Sunday, April 4, 2010

An alternative (?) blog against theocracy

Today on Interstate 10 in El Paso, I spotted a billboard that read simply: Mayor's Prayer Breakfast May 10 and a phone number.

That may be commonly accepted, but it's not appropriate.

Here's what a local evangelical group said about Mayor Cook's event last year:

The El Paso Mayor's Prayer Luncheon drew more than 1500 people in May. Mayor John Cook is a committed follower of Jesus, having committed his mayorship and the City of El Paso to the Lordship of Jesus. The Loving Our Communities to Christ city leader in El Paso, Barney Field, meets with him weekly, and pastors and intercessors meet monthly with the mayor to pray for the Communities of El Paso and nearby Juarez, Mexico. The El Paso / Juarez / Las Cruces region is an LC2C partner. [emphasis mine]
To which I say: "Yuck!"

And I grew up Christian. How would I feel as a Muslim? As a Jew? Buddhist? Pagan?

Everyone should feel included under the mayor's leadership. Not an inner circle of similarly-persuaded believers.

The Alternative Part?

Influenced by liberation theology, I believe that one's spirituality, the lived out expression of one's religious faith, ought to infuse meaning in every aspect of one's life. And that includes one's civic life.

I say a person has a right to work for political change that will advance greater humanness for all of us. I say our political agendas ought to place a priority commitment on bettering the lives of those less advantaged--the ones who have gotten the short end of the stick through no fault of their own.

So as a Christian, I work politically and don't sit on my (ahem) waiting for pie-in-the-sky to right the karma and reward those who have patiently accepted the status quo.

Whatever your spirituality is, I hope it is authentically other-centered. I hope it affects your entire being.

Including your civic life.

But keep your religion out of it. Please.
This is my first submission to this blogging event. Your comments are welcome. Am I alternative in my thinking? Let me know. Thanks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lindsay Lohan tackles child trafficking

Actress and socialite Lindsay Lohan is the host of the BBC's documentary on child trafficking in India. The 23-year-old actress traveled to India in December to shoot the show that aired in the UK last night.

Early reviews of Lohan's performance were less than raving. A Guardian columnist found several uncomfortable moments in the show, noting in particular the point at which a trafficked child was asked to console Lohan's tears of pity. She dutifully strokes Lohan's hair in response. Lohan gasps, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Sorry, I'm having a moment," before the camera goes dark.

The issue of child trafficking itself, however, is at epidemic proportions, despite ongoing efforts to combat it. India's booming economy created a demand for cheap and compliant labor, the film explains cohesively. Over 40% of the children trafficked into India arrive from Nepal or equally impoverished regions. The film features young boys and girls who tell their experiences of 14 hour work days, poor treatment and malnutrition, and being forced into prostitution.

Lohan's appearance in the documentary, rather out of keeping with her renowned (or, perhaps better to say "notorious") party lifestyle, did generate a good deal of advance publicity. If her involvement with this project draws attention to the seriousness of the issue, perhaps we can tolerate the awkward moments she presides over in the film.


About the video (top): A one-minute preview video of the BBC documentary Lindsay Lohen will host on the subject of child trafficking in India.


H/t to Linda Rama for this info: Lindsay Lohan Banned from India?

[There's one more "oops" moment!]