Christianity

Equal Stature for Religious Holidays in the Schools

December 5, 2002

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 5, 2002 the St. Petersburg Times reported that "Hillsborough school [FL] officials have decided they no longer will penalize high school students who take time off to observe a religious holiday. As always, students who miss class for a religious observance will receive an excused absence. But that absence will no longer cost them the exemption from semester exams awarded students who maintain perfect attendance. Such exemptions are a coveted privilege in many high schools. The new policy comes nearly two years...

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Equal Stature for Religious Holidays in the Schools

December 5, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 5, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "growing up in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, Rona Gugliemino had the day off from school on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana. Now she is raising her family in Berlin [MA], where the regional school district closes on Good Friday but not on the two holiest days in the Jewish faith. Along with another mother in the district, she is asking school officials to reconsider their policy, citing many other towns in the area that have moved in that direction. The School Committee has agreed...

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Religious Groups Speak Out Against War with Iraq: Dec. 2002

December 4, 2002

Source: Connecticut Post

http://www.connpost.com/Stories/0,1413,96%257E3750%257E1029127,00.html

On December 4, 2002 the Connecticut Post reported that "with the prospect of war with Iraq increasing, prayers for peace were offered by clergy of many faiths during a midday service Tuesday at Housatonic Community College. Despite bitter cold, about three dozen leaders of churches, mosques and synagogues gathered under a sunny sky in the college courtyard...

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Renews Anti-Discrimination Message

December 4, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5995-2002Dec3.html

On December 4, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iraq and continued concerns about terrorism, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has renewed its message to employers that it is illegal to discriminate against foreign-born workers. The agency issued updated anti-bias guidelines yesterday...

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Constitutionality of Congressional Chaplains in Question

December 3, 2002

Source: Religion News Service

http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=1794

On December 3, 2002 Religion News Service reported that "twenty-two members of Congress have urged a federal court to dismiss a suit challenging the constitutionality of congressional chaplains. The American Center for Law and Justice filed a friend-of-the-court brief in U.S. District Court in Washington on behalf of itself and 22 members of Congress in response to a lawsuit filed in August by...

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Christmas Creche Scene and the Establishment Clause

December 3, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 3, 2002 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed an editorial that stated, "a seasonal mini-flap developed last week. The issue was whether it was legal for the city to let an ecumenical Christian group post signs on Grant Street notifying motorists they could park temporarily at certain times while viewing a Nativity scene near USX Tower.  The signs were labeled 'Creche Viewing.' Such common-sense interaction between church and state is a far cry from the Nativity scene in the Allegheny County Courthouse that...

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Multifaith Speakers at First African-American Baltimore County Councilman Swearing-in

December 3, 2002

Source: The Baltimore Sun

http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal-md.olesker03dec03,0,4820948.column?coll=bal%2Dnews%2Dcolumnists

On December 3, 2002 The Baltimore Sun reported that "Baltimore County [MD] swore in its new government yesterday... In the year 2002, Kenneth N. Oliver became the first African-American in history to become a Baltimore County councilman. Oliver's swearing-in was only part of the imagery of an...

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Editorial on Religion and Politics

December 2, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 2, 2002 The Washington Post printed an editorial by William Raspberry that expressed concern about religion and politics. He stated, "I think power, combined with a view that those in power must not distinguish between their religious and civic selves, is dangerous, whatever its source. For now, the source is the right. The genius of America -- what has made this polyglot, polycultural, polychromatic nation such a success -- is that it has managed to devise a civic religion, less doctrinally specific but no less...

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Minnesota United Methodists to Produce American Hymnal in Hmong

December 2, 2002

Source: United Methodist News Service

http://www.wfn.org/2002/12/msg00002.html

On December 2, 2002 United Methodist News Service reported that "Minnesota United Methodists have given $5,000 to the Association of Hmong United Methodist Congregations to help produce the first American hymnal in Hmong. The Hmong came from Laos, and their ancestors originated in southwestern China. The United States has about 300,000 Hmong Americans, according to 2001 data. About 80,000 live in...

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Fremont Mayor Gus Morrison Speaks about Religious Diversity

December 2, 2002

Source: The Argus

On December 2, 2002 The Argus reported that "the police chief was baptized as an honorary Sikh, the mayor makes it a habit not to ask what he's eating, and local developers are amazingly adept at feng shui. Those are some of the anecdotes Mayor Gus Morrison told members of the Commonwealth Club of California, who were curious about what it's like to be a leader in a city as famously diverse as Fremont. Morrison told how he has been beat up by conservative radio stations for allowing a space in City Hall for Muslims to pray during a city...

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Survey on Religious Diversity in Marin County, California

December 2, 2002

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On December 2, 2002 The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a recently released survey by San Francisco's Institute of Jewish and Community Research shows that a far higher percentage of people in Marin County [CA] than in the rest of the country embrace alternative religions or no religion at all. The findings, gathered from random telephone interviews of 604 people in April and May of 2000, do not mean the famously wealthy and liberal suburban county is full of barefoot pagans wearing robes and worshiping in the...

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December: Celebrations and Dilemmas, 2002

December 2, 2002

Source: religionwriters.com

http://www.religionwriters.com/public/tips/120202/120202a.html

On December 2, 2002 religionwriters.com reported that "the first week in December includes the celebration of Advent, Hanukkah, and Eid al-Fitr, and Christmas and Kwanzaa aren't far behind. After a year of constitutional controversies regarding religion, the winter holidays are yet another venue for debating the meaning of religious symbols in the public square....

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Palm Beach County to Prosecute Hate Crime Suspect

December 1, 2002

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

On December 1, 2002 the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that "a construction company owner has been charged with a misdemeanor hate crime after two Boca Raton [FL] police officers said they watched him set fire to a sign announcing the new site of a mosque. George Aboujawdeh, 45, is the first person in Palm Beach County to be prosecuted for a hate crime directed at Muslims since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, said Michael Edmondson, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office. Aboujawdeh, a Catholic who was born and...

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Ramadan in America, 2002

December 1, 2002

Source: Herald-Leader

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/local/4640933.htm

On December 1, 2002 the Herald-Leader reported that "born Michaela Colleen Jeffries, the Somerset, [Kentucky] resident and former Seventh-day Adventist converted to Islam in June, about a year after a tour of the Middle East led her to begin studying the Koran. 'Islam has given me an inner peace,' said Saleem, author of the autobiography Grasping for Love, about surviving...

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