This is just awful news.
Roger Ebert announced late Tuesday night that he is stepping back from some duties as the Chicago Sun-Times’ film critic after a recurrence of cancer.
Calling the move a “leave of presence,” Ebert wrote on his online journal: “The ‘painful fracture’ that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to.”
The 70-year-old critic, one of Chicago’s most widely embraced figures, wrote that he is “not going away” but will be relying more on others to review films, such as his Sun-Times colleague Richard Roeper.
“I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review,” Ebert wrote, noting that he also “may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.”
Here is his blog post about it.
Raleigh, N.C. — A resolution filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
The resolution grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.
Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.
(via Gerry Canavan)