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Front Page » Table of Contents » Lifestyle & Culture

By Angelo Lopez on October 28, 2010

Recently advice columnist Dan Savage launched the "It Gets Better Project" on YouTube in response to the recent deaths of Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, and Seth Walsh, four teens who committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. The intent of this project is to encourage LGBT youth who may be harassed to persevere into adulthood, where they can find a better life and choose to be around people who could give them the love and respect that they deserve. Over 800 videos have been submitted for this project, and among those who have submitted are Christians, Muslims and Jews who are either gay or lesbian or who want to show support for their LGBT friends. Nicole Neroulias wrote in the October 18, 2010 edition of the Huffington Post of religious figures like Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, Catholic author Gregory Gerard, Muslim student Ibad Shah, and Mormon Natalie Sperry talking about the homophobia within their places of worship and the support they have with those who don't agree with the teachings of the more intolerant members of their religion. In looking at these youtube videos, I grew very proud of those religious people who have the courage to take a stand against homophobia in their place of worship.

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By Ken Poland on October 23, 2010

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)
Whether you agree with President FDR's social programs or 'stimulus' packages or not, this quote from him is a very good test for todays political arguments.

The difference between civilized society and barbarian or uncivilized society is respectful treatment of all members of society: rich or poor; powerful or weak; educated or uneducated; Christian or Pagan; the list can go on and on.

By Angelo Lopez on October 6, 2010

Last Winter, I went to a rally to support a strong health care reform bill that was going through Congress. While I was there, I encountered three oddly dressed older women who were holding signs and singing songs for single-payer health care reform and against the power of insurance companies. This was my first encounter with the Raging Grannies, an activist group that fights for progressive causes like the ecology, economic justice, and civil rights. They use humor and music to protest for just causes.

The Raging Grannies began in 1987 in Victoria, British Columbia when a group of white middle-class Canadian women between the age of 52 and 67 began to protest the visit of US Navy warships and submarines in the harbors of Victoria. Many of these women had experience in activism, but were getting tired of being relegated to making coffee in the peace groups that were then in existence. Due to their marginalization in these other groups, these women decided to form the Raging Grannies to implement their own ideas of social protest, and on February 14, 1987 they staged their first protest. The Raging Grannies sent to Pat Crofton, then Chairman of the Defense Committee, a broken heart to signify his lack of commitment and action on nuclear issues. They sang a few satiric songs under an umbrella full of holes, symbolizing the absurdity of sheltering under a nuclear umbrella. Canadians loved the Raging Grannies, and a movement was started.

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By James Bordonaro on September 30, 2010

Fox Sports has managed a new low in tastelessness. To preface my remarks, let me say that this is not a political attack as it seems (although I haven't kept up with corporate 'mergerdom') that MSN (parent company to the progressive/liberal leaning network MSNBC) is affiliated with the right wing Fox network to produce content for their website. Still, it's called Fox Sports and presumably Fox's editors have control over content.

Back to the tastelessness.

The latest low comes in the form of a story (link posted here) involving an NFL player who, along with his girlfriend, a cheerleader, was attacked by a former boyfriend where they were pistol whipped and the player had to jump from a second story window to save his life. A truly horrible home invasion! But apparently that wasn't "sexy" enough of a story for Fox as they decided to embed photo essays of other NFL cheerleaders performing on the field as well as trampolines. It reminds me of that line in the song, Everything Zen by Bush ...There's no sex in your violence." At Fox Sports I guess they've taken that mantra to heart and are determined to turn tragedy into soft core porn.

By Diane Wahto on August 8, 2010

I’m not one of those people who goes around saying, “I never watch TV,” because I do watch TV, I seldom watch anything serious, and I enjoy what I watch. I don’t watch during the day and during the commercials I usually mute the sound and read a book or take care of some task that can be completed in a short period of time. This means, of course, that I miss a lot of the obnoxious ad matter that comes across the small screen. Over the years, though, I have paid attention to a few of the clever ads, such as the old Volkswagen ad that featured a young Dustin Hoffman showing the charisma that would develop fully in The Graduate. I loved that commercial. We had driven VWs long before Dustin Hoffman came along, and we drove them until the kids got too big to fit in the small back seat. So it wasn’t because of the ad that we bought VWs. We watched the ads because we liked VWs and we liked Dustin Hoffman.

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By Bob Hooper on July 20, 2010

Frankly, I'm curious about what Christianity is, and isn't.

In a previous column, I outed the icon of capitalism, Ayn Rand -- an atheist who not only preached self above others but saw Christianity as "the best kindergarten of communism possible." And, I relayed Glenn Beck's companion advice that if your church advocates social or economic justice, you should "leave that church."

There's a disturbing resonance between Rand and Beck and the paranoid, angry, militaristic, flaggity-braggity, gun-toting right -- a good many of whom claim Christianity. Frankly, I think they're giving Jesus -- as well as the Republican Party -- a bad name, Also frankly, to use a religious term, they scare hell out of me. I am reminded of Sinclair Lewis's book It can't happen here. In 1935 Lewis warned, "When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." And an AK-47?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I see a disconnect today from the vital and necessary role of Christianity in not just advocating but struggling for social and economic justice. And so I began to wonder: is this country really as Christian as we hear? What is Christianity, that word we bandy about?

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By Jean Binder on May 29, 2010

Death of the ocean bottom and thereby death of the life and lifestyle - of rig workers, of fisher folk, and of homes: for fish, shrimp, birds, and coastal dwellers. All because of what? Cain and Abel? Could it really be?

Seems it was due in large part to those following the example of Cain and Abel. You know, those Biblical boys, the firstborns of Adam and Eve, the ones who broke their parents hearts and ruined both their lives over jealousy, resentment, and "personal differences."

Apparently, the BP representative on that fateful rig KNEW from gauge readings that there had to be natural gas in that pipe, but failed to ask for advice before going ahead. WHY? Because of "personal differences" with his superior in Texas.

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By Jennifer Schwaller on May 27, 2010

With the release of Sex & The City II, it’s that time again.

Time for breathless “news” discussing earth shattering stories of consequence. What are Carrie/Samantha/Charlotte/Miranda wearing? Are Carrie and Big still together? Is Samantha…umm, still not “family friendly”? What’s up with awkward Miranda? How’s Charlotte’s sugar coated, goody-goody life?

I am invoking the words of Roberto Duran when I say with regards to Sex & The City – “NO MAS”. Yep, in the words of Mixed Martial Arts, I am tapping out of the Carrie/Samantha/Charlotte/Miranda bout. No mas. Tap…tap…tap.

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By Diane Wahto on May 27, 2010

When I first heard that a new Sex and the City movie was coming to a multiplex near me, I called my friend to ask her if she was up for seeing it. She and I had watched and discussed every episode of the TV version and had seen the first movie together. “Of course,” she said. Now we’re trying to find a day when we can both take time out to spend an afternoon at a movie.

My husband, the guy who likes to watch PBS documentaries about headhunters in Borneo who, during WWII, separated the heads of Japanese soldiers from their bodies, says every time he sees an ad for Sex and the City II, “You’re going to hate that movie.” I respond by saying, “No, I won’t.”

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By Tatiana McKinney on May 27, 2010

According to, "There is My Single Ring, which is advertised as a ring for a "single person who is happy with who they are."

It features images of interlocking male and female symbols and is meant to send the message: "I am an intelligent, empowered individual and available to meet the same."

The rings have been created to signify to the general public that I'm happy and independent and I don't need a mate to buy me jewelery, I can do that myself. According to, "Along the same lines, there is the $350 diamond-heavy Ah Ring, which is meant to communicate that the wearer is "available" and "happy."

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