Civic

Mormon Church's Role in Utah Games Stirs Controversy

August 8, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 8, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the debate in Utah "over the Salt Lake [Mormon] Temple being the literal backdrop of the Olympics and over the extensive involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in hosting them. Critics fear that the state's dominant institution intends to use the Olympics as a public relations tool to carry its mission around the globe in search of converts." The Mormon Church has about 11 million members. "While the church's president... has banned proselytizing on the...

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Church Supports Bill Requiring Clergy to Report Child Abuse

August 8, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 8, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "in a significant reversal, the Catholic Church withdrew its opposition...to a bill that would force clergy to report suspected child abuse to the state. The church said it will now work to ensure the bill's passage, but declined to say why it changed its position...As proposed, the bill makes an exception for so-called privileged communication, allowing priests who learn of abuse in the confessional to keep the information secret."

Religious and Ethnic Backgrounds Exploited in Investment Scams

August 8, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 8, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "fraud artists increasingly are preying on people based on their religious and ethnic backgrounds, members of the North American Securities Administration Association said at a press conference in Washington. The news came on the heels of prison sentences...for two former members of a Tampa church, who bilked fellow churchgoers of nearly $580 million on 'divinely inspired investments.'...'I've seen more money stolen in the name of God than in any other way,' said...NASAA...

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Cabinet at Prayer: Letters to the Editor

August 7, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On August 7, 2001, The New York Times published a letter to the editor that said, "I was very pleased to see the... front-page photograph of President Bush and members of his cabinet in prayer at the beginning of a meeting...This attitude shows the intelligence of people who know that the help of God is necessary for solving the most important problems of the world."

Nominee for International Post Under Scrutiny for Religious Views

August 7, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 7, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on Bush's new nominee for a top international aid post. As "president of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, he instituted a policy that permitted only 'committed Christians' to be hired to teach in the school's adult education program...Two civil rights groups...called on the US Senate to question...Kent R. Hill...about the hiring criteria and whether he would favor international religious groups in his new job."

Cabinet at Prayer: Letters to the Editor

August 7, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On August 7, 2001, The New York Times published a letter to the editor about a photograph of the cabinet at prayer before a meeting, which said the photograph removes "any remaining doubt that this administration has no qualms about eliminating the separation of church and state. The photo also strongly indicates that this administration has no qualms about coercing others into religious displays...We can assume the values the administration will be emphasizing are not tolerance, diversity, open-mindedness."

Buddhist Teaches Inmates Meditation

August 6, 2001

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On August 6, 2001, The Tampa Tribune reported on K.C. Walpole, who counsels prison inmates, "teaching Buddhism and offering meditation...He and four other volunteers have worked with 250 prisoners in 11 state prisons, two county jails and two federal penitentiaries. They teach meditation through the Gateless Gate Zen Center, a nonprofit religious group Walpole founded near Gainesville in 1997...The Buddhist group's work inside prisons does not stress religion. It is nondenominational...Walpole has taught the same techniques...

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Catholic Priest Opposes Negative Depictions of Jews

August 4, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 4, 2001, The Boston Globe interviewed the Rev. Robert W. Bullock, a Catholic priest who "has spent many o his 72 years thinking about Judaism...He has become a voice on the impact of the Holocaust on Catholocism and Christianity." He wrote that "the problem is not in the classroom; it is in the church." In the interview he explained that "primarily [these problems] arise in the lectionary...[For example,] there is the problematic depction of Jews as the mob crying out for the death of Jesus."

Indian Swami Preaches Unity on Tour of Twin Cities

August 4, 2001

Source: The Pioneer Press

On August 4, 2001, The Pioneer Press reported on the speaking tour of a swami from Andra Pradesh, India. "Swamiji Bhagavan Sri Viswayogi Viswamji Maharaj will make public and private appearances" in the Twin Cities for five days. "What he says -- that all religions are the same -- is important," said one of the local Hindus who organized the tour. "More and more (swamiss) are coming to the United States because of the affluence of the Indian-Hindu community," said the production manager of Hinduism Today. "Many swamis...

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Washington Muslim Community Fears Displacement

August 4, 2001

Source: The Seattle Times

On August 4, 2001, The Seattle Times reported on the Masjid As Salaam mosque in SeaTac, Washington. "It's...a converted four-bedroom house in a residential neighborhood...With the recent arrival of refugees from Somalia and other countries, a swelling congregation has overwhelmed the site," which now attracts about 400 worshippers. "Officials are...raising questions about occupancy levels and building-code compliance." The worshippers are worried about being displaced. Many of them are "couching the dispute as a matter of...

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Bill Would Allow Religious Groups Access to Government Funding

August 3, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 3, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "cabinet secretaries could convert $47 billion worth of social spending into vouchers, giving participants in...[social service] programs the chance to shop around for religious or secular services, under legislation approved by the House. The provision [is] part of a bill that would open 10 government programs up to religious groups...Unlike groups that receive direct funding, [groups that receive money through vouchers] could include religious instruction or prayer and...

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Senator Demands God's Name Be Used in Oaths

August 3, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 3, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama "scolded Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, for leaving out 'so help me God' when swearing in nominees and others who testify in front of his panel." The Constitution does not require an oath invoking God's name. "Sessions said that traditionally the reference to God has been included and he is considering an effort to make the language part of Senate rules."

Neighbors Take Issue with Religious Lawn Statue

August 2, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 2, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on Jamal Saba of Canton, Mich. "When Saba moved his family into a $500,000 dream house," he included a statue of the Virgin Mary in the $10,000 landscaping design. "He was shocked recently to find an anonymous letter in his mailbox, telling him that religion should stay inside the home, and later to discover that he faces a legal challenge from his homeowners association over the statue...'They hate me because the Virgin Mary went up,' said Saba."

Further Debate over Religious Use of Peyote

August 2, 2001

Source: deseretnews.com

On August 2, 2001, deseretnews.com reported that "a legal debate about whether a self-described 'medicine man' violated drug laws for giving peyote to non-American Indians during religious ceremonies continues in Utah County. A motion by James 'Flaming Eagle' Mooney to dismiss drug and racketeering charges against him and his wife, Linda, is being reviewed" by the district judge. "Attorney Kathryn Collard, who represents the Mooneys, said the case boils down to a constitutional right to practice religion."

Justice Displays Ten Commandments in Montgomery Court Building

August 2, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On August 2, 2001, The New York Times reported that "Chief Justice Roy Moore unveiled...in the judicial building in Montgomery a...display of historical quotations that was topped by carved tablets of the Ten Commandments. The display fulfills a campaign pledge the judge made last year to acknowledge in a public place God's influence on the law."

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