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RELIGIOUS CHANGE, CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE,

2005-November

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Sponsored link:


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We also have a list of religious tolerance news for this month. 
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

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bullet2005-NOV-07: Catholic bishops heavily promoting end to death penalty:  According to ReligionLink: "U.S. Catholic bishops say they want to 'seize a new moment and new momentum' in their 25-year campaign against capital punishment. They're set to approve a new statement urging an end to the death penalty at their Nov. 14-17 meeting at a time when advocates on both sides of the issue say that opinions are more in flux than they have been in years." 1
bullet2005-NOV-08: PA: Voters offended because they had to vote at a mosque: A number of voters in Whitehall township, near Allentown PA, expressed displeasure at having to enter a mosque to vote. Betty Hillwig, the chief clerk of Lehigh County's Election Board, said the complaints reported by campaign volunteers at the Islamic Center of the Lehigh Valley were the only significant problems during election night. She said: "I am so upset about that..... I am not looking to change it.....I think it's a wonderful place. The people there have been lovely, and I'm sorry people are unhappy with it." Hillwig also received about a half dozen complaint phone calls.
bullet2005-NOV-12: DC: Problems over keynote address by the Dalai Lama: The Dalai Lama is scheduled to give a keynote address to the Society for Neuroscience's annual convention. The Washington Post reports that:

"A petition drive, begun primarily by Chinese American researchers, seeks to have the Dalai Lama's appearance canceled. The protesters, who argue that a religious leader should not be given such a prominent role at an important scientific conference, say they have gathered at least 600 signatures. There have also been competing letters and an editorial in the journal Nature."

His recent book, "The Universe in an Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality," tries to make the case that modern science and Buddhist thought have surprisingly similar aims, methods and sometimes conclusions. 2,3

bullet2005-NOV-10: VA/PA: Pat Robertson predicts possibility of natural disaster in Dover, PA: The voters in Dover, PA, voted to not elect all eight school board members who had favored the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID) in area public schools. ID is the belief that some structures in animals are so complex and have components that are so inter-related that they must have come about as the result of a conscious design.  Many religious conservatives promote ID as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution, because one version of ID has a God creating animal species. In excess of 99% of geological and biological scientists reject ID in favor of Evolution. Pat Robertson, host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club" said to the voters that: "you just voted God out of your city" He also said: "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city." Later, he said that he was simply trying to point out that:

"Our spiritual actions have consequences....God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in His eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin, maybe he can help them."

Associated Press reported that:

"Eight families had sued the [school] district, claiming the policy violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The federal trial concluded days before Tuesday's election, but no ruling has been issued." 4

bullet2005-NOV-22: Vatican: Restrictions on Catholic entry to seminary: The Vatican is scheduled to issue a document on NOV-29 concerning the eligibility of homosexual candidates for seminary. However, a copy appears to have been leaked on NOV-22 and posted on the Adista news agency. It is called an "Instruction" and is five pages in length. It was signed by the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education on NOV-04 and approved by Pope Benedict XVI. It says, in part:

"The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture.''

"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies.''

"If instead it is a case of homosexual tendencies that are merely the expression of a transitory problem, for example as in the case of an unfinished adolescence, they must however have been clearly overcome for at least three years before ordination as a deacon.'' 6

More details.

bullet2005-NOV-25: World: Buy Nothing Day: Adbusters is promoting the non-purchase of "stuff" on this day. In an Email, they state:
bullet"In honour of the annual stop-before-you-shop holiday, our webstore - HelloCoolStuff.com - will be closed for 24 hours. People around the world are revolting against the excessive consumption and binge mentality that is threatening the sustainability of our world and the quality of our lives. The message is everywhere: Be MORE! Want MORE! Buy MORE! Sometimes we all have to shake our heads and say: 'Just DON'T do it'!"

"Check out Adbuster's Buy Nothing Day site with ideas for action. http://www.adbusters.org/metas/eco/bnd/ And worship at the Church of Stop Shopping with culture jammer extraordinaire, Reverend Billy. http://www.revbilly.com"
bullet2005-NOV-27: Liechtenstein: Voters rejected initiative to ban birth control, etc: Liechtenstein is a tiny country in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria. It is the size of Washington DC and has a population of about 33,000. Being a tax haven, it has more registered companies than citizens. About 50 women left the country yearly to have abortions elsewhere. About 75% of its  citizens are Roman Catholic. About 64% of the citizens voted. About 81% rejected a national constitutional amendment that critics said would have prevented abortion, birth control, assisted suicide and living wills. The amendment was heavily promoted by Archbishop Wolfgang Haas. One news source said that "the campaign was vicious." The decision brings the country's "legal framework for issues such as abortion and birth control in line with European standards." Ireland remains the only European country which has not legalized early abortions. 7,8

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Links to religious news sources:

bulletLists of general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on this web site.

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Reference used:

  1. "DEATH PENALTY: Catholic bishops leading new push for change," ReligionLink, 2005-NOV-07, at: http://www.religionlink.org/
  2. Marc Kaufman, "For the Dalai Lama, a Meeting of Brain and Mind," Washington Post, 2005-NOV-09, Page C01, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  3. Dalai Lama, "The Universe in an Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality," Morgan Road Books, (2005). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  4. "Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warns rural town of disaster following vote," Associated Press, 2005-NOV-10, at: http://start.earthlink.net/
  5. Joe McDermott, "Whitehall mosque to stay as polling place. Election official troubled by complaints over use of Muslim hall," The Morning Call, 2005-NOV-10, at: http://www.mcall.com/
  6. "Vatican takes tough stand against homosexuals in priesthood," Associated Press, 2005-NOV-22, at: http://www.startribune.com/
  7. Terry Vanderheyden, "Liechtenstein legalizes abortion," LifeSiteNews.com, 2005-NOV-28, at: http://www.lifesite.net/
  8. Harry Rosenbaum, "Liechtenstein Rejects Anti-Abortion Measure," Associated Press, 2005-NOV-27, at: http://news.yahoo.com/
  9. "Liechtenstein legalizes abortion," AFP, 2005-NOV-27, at: http://news.yahoo.com/

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Copyright 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2005-NOV-08
Latest update: 2006-JAN-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

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