On a frigid winter night, a man wearing two coats shuffles into a brightly lit brick restaurant in downtown Madrid. Staff greet him warmly; he’s been here many times. The maître d’ stamps his ID card, and the hungry man selects a table with a red tablecloth, under a big brass chandelier.
The man, Luis Gallardo, is homeless — and so are all the diners, every night, at the city’s Robin Hood restaurant. Its mission is to charge the rich and feed the poor. Paying customers at breakfast and lunch foot the bill for the restaurant to serve dinner to homeless people, free of charge.
It’s become Spain’s most sought-after lunch reservation. The restaurant has poached staff from luxury hotels. Celebrity chefs are lining up to cook once a week. For paying clients, the lunch is fully booked through the end of March.
The restaurant opened in early December, and is run by an 80-year-old Catholic priest, Ángel García Rodriguez, whom everyone knows simply as “Padre Ángel.”
This story is about my friends MIL, and her wedding. Strap in guys, this is a wild ride in which I did THE THING that got me banned from any of her family functions. (Plus a few threats of dismemberment and bodily harm)
A good friend of mine from university was getting married! They had been a couple since Junior year of college, through her 2 years in the peace corps and currently her return to this continent. 6 years in total. She had been to all manner of family functions and always came back with a strange story about how she thinks her MIL secretly hates her. But she being a very quiet and sweet person pushed those thoughts aside.
Point 1: She is vegetarian and jewish, husband is not. She was invited and went to Christmas dinner and figured she would just eat sides, as well she brought a vegetarian casserole. MIL, after knowing her for THREE years, and being told by husband a few weeks before about not to forget friend doesn’t eat meat…proceeded to put meat in every dish. Friend drank water and ate her casserole the whole night while MIL cried to everyone that friend was so rude for not eating her cooking.
Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela. Braving the streets amid sniper fire, to offer last rites to the dying, the priest encountered a wounded soldier, who pulled himself up by clinging to the priest’s cassock, as bullets chewed up the concrete around them. The Catholic priest, Luis Padillo, would walk the streets, even through sniper fire, offering last rites to the fighters.
Even more intense about this picture is the setting, in the background is a carnicería (a butcher’s shop). In Spanish a carnicería means both a “butcher’s shop” and “slaughter, carnage”. The phrase “fue una carnicería” (English equivalent: “it was carnage”) is so common in the Spanish language. The parallel really catches one’s eye and draws the horror of the scene even further.
El Porteñazo (2 June 1962 – 6 June 1962) was a short-lived military rebellion against the government of Rómulo Betancourt in Venezuela, in which rebels attempted to take over the city of Puerto Cabello and its Solano Castle. Venezuela’s constitution was only a year old in 1962, but already there have been two attempts to overthrow the government. The bloody struggle between government forces and guerrilla rebels in the naval base who had the support of the residents of Puerto Cabello was aggressive. The rebellion was crushed by 3 June, leaving more than 400 dead and 700 injured, and by 6 June the rebels’ stronghold of Solano Castle had fallen.
We need female-only atheist spaces. Women are affected by patriarchal religions in some really harmful, sex-specific ways that need to be discussed away from obnoxious white male atheists. I’ve had enough Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins quotes for one lifetime.
I want to talk about how being taught that the all powerful God is a man fucks up your sense of self worth and self esteem.
I want to talk about how being raised in a religion where men are the only figures of authority affects women’s self image and belief in their capabilities as leaders.
I want to talk about the fact that in the Catholic Church, priests get a salary and nuns don’t, and how there’s no equivalent of the Pope for nuns.
I want to talk about how the most important and well known woman in Christianity is given value and spiritual importance because of her virginity and acts as a passive vessel in a way that no man in Christianity does.
I want to talk about how Catholic women would have ten or twelve kids because the Church wouldn’t let them use birth control and how this literally killed women.
I want to talk about how Christianity claims to be pro-life, but women can’t get abortions in Catholic hospitals even if they will literally die without one.
I want to talk about the horrors of the Magdalene Laundries and polygamy and honor killings and arranged marriages to men twice or three times their age and all the other shit women are put through in the name of religion.
This isn’t even MENTIONING all the shit that lesbians have to deal with. We need better atheist spaces online, ones that emphasize healing and unlearning harmful shit over posting the same quotes from the same white men and the same memes that boil down to “Lol religious people are stupid”
“There is a misconception that Buddhism is a religion, and that you worship Buddha. Buddhism is a practice, like yoga. You can be a Christian and practise Buddhism. I met a Catholic priest who live in a Buddhist monastery in France. He told me that Buddhism makes him a better Christian. I love that” - Thich Nhat Hanh.
I thought this might be a handy quote for those of you who have been asking whether you can practice Buddhism alongside other religions!
Once when I thought of the word “indulge”, I would think of a catholic priest sipping on a small glass of champagne, or perhaps browsing a magazine filled to the brim with pictures of ankles and perhaps a peek of a thigh. But NOW, all that happens when I hear that word is incapacitating nightmares about the house elf DOBBY.