Interfaith

Faith-Based Initiative Should Not Allow Discrimination

July 27, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On July 27, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch published an opinion piece that said that "the Bush administration's 'charitable choice' initiative was a clear violation of the equal protection clause outlined in the U.S. Constitution...If nonprofit entities agree to receive federal tax money, they must comply with existing anti-discrimination laws. By accepting tax dollars from law-abiding gay Americans, religious affiliations cannot legitimately refuse citizens work solely because of their sexual orientation."

Ten Facts Illustrate Atlanta's Growing Religious Diversity

July 26, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On July 26, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "during the second half of the 20th century, metro Atlanta...became a richly diverse religious community." The article listed ten facts that exemplified the growing diversity. For example, "Hindus have several worship centers in Atlanta" and "Pagans and witches worship in their own ceremonies throughout the metro area."

Court Rules in Favor of Moment of Silence Law

July 26, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

Onn July 26, 2001, The Washington Post published a piece on the court decision to allow a moment of silence in Virginia schools. "Even the judges who this week embraced Virginia's moment of silence law agree that for it to be constitutional, it must neither encourage nor discourage religion." However, "the children who went to court to fight the moment of silence know well that some of their peers are hungry to use that minute to promote the majority faith. There are already reports statewide of teachers encouraging children to...

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Dangers of Faith-Based Initiative

July 25, 2001

Source: USA TODAY

On July 25, 2001, USA TODAY published an opinion piece about Bush's faith-based initiative that worried that "most agencies and institutions that receive federal funds must endure the dependency and political pressures that come with the support...Also, let's not forget the fact that some Americans may forgo charitable giving to faith-based programs if they believe they already contribute through tax dollars."

Kentucky Court Ruling Allows Discrimination in Faith-Based Organization

July 25, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On July 25, 2001, The New York Times reported that "in a case with implications for [Bush's faith-based initiative], a federal court in Kentucky ruled against Alicia Pedreira in a lawsuit accusing the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children of discrimination...Ms. Pedreira, a lesbian, was told she was fired...because the 'homosexual lifestyle is contrary to Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children core values.' Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union...joined her in the lawsuit...The home receives financing from Kentucky."

Police Academy Replaces Prayers Graduation Ceremony

July 25, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 25, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "the city Police Commission decided Tuesday to substitute a moment of silent personal reflection for the traditional public prayer at Police Academy graduation ceremonies...The change...was prompted by last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision barring prayer at public school gatherings." The commissioner "conceded afterward that the change 'might not be very popular politically.'"

Salvation Army Does Not Discriminate

July 25, 2001

Source: USA TODAY

on July 25, 2001, USA TODAY published a piece that said that "recent news coverage of the Salvation Army's support for President Bush's faith-based initiative may have obscured a fundamental point: The Salvation Army fully complies with all laws applicable to religious organizations in choosing whom we hire... We do not ask prospective employees about their sexual orientation... Last year, the Salvation Army helped 36 million Americans without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor."

Faith-Based Funding Comes with Too Many Strings Attached

July 25, 2001

Source: USA TODAY

On July 25, 2001, USA TODAY published an opinion piece that said that "it appears that faith-based groups will be making a deal with the devil by signing up for federal funds...When it comes to a church's staff...each church has the right to employ those who hold to the tenets of their faith...Secular demands such as anti-discrimination regulations will bring only negative consequences."

Kentucky Court Ruling Allows Discrimination in Faith-Based Organization

July 25, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 25, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the Kentucky ruling on the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children. "'The civil rights statutes protect religious freedom, not personal lifestyle choices,' the judge wrote." The president of the child-welfare agency said that the ruling "would allow his agency, the largest provider of services for abused and neglected children in Kentucky, to continue operating in accord with its religious principles, which include opposition to homosexuality," which he holds to be one of the ministry's...

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Front Page of Chicago Tribune Exemplifies Religion in America

July 25, 2001

Source: Sightings

On July 25, 2001, Sightings reported that "the front page of the Chicago Tribune Metro section for July fifth shows two pictures of religion in America that capture well its ambivalence as a public force. The first story concerns [a] Hindu leader...A woman of humble Indian birth, Amritandandamayi now touches the lives of a worldwide community...[She] hugs follower after follower, at times for eighteen straight hours...Directly below this story of religious diversity and the power of shared affection is a picture of Richard Loy,...

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Court Rules in Favor of Moment of Silence Law

July 25, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On July 25, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "a federal appeals court yesterday upheld Virginia's moment of silence law, ruling that requiring public school children to begin each day with meditation does not violate the First Amendment's ban on state-sponsored religion. Seven families backed by the American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the 2000 law, saying it promoted religion...ACLU volunteer attorney Stuart Newberger vowed an immediate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Vigil Memorializes Middle East Victims

July 24, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

on July 24, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported on "a weeklong vigil [in Baltimore] honoring more than 130 Israelis killed since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in September...Vigil organizers with the Baltimore Zionist District, an Israel advocacy group, said the event is meant to personalize the killings and highlight the senselessness for Jews and gentiles alike." 500 Palestinians have also been killed in the fighting.

Canada's Government Cuts Back Long-Standing Funding of Faith-Based Groups

July 24, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On July 24, 2001, The New York Times reported that, "in Canada, Mr. Bush's [faith-based] initiative would be superfluous, because the government has financed faith-based organizations for most of the last 100 years without any worry that church and state were too close." Now the Canadian government is cutting back on funds to social services, however. The president of the housing corporation at Newtonbrook United Church siad, "I don't think it's good to have everything done by the government. But I think that maybe this has...

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Faith-Based Initiative Too Impractical

July 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 23, 2001, The Boston Globe published an editorial on Bush's faith-based bill, which said, "the bill ought to die in [the Senate] for sheer lack of clarity." Its guarantee to religious groups of autonomy and its prohibition of proselytizing, for example, are contradictory, the piece said. "The United States has thrived by keeping church and state at arm's length."

Faith-Based Initiative Needs Reworking

July 23, 2001

Source: Newsday

On July 23, 2001, Newsday published an editorial that said, "The House has just passed a constitutionally iffy bill...It's an improvement on the costly 'faith-based initiative' originally proposed by President...Bush, but it still needs a lot of work to merit passage by the Senate...The best thing the House did was shrink the new tax breaks the bill would offer to charitable givers...[However,] organizations, religious or otherwise, that violate state antidiscrimination laws shouldn't be eligible for federal funding."

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