Interfaith

Zoning Laws to Improve for Religious Groups

August 11, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On August 11, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a "coalition of more than 80 religious and legal advocacy groups, from liberal to conservative, support legislation that would make it harder to use zoning rules to prevent building houses of worship...Zoning regulations cannot 'place a substantial burden on exercise of religion' unless local officials show a compelling governmental objective, according to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which was passed by both houses of Congress on July 27. It is...

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ACLU and Columbus Jewish Federation Protest Christian Songs at Graduations

August 10, 2000

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On August 10, 2000, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Columbus Jewish Federation are speaking out against choral performances at two Columbus high-school graduations that included Christian songs." Howard Brenner, a Jewish resident of the North Side, raised the issue with his son's school when Christian songs were performed at the graduation ceremony. Another school used Christian songs at their graduation ceremony later in the month.

George W. Bush and Religious Belief

August 6, 2000

Source: The Times-Picayune

On August 6, 2000, The Times-Picayune reported that George W. Bush's religious views "could have an impact on all Americans if he is elected come November...For Bush, faith and politics are intertwined, and favorite phrases like "armies of compassion" are rooted in a Christian lexicon that comes easily to a man who talks more openly and fervently about his Christian faith than any other presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter...This "compassionate conservatism" that Bush repeats like a mantra is a catch-all phrase that is as much...

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Religious Groups to Protest

August 6, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On August 6, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "religious groups across Southern California are planning interfaith protests on a host of issues--police brutality, juvenile justice, immigrant rights and the death penalty" at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. "Roman Catholics, Jews, Methodists and Episcopalians will join for many of the planned worship services, marches and rallies to express strength and solidarity and to exercise what they consider a moral obligation to speak out. From praying for...

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Zoning for Religious Structures to Improve

August 5, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On August 5, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that a bill passed both houses of Congress unanimously last week that "would make it more difficult for cities to use zoning laws to keep churches, temples and mosques out of their neighborhoods. President Clinton is expected to sign it into law." Further, "another portion of the bill seeks to ensure that people in institutions, such as mental hospitals and prisons, can freely practice their faith as long as it does not undermine security, discipline or order in their institutions...

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Religious Summit

August 5, 2000

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On August 5, 2000, The Houston Chronicle reported that "More than 1,000 religious leaders will assemble for the Religious Summit in New York on Aug. 28 to develop plans for cooperating with the United Nations on peace, poverty and environmental issues. Among the leaders scheduled to attend will be Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Buddhist Nobel Prize nominee Samdech Preah Maha Gosananda; and Abdullah Salaih Al-Obadaid, secretary general of the Muslim World...

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Cyberreligion

August 5, 2000

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On August 5, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the First Church of Cyberspace and its pastor, the Rev. Charles Henderson. The four-year-old congregation includes members of a variety of religions, including Christian, Jew, Pagan, and atheist. "It's tremendously diverse," said ordained Presbyterian pastor Henderson from the church's office in New York. "It has pagans, Wiccans, liberals, gays, straight --- that's what makes it so exciting." Henderson's church is part of a growing trend in...

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Friendship Heals

August 3, 2000

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On August 3, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the friendship that has grown between Indian immigrant Kesturkoppal Muralidhara and his Mormon neighbor Nancy Beaman. His wife, Vadewattee Muralidhara, was "gunned down with eight others a year ago by day trader Mark Barton." It was too much for his 19-year-old son and he to return to their home, so the two moved. Since then, the grief-stricken Muralidhara has had a hard time making new friends, eating his meals, and practicing medicine at his...

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10 Commandments Monuments Barred from Capital Lawns

August 1, 2000

Source: The Courier-Journal

On August 1, 2000, The Courier Journal reported that "In a written order that follows his ruling last week from the bench, U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood has struck down as unconstitutional a state resolution calling for a monument to the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds." In his order, Hood found "the resolution failed all three constitutional tests it needed to pass." These tests were that it had a "secular purpose, that its primary effect was secular and that it did not 'foster' a government entanglement with...

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Religion Welcome in the Literary World

August 1, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On August 1, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that there has been an increase in the amount of new fiction being published that is focused on religion. In the article "Literary World is Making More Room for Religion; With Cultural Diversity an Ever-Growing Presence, Writers (and Readers) are Embracing Themes of Spirituality," Janet Silver, editor in chief for Houghton Mifflin in Boston commented that, "The industry is opened to groups not represented in the past. You find writers from cultures that define themselves by...

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Santa Fe Promotes Tolerance

August 1, 2000

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On August 1, 2000, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Two billboards that declare Santa Fe to be "no place for hate" will greet people driving down this town's main drag beginning August 10. Community leaders hope the signs will help dispel the perception that residents of this small Galveston County town may be less than tolerant toward people unlike themselves." After recent allegations involving anti-Semitism and other acts of discrimination, "the school district has accepted the Anti-Defamation League's offer to present...

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Increasing Diversity in Portland, Maine

July 30, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 30, 2000, The Boston Globe published an article entitled "A City's Changing Face Aided by Program to House Refugees; Immigrants Bring Ethnic Diversity, New Challenges, to Portland, Maine." Albert T. Chamblerain, property manager at the low-income housing development Riverton Park, explained that while "Once a thoroughly white city in the country's second whitest state, Portland is on its way to becoming a miniature 'United Nations.'" While Census data has yet to be released, it is clear that Portland has changed...

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10 Commandments Monuments Barred from Capital Lawns

July 30, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On July 30, 2000, The Washington Post reported that a "federal judge issued a temporary injunction Friday barring Indiana from erecting a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn." The state has not decided if it will appeal, said a spokeswoman for the governor. She added that "We believe that because this monument was to be displayed in a historical context it would be constitutional." Indiana Civil Liberties Lawyer Ken Falk commented that "The judge indicated that...the monument lacks a secular purpose and it has the...

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Zoning Bill Aids Churches

July 28, 2000

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On July 28, 2000, The San Diego Union-Tribune published an article entitled "Bill Targets Zoning that Bans Churches."

Hate Crimes in Los Angeles

July 28, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 28, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "More than a quarter of all hate crimes in the state last year occurred in Los Angeles, nearly three times as many as in the next-highest city, according to a report released Thursday by the state attorney general's office. The state's 1,962 hate crimes, occurring at a rate of more than five a day last year, represent an increase of 12% over the previous year. The total is the second highest since California began keeping track in 1994, the report stated."

"Last year...

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