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

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bullet2005-JUL: World: Campaign targeting Yahoo!: In response to public criticism of sexual content on some of its chatrooms, Yahoo! decided to remove its user-created Yahoo! Messenger chatrooms. Some of these dealt with topics such as Religion and Beliefs, Science, Astronomy, etc. Users can no longer create new chatrooms or attend existing ones. The International Yahoo Religious Freedom Campaign is attempting to convince Yahoo! to restore the rooms because they were useful vehicles to promote religious and information exchange. They are asking Yahoo! to:
bullet"...reactivate the ability of individual users to create and join user-based chatrooms in the Religion and Beliefs category, in order to restore the freedom of religious diversity and discussion to the chat venue, OR
bulletHost several more rooms in its Religion and Beliefs category, AND
bulletDevelop genuine age verification if it wants to continue hosting "Adult chats" and take action about the material that is circulating in the "Sexual Roleplaying" rooms. 1
bullet2005-JUL-4: USA: United Church of Christ endorses same-sex marriage: The United Church of Christ, the most liberal of the large Americna Protestant denominations, endorsed same-sex marriage at its General Synod. Member churches are asked to consider wedding policies "that do not discriminate against couples based on gender," and to consider supporting legislation granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. Some congregations are expected to leave the denomination because of this declaration. The vote was about 80% in favor. 2 More info.
bullet2005-JUL-11: England: Church of England: first step to consecrate female bishops: The General Synod of the Church of England, comprising two provinces of the Anglican Communion made the first step towards allowing women to be consecrated as bishops. About 13 years ago, in 1992, they allowed women to be ordained as priests. More details.
bullet2005-JUL-12: USA: Who reads the EULAs? This has absolutely nothing to do with religion, ethics or morality. But it was so amusing that I could not resist posting it. Folks at a software company, PC Pitstop, wondered just how many people read their EULA before downloading their software. The EULA is an End User License Agreement which typically runs hundreds of words of legalese. A lot of people just accept them without reading them. So they inserted a notice of "financial compensation" at about the 450 word point in their 900 word EULA. It offered a $1,000 award to the first person who asked for it. A software purchaser from Chico, CA, actually read the EULA, saw the notice, asked for the money, and is now $1,000 richer. But it took four months during which PC Pitstop sold 3,000 pieces of software before someone noticed! 3
bullet2005-JUL-12: CA: Leading Evangelical teleminister Morris Cerullo indicted Morris Cerrullo of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of filing false individual income tax returns. The indictment alleges that he underestimated his personal income by over half a million dollars over three years. He is one of the most popular of the Word-Faith movement which emphasizes prosperity teachings (a.k.a. Name it and Claim it" and "Blab it and Grab it.") 4
bullet2005-JUL-11: England: Hate law passed: The House of Commons passed the "Racial and Religious Hatred Bill." If made into law, it would criminalize remarks that "are threatening, abusive or insulting [and] likely to stir up racial or religious hatred." Some conservative Christian groups are distressed at the potential of this law. According to the FBIS News Service, a Fundamentalist Christian group: "The law therefore has the potential to be used against Christians who warn against false religions such as Roman Catholicism or Islam or who preach against such politically correct things as homosexuality." The law could have a chilling effect on legitimate religious discussion in the form of speech, Internet web sites, books, etc. People who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, Qur'an or some other holy text might well feel "insulted" at a web site such as this one which explains both conservative and liberal beliefs about the origin of the Bible. 5
bullet2005-JUL-19: Canada: Senate passes same-sex marriage bill: In a lopsided vote (47 to 21 with three abstentions) the Canadian Senate passed bill C-39. On this date, same-sex marriage was available in every province except Alberta and Prince Edward Island, and in every territory except for Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
bullet2005-JUL-20: Canada: Same-sex marriage legal: The same-sex marriage bill was signed into law. Same-sex marriage is theoretically be available in every province and territory across Canada. Canada is the fourth country in the world to allow all loving, committed couples to marry. The Netherlands was first, followed by Belgium and Spain. However, the battle is still not over. Stephen Harper, head of Canada's Conservative Party promises to eradicate same-sex marriage if he gains control of the government. Religious conservatives promise to try to unseat any Member of Parliament who voted for the bill. More information.
bullet2005-JUL-26: Macedonia: Archbishop jailed: The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Macedonia, Archbishop Jovan (Vranisskovski), has been jailed for 18 months on charges of "inciting national, racial and religious hatred, schism and intolerance." The cause of the problem was the creation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in 1958 which has proclaimed its independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The government is aligned with the Macedonian Orthodox church, and refuses to recognize the Serbian Orthodox church. 6
bullet2005-JUL-30: Canada: Native leader appealing conviction for hatred: David Ahenakew, former grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations was convicted during July of willfully promoting hatred. He referred to Jews as a disease and justified the Nazi Holocaust in an interview with a newspaper reporter after he gave a speech in 2000. His membership in the Order of Canada was terminated. He is now appealing his conviction. 7

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

  1. The International Yahoo Religious Freedom Campaign has a website at: http://www.gnostic-church.org/
  2. "United Church of Christ backs gay marriage," Associated Press, 2005-JUL-05, at: http://www.usatoday.com/
  3. Jeff Gelles, "News articles from Rominger Legal," at: http://www.romingerlegal.com
  4. Greg Moran, "Evangelist Cerullo indicted in tax case." Union-Tribune, San Diego, 2005-JUL-13, at: http://www.signonsandiego.com/
  5. "Wrongheaded religious hate law passes first hurdle in England," Friday Church News Notes, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 2005-JUL-16, at: http://www.wayoflife.org
  6. "Macedonia" Orthodox Archbishop jailed -- without the Gospels," Forum 18 News Service, 2005-JUL-27, at: http://www.forum18.org/
  7. "Saskatchewan: Ahenakew to appeal hate case conviction," Toronto Star, 2005-JUL-31, Page A8.

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Links to religious news sources:

bulletLists of general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on this web site.

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Copyright © 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2005-JUL-03
Latest update: 2005-JUL-31
Author: B.A. Robinson

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