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

2009-JUN

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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-JUN-02: Russia: Widespread concern about religious repression: Forum 18 reported:

"Widespread protests by Russian religious communities and human rights defenders followed the appointment of 'anti-cultists' and controversial scholars of Islam to a state body with sweeping powers to investigate religious organizations." More info.

bullet2009-JUN-02: CA: Former Southern Baptist official prays for Obama's death: Wiley Drake is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, CA and the former running vice presidential candidate for the American Independent Party. During an interview with Alan Colmes on Fox News Radio's Alan Colmes Show, he commented on the assassination of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion domestic terrorist. He said that the murder was an answer to prayer. He also said that he is praying "imprecatory prayer"  for the death of "the usurper that is in the White House ... B. Hussein Obama." He speculates that President Obama conspired to have Dr. Tiller killed in order to make the pro-life movement look bad. 2

bullet2009-JUN-10: DC: Shooter murdered a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: A suspect, James Von Brunn, 88, was arrested at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC after allegedly fatally wounding a private security guard.

CNN identified him as a well known white supremacist from Maryland. A Washington Post reporter who interviewed some of Brunn's neighbors reported that he was a holocaust denier who hated Jews, blacks, and other minorities.

Brunn is reported as having carried a rifle into the museum and opened fire immediately. He exchanged shots with two security officers near the entrance.

The museum was closed for the rest of the day and the next day. A statement issued by museum personnel said: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and his family." 3

The Holocaust was a program of genocide perpetrated by German Nazis before and during World War II during which approximately twelve million persons were murdered. This included about six million Jews -- two thirds of the Jews in Europe -- along with persons from other groups such as Roma (a.k.a. Gypsies), the disabled, Poles, Russians and other Slavic peoples, communists, socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals. 4

The attack may have been linked somehow in the mind of the perpetrator with the visit of President Obama to Buchenwald -- one of the Nazi extermination camps -- on JUN-05. Obama denounced Holocaust deniers during his speech. In addition, a play was scheduled on the evening of the shooting at the museum. It featured a young man and woman playing the roles of:

bulletEmmett Till, the 14-year-old black youth who was beaten, had an eye gouged out, shot through the head and thrown in a river because he whistled at a white woman in Money, MS. This 1955 event was one of the triggers of the black civil rights movement.
bulletAnne Frank -- a Jewish girl in Holland who wrote the Diary of Anne Frank. She died from typhus at 15, seven months into her internment in the Nazi Bergen-Belson concentration camp, just before it was liberated. She would have been 80 years old this week.
bullet2009-JUN-21: OH: Cedarville University censured: The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has censured Cedarville University, a Baptist university, for allegedly firing a tenured faculty member without due process. University spokesperson John Davis accused the AAUP of having demonstrated a long-term bias against religious schools. He said that Cedarville is guided by "biblical principles, not an external body like the AAUP.

The AAUP's investigating team included a professor from Calvin College, a Christian school in Michigan. 5
 
bullet2009-JUN-21: VA: Democratic club seeks return of recognition: The College Democrats at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA are negotiating with their university to regain official recognition as a student club. The university was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a leading fundamentalist Christian pastor. Brian Diaz, president of the College Democrats has promised the school that it will not endorse political candidates and will explicitly states its opposition to abortion access. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said: "We're working hard to let them be recognized and still not do anything that's not keeping with our doctrinal statement and our mission." 6
bullet2009-JUN-24: FL: "Truths that Transform" program near cancellation: Due to lagging listener support, after 35 years of broadcasting, Coral Ridge Ministries is close to being forced to cut their radio program. They write:
"... given the moral decline in America ... given the assault on Christianity and the liberal threats that are converging around us ... We must keep broadcasting ? proclaiming the Truth more boldly than ever before." 7

References used:

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

  1. Geraldine Fagan, "RUSSIA: Widespread protests at new 'Inquisition'," Forum 18, 2009-JUN-02, at: http://www.forum18.org/
  2. Bob Allen, "Drake, former SBC officer, says he's praying for Obama to die," Associated Baptist Press, 2009-JUN-03, at: http://www.abpnews.com/
  3. "Shooting at Holocaust Museum injures guard, suspect," CNN, 2009-JUN-10, at: http://www.cnn.com/
  4. "United States Holocaust Memorial Museum," at: http://www.ushmm.org/
  5. "Baptist university claims bias by educational group," Associated Press, 2009-JUN-21, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  6. "Evangelical school's Democrats still seek official recognition," Associated Press, 2009-JUN-21. at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/
  7. "Truths that Transform" on the verge of cancellation," mailing, Coral Ridge Ministries, 2009-JUN-24

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Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-JUN-02
Latest update: 2009-JUN-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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