September 22nd, 2010

  • mijopo

Religion and Politics

There was a good article, "A religious test all our political candidates should take", in last Sunday's Washington Post about, essentially, religious bias or the potential for it in politics.  The article noted that John F. Kennedy's famous speech about his Catholicism helped to push  the view that a person's religious beliefs are politically irrelevant.  However, this notion of religion being a private matter changed at some point.  Politicians in the US, it's very atypical elsewhere, I believe, wear their religion on their sleeve and we've come to expect candidates for office to give us some sort of "testimony".  And as was noted in a post here some weeks back, an atheist would be very unlikely to gain office in the US, so the US electorate expects politicians to embrace a traditional, from a US perspective, religion and politicians like to use their religion to gain political points.
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x-posted to my LJ and blog

(no subject)

Take a look at these neat maps that show racial diversity of a few major American cities. Here is what they say about NYC.

That's not the case with New York, however: There are ultra-dense areas of extreme racial concentration. But the sheer number of people in those areas means that the boundary areas become intensely rich areas of cross-cultural ferment.

(NYC map under the cut.)
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NYC, for example is quite segregated, yet it is very easy to go in to different neighborhoods since they are all so close together. I think this preserves distinct ethnic cultures while encouraging intermingling. Best of both worlds. I think this map misses some diversity since it only deals with race. For example, in Harlem there are areas that are mostly recent immigrants from Ghana and Senegal, in this map everything is just one blue blob. Also it is quite odd to view both Korea-town and Chinatown as just "Asians" -- and the upper east and upper west are both "white neighborhoods" but they are as different as night and day.

Do they have a map for your city? Do you live in the "right" neighborhood based on that map? (Me and my husband live in the South Bronx. He's white so we will always be in the "wrong" place whatever we choose. I would rather be in Harlem, but I like it here too. I don't mind living in a neighborhood where I don't fit in, but it is nice to be able to blend in more. Also, Harlem is just awesome.)