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We also have a list of religious intolerance news items for this month.  Sad to say, these are usually much longer lists.

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bullet 2000-OCT-3: Illinois: Change in name of sports groups: According to ReligionToday: 4 Wheaton College, an Evangelical Christian college, has changed the names of its sports teams. Once called the Crusaders, they are now to be called The Wheaton Thunder. The term "Crusaders," is widely used by conservative Christians to refer to campaigns to convert the public, as in the Billy Graham Crusades. However, it has extremely negative connotations to Jews and Muslims. "The school dropped the Crusaders logo in March, prompted partly by student petitions, amid concerns that the name conveyed negative images of warriors killing in God's name." During the original Crusades, a series of wars launched by the pope and European princes to invade the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of defenseless European Jews were slaughtered by the marauding Christian armies on the way to the Holy Land. Larger numbers of Muslim soldiers were killed on the battle field. Unknown numbers of defenseless Muslim civilians were killed in towns and cities.
bullet 2000-OCT-5: Texas: Wiccan prayer opens city council meeting: According to Rev. Stephen Cruz, Texas State Representative for the  Alternative Religions Educational Network ( A.R.E.N.):

Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and other members of the Dallas City Council became the first Texas municipal body to allow a Wiccan prayer at a government meeting prior to a Dallas City Council meeting on Wednesday [OCT-4]. The prayer, delivered by Wiccan Priest Bryan Lankford, was conducted amid swirling controversy...Mr. Lankford, who was to have delivered the invocation a week earlier before having the invitation withdrawn and then reinstated, proceeded with the prayer despite outbursts by a member of the audience and several speakers who took to the microphone in order to speak out against him. "May we show compassion for those whose lives are not as easy as our own...We pray for honesty, love, compassion and faith. ... We ask this of deity in whatever form each of us perceives it. We ask this city be transformed with the harmony and balance that faith in a greater power brings." Mr. Lankford's invocation stated, in part. Kirk, mayor of Texas' second largest city (ninth in the nation) [commented]: "The City Council is not in the business of choosing one faith over another. We have sought to have a representation of all religious faiths. I was moved by the invocation that was given today, as I have been before."

bullet 2000-OCT-28: Pagans celebrate Samhain in Cleveland OH: According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The Pagan Awareness Coalition of Cleveland performed a public Samhain ritual in Cleveland's Public Square. The purpose was to increase public understanding and acceptance of various Pagan traditions. "Cerridwynn," a priestess commented: "We want people to see that we're a positive religious force. We aren't people to be feared, people who conjure demons and hurt animals. We are ecologically oriented people. The Earth is our mother. If we take care of her, she'll take care of us." Cerridwynn is her Pagan name; she does not reveal her real name because of danger of harassment. Larry Cornett, a leader in the Pagan community, uses his own name, in spite of harassing phone calls and the occasional death threat. He said: "I'm going to be who I am, take it or leave it. I stand  up for my religious beliefs." Besides, he notes humorously, "Halloween is one time when you can go out and be as occult as you want to be and not get hassled."

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  1. DayWatch is a daily service of Maranatha Christian Journal. It provides "a daily summary of news headlines with a Christian perspective..." The newsletter is free on request. Their web site is at: 
  2. ENI (Ecumenical News International) provides free bulletins and subscriptions to full text articles. Their home page is at: Its postal address is: PO Box 2100, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
  3. Newsroom is a service of Worldwide Newsroom Inc. Their articles are written by "a network of journalists, scholars and other professional contacts in country." You can subscribe to their free service from their website at 
  4. ReligionToday provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: These summaries are part of, which also includes,,,,,,,,, and
  5. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: 
  6. CitizenLink is a service of Focus on the Family. They send regular Emails containing news items interpreted from a Fundamentalist Christian perspective. Signup is at: 
  7. Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network is a leading anti-defamation group which fights discrimination against Neopagans. See: 
  8. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) maintains a free mailing list. Go to to subscribe.
  9. "Tutu says no religion has a lock on truth: Religious leaders asked to find new image of God," Associated Press, at:
  10. EWTN is a news service of the Roman Catholic Church. It posts news items from Newsline, Newslink, and The World Over on its Internet site at:
  11. Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN) is an information organization located in Philadelphia. It has monitored discrimination against Wiccans throughout North America for three decades. Their web page is at:

Copyright 2000 
Originally written: 2000-OCT-3 
Latest update: 2000-OCT-9 
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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