Freedom of Religion Issues in Government

June 27, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 27, 1999, The Boston Globe published an article on the stances being taken by presidential contenders on the issue of religion in politics. Both George W. Bush and Al Gore are in favor of giving federal moneys to faith-based organizations to administer government services, like drug treatment, combating homelessness, and youth-violence prevention programs. Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People...

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Religious Leaders in Denver Voice Complaints on Relationship with Medical Personnel

June 26, 1999

Source: The Denver Post

On June 26, 1999, The Denver Post published an article on the complaints levied against medical personnel by the Denver Area Interfaith Clergy Conference at the Colorado Collective for Medical Decisions for mistreating clergy when they visit parishioners in the hospital. Rev. Paul Kottke, pastor of University Park United Methodist Church, stated: "I see a lot of discomfort among hospital staff if I pray with a patient." He further stated that there seems to be "a suspicion I will get in the way or that I'll do something religiously...

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Interfaith Efforts

June 23, 1999

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On June 23, 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a conference taking place at Stanford University of 100 religious leaders from 30 nations who are part of the on-going United Religions Initiative, which attempts to resolve religious conflict and promote dialogue among people of different faiths. Episcopal Bishop William Swing of San Francisco, who conceived of the United Religions Initiative, stated that "We're starting a network so we won't have other Kosovos." He believes that the religious roots of the war...

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Freedom of Religion Issues in Government

June 22, 1999

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On June 22, 1999, The Christian Science Monitor published an article on the current decisions made by the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court on issues dealing with the separation of church and state. The House of Representatives voted by a margin of 248 to 180 to approve a bill that would allow states to display the Ten Commandments in public schools. The Supreme Court decided a case that allows parents in Milwaukee to use publicly funded education vouchers to send their children to parochial schools.

Synagogue Arson in California

June 21, 1999

Source: Sacramento Bee

On June 21, 1999, the Sacramento Bee reported that several community leaders in Sacramento called for the creation of a Sacramento "museum of tolerance" at a rally held across the street from Congregation B'nai Israel. Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. and Assemblyperson Darrell Steinberg vowed to raise the resources, both publicly and privately, to construct a museum that would be similar to Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Religion in Kansas City, Missouri

June 20, 1999

Source: The Kansas City Star

On June 20, 1999, The Kansas City Star reported the results of a poll that they conducted on the religious practice of Kansas City residents. According to their survey, 52% attend religious services weekly and 68% pray daily. The Kansas City area is home to more than 2000 religious congregations of more than a dozen faiths. Maggie Finefrock, chairwoman of the religion/spirituality cluster of the Mayor's Task Force on Race Relations, stated: "The Kansas City area provides a rich diversity of religious and spiritual experiences...

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Interfaith Efforts

June 18, 1999

Source: The Boston Herald

On June 18, 1999, The Boston Herald published an article on the nonprofit Boston Justice Ministries, which is a coalition of eleven area churches and synagogues who have worked over the past year to help free women from violent domestic situations while honoring their beliefs. Rev. Anne Marie Hunter, a United Methodist minister who founded Boston Justice Ministries, stated: "There were too many women of faith that I was hearing from that were staying in abusive relationships because of their faith. Also, I was hearing about people'...

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Interfaith Efforts

June 13, 1999

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On June 13, 1999, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Racine Interfaith Coalition in Racine, Wisconsin collected 107 guns in a weekend "buy-back" on June 5-6, which was designed to make streets safer. The Coalition raised close to $20,000 for the buy-back to provide $50 and $100 gift certificates for the Regency Mall in Wisconsin to those who returned the guns. The persons returning the guns were asked no questions; seven illegal weapons were among the 107.

Controversy over Religious Rights of Pagans in the Military

June 11, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On June 11, 1999, The Freedom Forum Online offered an Associated Press article reporting that Religious groups urge Christians to boycott Army over Wiccans. The Houston Chronicle published a similar article stating that "conservative Christian organizations this week called for a nationwide boycott of the Army, demanding it reverse its policy of accommodating soliders with alternative religious beliefs."

Interfaith Efforts

June 9, 1999

Source: Sacramento Bee

On June 9, 1999, the Sacramento Bee reported that a coalition of religious leaders in the Northern California Interreligious Conference and the California Council of Churches have produced a report entitled, "Welfare Reform: Public Policy and Theological Reflections," which aims to spell out needed changes in CalWORKS, the California program that seeks to trim the welfare load by 80 percent. The report contains findings based on conversations of clergy and public policy specialists with social service providers, religious leaders,...

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The Washington Interfaith Network

June 6, 1999

Source: The Washington Post Magazine

On June 6, 1999, The Washington Post published an in-depth article in their Sunday Magazine on the efforts of the Washington Interfaith Network entitled, "Prayers for the City: The Washington Interfaith Network Believes Organization, Commitment, Discipline and Multiracialism Can Help Turn the District Around, But There Are No Heavenly Miracles in the Secular City."

Religious Leaders in Cleveland Attempting to Help Poor

May 20, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On May 20, 1999, The Plain Dealer reported that a dozen Muslim, Christian, and Jewish clergy, representing about 1.2 million Northeast Ohioans, met at a Cleveland mosque on May 19th to discuss how they can more effectively deal with the growing numbers of poor people who are seeking their aid. An interfaith coalition has formed around this issue due to the recent experiences of many religious communities in attempting to help those whose public assistance benefits have run out. Welfare caseloads in Ohio are at their lowest levels...

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College Students in World Religions Class in California Learn from Visits to Communities

May 7, 1999

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On May 7, 1999, The San-Diego Union-Tribune published an article on the experiences of students in a world religions class at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, California. Paul Carmona, chairman of humanities and performing arts at Cuyamaca and professor for the course, asks that his students visit two religious communities other than one's own, one Eastern and one Western. Carmona commented on the changes that take place within the students as a result of these visits: "There seems to be a paradoxical side of it, where a...

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