Civic

Op-Ed Articles Respond to Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

March 5, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On March 5, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an editorial by Donald E. Miller, in which he criticized Bush's faith-based initiatives for making religion nothing more than an extension of government. This is a problem because "one of the essential roles of the church, temple or synagogue is not just to serve the poor but to work toward eliminating the structural forces that create poverty...It is also the task of religion to be a judge and critic." The initiative, he said, would create generic forms of civil religion. Plus,...

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Religious Clubs Proliferate in Orange County High Schools

March 5, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 5, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that, "while religious clubs still are being challenged in the courts across the nation,...outside the South, Orange County may be the epicenter of a growing national phenomenon of religious groups on high school campuses." To preserve the line between church and state, many school districts do not allow adults to approach students about forming religious organizations. A student leader of one of these groups, however, said "the focus is not so much on converting students as on...

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Valedictorian Loses Appeal to Give Religious Graduation Speech

March 5, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 5, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "a California high school valedictorian who was barred from giving a graduation speech in which he planned to ask the audience to 'accept God's love' and live by 'Jesus' example' lost a Supreme Court appeal today... The proposed speech was 'a religious sermon' and allowing it as part of the graduation ceremony 'would amount to government sponsorship of, and coercion to participate in, particular religious practices,' the appeals court said."

Lutheran-Funded Charity Example of Bush's Vision of Faith-Based Charities

March 4, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On March 4, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the Community Family Life Services center, sponsored by First Trinity Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C. As a typical faith-based charity, the center offers insights into [Bush's] contention "that faith-based groups are more innovative, nimble and successful than government in meeting the needs of people living in poverty... It also provides reassurance about...fears that faith-based groups might try to convert people seeking assistance, or...

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Islamic Leaders Denounce Taliban's Destruction of Non-Islamic Art

March 3, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 3, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Taliban has ordered the "ruination of every non-Islamic religious piece of art in the country... Islamic leaders in the U.S. and other countries, including Iran and Pakistan, called on the Taliban to grant a reprieve." Muzammil H. Siddiqi, director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, said the demolition of the art is "'a very un-Islamic act.' Salam Al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a national organization based in Los Angeles, agreed."

Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

March 3, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On March 3, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Houston religious leaders from faiths as diverse as the Unification Church, The Nation of Islam and the Church of God in Christ banded together Friday to support President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and to make sure they get a piece of the action...By banding together... they hoped to ensure they were not discriminated against when seeking federal grants."

Lieberman Endorses Faith-Based Initiative

March 3, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 3, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) has endorsed President Bush's" new faith-based initiative. He "said supporters must make the case that there is a proper place for faith in public life."

Florida Pagan Protests Christian School Board Prayer

March 2, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/News/030201/Citrus/Sheriff_repudiates_pa.shtml

On March 2, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Inverness resident Charles Schrader "says he was harassed by deputies" after he spoke at a meeting of the School Board. Schrader "is the pagan who has previously interrupted School Board opening prayer with a Wiccan incantation and who has sharply criticized" the board chairwoman on religion...

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Jewish Immigrants to America Revive Ties to Their Faith

March 2, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On March 2, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported on "a wave of [Jewish] immigrants from the former Soviet Union who came to the United States in the 1990s, many with the help of individuals, Jewish Family Services and the Columbus Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation. At the height of that immigration...100-150 families were coming to Columbus yearly...Teaching the immigrants the Jewish faith is a vital part of the effort" to bring them to the States. Many of them knew little about their religion before they came.

Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

March 2, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 2, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "misgivings [about Bush's new faith-based initiative] are coming from many religious leaders, including a number of conservatives who otherwise favor Bush policies...Some...have been burned by government regulations that imposed changes they did not like. Some members of religious minorities fear...that they will be overlooked. And there are some who warn that the grants lead to spiritual compromises; they say religion gets lost in the bargain." Pat Robertson, head of the...

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Lieberman Says Nation of Islam's Social Programs Are Eligible for Government Funds

March 2, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 2, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman...said yesterday that he would not rule out Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam from receiving federal funds through President Bush's new faith-based initiative. 'If the Nation of Islam established a separate corporation (for delivering social services), there is not a basis to deny them, presuming they are living within the civil rights laws,' Lieberman said." This position shocked many leaders who see the Nation as "a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-...

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Bush's Aide Defends New Faith-Based Initiative

March 2, 2001

Source: The Associated Press

On March 2, 2001, the Associated Press reported that "President Bush's pointman [John DiIulio] for directing more federal money to religious charities says the effort probably will wind up in court, even as he tries to convince Americans that concerns over mixing church and state are overstated...He is convinced that the courts will line up on his side." His main argument is that concerns raised by the new faith-based initiative apply only to extreme cases. While he works out the details of how the plan will be implemented, "he's...

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Supreme Court Hearing on Christian Group Gathering After School

March 1, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 1, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that the US Supreme Court is hearing a case on "whether a public school may bar a Christian children's group from gathering after class when it allows other outside groups to meet on its premises." The justices inquired as to whether there had been favoritism to other groups, why religious groups could not use the building when it was open for public use, and what the principle of neutrality toward religion would mean in this situation. A decision is expected at the end of June.

National Survey Finds San Francisco to Be Low in Religious Involvement

March 1, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/03/01/MNW204918.DTL

On March 1, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "compared to the rest of the country, those in the South Bay are too busy working to join religious, civic or social groups, according to the results of a national survey being released today, titled 'Civic Engagement in America.'" The survey "is...

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Native American Objects to Washington Redskins' Name

March 1, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On March 1, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported on Richard Regan, a member of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs, is "calling for the Washington Redskins to change the team's name and logo. 'To American Indians, it is almost what the 'n-word' is to African-Americans,' Regan said." Many, including Native Americans, disagree that the name is offensive. Redskins executives do not seem inclined to change the name.

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