Interfaith

Op-Ed Articles Respond to Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

February 26, 2001

Source: The New Republic

On February 26, 2001, The New Republic published a piece by Benjamin Soskis on Bush's new faith-based initiative. He says that social scientists have done no empirical research yet that supports the claim that "faith-based programs work best...The unquestioning faith in faith's instrumentality is also compromised by the fact that studies [that support the claim of religious programs' superiority] define religion institutionally...and thus fail to differentiate between religion's social and doctrinal components...Given that much of...

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Nation of Islam Moves Toward More Inclusiveness

February 25, 2001

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On February 25, 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that "the vitriolic race rhetoric that has characterized the Nation [of Islam] in the past...seems to have disappeared since last year's annual Saviour's Day celebration." At the celebration, the group's leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, said "it was time to reach out to other groups, the Nation of Islam continues to try to paint itself in a friendlier light." The president of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago sees this as a signal of "a return to the core...

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Presbyterians Learn About Muslims in a Program at a Mosque

February 23, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On February 23, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that about 100 Faith Presbyterian Church members came to a program at a south Phoenix mosque that was meant to address their misconceptions about Muslims. The group reported that they learned a lot about Muslims. As one church member said, "You have to learn about each other in order to get along with each other."

Interfaith Coalition Lobbies for Affordable Housing

February 23, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/02/23/MNN118531.DTL

On February 23, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the religious-based San Francisco Organizing Project will be gathering "more than 3,000 people in San Francisco to press top state and city officials to produce more affordable housing... The project draws support from 40 religious...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 23, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the debate over Bush's new faith-based initiative. Among the questions being debated: Should federal grants be available even to controversial faith-based groups? "How will government agencies ensure that money meant for social services won't be spent on religious activities and that clients won't be proselytized? Can government agencies distinguish sham groups from legitimate social ministries without showing favoritism? And can religious groups accept government oversight and stay...

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Muslim Public Affairs Council Wary of Faith-Based Initiatives

February 23, 2001

Source: Muslim Public Affairs Council

http://www.mpac.org/statements/pr-faithinitiative-jan00.htm

A recent press release by the Muslim Public Affairs Council "cautions the American Muslim community against a hasty endorsement of the proposed legislation." The press release cites concerns about unconstitutional entanglement between religion and state, the potential for proselytizing to accompany pure social welfare activities, and the danger that Muslims and other...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 23, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/02/23/ED85551.DTL

On February 23, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial on Bush's new faith-based initiative. The editorial pointed out that "the government heads into treacherous territory any time it tries to judge what is and what is not an acceptable religion." Many people put certain religions that are...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 21, 2001

Source: South Bend Tribune

On February 21, 2001, the South Bend Tribune reported that, "while not opposing Bush's initiative outright, Lutheran, Catholic and Jewish groups are raising concerns about potential religious discrimination and coercion, echoing arguments from civil libertarian quarters." Other concerns include the theoretical issue of the separation between church and state, government infringement on churches' freedom, and worries "about government funding of religious groups outside the mainstream, such as the Church of Scientology and the...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 21, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 21, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article that brings up one of the biggest problems with Bush's faith-based initiative. "The state cannot be in the business of deciding which faiths pass muster and which do not. If they are law-abiding and their programs are effective, it would seem you have to take them all or take none. You allow proselytizing in all or in none." For example, the Salvation Army "injects its Christian philosophy deep into its programs." If the Salvation Army can do this, the article asked...

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Bush's Faith-Based Initiative Will Attract Groups From Outside of the Mainstream

February 20, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 20, 2001, The New York Times reported that "members of a wide variety of religious groups, some once considered far outside the mainstream, are busy preparing proposals for government financing" under President Bush's new faith-based initiative. Among these groups are the Church of Scientology and the the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. "Mr. Bush's effort could provoke new questions about what constitutes a legitimate religion." Bush has said that he does not view all religions to be on par with...

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Interfaith Breakfast Encourages Cooperation in Social Activism

February 20, 2001

Source: The Record

On February 20, 2001, The Record, of Bergen County, New Jersey, reported on the Interfaith Brotherhood-Sisterhood Breakfast in Teaneck, New Jersey. 500 people attended the Presidents Day breakfast, which was "part of an effort to improve religious and racial harmony in North Jersey." In an address to the audience, Rabbi Daniel Polish of Manhattan urged his listeners to work together with others from different faiths to improve the lives of the underprivileged around the world.

Neighbors Hesitant to Endorse Construction of Mosque in Bellevue

February 20, 2001

Source: KOMO 4 News

On February 20, 2001, KOMO 4 News reported on the debate between residents of Bellevue, Washington, over the proposed construction of a 30,000 square foot mosque. "Neighbors are worried about property values, traffic, and the uncertainty of what happens in a mosque." One local Muslim says he "believes there's an underlying racism in opposition to the mosque."

Faith-based Initiative Raises Questions About Who Will Receive Funding

February 20, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 20, 2001, The New York Times reported that in the coming days, President Bush's claim that his faith-based initiatives will not favor one religion above another will be tested. Religious groups including the Hare Krishnas, the Church of Scientology, and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, U.S.A., are some groups who anticipate applying for funding from the program. The article notes that "Mr. Bush's effort could provoke new questions about what constitutes a legitimate religion."

Project Examines Interaction Between Religion and Politics for American Latinos

February 20, 2001

Source: Religious Studies AAR News

On February 20, 2001, Religious Studies AAR News reported that "the Hispanic Churches in American Public Life (HCAPL) research project is a three-year study funded by a $1.3 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The project seeks to examine the impact of religion on political and civic engagement in the Latino community." The co-directors are Jesse Miranda of Alianza de Ministerios Evangelicos Nacionales (AMEN) and Virgilio Elizondo of the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC). The study plans to conduct...

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