News of religious/ethical change,
conflict and/or intolerance
|2009-OCT-01: UK: Televangelist Benny Hinn refused entry into the UK:
Benny Hinn, a Pentecostal teleminister from Texas was scheduled to hold a
rally in East London starting on OCTG-01. He was refused entry at Stansted
airport under new rules on visiting ministers of religion. "One of the aims of
the new rules was to combat extremism and prevent teachers of religious hate
entering the country."
A Border Agency spokesman said:
"Under the UK's tough new points-based system, religious workers must obtain a
valid certificate of sponsorship prior to arriving in the UK. These rules are
designed to make sure that a legitimate sponsor is linked to each application
to enter the UK for work purposes. These rules are applied objectively and
clearly set out for travelers. People who arrive without the required
documentation can be refused entry to the UK." 1
|2009-OCT-05: Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah
fired cleric: King Abdullah fired Sheikh Sa'ad al-Shethry,
a conservative cleric, from the Council of Senior Ulema after he criticized a
policy of the newly opened King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology. The university allows men and women to attend classes
together. In every other aspect of Saudia Arabian life, women are very
severely restricted when they are not in their homes. They cannot travel
freely and are not allowed to drive vehicles. 7|
Earlier, Sheikh Saad al-Shithri, a member of a panel of top scholars, is
quoted as saying:
"The recommendation is to set up Sharia committees at this
university to oversee these studies and look into what violates the Sharia
(Islamic law). We are looking at some of the sciences that have included some
irregular and alien ideologies, like evolution and such other ideologies."
Religious tolerance appears t be one of the banned ideologies. Alone among
the nations of the world, citizens of Saudi Arabia are not allowed to access
|2009-OCT-?: NC: Pastor to burn Bibles:
Pastor Marc Grizzard of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton NC is
planning to build a bonfire on Halloween to destroy Bible translations other
than the King James Version. He said: "What we're doing is we're
burning books that are satanic. I believe the King James version is God's
preserve, inspired, in erect, infallible word of God." We suspect that "in
erect" is a typo and should be "inerrant."
"What we're doing is we're burning books that are satanic. I believe
the King James version is God's preserve, inspired, in erect, infallible word
He also said that Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and other Christian leaders are
heretics whose books belong should join the Bible in the flames.
2 I can only imagine what he would like
to do to this website ... or its main author.
|2009-OCT-11: USA: Survivor of terrorist attack becomes a Muslim: Dennis
O'Brien is a Roman Catholic and the head of the education committee of St.
Anthony's Catholic Church in Wilmington DE. He was injured, but survived, the
terrorist attack in Mumbai, India during 2008-NOV. He wanted to understand
what motivated the radical fundamentalist Muslim terrorists, and so studied
their religion. He decided that the gunmen were not following the religion of
Islam. On OCT-11 he recited the declaration: "There is only one God and the
Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger." By this act, he became a Muslim.
|2009-OCT-15: Canada: Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) begins
work: Governor General Michaelle Jean led the first meeting of the TRC to
study what the Anglican Church says is "the dark legacy of the Indian
residential schools in Canada." These schools were funded by the federal
government and run by Christian denominations in an attempt to destroy Native
culture. Physical and sexual abuse was rampant.
|2009-OCT-16: LA: No marriage license for
interracial couple: Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Tangipohoa
Parish believes that most interracial marriages do not last long. He is also
concerned about children of mixed-race parents, because he feels
that they are not accepted by either white or black society. Thus, he has a
policy of refusing to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. In the
few years that he has been a Justice of the Peace, he has refused to marry about four
couples. He said: |
"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have
piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use
my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
Beth Humphrey, 30, and Terence McKay, 32 of Hammond, LA are the latest
couple to be refused a license. They are planning to consult the U.S. Justice
Department about filing a discrimination complaint.
Humphrey plans to pursue a masters degree in minority politics at the
University of New Orleans. I suspect that she already has a head start
on her education. 4
|2009-OCT-15: USA: Elizabeth Clare Prophet died:
She was the spiritual leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant and
prophesized a nuclear version of Armageddon. She taught beliefs from many of
the world's major religions, mysticism, and New Age channeling. She retired
from active leadership in 1999, and had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in
recent years. The church was still prepared for Armageddon in recent
years and kept a bomb shelter stocked for 750 people deep in a forest near
Yellowstone National Park. 5|
2009-OCT-22: Federal hate crime bill passes Congress:
After a decade-long year battle, the bill has passed the federal House and
Senate on 2009-OCT-22. President Obama has vowed to sign it into law by the
end of the month. It will protect every person in the U.S. from being the
victim of a hate crime in eight separate ways, on the basis of their:
Gender, whether female, male or intersexual,
Sexual orientation, whether they be bisexual, homosexual, or
Gender identity, whether they be
transgender or cis-gendered
This bill has generated enormous controversy in the
religious community. Fundamentalist and other evangelical Christian news
sources have been describing this as a pro-homosexual bill, even though it
protects heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals equally, along with
women, men, transgender people, disabled persons, etc.
|2009-OCT-26: North America: The latest episode of HBO's "Curb Your
Enthusiasm" comedy involved a health problem that star Larry David
experienced while urinating. He splashed urine on a picture of Jesus that
was hanging on the bathroom wall. It appeared as if Jesus was crying.
David's assistant believes that Jesus is actually crying. She and her mother plan to
take the painting across the country and place it on display. Deal Hudson,
author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, was not amused. He said:|
"Somebody should (apologize) ," he said. "When is it going to stop? When is
common sense going to dictate that people realize this willingness of
artists to do to Christianity what they would never do to Judaism or Islam?"
|2009-OCT-28: France: The Church of Scientology was
convicted of fraud in France: The Paris Correctional Court found six
leading Scientologists guilty of fraud. They were found guilty of extorting
money from what the court called "vulnerable" people who were followers or
employees of the Church. lain Rosenberg, the Scientology leader in France,and
five others were given a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined up to 30,000.|
Complaints were filed in the late 1990s by two former church members who said
that they had been cheated out of money. She said that she had given
21,000 to the group and asked that it be returned after she left the group.
Scientology allegedly refused. A second women, an employee of Scientology,
said that she was fired after refusing to take classes given by the church.
The Celebrity Center and Bookshop --
Scientology's headquarters -- was fined US $890,000. Prosecutors had asked
that the be shut down completely. However, this was found to be beyond the
court's authority. The French branch announced it would appeal the ruling.
This is the first time that the Church of Scientology's fund raising methods
have been condemned by a court anywhere in the world. 8,9
| 2009-OCT-29: World: The Internet
reaches middle-aged. Web addresses go multilingual: The Internet turns 40
years-of-age today. It started as a result of a computer experiment for
sharing data among scientific researchers at the University of California, Los
Angeles. On OCT-30, the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (Icann) voted to allow Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and
Korean characters throughout the entire Internet address. Previously, domain
names have been limited to numerals 0 through 9, the 26 characters (A to Z) of
the Latin alphabet, and the hyphen. 11|
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Texas televangelist Benny Hinn refused entry to Britain," Times
Online, 2009-OCT-03, at:
- "North Carolina pastor burning versions of the Bible he doesn't agree with,"
WTKR news channel, undated, at:
- "Mumbai terror survivor embraces Islam," MakeHeadline Blog, 2009-OCT-11, at:
- Mary Foster, "Louisiana Justice of the Peace refuses to issue marriage
license to interracial couple," Associated Press, 2009-OCT-16, at:
- "Leader of sect that predicted nuclear Armageddon dies at
70," Associated Press, 2009-OCT-16, at:
- Marites Sison, "Truth and Reconciliation Commission gathers momentum at Rideau Hall," Anglican Journal, 2009-OCT-16, at:
- "Saudi cleric sacked after attacking university mixing," Dawn Media Group, 2009-OCT-05, at:
- Peter Allen, "Church of Scientology convicted of fraud in France," Mail Online world news, 2009-OCT-28, at:
- Max Colchester, "Paris Scientology Center Is Found Guilty of Fraud ," Wall Street Journal, 2009-OCT-28, at:
- "Offensive Curb your Enthusiasm gag draws criticism,"
CitizenLinke.com, 2009-OCT-29, at:
- "Web addresses go multilingual," Al Jazeera, 2009-OCT-30, at:
How you got here:
Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2009-OCT-03
Latest update: 2009-NOV-01
Author: B.A. Robinson