News of religious/ethical change, tolerance,
information, conflict and/or intolerance
|2010-JAN-01: CA: Display defaced: An interfaith holiday display was
vandalized in Mission Viejo, CA. The texts on the four sides of a vertical
Islamic monument were spray painted in red, and a curious sign was attached to
one surface. It reads: "No Islamic Lighthouses in the U.S.A." We are not
entirely certain what an "Islamic Lighthouse" is. However, lighthouses are
generally considered sources of light and guidance. |
The display included a verse from the Qur'an, 49:13: "O mankind! We created
you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and
tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other).
Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most
righteous of you."
Next to the monument is a manger scene provided by the South Coast Christian
Assembly. It was not defaced.
On the same day, a burned copy of the Qur'an was found at the back entrance
of the Islamic Education Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa, CA.
|2010-JAN-02: Montana becomes third state to legalize PAS: On
2009-DEC-31, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on Physician Assisted
Suicide (PAS). They ruled that neither state law or public policy prevents
physicians from prescribing lethal drugs to terminally-ill patients who want
to end their suffering and their lives. More details|
|2010-JAN-04: Muslim group creates PSA: The New York chapter of the
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) has created a public
service announcement that it is presenting on the CBS Super Screen in New York
City's Time Square. It features ordinary Muslims "dedicated to building
community and serving country." It is part of CAIR's campaign to "encure that
a balanced and accurate portrayal of Islam and Muslims is presented to the
American public through different levels of media engagement."
|2010-JAN-08: NV: "Personhood" change to the Nevada Constitution
fails: PersonhoodUSA is attempting to restrict or
eliminate abortion access by overturning Roe v. Wade through a novel
technique. It is promoting "personhood" amendments to various state
constitutions including that of Nevada. |
If it was allowed to be on the ballot and if it was supported by 50% of the
voters (plus one) it would have altered the Nevada constitution so that
human personhood would be defined as starting during the process of
conception. Defining a pre-embryo, embryo and fetus as human
persons would mean that each abortion would be a homicide, or at least a
manslaughter -- no matter at what stage in gestation it was performed. The
PersonhoodUSA strategy appears to be to have each state
constitution modified with the same definition of personhood in the hopes
that the U.S. Supreme Court would follow suit on some future abortion
On JAN-08, District Judge James Russell ruled in favor of Planned
Parenthood & the American Civil Liberties Union, and against
Personhood Nevada Ballot in the lawsuit Bristol v. Personhood
Nevada. The judge ruled that the language of the ballot question was so
vague that the average person would be unable to understand it. Also, the
petition violates a state law which states that such ballots can only deal
with a single subject.
Personhood Nevada plans to appeal the decision to the Nevada
Supreme Court. 5,6
|2010-JAN-08: OnlineChristianColleges rate top religious blogs and websites: Online Christian Colleges state:|
"Whether you live in a large city or small town, chances are there are others
around you who do not share your religious or non-theistic beliefs. If
unfamiliar with their beliefs, even everyday conversations can be a difficulty
and rife with the possibility of misunderstandings."
"The best way to avoid this sort of social land
mine is to educate yourself. The best way to educate yourself from your
computer is by giving these top 25 comparative religion blogs and websites a
visit. They can help you with everything from the major religions, to the
lesser religions, to the atheistic belief system."
They list the top 4 or 5 websites in each of
Comparative religion blogs
Christian Comparative Religion Blogs
Islamic Comparative Religion Blogs
Atheistic Comparative Religion Boogs
Alternative Comparative Religion Blogs
Comparative Religion Websites
Our site was listed under the last category.
|2010-JAN-10: TX: Free speech ends for high school
students: The Waxahachie Independent School
District in Dallas TX prohibits their students from wearing clothes
that promote a political positin. Paul Palmer was forbidden from wearing a
political T-shirt that showed the then-presidential candidate John Edwards.
He sued the school board. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the
school dress code, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for Liberty Legal Institute, said
the rulings are a "punch in the gut to freedom." By their lack of interest,
the Supreme Court has thrown free speech in schools into an indeterminate
|2010-JAN-18: USA: Christianized weapons being
manufactured: ABC broke the news that the
serial numbers on gunsights manufactured by Trijicon in Wixom, MI contain an
encoded biblical reference. An example shown has a number AC064X32JN8:12.
The final six characters refer to John 8:12: "Whoever follows me will never
walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." |
Michael "Mikey" Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,
an group promoting the separation of church and state in the military said:
"It's wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal
laws. ... It allows the Mujahedeen, the Taliban, al Qaeda and the
insurrectionists and jihadists to claim they're being shot by Jesus rifles.
... This is probably the best example of violation of the separation of
church and state in this country. It's literally pushing fundamentalist
Christianity at the point of a gun against the people that we're fighting.
We're emboldening an enemy." 7
2010-JAN-19: Kenneth Copeland accused of humanitarian aid fraud:
Rich Vermillion of
KennethCopelandBlog.com has accused popular teleminister Kenneth
Copeland of fraud by not creating a humanitarian relief ministry called
Angel Flight 44 that he promised. The Christian News Wire reports:|
"Rich also contends that money given by donors towards the formation of the
new ministry has never been accounted for. 'There has never been an open
accounting or explanation given regarding the AF44-earmarked funds given to
date.' He does acknowledge that KCM formed a Disaster Relief Fund, but then
he adds, 'A generic relief fund is a far cry from a fully operational
disaster-relief aviation ministry.' Shortly later Rich writes, '...my
experience with Kenneth Copeland, his family, and his ministry, has given me
the regrettable opinion that they may be nothing more than religious
frauds.' He then concludes, '...that is why we are calling on them to simply
"Kenneth Copeland Ministries is one of six televangelist ministries being
investigated by the Senate Finance Committee for possible tax law fraud, and
has not cooperated with the investigation. KCM is not certified by any
independent financial group, such as the Evangelical Counsel for Financial
Accountability; Wall Watchers' MinistryWatch.com has given them a financial
transparency grade of 'F'." 8 A member
of Copeland's team, Rich Vermillion, maintains a blog that delivers a "loving
rebuke" to Copeland. 9
|Week of 2010-JAN-24: CA: Mayor of Lancaster claims city for
Christianity: Lancaster is the eighth-largest city in Los Angeles
County, and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Its Mayor, R. Rex Parris
(R), delivered a state of the city address, telling a group of 160
"We©re growing a Christian community, and don©t let anybody shy away from
that. ... I need (Lancaster community) standing up and saying we©re a Christian
community, and we©re proud of that."
He also asked voters to support a ballot measure endorsing Christian prayers at
That measure is an apparent response to a letter to the city from the American
Civil Liberties Association (ACLU) which allegedly said that sectarian prayers at
government meetings are divisive and unconstitutional.
Mayor Parris later said that a Christian city has a better sense of community
than an "atheistic city."
Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of the Los Angeles branch of the
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in response:
"The mayor's remarks promoting a particular faith in his official
capacity at an official city event seem to violate the Establishment Clause
of the U.S. Constitution. Elected officials should not use public positions
to impose their religious beliefs on others. We also call on California's religious
and political leaders to repudiate the mayor's remarks because they could
serve to marginalize people of other faiths and Christians who value the
separation of church and state."
Earlier, Lancaster Council member Sherry Marquez (R) had posted the following comment
in Facebook concerning a murder trial in New York City involving a Muslim
"This is what the Muslim religion is all about -- the beheadings, honor
killings are just the beginning of what is to come in the USA. We are told
this is a small majority [sic] of Muslim's [sic] in America, but it is truly
what they are all about...You disrespect/dishonor them or their religion and
you should die (they don't even blink at killing their own wives/daughters,
because they are justified by their religion)."
CAIR sent Marquez a letter asking her to meet with members of the Muslim and
interfaith communities to discuss the impact of her posting.
|2010-JAN-27: Movement on military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
policy: At his state of the union address, President Obama
indicated that repeal of this policy which prohibits gays and lesbians from
openly serving in the military would be a priority -- the right thing to do.
At a Senate committee hearing, the Armed Forces will present a plan to
modify the policy. More details.|
|2010-JAN-29: Science vs. religion in legislation: A
news release from the Office of Public Policy of the
Center for Inquiry -- a
secular Humanist group -- discussed their role in the success of the Lilly
Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which was signed into law by President
Obama one year earlier. They wrote:|
"The act restores the right of workers to file pay discrimination claims as
long as they are still receiving discriminatory paychecks. The Center for
Inquiry/Office of Public Policy played an integral role in that hard-fought
"While the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act represents a great victory for
reason and equality, there are still many fights left in the seemingly
never-ending battle to bring science, reason, and the values of freethought
and secularism back to government. We have seen it in the debate over health
care, with interest groups (and even some members of Congress) inserting
language into the health insurance bills that would elevate so-called 'spiritual
health care' and alternative medical treatments, such as
therapeutic touch, to the level of real medicine.
We have seen it in the fight over energy legislation, where deniers of the
science behind global warming and climate change
continue to use every ounce of their political capital to try to forestall
or even kill a responsible energy bill. And we have seen it in civil rights
issues where, despite advances, the government still follows a narrow
religious ideology and treats some individuals like second-class citizens
based on their sexual orientation."
|2010-JAN-31: Haiti: Ten American Baptists arrested for child
trafficking: In what appears to be a massive misunderstanding and lack of
cultural sensitivity, a group of Baptists from Iowa, Kansas and Texas planned
to scoop up 100 children in Haiti, buss them across the border into the
Dominican Republic and house them in a 45 room hotel at Cabarete, a beach
resort, that they were converting into an orphanage. They were apparently
unaware that the Haitian government has been concerned about the potential for
child trafficking and has suspended the removal of all orphans from the
country. They require that the departure of any child be personally authorized
by the Prime Minister. The Baptist group arrived at the border without any
documentation on the children and were arrested. 13 |
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Hussam Ayloush, "Islamic Section of Interfaith Holiday Display
Vandalized in Mission Viejo," 2010-JAN-01, Hussam Ayloush Official Website, at:
http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com. See also:
- "I am Muslim, I am American," CAIR, at:
http://www.cair.com/ny/ This is a temporary listing.
- "Top 25 Comparative Religion Blogs and Websites," Online Christian Colleges,
- "Free Speech Not So Big in Texas," CitizenLink, 2010-JAN-10, at:
- "Nevada Court rejects proposed personhood amendment," Religion Clause blog,
- "Personhood comes to Nevada," PersonhoodNV, 2010-JAN-08, at:
This is a temporary listing.
- Joseph Rhee, et al., "U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus'
Bible Codes Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New
Testament References," ABC News, 2010-JAN-18, at:
- "Kenneth Copeland accused of humanitarian aid fraud," ChristianNewsWire,
- Kenneth Copeland Blog is at:
- Gerry Price, "Parris touts city as a 'Christian community'," Valley Press,
- Sherry Marquez' comments on Facebook can be seen at:
- "Calif. Mayor Says He is 'Growing a Christian Community'," Council on
American-Islamic Relations mailing, 2010-JAN-29.
- Frank Bajak, "U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident," Associated
Press, 2010-JAN-31, at:
How you got here:
Copyright © 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2010-JAN-02
Latest update: 2010-JAN-31
Author: B.A. Robinson