Tuesday, March 04, 2008


...of the notorious B16 gang.

Never did Jaime Salazar imagine that wearing a rosarylike crucifix to school would provoke a national stir.

But when the 14-year-old and his 16-year-old friend Marco Castro were suspended recently for refusing to remove the religious beads because they were "gang-related," it thrust Oregon into the headlines and has triggered questions over the evolving role of rosaries in religion, fashion and street gangs.

In the latest cultural take of a symbol that's gone from Catholic altars to Britney Spears' bosom, the rosary is blurring the lines of liberty and safety on campus.

Some call the rosary-gang connection a stretch and urge caution. But for educators and public safety officials charged with blocking fluid gang trends, rosaries in the past few years have become one more marker to track suspicious activity.

Suspicious activity? Like prayer and meditation?

One thing I can say, and those of you who are members of the dreaded B16 gang please chime in, is that in this article it talks about people wearing rosaries as fashion statements, (Brintey is spoken of here, but those of us over 35 remember Madonna being the purveyor of regilious symbols as fashion)

Much in the same way that some would wear a cross and care not for the One would was nailed upon it.

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