News of religious/ethical change, conflict and/or intolerance
Documentary film premiers: "Yasukuni" is a documentary on the war shrine
by the same name -- a largely taboo topic in Japan. The shrine symbolizes
Japan's militaristic past and honors the 2.5 million Japanese who died in
wars from the late 19th century until 1945. According to the Associated
Press, it is "revered by nationalists, despised by Japan's Asian neighbors
and rarely mentioned in public by anyone else." The documentary focuses on
the events of 2005-AUG-15 when thousands of Japanese visited the shrine on
the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender which concluded World War II.
A semi-governmental agency partially funded the movie with a U.S. $73,000
grant. The director is Chinese. The movie includes scenes in which Japanese
soldiers execute civilians. |
Hiroshi Kawahara, head of the nationalist group Doketsusha said: "The film
is anti-Japan and an insult to Yusukuni and our devotion for it. But
Yusukuni's dignity cannot be shaken by a film like this. Midori Matsuoka, a
Japanese actress, said that the movie was "... well done. It's not
anti-Japanese, it's anti-war. I didn't think what much about what kind of
shrike Yasukuni is. But after seeing the movie, I thought I should learn
more about the history of my own country." 1
|2008-MAY-05: USA: Family
Research Council distressed at McDonald's employee's support for
equality: The Family Research Council (FRC) has criticized the
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for naming
Richard Ellis, Vice President of
Communications for McDonald's, to its Board of Directors. In a press
release, the NGLCC praised Ellis for his "vast Board experience with LGBT
and advocacy related organizations." The FRC expressed alarm that an
employee of McDonald's will be proting equal rights and protections for
homosexuals, including the right to have their loving committed families
recognized and protected. The FRC has launched a petition drive asking that
Ellis be fired. They have also made available a flyer for the public to take
to their local McDonald's restaurant. 2|
|2008-MAY-14: ON: Canadian charity appeals discrimination ruling of Human Rights Commission:
In late April, the Ontario Human
Rights Tribunal had ordered Christian Horizons to stop
discriminating against potential employees on the basis of their religion
and "lifestyle." Christian Horizons has stated that it will no longer
require employees to sign the code but has appealed the remainder of the
tribunal's order. Opposition political parties have called on the province
to consider pulling funding from the group, claiming that it is unjustly
imposing its beliefs on its employees.
|2008-MAY-14: CA: Supreme Court rules that Proposition 22 is
unconstitutional: The British Broadcasting Corporation reported on
"California's top court has ruled that a state law
banning marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional."
"The state's Supreme Court said the 'right to form a family
relationship' applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality."
"The ban was approved by voters in 2000 but challenged by gay rights
activists and the city of San Francisco."
"The state legislature twice passed laws to legalize gay marriage,
but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed them. He said California's
court system should rule on the matter."
"The seven-judge panel voted 4-3 in favor of the plaintiffs who
argued that the 2000 law was discriminatory."
" 'Limiting the designation of marriage to a union between a man and
a woman is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute,'
California Chief Justice Ron George said in the written opinion."
|2008-APR-23: Canada: Protest against
violence: The Multi-faith
Walk Against Violence began has reached Montreal, QC. They started their
cross-Canada walk on APR-20 in Halifax, NS, and expect to finish by NOV-30.
Their website states: "Canadians of all faiths will be participating in this
walk. Leaders from the aboriginal communities, as well as leaders from
Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and other faiths
and backgrounds will be part of this Canada wide walk." Their focus is very
broad, and includes rejection of violence towards children; spousal abuse;
gangs; bullying; elder abuse; terrorism; "structural violence" (violence
built into social, political and economic structures such as caste,
patriarchy, etc.); discrimination based on race, color, descent, national or
ethnic origin; and violence grounded in religion. Their website is at
They do not specifically include violence based on
sexual orientation or gender identity, which
is quite common.
|2008-MAY-22: Australia consecrated its first female bishop: Kay
Goldsworthy, 51. The sex discrimination commissioner welcomed the action as
a "... turning point for the church and the nation as a whole." Twenty one
Anglican bishops from Australia and New Zealand were among the 800 persons
in the congregation to show their support. But opponents to sexual equality,
including Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney and David Mulready of Northwest
Australia were notably absent. The Diocese of Sydney will not recognize her
as a legitimate bishop. Bishop Goldsworthy said: ""We
have been a while catching up in Australia. Twenty years ago we weren't yet
ordaining women as priests, but the time has come and I know that the great
majority of Australian Anglicans warmly welcome this day, and the fact that
there is no longer any discrimination against women in pastoral leadership."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Japan's war shrine a touchy film topic,"
Associated Press, 2008-MAY-04.
- "McDonald's is funding homosexual activism--and I'm
NOT lovin' it!," Family Research Council news release, 2008-MAY-05.
"California lifts gay marriage ban," BBC News, 2008-MAY-14, at:
- "Australia to get its first female bishop," Earth Times, 2008-APR-11, at:
- "Australia appoints woman bishop," British Broadcasting Corporation,
How you got here:
Copyright ' 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2008-MAY-04
Latest update: 2008-MAY-24
Author: B.A. Robinson