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Occupy Wall Street: Between “Church” and “Sect”

Occupy Wall Street: Between “Church” and “Sect”

By Ben Brazil, Religion Bulletin….
A month ago, when the Occupy movement was beginning to gain traction, Matt Stoller penned an influential response to criticism about the movement’s lack of a clear, concise message. The critics, he wrote, had failed to notice the religious nature of what was going on in Zuccotti Park. He explained: “What these people are doing is building, for lack of a better word, a church of dissent. It’s not a march, though marches are spinning off of the campground. It’s not even a protest, really. It is a group of people, gathered together, to create a public space seeking meaning in their culture. They are asserting, together, to each other and to themselves, ‘we matter’.” The idea of a “church of dissent” did not only interest me – it positively attracted me.

Mexican Guava Fairies and Crack-Head Leprechauns:  Are We Living in an Enchanted World?

Mexican Guava Fairies and Crack-Head Leprechauns: Are We Living in an Enchanted World?

By Joseph Laycock…..
Last month, Jose Maldonado of Guadalajara Mexico claimed he found and captured a fairy. The 22 year-old unemployed bricklayer was picking guavas when he spied a twinkling object that he at first thought was a firefly. The object allegedly turned out to be a tiny humanoid creature (apparently female) with gossamer insect like wings. Maldonado explained, “I knew that it was a fairy godmother.” The creature died not long after its discovery (disturbingly, it is not clear how the fairy died after it was captured) and its discoverer put it in a jar of formaldehyde. Word of Maldonado’s fairy in a jar spread throughout his neighborhood of Lornas Verdes, one of the poorest and most dangerous regions of Guadalajara. Soon, thousands of people were arriving, standing in line for up to an hour to see the fairy. Being unemployed, Maldonado asks for a donation to see his discovery. His neighbors have also capitalized on the situation by selling photographs and key rings with the image of the fairy for 20 pesos ($1.60) as well as food and beverages to those waiting in line.