RELIGIOUS CHANGE, CONFLICT AND/OR INTOLERANCE
||2006-JUN-08: NY: Bill introduced to eliminate school conflict: John
Sabini introduced a state bill to prevent state-mandated exams from conflicting
with Muslim holy days. Reporter Warren Woodberry, Jr. wrote about the Razi
School in Woodside:
"Third-graders at the school were disrupted in January when a
state-mandated test was given during Eid-al-Adha, a time when observant
Muslims do not attend class and when Muslim schools are closed, school
officials said. "The students should not be forced to chose to test or
celebrate their holiday," said Sabini, a member of the state Senate's
education committee. "It is an extraordinarily bad public policy that we
intend to change." The holiest days on the Islamic calendar,
Eid-al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitr are multiday
observances equivalent in significance to the holiest days of the Jewish
or Christian religious year. 1
||2006-JUN-09: KY: Conservative Christians push use of AD and BC:
Forward Magazine reports that:
"Activists, along with the governor and other state
politicians, have accused the State Board of Education of attempting to
drive Christianity from the classroom through the use of secular
notations, like BCE for 'Before the Common Era,'
in place of religious ones, like B.C. for 'Before Christ'."...
"We need to start speaking up when we see the erosion of the
foundation of this nation, which is our family values, our Christian
values," said Finn Laursen, executive director of the Christian
Educators Association International, in an interview with the Forward.
"This was just one more chip in trying to change the initials of our
dating system," he said.....
Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the board of education, accused
Christian conservatives of misrepresenting and sensationalizing the
issue. She said the guidelines do not recommend that teachers use either
Christian or secular abbreviations; rather, the guidelines themselves
make use of both. 2
||2006-JUN-14: New president of Southern
Baptists talks about the Bible: Frank Page has been elected as
president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He told reporters about
his concept of the Bible. He said: "I believe in the Word of God. I am just
not mad about it. Too long Baptists have been known for what we are against.
It's time to say, 'Please let us tell you what we are for.' ... I would urge
people to major on the majors and make sure, as we've heard several speakers
state, there are some areas about which we can disagree." 3
The Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service
responded that to: "...'believe the Word of God' and not be mad about error
is a very strange type of faith. If you truly love the Word of God you are
mad about those who corrupt the Word of God and who destroy people's faith
with false teaching. The Psalmist testified: 'Therefore I esteem all thy
precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way'
(Psalms 119:128). The New
Evangelical says that he esteems God's precepts to be right, but he is far
too busy being contemporary and popular to hate every false way." 4
||2006-JUN-24: US terrorist cell suspects
non-Muslim? The Voice of America states:
"An Islamic civil rights group says the seven terror suspects indicted Friday in
the United States should not be referred to as 'Muslims.' The Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the men accused of plotting
attacks on Chicago's Sears tower and several federal buildings are not
Muslims because they study a mix of Islamic, Christian and Jewish teachings.
The statement calls the Seas of David sect a 'bizarre group' that has
nothing to do with Islam. It notes their meeting place is called a 'temple'
and that they study the Bible -- the Christian holy book. It also cautioned
against using Arabic terms to describe their actions. The federal indictment
against the men refers to their attack plans as 'a violent jihad.'
group also called on police departments nationwide to protect mosques and
other Islamic institutions from possible backlash violence prompted by the
idea that the terror suspects are Muslim." 5
||2006-JUN-29: US: Presbyterian church cracks
open door for gay ordination: The Presbyterian Church, USA held
its General Assembly in Birmingham, AL. They discussed a report issued last
year by their Theological Task Force (TTF). The Assembly approved
resolutions stressing unity in the denomination, and giving -- for the first
time -- limited permission for local ordination authorities to ordain
sexually active homosexuals. More details.
||2006-JUN-29: World: UN body declaration on native rights: By a
vote of 30 to 2, the new UN Human Rights Council adopted a declaration that
said that native people should be free from discrimination and that they
should have a right "to consider themselves different and to be respected
as such." Native groups had hoped that the declaration would be adopted
by consensus. But the Canadian delegation asked for a formal vote. Paul
Meyer, head of the Canadian government's delegation, said that the federal
government was concerned about provisions of the declaration relating to
land and resources that they considered ambiguous. Canada and Russia were
the only two countries who voted against the declaration. 6
Archbishop of Canterbury recommends two tiers: Apparently in response to
the Episcopal Church, USA's General Convention mentioned above, the
spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Rowan
Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a six-page "reflection"
proposing what he regards as the "best way forward" for the Anglican
Communion. He suggests creation of a loyalty oath which apparently would be
both sexist and homophobic. It would include rejection of homosexuals as
priests, bishops and primates. It might even include rejection of women as
bishops and primates. Those provinces who agreed with the loyalty oath would
churches." Those who did not agree would become "churches in association."
That division arguably makes a lot of sense, because it does recognize the
current division within the Communion. However, he proposes that the
churches in association would be denied voting and decision making power in the Communion.
||2006-JUN-28: Senator Obama urges Democrats to reach out to
Evangelicals: Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) recommends that Democrats
reach out to Evangelical Christians and other Americans of faith. He said:
"If we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious
Americans and tell them what we stand for, the Jerry Falwells and Pat
Robertsons will continue to hold sway."
He said that Democrats should be willing to explain themselves in moral
terms while respecting the principle of separation of
church and state. He continued:
"I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of
faith in the lives of the American people. After all, the problems of
poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply
technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are
rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness -- in
the imperfections of man....Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic
expressions of faith -- the politician who shows up at a black church
around election time and claps -- off rhythm -- to the gospel
choir.....Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of
separation. Context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the
Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of
muttering the phrase 'under God;' I certainly didn't." 7
Links to religious news sources:
||Links to general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and
non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on
this web site.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Warren Woodberry, Jr, "End exam conflicts: pol," Daily
News Boroughs, 2006-JU-08, at:
Jennifer Siegel, "Religious Groups Push Kentucky Schools To Use
'Before Christ'," Forward, 2006-JUN-09 at:
"SBC's New President Fields Reporters Questions," Baptist
"Friday church news notes," Way of Life Literature's Fundamental
Baptist Information Service, 2005-JUN-23, Volume 7, Issue 25.
"Muslim Group: US Terror Suspects Not Muslim," VOA News,
"UN body rebuffs Canada, protects human rights," Canadian
Press, 2006-JUN-29. Published by the Toronto Star, 2006-JUN-30, Page A12.
"Democrat Obama urges response to religious right,"
Reuters, 2006-JUN-28, at:
How you got here:
Copyright © 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2006-JUN-08
Latest update: 2006-JUL-07
Author: B.A. Robinson