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


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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.


bullet2008-MAY-03: Japan: Documentary film premiers: "Yasukuni" is a documentary on the war shrine by the same name -- a largely taboo topic in Japan. The shrine symbolizes Japan's militaristic past and honors the 2.5 million Japanese who died in wars from the late 19th century until 1945. According to the Associated Press, it is "revered by nationalists, despised by Japan's Asian neighbors and rarely mentioned in public by anyone else." The documentary focuses on the events of 2005-AUG-15 when thousands of Japanese visited the shrine on the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender which concluded World War II. A semi-governmental agency partially funded the movie with a U.S. $73,000 grant. The director is Chinese. The movie includes scenes in which Japanese soldiers execute civilians.

Hiroshi Kawahara, head of the nationalist group Doketsusha said: "The film is anti-Japan and an insult to Yusukuni and our devotion for it. But Yusukuni's dignity cannot be shaken by a film like this. Midori Matsuoka, a Japanese actress, said that the movie was "... well done. It's not anti-Japanese, it's anti-war. I didn't think what much about what kind of shrike Yasukuni is. But after seeing the movie, I thought I should learn more about the history of my own country." 1
bullet2008-MAY-05: USA: Family Research Council distressed at McDonald's employee's support for equality: The Family Research Council (FRC) has criticized the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for naming Richard Ellis, Vice President of Communications for McDonald's, to its Board of Directors. In a press release, the NGLCC praised Ellis for his "vast Board experience with LGBT and advocacy related organizations." The FRC expressed alarm that an employee of McDonald's will be proting equal rights and protections for homosexuals, including the right to have their loving committed families recognized and protected. The FRC has launched a petition drive asking that Ellis be fired. They have also made available a flyer for the public to take to their local McDonald's restaurant. 2
bullet2008-MAY-14: ON: Canadian charity appeals discrimination ruling of Human Rights Commission: In late April, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had ordered Christian Horizons to stop discriminating against potential employees on the basis of their religion and "lifestyle." Christian Horizons has stated that it will no longer require employees to sign the code but has appealed the remainder of the tribunal's order. Opposition political parties have called on the province to consider pulling funding from the group, claiming that it is unjustly imposing its beliefs on its employees. More details.
bullet2008-MAY-14: CA: Supreme Court rules that Proposition 22 is unconstitutional: The British Broadcasting Corporation reported on 2008-MAY-14:

"California's top court has ruled that a state law banning marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional."

"The state's Supreme Court said the 'right to form a family relationship' applied to all Californians regardless of sexuality."

"The ban was approved by voters in 2000 but challenged by gay rights activists and the city of San Francisco."

"The state legislature twice passed laws to legalize gay marriage, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed them. He said California's court system should rule on the matter."

"The seven-judge panel voted 4-3 in favor of the plaintiffs who argued that the 2000 law was discriminatory."

" 'Limiting the designation of marriage to a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute,' California Chief Justice Ron George said in the written opinion." 10

bullet2008-APR-23: Canada: Protest against violence: The Multi-faith Walk Against Violence began has reached Montreal, QC. They started their cross-Canada walk on APR-20 in Halifax, NS, and expect to finish by NOV-30. Their website states: "Canadians of all faiths will be participating in this walk. Leaders from the aboriginal communities, as well as leaders from Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism and other faiths and backgrounds will be part of this Canada wide walk." Their focus is very broad, and includes rejection of violence towards children; spousal abuse; gangs; bullying; elder abuse; terrorism; "structural violence" (violence built into social, political and economic structures such as caste, patriarchy, etc.); discrimination based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin; and violence grounded in religion. Their website is at http://www.walkagainstviolence.com

They do not specifically include violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity, which is quite common.
bullet2008-MAY-22: Australia consecrated its first female bishop: Kay Goldsworthy, 51. The sex discrimination commissioner welcomed the action as a "... turning point for the church and the nation as a whole." Twenty one Anglican bishops from Australia and New Zealand were among the 800 persons in the congregation to show their support. But opponents to sexual equality, including Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney and David Mulready of Northwest Australia were notably absent. The Diocese of Sydney will not recognize her as a legitimate bishop. Bishop Goldsworthy said: ""We have been a while catching up in Australia. Twenty years ago we weren't yet ordaining women as priests, but the time has come and I know that the great majority of Australian Anglicans warmly welcome this day, and the fact that there is no longer any discrimination against women in pastoral leadership." 4,5

References used:

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

  1. "Japan's war shrine a touchy film topic," Associated Press, 2008-MAY-04.
  2. "McDonald's is funding homosexual activism--and I'm NOT lovin' it!," Family Research Council news release, 2008-MAY-05.
  3. "California lifts gay marriage ban," BBC News, 2008-MAY-14, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
  4. "Australia to get its first female bishop," Earth Times, 2008-APR-11, at: http://wwrn.org/
  5. "Australia appoints woman bishop," British Broadcasting Corporation, 2008-MAY-22, at: http://wwrn.org/

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Copyright ' 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2008-MAY-04
Latest update: 2008-MAY-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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