Civic

Airports Begin to Accommodate Muslim Prayer

January 1, 2001

Source: Azizah

In the Winter 2001 issue, Azizah reported on the issue of accommodation for Islamic prayer in airports around the country. Many Muslims have to find a quiet corner to make salah, and a growing number of US airports are offering interfaith chapels with Islamic prayer rugs oriented towards Mecca, or even a room specifically for Islamic prayer. These additions make prayer in an airport much easier and more peaceful for Muslims, and also raise awareness among non-Muslims about the presence of their Muslim neighbors.

Schoolbus Driver Treats Children To Christmas Gifts

December 31, 2000

Source: The Times-Picayune

On December 31, 2000, The Times-Picayune reported that Debbie Beck, a schoolbus driver in New Orleans, LA, delivered gifts to children in need for the holidays. Rev. Eugene Wellington, director of Community Christian Concern, said that Beck is truly dedicated to the children. She sought to find a family to adopt after she donated more than 40 gifts to CCC for children. At the CCC's Christmas party, children were treated to tours of the city in a limousine. Wellington said that the community's response to the program for children has...

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Top Religion News Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 30, 2000, The Washington Post reported on some of the biggest religion news stories of 2000.

The biggest one was "when Vice President Gore named Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as his vice presidential running mate." Lieberman, thereby "the first Jewish candidate on a major party presidential ticket," called "for a greater role for religion in civic life." In this way, "the Democratic team...opened the door for Jewish Americans to play a more prominent...role in the nation's public life...

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Columnist Gives Top 10 Religion Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 30, 2000, The Boston Globe ran Michael Paulson's "Top 10 religion stories of 2000:"

1. "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is nominated as the first Jewish candidate for vice president of the United States." Among other things, this caused Jews to question the "assumption that orthodoxy, at least for Jews, is incompatible with success in America."

2. "Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, and other Catholic prelates offer sweeping apologies for sins as part of celebration of Jubilee year...

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American Muslims Influence Practice of Islam Around the World

December 29, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 29, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "American Muslims are slowly but steadily carving their mark on the Islamic world." Although only 3 to 10 million of the 1 billion Muslims in the world live in the United States, academic and religious freedom in America have helped to make them the "most educated, affluent and diverse Muslims in the world [and have] given them an impact greater than their numbers." The flourishing numbers of provocative Islamic thinkers in America "are tackling taboo subjects such as...

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Suggested Approaches to Teaching Religion in Schools During the Holidays

December 26, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 26, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on public schools' history of abstaining from religious material during the holidays. Since the mid-1980s, however, public schools have finally begun to focus on "the key role of religion in American life." Scholar Charles Haynes notes, "For the first time, we have a widely shared consensus that teaching about religion is important and constitutional." He claims, however, that we are still ignoring "how we will live with these religious differences."...

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School Districts Trying To Be More Sensitive During Holidays

December 25, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On December 25, 2000, The Denver Post reported that while sensitivity to different cultures during the winter holiday season has increased, teachers, students and families must still be careful about how they treat the holidays. In schools, Christmas concerts, Santa Claus art projects and other traditional holiday celebrations are being replaced with winter festivals and global holiday rituals. Cory Elementary School begins the season by taking its students to a production which includes different religious celebrations. Efforts such...

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Black Churches Expanding Their Roles in Community

December 24, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

n December 24, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported, in an editorial, that African American churches are quickly becoming centers of community renewal. Their work goes beyond charity to the use of sophisticated financing as a means to improve real property and attract mainstream businesses. Black churches are revitalizing poorer neighborhoods for three reasons: first, they often confront urgent needs, since poverty, homelessness and unemployment are at crisis levels in these areas. Second, black churches have been an institution in...

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Lexington Creche Brings People Together

December 24, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 24, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that "hundreds of singing and shivering worshipers congregated on historic Battle Green last night to turn the site of a controversy into a place for celebration. They came to sing Christmas carols and witness a live Nativity scene. Activists planned the event after town officials banned them from displaying a creche on the historic green." Some say that the ban has brought them together in their feelings of faith. "The service was led by the Rev. Tom DiLorenzo of Holy Rosary Church...

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Lexington Creche Issue Causes Bitter Feelings In Town

December 24, 2000

Source: The Boston Herald

On December 24, 2000, The Boston Herald reported that many came from around the state of Massachusetts came to the Lexington Battle Green to re-enact the Nativity in the place where the Revolutionary War began. "Despite freezing temperatures, more than 200 people descended on the historic common for a one-night re-enactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with animals, music and signs demanding, 'Put the Christ back in Christmas.' " It was also a reminder, however, that some things have changed. "Last summer, the selectmen voted...

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Bush Meets With Religious Leaders To Discuss Plans For "Faith Based" Initiatives

December 21, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 21, 2000, The New York Times reported that President-elect George W. Bush met with about 30 ministers and other religious leaders, many of them black, to talk about his plans to expand the roles of the churches and charities in federal welfare programs. Bush asked the leaders for suggestions about how to proceed with "faith based" initiatives, which includes financing churches and private charities to take over government welfare functions as well as using tax breaks and other incentives to spark donations....

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Chapels in Malls Attract Devotees with Convenience, Anonymity

December 21, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 21, 2000, The Boston Globe reported on the presence of chapels in malls. The article states that many like the mall chapels, of which there are perhaps a dozen in the country, for their convenience and anonymity, especially regarding confessions. "'A chapel in a mall...is about as anonymous as you get,' explained [Father Bill] Mullin, [a priest at St. Francis Chapel in the Prudential Center mall]. 'For someone who's been away from church for a while, the anonymity of the confessional is very important. I'm never...

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Bush Tries to Garner Support From Black Voters in Austin While Introducing His "Faith-Based" Initiatives

December 21, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 21, 2000, The Washington Post reported that President-elect George Bush met with religious leaders in Austin yesterday to talk about his "faith-based" initiative. The event was also an attempt to gather support from black voters, only 9 percent of whom voted for Bush. The group included a rabbi, academics and representatives of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Islamic Center of America. The largest representation was from African Americans. Civil rights leaders and representatives from black...

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Donors During the Holidays Are Decreasing While List of Those In Need Increases

December 20, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 20, 2000, The Boston Globe reported that this year's list of donors to families in need is low. Maria Contreras, who runs an adopt-a-family program in Boston, asks people to sponsor families, providing blankets, clothes, kitchen appliances and the like. This year, she said her list of needy families has grown and her list of donors has shrunk. Her organization, Soldiers of Health, even sent 250 letters to churches and businesses all over Boston. The families are chosen on a case-by-case basis, and they are families that...

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