Group Tries to Get Religious Marker Removed from Public Park

July 13, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On July 13, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. "is resuming its fight to have a monument displaying the Ten Commandments removed from a La Crosse [Wisconsin] park," which they originally began in 1988. "The Common Council will consider the request in August...The foundation believes it now has stronger legal footing...Public support is behind the monument."

Faith-Based Initiative Has Little Support in Congress

July 12, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 12, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "with his signature proposal for faith-based federal spending increasingly imperiled, President Bush...made rare overtures to lawmakers in an effort to get the issue back on track...Furor [that] erupted over a deal his administration allegedly cut with the Salvation Army [is]...the latest setback...The administration has been steadily scaling back various aspects of the once-ambitious program, amid criticism, opposition and a lack of interest in the newly Democratic...

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$2.5 Million Awarded to Man Fired for Not Working on Sabbath

July 11, 2001

Source: The Denver Post

On July 11, 2001, The Denver Post reported that "a former Pueblo air-traffic controller...has sued his former employer in U.S. District Court for allegedly harassing and then firing him because he refused to work on the Sabbath."

Mormonism Grows in Mexico

July 10, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On July 10, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that the newest temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in Guadalajara, Mexico. "The Guadalajara temple is part of the church's continuing goal of expanding its reach beyond the United States...Officials at the 171-year-old church say Mexico has the fastest-growing membership outside the United States...The current Mexican Mormon Church was established in 1961 and claims just under 850,000 members."

Church Challenges City's Refusal to Grant Relocation Request

July 7, 2001

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On July 7, 2001, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Pastor Mark Hoffman's "Foothills Christian Fellowship church filed suit...the City Council, saying it violated the church's civil and constitutional rights in May by voting against its proposal to move to El Cajon Towne Center. The City Council and the Planning Commission...said the downtown's largest commercial property was best suited for retail, restaurants and homes."

Arizona Faith Groups Respond to White Supremacist

July 6, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On July 6, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that "Arizona's diverse faith community will kick off an anti-hate response to a White-power leader's plans to recruit here for the White Aryan Resistance...Congregations will begin a 'Not in Our State' campaign, coordinated by...the National Conference for Community and Justice. The American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Arizona Catholic Conference and numerous churches have signed on with the campaign ."

Changes Made to Proposed Charitable Choice Legislation

July 5, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On July 5, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported that "the [Bush] administration and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives made some changes last week to the Community Solutions Act (HR 7) that deal directly with a central issue of concern to critics [of Bush's faith-based initiative]: the separation of church and state." Under the changes, "religious groups that receive grants would now be required to keep any religious activity or instruction separate from the government-funded programming......

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Kansas Church Embraces Diversity

July 4, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On July 4, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that the nearly all white congregation of the Full Faith Church of Love West, installed the Rev. Don Lewis, an African-American, as its new senior pastor. "Guests at the installation included Charangit Hundal of the Sikh gurdwara and Anand and Dipti Bhattacharyya of the Hindu temple."

Ruling Against Anti-Religion Sign Upheld

July 3, 2001

Source: The Rocky Mountain News

On July 3, 2001, The Rocky Mountain News reported that "a federal judge correctly ruled that the Freedom from Religion Foundation can't post an anti-religion sign inside Denver's annual Christmas display on the City Hall steps, an appeals court decided...The Freedom from Religion Foundation...sign noted that the [Christmas] season also was the time of the winter solstice and stated: 'There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world.'"

Faith-Based Programs in Texas Give Mixed Results

July 2, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 2, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Bush's Texas record on faith-based programs has been mixed and in many cases not fully evaluated...In the most decisive setback yet, the Legislature this spring chose not to continue a Bush-backed plan passed in 1997 that allowed religious youth facilities to escape state inspections." One critic of faith-based programs said the evidence suggests that they are "'unmanageable, unregulated, prone to favoritism and co-mingling of funds.'...On the welfare reform front, however,...

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Churches and Synagogues Building More Schools

July 2, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On July 2, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that, "fueled by shifting populations, expanding or consolidating churches, a growing unease with public education, school choice vouchers and the wealth created by the recent economic expansion, churches and synagogues [across southeastern Wisconsin and the nation] are pouring millions" into construction of their own schools... According to the U.S. Census Bureau, faith-based primary and secondary school construction rose 234%, from $728 million in 1993 to $2.4...

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Latino Churches Take Up Economic Development

July 2, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 2, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "now, with more Latino churches springing up within the Protestant evangelical movement, in which individual churches have substantial autonomy, more Latino church leaders are signing up for Economic Development 101," imitating the faith-based economic development promoted by many African-American churches.

"Nomadic Pilgrim" Dives into Monastic Life

July 1, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On July 1, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on "William Claassen, a self-described 'nomadic pilgrim.'...Claassen spent 2 1/2 years traveling around the world, visiting 40 monasteries in 12 countries. He broke bread with Greek Orthodox monks on Mount Athos, walked with Catholic brothers in Spain, watched whirling dervishes in Turkey, meditated with Zen monks in Japan and sat at the feet of Hindu gurus and Jain pujaris in India."

Mennonite Churches Merge

July 1, 2001

Source: Lancaster Sunday News

On July 1, 2001, the Lancaster Sunday News reported that "the plan is to transform the Mennonite Church, based in Elkhart, Ind...and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC), based in Newton, Kan., into one denomination called Mennonite Church USA...The transformation could heal a rift that began in the 1860s when the GCs wanted Sunday School, more mission work, and more English used in services and the MCs wanted to continue with German and more traditional and conservative ways."

County Should Uphold Zoning Regulations

July 1, 2001

Source: The Seattle Times

On July 1, 2001, The Seattle Times published an opinion piece on the ongoing battle between King County, Washington, Executive Ron Sims and churches in King County, led by the Catholic and Mormon hierarchies: "religious organizations, like everyone else seeking to build in rural communities, must conform to a size and scale that is compatible with the surrounding area and that respects the environment... Overriding principles of the growth-management idea should prevail."