Interfaith

Pagans Respond to Faith-Based Initiatives and Discrimination in Letter to Bush

February 19, 2001

Source: www.aren.org

An press release about the open letter outlined instances of discrimination against Pagans on the part of government officials and the media. For example, on "Mc Laughlin's One on One," Stephen Goldsmith, the Domestic Policy Advisor to the President, said that he did not "think that Wiccans would meet the standard of being humane providers of domestic violence shelters." Indiana Representative Souder stated on the House floor in April that "it is unlikely under President Bush that the witches would get funding."

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Small Iowa Town Makes Steps Toward Acceptance of Jewish Residents

February 19, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 19, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the 150 to 200 Hasidic Jews who live in Postville, Iowa, "may finally be on the verge of gaining acceptance in this predominantly Christian community of 1,600 residents." The first Jews arrived from New York in 1987. "Last month, in one of the most significant developments yet, the town council appointed its first Jew." Several residents then signed a petition objecting to the appointment. The petition has "forced everybody off the fence" about their position toward Jewish...

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

February 19, 2001

Source: National Review

On February 19, 2001, the National Review published a criticism by Kate O'Beirne of Bush's new faith-based initiative. One concern she brings up is that the government will "throttle the faith-based programs with regulations," or try to "to distort the mission of faith-based groups receiving public money." Another is that most religious-sounding social-welfare programs are actually not "devoted to spiritual renewal and character transformation," which many of the initiative's supporters see as the unique strength of religious groups...

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Pagans Respond to Faith-Based Initiatives and Discrimination in Letter to Bush

February 19, 2001

Source: No source given.

On February 19, 2001, a group of Pagans wrote an open statement to President Bush and other government officials in which they expressed concerns about Bush's new faith-based initiatives and about discriminatory comments made by individuals in government and from the media. Pagans are concerned they will be discriminated against in the awarding of government funds to faith-based initiatives. This letter is collecting signatures on the AREN website at http://www.aren.org.

Pre-School Provides Example on How Groups with Many Faiths Should Interact

February 18, 2001

Source: New York Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/2001-02-18/News_and_Views/City_Beat/a-100266.asp

On February 18, 2001, the New York Daily News reported on the the Treasure Island Pre-School in Brooklyn, New York, where love is "expressed daily among children whose families are Jewish, Muslim and Christian." In a community "where tensions have run high because of strains in the Middle East, an emphasis is being placed on unity among people...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 18, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 18, 2001, the Los Angeles Times published an article about the Jewish response to Bush's new faith-based initiative. Many Jewish leaders "remain guarded with Bush, who has...made his Christian faith a prominent part of his political platform. Both the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress oppose the president's plan... Yet, there is a growing minority of American Jews who... are 'pleased that President Bush is committed to increasing the partnership between government and faith and community-based...

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Religious Devotees Express Faith through Vanity Plates

February 18, 2001

Source: The Associated Press

On February 18, 2001, The Associated Press reported that "scores of Massachusetts drivers are adorning their cars with...faith-based vanity plates." Pat Wormsted, manager of special plates at the Registry of Motor Vehicles "said she would not approve any plates that express a religious belief...because some people might be offended," but some religious terms that she is unfamiliar with slip by her. "Placing religious slogans on license plates reflects the traditional desire of believers, especially Christians, to publicly...

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

February 18, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 18, 2001, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Mark Silk on Bush's new faith-based initiative. Silk points out that although many faith-based service-providing nonprofits already receive government funds, Bush's plan is more complex because it calls for the mobilization of religious congregations, and because it calls for funding groups that believe clients can only be helped by faith. He warns that "enabling religious congregations to create new social services with government funds without increasing...

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Bush's Faith-Based Initiatives Have Precedents in Ohio

February 16, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On February 16, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that in Ohio religious organizations are already receiving federal money to implement social programs. "The seeds of President Bush's faith-based initiative were sown in the 1996 welfare-reform law, with a provision known as 'charitable choice.'...For years, organizations such as Catholic Charities USA have taken federal money for their services but have kept their religious components separate from their services and abided by anti-discrimination laws." Joel Potts, assistant...

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Minister Claims Orthodox Christians and Jews Reject Inclusive Approach

February 16, 2001

Source: Capital Times

On February 16, 2001, the Madison Capital Times published an article by Rev. Michael A.Schuler of the First Unitarian Society, in which he warns that, under the Bush administration, "conservative Christians [will] try to halt the current drift toward pluralism...Orthodox Christians and Jews reject a more inclusive and open-minded approach to religion because, for them, to be religious means to be sectarian as well." Schuler says that, globally, they have begun to "redouble their efforts to defend the old order," in response to...

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Ohio Interfaith Association Works for Peace and Human Rights

February 16, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On February 16, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported on the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, which has 350 members from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha'ism, Islam and Judaism. All are volunteers. "The missions of the association...are to educate its members and the public about customs of different faiths and to provide interfaith public worship and ceremonies related to local and global concerns." The association's projects, which range from peace-training programs in public schools to the creation of...

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Theological Union Plans to Increase Emphasis on Non-Christian Faiths

February 15, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/02/15/MN127988.DTL

On February 15, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the new president of the Graduate Theological Union, a network of seminaries and religious institutes in the San Francisco Bay Area, wants to broaden its focus to include more Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and other non-Christians. The president,...

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Controversy over Faith-Specific Prayers at Legislative Meetings

February 15, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 15, 2001, The Washington Post reported on the controversy over faith-specific prayers at the meetings of legislative bodies. "Maryland and Florida, for instance, both have rules that prayer should be non-sectarian." Some counties deal with the problem by rotating faiths in their choice of religious speakers at meetings; others have given up on prayer altogether. Other legislative bodies instruct the religious leaders who come to speak to keep their prayers nonsectarian. "But some say prayer in and of itself is...

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Catholics and Muslims Forge Interfaith Bonds

February 14, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 14, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the second annual meeting between top West Coast Catholic and Muslim leaders. The meeting "was designed to promote better understanding between the faiths and forge partnerships to counter what they see as the evils in secularized society, including abortion and pornography." It is a chance for those attending to build friendships that will lead to "local interfaith cooperation and action," and to deepen their understanding of spiritual matters by engaging in dialogue with...

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Florida School District Debates Religious Issues

February 14, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/News/021401/Citrus/Critic_blasts_school_.shtml

On February 14, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported on a debate over religious issues in a Florida school district. At a recent meeting of the School Board, a critic "blasted the board for its prayer and related issues" after Chairwoman Patience Nave opened the session with a prayer that ended with "'I pray in the name of Jesus my savior.'...The...

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