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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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bullet2004-OCT-1: MO: Roman Catholic Archbishop forbids voting choice: In a pastoral letter titled: "On our civic responsibility for the common good," Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Archdiocese of St. Louis forbade Catholics to vote for candidates who support abortion access, physician assisted suicide, reproductive cloning, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research. He calls these the five "intrinsic evils." He linked these topics to the Nazi Holocaust. 15
bullet2004-OCT-1: USA: Pax TV cable network introduces new religious show: Newspaper reporter, author, and former Atheist, Lee Strobel, has created a new TV show called "Faith under fire." It will be shown on the Pax network at 10PM on Saturday, ET. It will involve persons from different faith groups debating religious beliefs. For example, one episode shows two religious scholars debating whether Hell exists. In another, Madonna's cabala teacher debates against another rabbi. Strobel said: "No topic is off-limits. We do
abortion, gay rights, stem-cell research, all the hot-button issues....The point [of the show] is to really look at the evidence and where it  points. For example, Islam and Christianity can't both be right they are either both wrong, or one of them is right. We wanted to talk to people about why they believe what they believe and examine what evidence they have for it.

This program could have a profound effect on some viewers. They will see intelligent, devout, sincere, thoughtful people debating religious topics. One debater may represent the viewer's viewpoint, and the other will promote another view. This program could change beliefs. It could also force viewers to realize that other religious groups have just as much claim to "truth" as their group does. They might begin to wonder if absolute truth exists in the field of religion. 11
bullet2004-OCT-3: Vatican: Controversy over beatifying two Catholics: Pope John Paul II beatified five Roman Catholics, two of whom led controversial lives. One was Sister Anna Katharina Emmerick who had violent visions of Jesus' arrest, trial, and torture-death. She wove many anti-semitic expressions into her writings. Much of Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ was based on her visions. Karl I, the last Austrian emperor was also honored. His troops used poison gas during wartime.  "Critics have said that the Vatican had no business honoring a monarch whose troops used poison gas. Historians say he sought to limit use of the gas, angering his own military commanders." It is worth noting that the use of poison gas was legal under the rules of war at the time. A miracle is required  before a person can be beatified. In Emmerick's case, a nun was cured of varicose veins; in Karl 1's case, another nun was cured of tuberculosis. Both were judged to be miracles due to the intercession of Emmerick and Karl 1. This brings to 1,338 the number of Catholics who Pope John Paul II has beatified -- many more than any previous pope. 12
bullet2004-OCT-19: France: A school in Mulhouse, France, expelled two girls for wearing a hijab. They are 12 and 13 years of age and were attending seventh grade. They refused to remove the covering since they resumed classes in September.  Education Minister Franois Fillon said that about 70 girls in France risked expulsion by refusing to bare their heads. Three Sikh boys in a Paris suburb are also fighting the ban on their turbans. 13
bullet2004-OCT-24: UK: Satanist registered in British Armed Forces: Chris Cranmer, 24, a naval technician, has been registered as a Satanist by the British Navy. He realized that he was a Satanist nine years ago when he read a copy of Anton LaVey's book: "The Satanic Bible." He realized that LaVey's beliefs were also his own, Cranmer is now lobbying the Ministry of Defence to make Satanism a registered religion in the Armed Forces. Former Tory minister, Ann Widdecombe, said that she was "utterly shocked" by the Navy's decision. She said: "Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere, including the armed forces, are their own affair but I hope it doesn't spread....The Navy should not permit Satanist practices on board its ships....God himself gives free will, but I would like to think that if somebody applied to the Navy and said they were a Satanist today it would raise its eyebrows somewhat." Cranmer is a religious Satanist. We suspect that Widdecombe was thinking in term of the image of Gothic Satanists popularized during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, and which are unrelated to religious Satanism. She may also be thinking of the Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax which circulated during the 1980s and early 1990s. 14
bullet2004-OCT-27: MO & CO: Pro-choice group lodges complaint with IRS: Catholics for a Free Choice is a non-profit group of Roman Catholics who promote women's access to abortion. They have asked the Internal Revenue Service to terminate the tax-exempt status of the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of St. Louis and Denver. The Archdioceses are public charities which are also tax-exempt. They are prohibited by IRS regulations from acting for or against political candidates. Catholics for a Free Choice have claimed that the Dioceses have urged Catholics to not vote for candidates who support choice in abortion, physician assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, etc. 16
bullet2004-OCT-28: Web site sells Witch hunting permits: The Landover Baptist Church, a lampoon web site that pretends to be a Fundamentalist Christian group, is selling Witch hunting permits. They contain the text: "Landover Baptist Witch Hunting Permit: Permit No. 666-04." Two dates are included: 1612 and 2010. 1612 CE was during the Renaissance when the "Burning Times" for Witches and other heretics was in decline. We are not certain of the significance of the date. Other text on the coupon reads: "Freehold, Iowa . Resident . Permanent . No Bag Limit . Tagging Not Required." They are intended to be placed in car windows. 17

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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. 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
  3. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  4. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.com
    URL: http://www.cair-net.org To join CAIR-NET, CAIR's read-only mailing list: Send subscribe cair-net in the body of a message to majordomo@cair-net.org
  5. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  6. Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland distributes news free religious news highlights to subscribers. They can be contacted at PO Box 2100, CH - 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland. Telephone: (41-22) 791 6087/6515. Fax: (41-22) 788 7244 Email: eni@eni.ch. Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch 
  7. ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/ 
  8. Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html A companion Episcopal News Service is at: http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/ens/ 
  9. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  10. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  11. Frances Taylor, "Duking it out over matters of religion," The Hartford Courant, 2004-OCT-1.
  12. "Pope puts 5 faithful on path to sainthood," Associated Press, at the Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-4, Page A16.
  13. "School expels girls for refusing to remove Muslim headscarves," Toronto Star, 2004-OCT-20, Page A12.
  14. "Navy approves first ever Satanist," BBC News, 2004-OCT-24, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
  15. Raymond L. Burke, "On our civic responsibility for the common good," 2004-OCT-1, at: http://www.archstl.org/ You may need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from:
  16. "Complaint filed with IRS against archdiocese. Bishop's statements cited," CNN.com, 2004-OCT-27, at: http://edition.cnn.com/
  17. "Witch Hunting Permit," Landover Baptist Church, at: http://www.cafepress.com/

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Copyright 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-OCT-3
Latest update: 2004-OCT-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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