Civic

Supreme Court Case Could Support Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

March 1, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 1, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "the Supreme Court took up the question Wednesday of whether an evangelical Christian group has a constitutional right to meet for prayer and Bible study in a public elementary school at the end of the day...Most of the justices sided with the Christian group and against school officials during the oral argument." A ruling in favor of the Good News Club, an evangelical Christian group with 4,622 chapters nationwide, "could give an important boost to President Bush's 'faith-based...

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Kansas City Interfaith Council Passes Resolution on Public Prayer

February 28, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On February 28, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that, in response to the prayers invoking the name of Jesus Christ and President Bush's inauguration, "the Kansas City Interfaith Council adopted a resolution last month suggesting that 'those who offer prayers on civic occasions in which all citizens are entitled to participate be mindful and respectful of the religious diversity within our nation and prepare their utterances so as to recognize our heritage of religious freedom.'" The article reported that "public prayer is...

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American Jewish Committee Announces Interfaith Document on Faith-Based Initiatives

February 28, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 28, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Jewish groups are expressing strong reservations about President Bush's plan to give ministries more access to federal funds for social services, and they are warning the White House that their support depends on its fortifying the wall between church and state... Yesterday, a broad-based group of religious and civic organizations issued "In Good Faith," a report that endorsed expanding government support for social ministries as long as none of the federal funds went to...

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Many Speak in Favor of School Prayer at School Board Meeting

February 28, 2001

Source: St. Petersburg Times

http://www.sptimes.com/News/022801/Citrus/_Davids__deliver_stan.shtml

On February 28, 2001, the St. Petersburg Times reported on "the Citrus County [Florida] School Board...hearing the public's opinion on two issues: opening board meetings with a prayer and allowing a Christian youth group to meet at a middle school during school hours... Both issues were raised by board member Carol Snyder." She said that opening meetings...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 28, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 28, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Jewish groups are expressing strong reservations about President Bush's" new faith-based initiative. Their biggest concern is that the government will compromise the separation between church and state by funding social services with religious content. "Many Jews already feel like outsiders in a pluralistic-faith society, and they don't want Bush's initiative to encourage Southern Baptists, for example, in their stated mission to convert Jews to Christianity...Other concerns with...

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American Jewish Committee Announces Interfaith Document on Faith-Based Initiatives

February 27, 2001

Source: press release

http://www.ajc.org/press/default.htm?show.asp?ID=182

On February 27, 2001, the American Jewish Committee issued a press release saying that "a two-year initiative aimed at finding common ground among diverse religious and public interest groups on government funding of social services provided by religious organizations issued today its landmark report, “In Good Faith: A Dialogue on Government Funding of Faith-Based Social Services...More than 17...

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

February 26, 2001

Source: The New Republic

On February 26, 2001, The New Republic published a piece by Jeffrey Rosen, in which he supported charitable choice legislation. He defends religious organizations' right "to discriminate on the basis of religion in hiring and firing staff [and] the right to define their organizational mission," as long as they do not discriminate against beneficiaries. He also defends religious organizations' right to discriminate on the basis of sex and sexual orientation when hiring and firing, as long as churches "own up to the beliefs and...

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Editorial Supports Shift from School to Private Sponsorhip of Religious Service

February 26, 2001

Source: Dayton Daily News

On February 26, 2001, the Dayton Daily News published an editorial on a Texas school's co-sponsorhip of religious baccalaureate services with local churches. "Under current court rulings," the writer said, "school sponsorship of a religious service is unconstitutional." The school therefore needs to shift the religious baccalaureate from school to private sponsorship. He offers two more arguments in favor of this shift: "a privately sponsored, voluntarily attended religious service is consistent with our commitment to religious...

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U.S. Responds to Earthquake in India

February 26, 2001

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On February 26, 2001, the Omaha World-Herald reported that "three speakers - each representing a different faith - gathered Sunday afternoon at Omaha's Hindu Temple to offer insight on how to grapple with the deep and troubling questions raised by the" recent earthquake in Gujarat. "More than 60 members of the Hindu Temple spent all or part of the weekend fasting...$13,000 has been raised to help rebuild Gujarat."

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

February 26, 2001

Source: The New Republic

On February 26, 2001, The New Republic published a piece by Benjamin Soskis on Bush's new faith-based initiative. He says that social scientists have done no empirical research yet that supports the claim that "faith-based programs work best...The unquestioning faith in faith's instrumentality is also compromised by the fact that studies [that support the claim of religious programs' superiority] define religion institutionally...and thus fail to differentiate between religion's social and doctrinal components...Given that much of...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 26, 2001

Source: Dayton Daily News

On February 26, 2001, the Dayton Daily News reported on the concerns of members of the religious community and others "about how [Bush's new faith-based initiative] would work. They fear a blurring of the First Amendment-sanctioned line between religion and state. They wonder about the possibility of religious groups' misusing tax dollars to woo converts, religious institutions losing autonomy, and the government slighting less mainstream religions." Another concern is that Bush may be "attempting to 'push the burden on the...

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Socially Responsible Investing Gains Popularity

February 25, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 25, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "socially responsible investing...is coming into the mainstream...There are bond mutual funds as well as stock funds, funds aimed at Muslims and Mennonites, funds for animal lovers, and funds that focus on gay and lesbian rights, pro and con."

Muslim Public Affairs Council Wary of Faith-Based Initiatives

February 23, 2001

Source: Muslim Public Affairs Council

http://www.mpac.org/statements/pr-faithinitiative-jan00.htm

A recent press release by the Muslim Public Affairs Council "cautions the American Muslim community against a hasty endorsement of the proposed legislation." The press release cites concerns about unconstitutional entanglement between religion and state, the potential for proselytizing to accompany pure social welfare activities, and the danger that Muslims and other...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 23, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the debate over Bush's new faith-based initiative. Among the questions being debated: Should federal grants be available even to controversial faith-based groups? "How will government agencies ensure that money meant for social services won't be spent on religious activities and that clients won't be proselytized? Can government agencies distinguish sham groups from legitimate social ministries without showing favoritism? And can religious groups accept government oversight and stay...

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