Utah Man Convicted of Polygamy

May 20, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On May 20, 2001, The New York Times reported that "a Utah man has been convicted on four counts of bigamy and one count of failing to pay child support...The man, Tom Green, 52,...has five wives and has fathered 30 children...Mr. Green...says his lifestyle is a God-given choice...Polygamy arrived in Utah in the 1840's, when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled in the state...The church disavowed polygamy in 1890."

Monks Lead Movement to Revive Christin Meditation Practices

May 19, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On May 19, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Christian meditation is crossing denominational lines and attracting thousands of spiritual seekers, especially baby boomers." The article reported on two monks who "lead international movements that promote meditation not as new spiritual practice but as a return to a contemplative form of prayer developed in early Christianity...They were in Houston last week giving joint presentations on meditation."

Study Investigates the Characteristics of "Successful" Churches

May 19, 2001

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On May 19, 2001, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on three university scholars who spent two years researching churches that produced "life-changing results." They found that "excellent churches look at congregational needs with a fresh eye and try to solve needs creatively...These congregations are not afraid to try new projects, programs and liturgy." The study's findings are reported in two just-published books: "Excellent Catholic Parishes" (Paulist Press) and "Excellent Protestant Parishes" (Westminster John Knox)....

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Survey Finds Growing Number of Foreign-Born Catholic Priests

May 19, 2001

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On May 19, 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on "a growing number of foreign-born men filling out the ranks of the Roman Catholic priesthood in the United States. Nearly a third of the men ordained in the United States this year were born elsewhere, according to a survey by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops."

Seminar at UCLA Explores How to Bring Peace to Middle East

May 19, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 19, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "a daylong seminar on ways to bring peace to the Holy UCLA by a coalition of liberal Jewish peace activists, Muslim organizations and Christians." The seminar is called "The Israeli-Palestinian Crisis: New Conversations for a Pluralist Future."

Interfaith Dialogue with Dalai Lama Finds Ways for Diverse Religions to Coexist Peacefully

May 19, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On May 19, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on an interfaith dialogue with seven local clergy and the Dalai Lama. The topic of the panel was "'How Can Diverse Religions Communities Create Peace in the World?' In their response, the Dalai Lama and this distinguished panel promoted the idea that religions can be diverse without being a lot different. 'All religions carry same teaching, same goal, same potential,' the Dalai Lama said."

New Orleans Clergy Cautious about Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

May 19, 2001

Source: The Times-Picayune

On May 19, 2001, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on a panel of pastors and social workers that convened in New Orleans to hear about Bush's plans for his faith-based initiative. "They were notably cautious...Clergy panelists stressed the traps implicit in accepting federal money to do the social work of their ministries...They worried about limits on what they could preach, and to whom; the potential loss...of independence...; and a reluctance to become sophisticated accounting agencies."

Interreligious Dialogue in New York City Illustrates Depth of Middle East Conflict

May 18, 2001

Source: Newsday

On May 18, 2001, Newsday reported that "after an unusual effort to hold an interreligious dialogue about conflict in the Middle East, [New York City] clergy said that they hoped to meet again in hopes of finding ways to help ease tensions. But the Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders who met at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan said their intense, private discussion gave a sense of how deep the conflict runs."

Buddhist Monk Preaches Peace and Teaches Meditation to Thousands of Americans

May 18, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 18, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on a talk called "Peace Is the Way" given by Thich Nhat Hanh, a 74-year-old exiled Vietnamese monk and former anti-Vietnam War activist. The talk was given at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston and was expected to attract a crowd estimated at 3,000. "A vast array of Americans...have adopted Nhat Hanh's teachings of 'engaged Buddhism,' simple meditation practices that he says can help ordinary people experience the beauty of life."

ACLU Sues City in Nebraska for Display of Ten Commandments in Public Park

May 18, 2001

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On May 18, 2001, the Omaha World-Herald reported that "Nebraska's American Civil Liberties Union chapter sued to force the City of Plattsmouth to remove a Ten Commandments marker that has stood in a city park for 36 years...The lawsuit alleges that a marker in Plattsmouth's Memorial Park, which lists the Ten Commandments and includes Jewish, Christian and American symbols, violates the First Amendment's prohibition of an 'establishment of religion.'" The lawyer representing the city said that "there is absolutely no constitutional...

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SJC's Ruling on Mormon Temple's Steeple Protects Religious Groups' Freedom From Interference by Civil Authorities

May 17, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 17, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "the Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously yesterday that Mormons have a legal right to erect a giant steeple, topped by a golden angel, atop their new temple in Belmont [Massachusetts]. The decision...broadly affirms the right of religious groups to decide the scale and features of houses of worship...In the Belmont case, a handful of residents of Belmont Hill filed two suits to block the temple."

Task Force Asks Town For Permanent Commission to Address Problems of Intolerance and Bigotry

May 16, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On May 16, 2001, The Arizona Republic published an article defending a task force that "told the Gilbert [Arizona] Town Council that problems of racism, homophobia and religion-based unease...can't be dealt with on an ad hoc basis. There needs to be a permanent body in place - a town Human Relations Commission - to help focus on the problems and deal with them." The task force's request is a response to the recent activities of terrorist groups like the Devil Dogs, a group of young men with an ugly history of violence, in an...

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Orthodox Jews Face Prejudice In New Jersey Town

May 15, 2001

Source: The Record

On May 15, 2001, The Record reported that "lawyers for the Orthodox [Jews in Tenafly, New Jersey] introduced into evidence a pile of photographs...of signs that churches had posted on the right of way in the borough...The leader of Tenafly's Orthodox community demonstrated to the court that the borough allows some groups to use the right of way, but not the Orthodox, who need the utility poles to mark the boundaries of the eruv." One councilman said he voted to take down the eruv because "he sensed 'a lot of fear and hatred' coming...

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Director of Faith-Based Initiative Meets with Muslim Leaders

May 15, 2001

Source: American Muslim Council

On May 15, 2001, the American Muslim Council issued a press release in which they reported that "the Director of the White Faith-Based Initiative, Dr. John Dilulio, met at his office in the White House with Dr. Yahya Basha, President of American Muslim Council (AMC) and Imam Hassan Qazwini, leader of the Islamic Center of America and member of the Board of Directors of (AMC). The discussion centered on relations with the American Muslim Community and the concerns raised by Rev. Jerry Falwell's comments calling on the White House to...

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Many American Women Drawn to Islam, to their Families' Dismay

May 13, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 13, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on "a growing number of women embracing Islam in Greater Boston, and in one mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, they outnumber new Muslim men by as much as 2 to 1." These women insist that, contrary to popular belief in America "in fact Islam is more forward-thinking about gender than many Western traditions...In modelling a more egalitarian form of Islamic culture in the United States than in some parts of the world, these women also say they may influence Muslims worldwide...

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