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Religious Tolerance logo

News of religious/ethical change,
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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.


bullet2009-SEP-01: AZ: Minister prays for President Obama's death: Pastor Steven Anderson delivered a sermon to his Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ titled: "Why I hate Barak Obama." He seems to be dabbling in black magic by allegedly asked his parishioners to join him in praying for Obama's death. He said:
bullet"I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today."
bullet"I'm gonna pray that he dies and goes to hell when I go to bed tonight. That's what I'm gonna pray."
bullet"I will not take the law into my own hands. I will not take up any arms. It's a spiritual battle, spiritual warfare."

The sermon has led to death threats against Anderson, and motivated a small group of demonstrators to gather around his church on AUG-30.

A member of his congregation, Christopher Broughton, allegedly carried an AR-15 assault rifle outside the Phoenix arena where President Obama spoke on AUG-17.

Apparently, Pastor Anderson disagrees with the method by which President Obama proposes to reduce the abortion rate in the U.S.

The report in FOXNews produced 688 comments within 3 days. 1,2

bullet2009-SEP-01: CO: Financial difficulties at Focus on the Family continue: Focus on the Family is a very influential Colorado-based fundamentalist Christian organization In the fall of 2008, they eliminated more than 200 staff positions -- the largest layoff in their history. Because of continued financial problems, they have laid off an additional 75 employees and will not fill 57 vacant positions. Estimates show that they will miss their $138 million budget by 5% for the fiscal year ending in September. 3

bullet2009-SEP-04: Court rebukes Bush administration: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals said that the federal government's treatment of material witnesses after 9/11 was: "...repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history.''

The case had been filed against former Attorney General John Ashcroft by Abdullah al-Kidd, a citizen of the U.S. and a former student at the University of Idaho. He argued that the government detained him and many other Muslims and Arabs even though there was insufficient evidence to charge them with a crime. He was detained as a material witness for two weeks during 2003, and then released. He claimed that this caused the loss of a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, lost employment opportunities and the destruction of his marriage.

The court ruling negated the "qualified immunity" automatically given to government officials. Richard Seamon, a professor at the University of Idaho College of Law and a former assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, said:

''It's a very big ruling, because qualified immunity is ordinarily a very robust form of protection. To overcome that immunity, you have to show that the defendant almost deliberately acted unconstitutionally to violate someone's rights -- no innocent mistakes." 4

bullet2009-SEP-08: Korea: Pastor promises to end swine flu in Israel overnight: Dr. Jaerock Lee. an evangelical preacher has promised to perform signs and wonders including eradicating the swine flu virus from Israel overnight. He has allegedly claimed to sit at the throne of God, command angels, and performed every miracle in the Bible except for one: walking on water.

Johnny Kim, the director general of Manmin TV, said: "Dr. Lee obeys God, and God has blessed [him] with these powers. He is not different than any other man, only in his devotion." 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. "Phoenix Pastor Draws Protests After Telling Church He Prays for Obama's Death," FOXNews, 2009-AUG-31, at: http://www.foxnews.com/
  2. "Pastor's Obama Rants 'Incomprehensible' Protesters counter parishioners at
    Sunday service," myFOXphoenix, 2009-AUG-30, at: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/
  3. "Budget woes force Focus on the Family layoffs. Conservative Christian group will lay off 75 workers, leave 57 jobs unfilled," Associated Press, 2009-SEP-02, at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
  4. "Appeals Court Rules Against Ashcroft in 9 / 11 Case," Associated Press, 2009-SEP-04, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
  5. "Evangelical pastor vows to rid Israel of swine flu," ReligionNewsBlog, 2009-SEP-08, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/

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Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-SEP-03
Latest update: 2009-SEP-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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