"Especially in this day and age, we already are living in tough times…I’ve seen people looking to things like film and television as a means of escape, so I have to acknowledge that people are spending their hard-earned money to go to a movie on a Friday night and want some sort of escape....My hope is that along with getting that escape, they will be positively motivated," says the filmmaker.
Orlando, Fla. is most known for the Walt Disney World theme parks that draw millions of visitors to the area each year. Yet few realize that the discount hotels they drive past on their way to the parks are occupied not by tourists, but by the homeless. They’re who The Florida Project director Sean Baker refers to as the “hidden homeless,” as they live, mostly unnoticed, at the fringes of the billion dollar resort. In The Florida Project, their stories find a platform.
Rosado was one of the first people to be called the morning of June 12. The body count from the Pulse nightclub shooting was still unconfirmed, but as names started to be released, it was clear that most of the victims were Latinx, particularly of Puerto Rican descent. Many of their families only spoke rudimentary English, a secondary tongue not suitable to communicate the nuance of such tragic news. Rosado remembers how most of the hospital staff did not speak Spanish, and consistently mispronounced the Hispanic names of the victims.
King is no latecomer on this issue. His views and his deep commitment to the LGBTQ community were shaped by his gay older brother’s suicide in the 1990s, an event that shook his family.
King’s sentiments were not unique, even for straight white believers like himself. What is unique is that they came from a candidate for governor of Florida who is running as both an evangelical Christian and a progressive Democrat.
Our natural tendency after a horrific event is to rush too quickly into blame and explanation.
After the Pulse nightclub shooting here in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, which targeted the LGBTQ community and left 50 people dead including the shooter, I was probably not alone in asking, “Who did this and why?”
President Donald Trump, like his predecessors before him, has discovered the potent language of religious tolerance and interfaith unity when discussing Islam, as he demonstrated in his speech in Saudi Arabia to leaders of some 50 Muslim nations. But unlike previous presidents, he has not linked that rhetoric with recognition of the large, vibrant Muslim community in the U.S.
Enrollment has dropped at more than a quarter of Jewish Community Center preschools since a wave of threats against JCCs began in early January.
“I’m starting with the most difficult news, which is simply that more JCCs indicated something of a decline — but the majority have not,” said David Posner of the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, sharing the results of the umbrella group’s latest member survey.
“You are in a year of greatness. You are in a year of restoration,” White preached to a group of some 100 worshippers, almost all of them African-Americans. They had gathered in a large, windowless room at Faith Assembly Christian Center, a simple building in a predominantly black neighborhood of Durham.
Asked afterward about her ties with the president-elect, she declined to be interviewed “out of respect for the church.”
Singer and songwriter Sia recently released a stunning music video for her song “The Greatest,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, that appears to be a tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla. in June.
In the video, dancer Maddie Ziegler leads a group of 49 dancers in an energetic dance routine, 49 also being the number of people killed in the shooting at the gay nightclub.
Would we press harder if we thought of our words not as another voice in the fracas but as God’s mandate to justice? The word of the Lord hits Amos as one who is otherwise apt to mind his own business. Those who are compelled to speak should never stop speaking.
As a nation, we expressed horror at the vile act of violence in Orlando, Fla., nearly coinciding with the one-year anniversary of more violence in Charleston, S.C. We mourn and debate stricter gun laws. Yet we ignore steps on the continuum to violence that has made such shootings almost routine.
The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to assault weapons bans on June 20, just a week after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the Charleston massacre — a moment that shocked the nation into considering our collective complicity in a culture of white supremacy and its continuing violence against people of color. The anniversary stands in the wake of another massacre, this time in Orlando, this time targeting the LGBTQ community. For people of faith in particular, this is a moment to consider our complicity in a culture that otherizes a whole swath of our society. It’s appropriate that we apply some theology to these tragedies.
The LGBTQ community continues to fight to be recognizably human, and attacks like the one here in Orlando remind us why that fight is so important and still so necessary.
At the vigil downtown on June 13, an evangelical Hispanic preacher spoke. He said, “Not all evangelicals hate you. Some of us love you and we welcome you in our congregations!” And when he prayed, many prayed with him.
We've compiled a list of links where you can learn more about the genesis of the #OccupyWallStreet movement, including links to news reports, organizations involved in formenting the movement and local groups in every state where you can get involved close to home (if you don't live in Lower Manhattan.)