Civic

Groups Collaborate to Streamline Aid to Bosnian Immigrants

June 23, 2001

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On June 23, 2001, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Southside Bosnian Services Collaborative in St. Louis, which is an organization formed last year to help Bosnians in the region. It is composed of representatives from 40 organizations, including south St. Louis churches, Christian faith-based social agencies, medical clinics and hospitals. Several churches are trying to make Bosnian immigrants in the region feel more welcome.

Newspaper that Once Helped Jewish Refugees Is Making a Comeback

June 23, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 23, 2001, The New York Times reported on The Aufbau, a newspaper founded in New York by Jewish refugees from Hitler 67 years ago. It once contained articles by Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt, and was read by "the tide of German and Austrian Jews that washed over New York in the 1930's and 1940's." Threatened with bankruptcy, it now "has restructured itself as a charitable foundation" and is making a comeback. It continues to cover stories related to the Holocaust.

ACLU Loses Court Battle over Display of Ten Commandments

June 22, 2001

Source: Rocky Mountain News

On June 22, 2001, the Rocky Mountain News reported that "Denver U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel refused the ACLU's request that he order the Ten Commandments removed immediately" from Grand Junction City Hall. Daniel said he is bound by an earlier ruling that said that a display of the Ten Commandments in Salt Lake City was "'primarily secular, and not religious in character.'...Grand Junction will immediately order granite to surround the Ten Commandments with five new monuments depicting documents important in British and U.S...

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Tribes Negotiate for Sacred Land in Montana

June 22, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 22, 2001, The New York Times reported on the conflict over Weatherman Draw in south-central Montana. "Indian tribes that trace the presence of their ancestors here say they believe the spirits of their elders remain, making these 4,200 acres about 50 miles south of Billings [MT] a sacred place to them.... Yet now, the valley and its fading ancient art are at the center of a major conflict, one of the first that illustrates the kind of dispute that erupts when the nation struggles to balance energy needs with environmental...

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Leader of Anti-Discrimination Group Calls on Churches and Synagogues

June 21, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On June 21, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that "the leader of the National Conference for Community and Justice called on churches and synagogues to quash racism, bigotry and bias" at the organization's regional conference in Kansas City...He said faith-based groups in America have gotten away from fighting social ills such as racism because they have gotten too caught up with other issues."

Gay Muslims Try to Find a Place in Islam

June 21, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On June 21, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the Al-Fatiha Foundation, an organization started by Faisal Alam, who is gay and Muslim, to help others like him reconcile their faith and their sexuality. "Islam, like many religions, condemns homosexuality ...The mere existence of the group upsets orthodox members of the Islamic faith...In addition to the nine chapters, Al-Fatiha has a half-dozen Internet list servers." Al Fatiha's website can be found at www.al-fatiha.net...

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Two Scholars Advocate Teaching Religion in Public Schools

June 20, 2001

Source: The Virginian-Pilot

On June 20, 2001, The Virginian-Pilot reported that two scholars "urged...in a forum broadcast live on public radio...a model in which religion is treated with respect and taught in the curriculum" in public schools. "But we keep the government from imposing or denigrating religion," they said. Both scholars "work with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, whose focus is religious liberty...The scholars said that teaching about religion can be - and should be - included in school curriculums that are based on sound...

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Court Orders FedEx to Allow Employees to Wear Beards for Religious Reasons

June 20, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On June 20, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "Federal Express Corp. must allow employees to wear beards for religious reasons, the U.S. District Court in Augusta has ruled. The decision came after [Muslim] Khaleed Abdul-Azeez filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that the company violated his religious beliefs and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with its policy prohibiting employees in customer-contact positions from wearing beards."

Supreme Court Permits School-Sponsored Prayer in Alabama

June 19, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On June 19, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "a year after striking down student-led prayers before high school football games in Santa Fe, the U.S. Supreme Court...let stand a lower court's ruling [in Alabama] allowing such prayers." Having previously ruled that the student-led prayers violated the separation between church and state, "the justices did not explain why they chose to pass on hearing the [Alabama] case...Lawyers for the American Center for Law and Justice...hailed the action as a 'critical victory for...

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Muslim and Jewish Interfaith Group Plans to Resume Dialogue

June 19, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On June 19, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "southland Muslim and Jewish leaders decided...to restart a troubled interfaith dialogue group after Mideast tensions moved the Islamic side to freeze the effort last month...The group...has lost members in the last several months as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stoked emotions and suspicions on both sides." Many, however, believe that the issues need to be squarely addressed in interfaith dialogue.

Buddhist Helps Vietnamese Inmates at Nebraska Prison

June 19, 2001

Source: The Associated Press

On June 19, 2001, the Associated Press reported that "felons at the Nebraska State Penitentiary might be closer than most to happiness, at least in the Buddhist sense, said Buddhist Dau Nguyen, a former South Vietnamese naval officer who visits the prison." They understand suffering, he explained. "Nguyen, 54, who began meeting with individual Vietnamese prisoners at the penitentiary this year, wants to begin holding group meetings at the prison" for its small Vietnamese inmate population.

Iowa Town Not Ready for Influx of Diverse Newcomers

June 18, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 18, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the arrival of Brooklyn-born Hasidic Jews and immigrants from Russia, Bosnia, Ukraine, Nigeria and Mexico to Postville, Iowa. "At first, the Iowans smiled stretched out their hands. But over time, they resented what they saw as the newcomers' unfriendly ways...[Some] say Postville, which has become a real-life model of diversity, immigration, and demographic shifts, proves Iowa is not [psychologically and socially] ready for a mass immigration...Of all the newcomers...the Hasidic Jews...

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Faith-Based Initiative to Be Debated in Congress

June 17, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On June 17, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Bush's faith-based initiative "is about to be debated in Congress. But the outlook is stormy, and one key Republican has warned the White House that the bill faces serious constitutional and political problems...The White House and its allies are launching a major effort to mobilize political support."

Descendants of Salem Witches Push for their Exoneration

June 17, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On June 17, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that "Massachusetts has exonerated by name 14 of the 19 men and women" who were convicted for witchcraft and hanged in Salem in 1692. The Massachusetts Legislature is considering "a bill to erase the [remaining five] of the 309-year-old convictions. Descendants [scattered from Maine to Utah] and historians...insist it's time to set the record straight: These were not witches. They were heroic Christian martyrs who refused to renounce their faith."

Cancellation of Polish-Language Masses Ignites Protest

June 17, 2001

Source: The Record

On June 17, 2001, The Record reported that 150 people "stood outside Our Lady of Czestochowa in protest...after [their] pastor, the Rev. Thomas Iwanoski, announced the [Polish-language] Mass would be canceled at the Roman Catholic church, saying the attendance had dwindled to 55 for the service...Polish immigrants...said the cancellation is the latest indignity in an effort to remove their traditions from a church that is now catering to wealthy urban professionals...Polish families founded Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1911."

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