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

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2001-DEC-6: USA: Americans improve their view of Muslims: The Pew
Research Center for the People & the Press
conducted a public opinion poll among 1,500 adults on NOV-13 to 19. The margin of error is within 3 percentage points. The results were surprising:

The percentage of Americans with a favorable view of Muslims rose from 45% in May to 59% in November.


The percentage of conservative Republicans with a favorable view of Muslims rose from 35% to 64%!


"Most respondents -- 89%--completely or mostly rejected the idea that the attacks were a sign God was not protecting the United States. Evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson had made that argument, then later apologized for the remarks." 11


2001-DEC-11: USA: Inter-faith meals and services: Christian and other faith groups are meeting with Muslims in various inter-faith events. Some examples:

On DEC-16, members of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling, VA, will observe a one-day fast in solidarity with their friends and neighbors at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center).  According to UU member Jonathan Hammer, "the purpose of this fast is to demonstrate solidarity, shared values, and shared experience with our Muslim neighbors."


On DEC-9, about 80 representatives of other faiths joined in a Muslim Iftar (evening meal) in North Aurora, IL.


On DEC-11, a Roman Catholic bishop, a rabbi and protestant ministers joined 150 others at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury for a multi-faith service aimed at promoting religious unity.


2001-DEC-20: Texas: Judge decides Ethical Culture is a religion: According to the Corpus Christi Caller Times, the Ethical Society of Austin applied for and received a tax exempt status from the state in 1997-JUN. Former Comptroller John Sharp cancelled their status one day later. He cited a long-standing principle that groups who do not require their members to believe in a supreme being are not religions and thus are not allowed to have tax exempt status. The Society sued and won. State District Judge Paul Davis said that "ESA, in its pursuit of the 'Ethical Ideal' acts like a traditional religion and functions as a traditional religious organization for its members." He also noted that many other Ethical Culture groups have been granted religious tax exemption in other states. Current state Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander has promised to appeal the decision "as far as we have to appeal it...Anyone who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween will by [sic] applying for an exemption."

The lawyer who represented the Ethical Society, Peter Kennedy, commented: "The ruling poses no threat to Texas taxpayers and opens no door to fakes...[the society] "plays the same central role in its members' lives as do other religions for people of other faiths." 12


2001-DEC: USA: Beliefnet.com selects winner: For their Most Inspiring Person of the Year Award, Beliefnet selected the passengers and crew of Flight 93. They wrote: "It would have been easier for the passengers of Flight 93 to do nothing but cower and pray in the back until the plane plowed levelly into the White House and their lives ended painlessly in a millisecond. Instead they chose the hard, awful way because that is what morality demanded." 13

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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: http://www.mcjonline.com 
  2. ENI (Ecumenical News International) provides free bulletins and subscriptions to full text articles. Their home page is at: http://www.eni.ch 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 http://www.newsroom.org/ 
  4. ReligionToday provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  5. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  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: http://www.family.org/cforum/clinksignup.cfm 
  7. Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network is a leading anti-defamation group which fights discrimination against Neopagans. See:  http://www.conjure.com/ERAL/eral.html 
  8. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) maintains a free mailing list. Go to http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/ to subscribe.
  9. 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: http://www.ewtn.com/news/index.htm
  10. 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: http://aren.org
  11. "U.S. Muslims' Image Gains, Poll Finds," Associated Press, 2001-DEC-7, at: http://www.latimes.com/news/
  12. "Judge says group qualifies as religion, comptroller vows appeal," Corpus Christi Caller Times, 2001-DEC-20, at: http://www.caller.com/ccct/home

  13. Steven Waldman, "Passengers and Crew of Flight 93: Why We Chose Them,"
    Beliefnet.com, 2001-DEC-, at:  http://beliefnet.com/index/index_903.html

Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-DEC-8
Latest update: 2001-DEC-30
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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