Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
Halloween is over, thus ending my run as Dr. Tobias Funke. It was pretty hopping in my neighborhood last night, where I previously noticed this pumpkin. (Anti-Semitic?) As usual, there was plenty of newsink spilled over the celebration of unholiness. But did the Vatican really “condemn” All Hallows’ Eve?
First there’s the headline. Does the Vatican ever take a more nuanced stance on anything besides condemning?
But that’s beside the point. Read the story and see if you can find any material that is actually from the Vatican. Instead we get:
The Vatican issued the warning through its official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in an article headlined “Hallowe’en’s Dangerous Messages”. The paper quoted a liturgical expert, Joan Maria Canals, who said: “Hallowe’en has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian.”
Parents should “be aware of this and try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death,” said Father Canals, a member of a Spanish commission on church rites.
OK, in addition to the problem with identifying the newspaper with the teaching authority of the Vatican, the article also misses a key point: Is the Vatican warning parents about Halloween, or about certain types of costumes and celebrations linked to Halloween? After all, the language — from a priest on a Spanish, not Vatican, commission — suggests that there are beautiful and wholesome ways to celebrate the holiday. Right?
Read on. There are other voices quoted and none of them are Vatican officials, let alone Vatican officials who make pronouncements on doctrinal matters.
Any other Halloween stories worth noting out there?
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Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
Do you believe in miracles?
Meb Keflezighi, a fellow Bruin born in war-torn Eritrea, today became the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years:
one of 11 siblings in a village with no electricity, Keflezighi now wears his American citizenship on his chest. He was the one American contender who wore the letters U.S.A. on his running top Sunday.
Keflezighi pointed to those letters as the Central Park crowd roared as he crossed the finish line first, capturing the first American victory since Alberto Salazar last won it in 1982. When his victory was assured, Keflezighi dropped to the ground, tears streaming down his face. It was the first marathon victory of his career and washed away years of American futility here.
“U.S.A. gave me all the opportunity in the world, education, sports, lifestyle,” Keflezighi said. “This is so special to me.”
More about the marathon here.
Eritrea, which borders Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, isn’t a country many Americans know a lot about.
Here in Los Angeles, we have a fairly large Eritrean population, and I always enjoy talking with the chip runners and floormen at Hollywood Park, many of whom hail from the multi-ethnic country with three officials languages (Arabic, English and Tigrinya), about life there. The country is predominantly split between Muslims and Christians.