The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States

An article about a Pew study regarding Hispanic – Latino – Latina religion & spirituality.

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#pablojimenez – A Meditation about Truth and Simulacra

Yesterday I received a Google Alert that left me confused: The name “Pablo Jimenez” was “trending ” on Twitter. The phrase #pablojimenez was among the top 10 phrases quoted by the users of that service.

At first, I thought the phrase referred to the murder of a man named Juan Pablo Jimenez, a union leader who was assassinated in Chile on February 21, 2013 and whose death has had an impact on the politics of that country. However, I soon realized the name had become famous for trivial reasons. Turns out there’s a TV show called “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” where a secret agent uses the name ” Pablo Jimenez” as an alias…to order pizza.

Suddenly the name #pablojimenez has become popular with thousands of people commenting about it on social networks. Some say that henceforth they will use a fake name when ordering take-out food. Others say they will always use the name “Pablo Jiménez” when ordering pizza. Still others mock the name, which they find funny.

However, one person wrote something that caught my attention: “I feel sorry for those whose name is really Pablo Jiménez.”

This is just another proof of how fickle, volatile and capricious social networks are, given that an unimportant detail can grab the top of the charts . Of course, that popularity is fleeting, because the report has no substance. It’s just one more note dedicated to entertain us to death…sometimes literally .

The sad thing is that, while people have good fun mocking the false Pablo Jimenez, those who are really named as such are struggling to lead productive lives, often anonymously. For example,my father, from whom I took my name, struggles to regain his health. One of my brothers, who also bears the name, risks his life serving as a policeman in Southern Florida. And Juan Pablo Jiménez, even after his untimely death, inspires thousands of Chileans to seek the truth.

And so we live, between the reality of daily life and the simulacra that distract us to death. These simulations last about “fifteen minutes,” as Andy Warhol prophesied . However, the real struggle for life lasts forever.

I leave you with a thought by Jesus of Nazareth about everlasting life: “Don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will always be where your treasure is.” Matthew 6.19-2 ( RVC ) .