Civic

Executive Order on Faith-Based Initiatives and Some Responses

December 12, 2002

Source: The Interfaith Alliance

http://www.interfaithalliance.org/press/index.htm

On December 12, 2002 The Interfaith Alliance issued a statement from its Executive Director, Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, which states, "President Bush’s Executive Order, signed today in Philadelphia, represents a step backward in the fight to promote equality for all Americans. The president’s Order, promoting key pieces of his faith-based initiative, not only usurps congressional power...

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Supreme Court Debates Constitutionality of Banning Cross-Burning

December 12, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 12, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "yesterday's Supreme Court oral argument over Virginia's law banning cross-burning produced an intense discussion of whether the Constitution permits states to prohibit political symbols that strike fear in the hearts of many citizens... The court's only African American, Thomas broke his customary silence during oral argument to drive home the point that the history of cross burning as a symbol of Ku Klux Klan hatred and violence toward blacks, Jews and Catholics makes...

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Interfaith Awareness Week Celebration at Wisconsin State Capitol

December 11, 2002

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

On December 11, 2002 Wisconsin State Journal reported that "Buddhists set up [a] display alongside those of other religious groups at the fifth annual Interfaith Awareness Week program Tuesday at the state Capitol. Other faiths participating in the noon program were Orthodox Christian, Mennonite, Unitarian Universalist, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim. The Interfaith Awareness Week program was organized by the Rev. John-Brian Paprock... a priest at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission in Madison.

FBI Reports Rise of Hate Crimes against Muslims Post 9/11

December 8, 2002

Source: Newsday

On December 8, 2002 Newsday reported that "religious, ethnic and gay organizations say factors from victims' fears of reporting such [hate] crimes to police indifference in pursuing them add to the problem... The hate crimes report for 2001, released by the FBI on Nov. 25, cited a 17 percent increase over 2000 in such crimes. That included an alarming 1,600 percent increase over 2000 in attacks on individuals, businesses or organizations identified with Islam, a jump attributed to post-Sept. 11 bias... But if the FBI reports are to be...

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Wiccan Sues Chesterfield County on Charges of Discrimination

December 7, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 7, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "in Chesterfield County, elected leaders bow their heads for a brief prayer to start every meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Local ministers, priests and the occasional rabbi, each of whom has volunteered to be on a list, offer words of inspiration before the meeting shifts to zoning laws, budget cuts and public hearings. It's been that way for years. But when Cynthia Simpson, a witch and local Wiccan priestess, volunteered, she received a firm "no." In a letter from...

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Eid al-Fitr in U.S., 2002

December 7, 2002

Source: The White House

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/ramadan/eid_greeting.html

On December 7, 2002 The White House issued a Eid al-Fitr greeting. President Bush stated, "I am pleased to send greetings to all of those celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the culmination of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan... Ramadan commemorates the revelation of God's word in the holy Koran to the prophet Mohammed – a word that is read and recited with special attention and...

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American Jewish Groups Petition Big Three Automakers in Detroit

December 5, 2002

Source: Cleveland Jewish News

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/display/inn_news/JTA/zdrive1202.txt

On December 5, 2002 Cleveland Jewish News reported that "[Rabbi Jerome] Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement's congregational umbrella group, is among Jewish and Christian leaders and organizations aiming to steer the United States away from its dependence on foreign oil and put the brakes on...

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National Library Project to Provide Information about Islam

December 5, 2002

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1205/p14s02-lire.html

On December 5, 2002 The Christian Science Monitor reported that "to help counter what it sees as 'a rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric' in US society, a national Islamic civil rights group has come up with a particularly American response. It has launched a grass-roots campaign to get Muslims to sponsor educational materials for local public libraries. 'It's important that...

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Renews Anti-Discrimination Message

December 4, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5995-2002Dec3.html

On December 4, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iraq and continued concerns about terrorism, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has renewed its message to employers that it is illegal to discriminate against foreign-born workers. The agency issued updated anti-bias guidelines yesterday...

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Religious Groups Speak Out Against War with Iraq: Dec. 2002

December 4, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 4, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "seven Buddhists from Leverett, Mass., have been beating drums and chanting this week in a demonstration across from the White House to promote peace between the United States and Iraq."

Harry Potter and the Establishment Clause

December 4, 2002

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On December 4, 2002 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "while her fifth-grade classmates at Truman Elementary School in Pacific listen to the adventures of Harry Potter, Merry Noella Skaggs chooses to sit in the library and read other books. Martha Skaggs says her daughter's teacher should not read the best-selling books in class because they teach kids about witchcraft, which she considers a religion. 'They won't give equal time to other religious books,' said Skaggs, who identified herself as Pentecostal. 'If...

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Religious Groups Speak Out Against War with Iraq: Dec. 2002

December 4, 2002

Source: Connecticut Post

http://www.connpost.com/Stories/0,1413,96%257E3750%257E1029127,00.html

On December 4, 2002 the Connecticut Post reported that "with the prospect of war with Iraq increasing, prayers for peace were offered by clergy of many faiths during a midday service Tuesday at Housatonic Community College. Despite bitter cold, about three dozen leaders of churches, mosques and synagogues gathered under a sunny sky in the college courtyard...

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Christmas Creche Scene and the Establishment Clause

December 3, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 3, 2002 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed an editorial that stated, "a seasonal mini-flap developed last week. The issue was whether it was legal for the city to let an ecumenical Christian group post signs on Grant Street notifying motorists they could park temporarily at certain times while viewing a Nativity scene near USX Tower.  The signs were labeled 'Creche Viewing.' Such common-sense interaction between church and state is a far cry from the Nativity scene in the Allegheny County Courthouse that...

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Constitutionality of Congressional Chaplains in Question

December 3, 2002

Source: Religion News Service

http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=1794

On December 3, 2002 Religion News Service reported that "twenty-two members of Congress have urged a federal court to dismiss a suit challenging the constitutionality of congressional chaplains. The American Center for Law and Justice filed a friend-of-the-court brief in U.S. District Court in Washington on behalf of itself and 22 members of Congress in response to a lawsuit filed in August by...

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December: Celebrations and Dilemmas, 2002

December 2, 2002

Source: religionwriters.com

http://www.religionwriters.com/public/tips/120202/120202a.html

On December 2, 2002 religionwriters.com reported that "the first week in December includes the celebration of Advent, Hanukkah, and Eid al-Fitr, and Christmas and Kwanzaa aren't far behind. After a year of constitutional controversies regarding religion, the winter holidays are yet another venue for debating the meaning of religious symbols in the public square....

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