Cairo’s ‘garbage people’ look to God
In First Things, Matthew Schmitz described Cairo’s “garbage people”: Christians who collect the city’s litter and are on the economic, social and religious margins of the city. “More than the trash they collect, the God they kneel to makes them objects of contempt,” he wrote.
But Garbage City, the region where the 50,000 litter-pickers (almost all Christians) live, is alive with faith. “As if to compensate for the de facto prohibition of Christian images elsewhere in Cairo, every building in Garbage City seems to bear some proclamation of Christian faith. Walls are adorned with a verse of Scripture, or a pale Italianate Madonna dissolving into clouds, or a Christ drawing men toward his Sacred Heart.”
Schmitz wrote that Egypt’s Coptic Christians still face persecution. The government “mercilessly suppresses dissent, but it has done little to punish those who attack Christians.” The present regime is probably better than any alternative. “But it upholds neither justice nor decency.”
The Christian population is in decline, and Western governments have failed to give promised help. But the Copts endure. “As the men go out on their rounds, the women walk up to the monastery, children in tow, dressed in their finest clothes. They are God’s own garbage people, despised but elect, valuing what the world rejects.”
The phrase that tells a story about adulthood
The phrase “drag kid” may be new to you, wrote Douglas Murray at UnHerd, but it is now being popularised with the help of a 12-year-old called “Desmond is Amazing”.
But the phenomenon tells us more about adults than about kids, Murray argued. Because for all the talk about Desmond just “being who he is”, the boy’s “manner, dress and performance style” are “not the product of some pre-existing instinct but a mere, evident copy.
“When he moves his arms like Judy Garland there are two possibilities. One is that Desmond emerged from the womb like Judy. The other is that he watched people, and his mother encouraged him to watch people, who were successful and fascinating to a young child, and he chose to imitate them and was told he could ‘be’ them.”
What’s most worrying, Murray wrote, is the sexualisation of children which is involved in the “drag kid” phenomenon. It seems designed to provoke a reaction – and will indeed rouse the “instinctive conservatism of the American public”.
Three centuries of Our Lady of Aparecida
With all the “kerfuffle” at the Amazon synod, it was strange that more people didn’t mention Our Lady of Aparecida, said Jean Elizabeth Seah at Ignitum Today. John Paul II consecrated the basilica at the Brazilian shrine in 1980. It “can hold up to 45,000 people, and is the third-largest basilica in the world,” after St Peter’s and the National Shrine in Washington, DC.
The devotions at the site date back to 1717, when three fishermen prayed for help. They caught a small terracotta statue of Our Lady, and then an enormous catch of fish. The site has steadily grown in popularity ever since.
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