Yeah, you read that right. They were paying for a crime committed in 1357!
Today marks the start of the five-day festival of Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs around the world. During Diwali, originally a harvest festival, lamps are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, fireworks are set off to drive away evil spirits, and prayers for prosperity are offered to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Collected here are images of this year’s festival, as celebrants color their world, give prayers, and wish each other a happy Diwali.
Read more. [Images: AP, Getty, Reuters]
Dearborn, a city of 97,000 surrounded on three sides by Detroit, is a must-visit location on 21st-century America’s newly established anti-Muslim protest circuit. The entire city, right-wing critics erroneously claim, is subject to Sharia law. And they warn that the rest of America might soon be, too.
In June, Christian protesters made yet another appearance at the Arab International Festival. Signs threatened Muslims with a “LAKE OF FIRE.” The street fair, which includes standard items like a booth where someone guesses your weight in exchange for a dollar, soon descended into chaos. It was all documented for YouTube: angry young people surrounded the crowd of evangelists, who promptly announced that they were being “stoned” as an avalanche of profanity rained down alongside water bottles and a variety of objects that weren’t nailed down. Aside from one brief chant of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), the incident elicited largely secular profanities, including blunt and colloquial entreaties for oral sex. Other cries were more plaintive: “What are you doing here? What is the point of all this?” Amid the chaos, someone, perhaps accidentally, turned the debate over foreignness and belonging on its head, yelling: “Go home! Do you understand English?”
Read more. [Image: Zoe Strauss]
Appearing with televangelist Pat Robertson in the key swing state of Virginia on Sept. 8, Mitt Romney thrust God into the center of the presidential race. Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
While campaigning Saturday in Virgina, Romney brought up the Dems’ convention-floor fight to re-insert “God” in their platform and suggested that Obama would strike the words “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency.
“I will not take God out of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not take God out of my heart,” he said.
Team Obama called the implied attack desperate, divisive, and “absurd,” with spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki quipping that Obama “believes as much that God should be taken off a coin as he does that aliens will attack Florida.”
As a physician, he said, you’re privy to patients’ secrets — to their truths — and understand that few people live up to their own stated ideals. He has treated a philandering pastor, a drug-abusing financier. “I see life as it really is,” he told me, “not how we wish it were.”
He shared a story about one of the loudest abortion foes he ever encountered, a woman who stood year in and year out on a ladder, so that her head would be above other protesters’ as she shouted “murderer” at him and other doctors and “whore” at every woman who walked into the clinic.
One day she was missing. “I thought, ‘I hope she’s O.K.,’ ” he recalled. He walked into an examining room to find her there. She needed an abortion and had come to him because, she explained, he was a familiar face. After the procedure, she assured him she wasn’t like all those other women: loose, unprincipled.
She told him: “I don’t have the money for a baby right now. And my relationship isn’t where it should be.”
“Nothing like life,” he responded, “to teach you a little more.”
A week later, she was back on her ladder.
(via Clay Bennett)