February 2, 2008
French President Nicholas Sarkozy said in a speech to foreign ambassadors recently that the return of intolerant religious faith is the biggest challenge facing the world ? on par with the dangers of climate change. Do you agree? How do you draw a line that distinguishes your faith while keeping it away from a path toward intolerance? ? In practically every field of scientific development, whether it?s technology or medicine, our world is far more advanced today than ever before.
February 4, 2009
What’s in a name? Plenty, I’d say In his Jan. 24 Mailbag letter (“A bikeway by any other name”), Richard J. Tafilaw sarcastically criticizes the City Council for considering a name change to the Chandler Bikeway as a viable way to make it a safer place for all its users. How sad. Throughout history, names and labels have often proved an effective and low-cost way to influence (positively or negatively) people’s perceptions, attitudes, beliefs and behavior.
September 3, 2005
o7The Air Force this week has announced new guidelines for religious tolerance that seek to have members of the service refrain from public prayer at official functions. The move comes in response to allegations of pervasive religious intolerance that favored Christian evangelicals at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Some have wondered if the guidelines will be implemented fairly. What do you think of the guidelines and the chances of their being properly implemented?
October 27, 2012
A report issued by the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission on Wednesday found that the number of hate crimes reported countywide rose 15% last year after falling to a 21-year low in 2010. The commission's annual study on hate crimes documented 489 such events in 2011 in L.A. County, up from 427 the previous year but far below a peak of 1,031 in 2001. Eight hate crimes occurred in the Burbank-Glendale region last year, said Marshall Wong, a commission staff member who was the report's principal author.
May 31, 2013
Anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout the world, according to a report by the State Department, which is taking the increase so seriously it's appointing a special envoy to monitor the rise. The increase was revealed in the department's annual report on religious freedom around the globe. The report revealed that it's not just ordinary citizens who are expressing anti-Semitic opinions; many government officials and religious leaders are, too, especially those from Iran, Venezuela and Egypt.
November 30, 2002
Give thanks for friends Even during the appearance of great danger in the world, it is still a very wonderful time to take inventory of the gifts that have been given us throughout our lives. The more Thanksgivings and Christmases I experience, the more I realize that for me the greatest gift of all is my friendships. The precious hours we spend together, whether in school, church, home or at work, are so often overlooked as we search for "something" outside of our relationships that we think will bring us happiness.
August 25, 2007
Thirteen years after their father’s martyrdom, Burbank residents Joseph and Andre Hovsepian have completed a film that they believe will shed light on his death and open people’s eyes to religious persecution in Iran. “A Cry from Iran” is a 55-minute documentary based on the circumstances leading up to Haik Hovsepian’s death. Haik Hovsepian led evangelical Christians in Iran and headed more than 12 churches in the northern, radically Muslim part of the country, said Joseph Hovsepian, co-director and producer of the documentary.
February 19, 2005
REEL CRITICS Set in the dark, postwar years in London, "Vera Drake" uses both the sadness and the hopefulness of a deeply damaged society to tell a very complex story in a simple, beautiful way. The larger topic is abortion (illegal in 1950s England), which is the ethical, moral and cultural fabric of the film. Both sides of the debate are portrayed through excellent character studies, acted so well that, at times, the film feels more like a documentary than a work of fiction.
March 3, 2007
T he Department of Justice has reportedly started the First Freedom Project to focus on protecting religious freedoms. The effort includes a website, a public education program and task force that will review policies on religious freedom and cases involving religious freedoms. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales says the program seeks to deal with issues such as contradictions in the workplace, where a person may get away with saying something like a famous athlete is a god, but could be fired for saying, "Jesus is Lord."