Three interesting notes for a Friday:
1. The NYC MTA has apparently removed some advertising featuring bikini-clad women from buses passing through Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The community did not like the ads.
…like the members of the Hasidic community which objected to the ads and called for their removal, I agree about their being objectionable. But when any one group gets to decide what any of us has a right to see, we are all in trouble, especially when that conclusion is reached through political pressure as opposed to democratic process.
If the Hasidic community were to take the lead in organizing people across the political, cultural and religious spectrum to lobby for stricter guidelines about what belongs on any bus, I might join them. Or I might not, preferring to deal with the challenges of a pop culture saturated with ersatz sexuality in other ways than limiting expression.
2. CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — has issued an advisory to American Muslims that if they travel overseas they may not be able to get back into the U.S.
The group says that Muslims are being put on “no-fly” lists without explanation or access to legal representation.
CAIR says: “In the past few months, CAIR has received a number of reports of American Muslims stranded overseas when they are placed on the government’s no-fly list. Those barred from returning to the United States report being denied proper legal representation, being subjected to FBI pressure tactics to give up the constitutionally-guaranteed right to remain silent, having their passports confiscated without due process, and being pressured to become informants for the FBI. These individuals have not been told why they were placed on the no-fly list or how to remove their names from the list.”
3. Presbyterian Church (USA) has been fighting internally for so long about whether gays and lesbians can be ordained that it seems that outsiders are no longer paying much attention.
But, just so you know, at the denomination’s 219th General Assembly in Minneapolis, a committee has approved an overture for new ordination standards — which would erase the current standards requiring that clergy be married or chaste.
The full assembly will soon vote. If the overtured is approved, it would have be passed by a majority of regional presbyteries across the country.