Recently in Religion Category



"#TRUTH Nuestra gente, truth" are the words these captioned photos were described with as I first came across it on the "Latino Rebels" facebook page. I'm not sure where these photos or captions originated (please say so in the comments if you know), but as I write this the Latino Rebels post has 30,749 likes and 27,505 shares.

Until I find the genius who put these two photos together with that caption, I'll comment on how much #truth there is here.


I think it was my co-blogger Dave that first started doing Musical Monday here at Citizen Orange, and ever since I've wanted to try and do Film Fridays and Book Wednesdays, or something along those lines. Book Wednesdays will probably be the most difficult, but music and a film once a week shouldn't be too hard.

I'm almost embarrassed to start this feature with the film Battle: Los Angeles. Let's just say I'm happy that I waited for it to come up on my Netflix queue instead of paying to watch it at a movie theater. The only reason I'm not ashamed to write about this is that it gives me the opportunity to share this trailer with people. I think I first watched after having come across this Gawker post. There Richard Lawson says it best: "While the film will probably wind up being standard alien fare, the trailer is almost... beautiful."
It appears that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now officially and publicly pro-migrant (sombrero tip to Memeorandum):

The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God.

The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage.
Official Statement (10 June 2011)

Generally, as far as I understand it as a non-Mormon, it is the position of the Mormon Church not to get involved in politics. There's certain issues that the Mormon Church does take a stand on though. For example, see the film Prop 8: The Mormon Proposition to see how effective the Mormon Church was in attacking LGBTQ equality in California.

It's good to see the Mormon Church starting to devote some of the energy they've spent on attacking LGBTQ people, towards empowering migrants. It's a major victory for the pro-migrant community. Nativists (whom I prefer not to link to) know it and that's why they've been so quick to attack.

(Sombrero tip to Scott Kersgaard at the Colorado Independent)

It's a rare politician that's willing to lose an election over justice for unauthorized migrants.  Denver mayoral candidate Chris Romer deserves to be praised for taking a stand for migrant youth.  
I don't know how clearly it has been coming out of what little writing I've been doing as of late, but for those who don't know, I started a process of soul searching almost as soon as I started my pro-migrant work.  Five years of prayerful consideration has finally allowed me the great privilege of taking the first steps of what I hope will be a lifelong journey.  

Today, as Holy Week comes to an end, Primero Dios, I will formally be receiving my First Communion and will be Confirmed into the Catholic Church.  For those in the Boston area, the ceremony will officially take place starting at 7:30 p.m. in St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish.  All are welcome.

I've been working on writing something explaining my commitment.  What was meant to be a clear and succinct piece of turned into an almost 6,000 word behemoth.  It's difficult for me to gauge whether Citizen Orange is the place for my religious ruminations, or not.  Still, I feel an obligation to disclose to readers here any new affilations that I have because this decision certainly effects my writing.

What follows is a excerpt from a draft I've been working on explaining my commitment.


It's not about
win or lose
Cause we all lose
when they feed
on the souls of the innocent
blood drenched pavement
keep on moving
though the waters stay raging.
Matisyahu - 2009 
The reactions I've witnessed to the violence in Tuscon have made me physically sick.  Ever since I heard the news on Saturday, I've been glued to twitter, the television, and my computer screen, looking for someone to say something that makes some kind of sense.  It seems the only people that have anything worthwhile to say have been keeping mostly silent, using this time to reflect as we probably all should. 

Writing is one of the ways I reflect, taking the thoughts that swirl around me, sometimes wreaking havoc on my spirit, and channeling them into something tangible that I can take apart and make sense out of.  I publish these thoughts publicly here in deference to one of Hillel's famous ancient lessons: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  And when I am for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?"  In short, I'm sick of waiting for someone to say something worthwhile about a tragedy that has shaken me to my core, so I'm going to give it a try.




Above are Renata and Ada repping the Student Immigrant Movement, which I am a proud member of, but see this post from United We Dream for more reflections from the leaders of the migrant youth movement.

By now you've probably heard that the DREAM Act was blocked in the U.S. Senate by five Democrats and 36 Republicans.  Before I continue I want to be clear about what happened: 

Everywhere I look mainstream media who up until this point as all but ignored the migrant youth movement is writing headlines like "DREAM Act Defeated", "DREAM Act Fails",  or "DREAM Act Dies."  The DREAM Act did not fail, the U.S. Senate failed the DREAM Act.  Only in very recent times has a passing vote of 216-198 in the U.S. House and a vote of 55-41 in the U.S. Senate meant failure.  I'm not going to get sidetracked into a diatribe about filibuster abuse in the U.S. Senate, right now.  I just wanted to tell everyone who feels the same emptiness in their stomach that I do, right now, that you didn't fail, the broken procedures of the U.S. Senate failed you. 

At the same time, for those of us that are committed to real business of making change in this world, we know that we're not dealing with the world as we'd like it to be, but with the world as it is.  In the world as it is, we needed 60 votes out of 100 in the undemocratic U.S. Senate in order to emancipate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented Americans.  We all knew we needed 60 votes, and we didn't get them.  There will be plenty of time to analyze why we didn't get those 60 votes, but right now I just wanted to lay out some steps I think those of us in the movement should be taking.  I say all of the following first acknowledging my own 24-year-old inexperience and shortcomings in these matters.


The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

[Note from Kyle de Beausset: Selvin wrote this letter right before he got into a minor car accident on April 9, 2010.  He was set to get his high school diploma in June but has been in detention ever since.  I have chosen reproduce Selvin's letter as I found it in his empty room, rather than polish his slight grammatical errors, to allow his character to shine through.]

Dear President Barack Obama,

From the bottom of my heart, I plead to my God that you and your entire family receive blessings from the highest God while you are reading this letter.  I admire and thank you for the great labor that you are fulfilling as a president in this big nation.  My name is Selvin Ovidio Arevalo.  I came to this country when I was 15 years old.  I came from Guatemala to this country to fulfill my dreams because I always have believed that this is a country of many opportunities for those whom want to succeed.

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