Interfaith

Students and Parents Object to Religious Songs in Ohio Public Schools

June 1, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On June 1, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "some students and parents object to the singing of explicitly religious lyrics in public schools. These critics -- including the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which filed a lawsuit against Columbus schools last month on behalf of three families -- think the practice violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause." The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ohio chapter's president said he has no problem with the songs as long as they are initiated by students...

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Wiccan Priestess at Harvard's Memorial Church

June 1, 2001

Source: Harvard Magazine

On June 1, 2001 the Harvard Magazine reported that "At 8:45 A.M. on February 20 a Wiccan priestess led the daily service of morning prayers in Memorial Church. 'Chapel has long afforded, since 1886 at least, a pulpit to non-Christians,' says the Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, Pusey minister in the Memorial Church. Harris is 'the first Wiccan priestess of whom we are aware.'"

Firefights' Lawsuit Declares Hair Policy to Be Violation of Religious Freedom Act

May 31, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A311-2001May31.html

On May 31, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "Six D.C. firefighters filed a federal lawsuit yesterday alleging that Fire Chief Ronnie Few illegally interfered with their religious beliefs by ordering them to cut their hair or trim their beards to conform with a department grooming policy...The lawsuit seeks a court order that would declare the policy violates the...

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Sacred Dance Part of Many Different Religions

May 30, 2001

Source: The Denver Post

On May 30, 2001, The Denver Post reported on "sacred dancers [who] praise God through movement...Some dance for their congregations, others as a private form of prayer...They share a conviction that movement deepens the spiritual experience...Sacred dance...has a place in many religions and was part of the early Jewish and Christian church."

Worries about Discrimination under Faith-Based Initiative Are Unfounded, Say Some

May 28, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On May 28, 2001, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Nathan J. Diament, the director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in which he rebutted one of the criticisms of Bush's faith-based initiative. "Now opponents of the faith-based initiative...claim that allowing federal grants to institutions enjoying the exemption [from the Civil Rights Act of 1964] amounts to subsidizing employment discrimination with taxpayer dollars. Their assumption is that faith-based hiring by...

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Church May Become First in Wisconsin to Test New Federal Zoning Law

May 27, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On May 27, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "legislation passed by Congress last year now tips the scale in favor of religious institutions in many land use disputes. And a Franklin church is on course to become the first in Wisconsin to test the law in court...Rev. Ardyth Johnson's Faith Community Church wants to build a meeting house and fellowship hall on 10 acres zoned residential...Johnson...has told the city her church may file suit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act if...

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UC Santa Barbara Takes Unique Approach to Religious Studies

May 27, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 27, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the religious studies department of UC Santa Barbara, which "brings together the jumble of modern culture and reassembles it under the heading of religion. Though the standard university approach to the study of religion draws heavily from the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish traditions,...Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans and others get equal time here...Instead of promoting any one religious faith, all of them are researched and analyzed." A dean of the...

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Buddhist Temple Reaches Out to Houston Residents

May 26, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On May 26, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported on the Chung Mei Buddhist Temple. Outreach to the greater Houston community is one main focus of the temple. "To accommodate their English-speaking guests, the temple this month began offering four-week courses on meditation and vegetarian cooking in English. Buddhist chanting classes and flower arrangement classes, also in English, are in the works. The temple also offers a practical course in Buddhism for those interested in the religion."

Bush Promotes Faith-Based Initiative Before Cleveland Audiences

May 25, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On May 25, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "Bush came to Cleveland yesterday to promote his faith-based initiative in visits to a food pantry and a school for the disabled...Ohio is one of only five states to embrace charitable choice. The state's county welfare agencies award $ 25 million a year to faith- based organizations."

City Planners Block Building of Interfaith Chapel

May 25, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 25, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "plans for a $4.5-million interfaith chapel at Chapman University...suffered another setback this week when Orange planning commissioners rejected the project on aesthetic grounds...Chapman officials said they plan to appeal the decision to the City Council...The design for the 250-seat Wallace All Faiths Chapel uses universal religious themes of light, water and nature."

Offensive Term in House Testimony Increases Worries about Faith-Based Initiative

May 25, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On May 25, 2001, The New York Times reported that the Rev. John D. Castellani, president of the drug-treatment program Teen Challenge International U.S.A., used the term "completed Jews" in testimony before a House subcommittee. "The term 'completed Jews' is now in use by some evangelical Christians and Jewish converts to describe Jews who have accepted Jesus as their savior. To many Jews it is offensive...Jewish and civil liberties groups are using the testimony as fresh evidence that the president's initiative will result in...

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Couple Combines Christian and Hindu Ceremonies at Wedding

May 24, 2001

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On May 24, 2001, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "when Wendy Hulsing of Dickinson, N.D., and Sanjaya Gupta of Chesterfield decided to marry, they wanted a two-ceremony wedding, Christian and Hindu, with all the trimmings, including" a horse for the groom to ride in the traditional Hindu barat. "The barat is the tumultuous, slow parade of the groom and his family to the home of the bride-to-be."

New Book Explores Relationship of Geography to History of Different Faiths

May 24, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On May 24, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the publication of a new book, "God's Triptik across America," whose purpose "is to explore the importance of geography to the spread of religious denominations...The book is divided into four sections: institutional and ethnic religion before 1800; institutional and ethnic religion after 1800; three case studies (Lutherans, Mormons, and Roman Catholics); and broader perspectives (Canadian religious beliefs)."

Rabbi Gives Walton Baccalaureate Speech at Civic Center

May 23, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On May 23, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that 1,000 people came to hear Rabbi Steven Lebow deliver his baccalaureate address to Walton High School's graduating seniors inside the Cobb County Civic Center. "Lebow's speech has been the talk around the lockers and lunchrooms of Walton High for weeks, said...a graduating senior...'I thought it was wonderful,' she said. 'Very appropriate and very well thought out.'"

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