Grafton Peace Pagoda an Ancient Monument to Nonviolence

June 28, 2001

Source: The Times Union

On June 28, 2001, The Times Union reported on the Grafton Peace Pagoda in Albany, New York. The pagoda is a "monument to peace developed after the horrors of war...[It] is a symbol of nonviolence that dates as far back as 2,000 years ago...There are two peace pagodas in the United States...A Japanese Buddhist nun, Jun Yasuda, is the reason the Grafton Peace Pagoda was built."

Religious Leaders Demand Educational Reform in Pennsylvania

June 28, 2001

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On June 28, 2001, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that "Protestant pastors and a Jewish rabbi gathered at the state demand change in a school funding system they view as unjust, immoral and outrageous. They promised to organize their congregations and communities into a grass-roots campaign to 'target' lawmakers in the next election...They lamented the disparity between rich and poor school districts."

Faith-Based Initiatives in Practice in Philadelphia

June 28, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On June 28, 2001, The Washington Post published an editorial by George Will in which he wrote about John Street, who, "as mayor,...has made Philadelphia the foremost laboratory for what President Bush calls 'faith-based initiatives.'... Every day approximately 20,000 students...are unexcused absentees from among Philadelphia's 214,000 public school students. So the plan is for every absent student's household to receive a taped call from the mayor -- his voice -- noting the child's absence, and for volunteers from faith-...

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Candidate for New Jersey Governor Prevails Despite Islamophobia

June 27, 2001

Source: cair-net

On June 27, 2001, the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that "Bret Schundler, the mayor of Jersey City, N.J., won the Republican nomination for governor..., defeating a former congressman in a race tainted by accusations of Islamophobia." Schundler had been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for speaking at a meeting of the American Muslim Alliance on the grounds that AMA's leaders had challenged policies of the state of Israel. Schundler said that "he would be caving in to anti-Muslim bigotry if he shunned AMA representatives...

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Religious Groups Reluctant to Join the "Armies of Compassion"

June 27, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On June 27, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported that, "even if [Bush's faith-based initiative] makes it through a thicket of opposition in Congress, recent experience shows that synagogues, churches, and mosques are often reluctant to embark on social-service crusades, including government-funded ones...As one minister [said], 'With the government's shekels come the government's shackles.'"

School Board Considers Changes to Religion Policy

June 27, 2001

Source: The Seattle Times

On June 27, 2001, The Seattle Times reported that "students would be permitted to say nondisruptive prayers in the classroom, and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny could be part of holiday displays in school hallways, under proposed policy changes that will be presented tonight to the Kent School Board. The changes would replace strict guidelines the district put into effect last fall," that drew objections from students, parents and others.

Selectmen Vote to Allow Display of Menorah

June 27, 2001

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

On June 27, 2001, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported that "the [Westboro, Massachusetts] Board of Selectmen...approved a menorah display for the downtown rotary in December, reversing its earlier position on the issue...Selectmen worried that allowing a menorah display would open it to any number of unwanted displays...Westboro Town Counsel Alan F. Dodd said in a report to selectmen last night that the town cannot forbid the free exchange of ideas at the rotary."

Clergy Insists Government Enforce Wage Violation Payments

June 26, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 26, 2001, The New York Times reported that "16 United States senators are at loggerheads with 18 bishops from various denominations...The senators...have urged the department to drop [an] enforcement effort, in which inspectors found wage violations at...51 poultry plants [and told the plants to pay $350 million in back wages]...But the religious leaders want the Labor Department to press ahead, saying the poultry workers need the government's protection."

Farrakhan Urges Rap Artists to Choose Lyrics Wisely

June 26, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On June 26, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan urged rap artists at this month's Hip-Hop Summit in New York to take their lyrical discourse to a higher level...Hip-hop's reverence for Farrakhan is just one reason why...the Muslim cleric enjoys the distinction of being the only...religious figure in America who commands respect among considerable portions of America's black youth...Farrakhan...urged the choose words wisely...'I am learning every day that...

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Baptists Express Uncertainty about Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

June 26, 2001

Source: The Providence Journal-Bulletin

On June 26, 2001, The Providence Journal-Bulletin reported that "delegates to the Biennial Meeting of the American Baptist Churches-USA voted by a ratio of 4 to 1 to approve a statement highly critical of [Bush's faith-based initiative] but without enough votes to make it official...The debate [at the meeting] made clear that the issue of separation of church and state remains a fundamental concern for American Baptists."

Hartford's "Little Italy" Becomes Picture of Diversity

June 24, 2001

Source: The Hartford Courant

On June 24, 2001, The Hartford Courant reported on "Little Italy" in southern Hartford. "To...walk the...streets of southern Hartford in 2001 is to see a multicultural postcard -- groups of white, black and Latino [people]...Many of the newest ethnic arrivals are white Europeans -- Albanians and Bosnians fleeing racial and religious persecution...'The Italian South End' as a residential community has been remade through a dramatic population shift during the 1990s...The city must make the quality of life in the South End a...

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Washington Archdiocese Reaches Out to Latinos

June 24, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On June 24, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "concerned about the loss of traditionally Catholic Latinos to Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal churches that energetically proselytize for new members, more Catholics have decided to respond in kind...About 200 Catholic Latinos from local parishes...fanned out in heavily Latino neighborhoods of Northwest Washington an evangelization effort sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington...In the Washington archdiocese,...170,000 of the 510,000 Catholics are of Hispanic...

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Speakers at L.A. Conference Denounce Domestic Violence by Muslims

June 24, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On June 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "in the first Los Angeles conference focusing on Muslim domestic violence, several speakers" objected to the use of religious text to justify family violence. "The conference is part of the Peaceful Families Project, an Islamic-awareness program funded with a $76,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice." They urged Muslims to separate the culturally influenced practice of domestic violence from the Koran.

Hindu Conference in Michigan Addresses Technology and Ethics

June 24, 2001

Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire

On June 24, 2001, the Associated Press State & Local Wire reported on a three-day conference at the Vivekananda Monastery and Retreat in Ganges, Michigan called "Vedanta in the Third Millennium." 14 leading swamis - Hindu religious teachers - attended. They were from India, Bolivia and across the United States. More than 800 others attended the conference as delegates or visitors. The leaders spoke about the danger of technology without ethics.

Religious Rivalries in Ukraine

June 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 23, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on Ukraine, "an extraordinarily tense spot on the map of world religion, where three branches of Orthodoxy and two branches of Catholocism vie with one another, with Protestant missionaries, and with the legacy of 70 years of state-enforced atheism. 'Ukraine is ground zero of Orthodox-Catholic tension in the late 20th and early 21st century, and the tension has spilled onto the international scene,' said one member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. "From the vantage point of...

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