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News of religious/ethical change, conflict and/or intolerance

2009-January

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

Events:

bullet2009-JAN-12: DC: Christian Science congregation vs. preservationists: The Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Washington DC is the latest example of a conflict between the desire of some congregations to modify or replace their buildings with groups who wish to preserve the nation's historic buildings. The Washington church, built in  is just blocks from the White House. Their current building is modernist in design. The membership wants to demolish the building and construct one that is more energy-efficient and better suited to their needs. Their coordinator for redevelopment, J. Darrow Kirkpatrick, said: "We want a church that is welcoming and fits the scale of the community, one that does not give the secretive, enclosed impression that this Brutalist building does." They have filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming protection from the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), the first Amendment to the constitution, and another religious freedom law. 1
 
bullet2009-JAN-12: USA: CAIR seeks American sponsors for Gaza refugees: The Council on American-Islamic Relations is seeking American sponsors for some of the 150 evacuees from Gaza who do not have family members in the U.S. Potential sponsors would have to provide all the needs of evacuees for a period of six months, demonstrate financial ability and submit an I-134 Affidavit of Support form. See: http://www.foxnews.com/ and http://www.cair.com/ for information.
 
bullet2009-JAN-14: Israel: UN may request opinion from international court: The Guardian newspaper has revealed that the UN General Assembly will consider asking the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on whether Israel's attack on Gaza represents a violation of world humanitarian and criminal law. Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, said:

"There is a consensus among independent legal experts that Israel is an occupying power and is therefore bound by the duties set out in the fourth Geneva convention. ... The arguments that Israel's blockade is a form of prohibited collective punishment, and that it is in breach of its duty to ensure the population has sufficient food and healthcare as the occupying power, are very strong." 2

bullet2009-JAN-21: Supreme Court declares Internet anti-pornography law unconstitutional: The Child Online Protection Act, signed in 1999, has finally been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. This law was mainly intended to protect children from sexual images on the Internet. But it was severely criticized because of its broad reach. For example, it could ban educational web sites that show young women how to perform breast self-examinations. The law was never enforced. It was immediately challenged in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that it would not hear the case. The law was clearly unconstitutional because it would have banned all material on the Internet that was not suitable for children. 3

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Jane Lampman, " 'Historic' building versus religious rights: A Christian Science congregation in Washington wants to build a new structure, but preservationists are resisting," Christian Science Monitor, 2009-JAN-112, at: http://www.csmonitor.com/
  2. Afua Hirsch, "Israel may face UN court ruling on legality of Gaza conflict," The Guardian (UK), 2009-JAN-14, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  3. Brad Linder, "10 years later, COPA internet censorship law is finally dead," Download Squad, 2009-JUN-21, at: http://www.downloadsquad.com/

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Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-JAN-12
Latest update: 2009-JAN-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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