 law that required the federal government to observe the strict scrutiny standard since the Court had held that the Constitution didn’t require it. RFRA passed with broad support across the political spectrum, but in recent years, religious conservatives have invoked RFRA to ends that dismay progressives–as in the Hobby Lobby decision. (I’ve blogged about this before.)

Here are the concluding slides from my PowerPoint presentation. They sum up “the road to Hobby Lobby,” along with what I see as the central irony of the situation:

Slide35

Slide36

Slide37

Slide38

Slide39

Slide40

Tagged