Will he Stay or Will he Go?

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai isn’t one to shy away from controversy. Even before becoming patriarch, he set the bar very high, once threatening anybody who criticized or slandered the church and its leadership with excommunication. With the recent announcement, and his own personal confirmation, that he would accompany Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories, Rai is back in the headlines. Continue reading “Will he Stay or Will he Go?”

The Politics of Finger Pointing

“We just want to remind people, for those who don’t know what is secularism, secularism doesn’t mean being against God, secularism is just the separation between religion and state, secularism makes all citizens equal before the law with the same rights, secularism leads us from confessionalism to citizenship.”

(Closing remarks on satirical show “CHI NN” on Lebanese Al Jadeed TV, February 4, 2013)

With raging discussions on a new electoral law and civil marriage in recent weeks, the role of religion has once again been brought to the mainstream political debate. The role of religion in politics and our daily lives is certainly nothing new in Lebanon. Continue reading “The Politics of Finger Pointing”