Humanism

Religious Rivalries in Ukraine

June 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 23, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on Ukraine, "an extraordinarily tense spot on the map of world religion, where three branches of Orthodoxy and two branches of Catholocism vie with one another, with Protestant missionaries, and with the legacy of 70 years of state-enforced atheism. 'Ukraine is ground zero of Orthodox-Catholic tension in the late 20th and early 21st century, and the tension has spilled onto the international scene,' said one member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. "From the vantage point of...

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Plaintiff Charges City with Ulterior Motive in Sale of Property

April 5, 2001

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On April 5, 2001, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on a hearing in Pasadena before a federal appeals court. It was "the latest legal skirmish in a nearly 12-year-old controversy over the" Mount Soledad cross. Atheist Philip Paulson claimed San Diego City "violated constitutional law when it sold the land to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, a nonprofit veterans group that built the cross and maintained it for nearly 50 years." Before the veterans group bought the land, it was public property and the presence of...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 2, 2001

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On February 2, 2001, The San Diego Union-Tribune published an article by Jim VandeHei of The Wall Street Journal on President Bush's new faith-based initiative. "In many ways, these moves simply advance a trend, visible in both parties and on display in Bush's early days in office, toward a more open acknowledgment of the role religion plays in public life." VandeHei described the InnerChange program in Texas, which Bush sees "as a model of the sort of thing he would like to see spread across the country...It...

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Use of Jesus' Name in Bush's Inauguration Discussed

January 29, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On January 29, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published a commentary by Alan Dershowitz on Franklin Graham's dedication of Bush's inauguration to Jesus Christ. Graham's "particularistic and parochial language," claimed Dershowitz, "excluded tens of millions of American Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Unitarians, agnostics and atheists from his blessing...The plain message conveyed by the new administration is that Bush's America is a Christian nation, and that non-Christians are welcome into the tent so long as they agree to...

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Use of Jesus' Name in Bush's Inauguration Discussed

January 27, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On January 27, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Jesus was a popular figure at President Bush's inauguration." The invocation by the Rev. Franklin Graham was closed with a prayer "'in the name of the father, and of the son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.'" The benediction by the Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell ended with the words, "'We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names, Jesus the Christ.' Newspapers around the country have been publishing letters from readers offended...

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Allegheny County and Americans United for Separation of Church and State Fight Over Display of Ten Commandments Plaque

December 20, 2000

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 20, 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Vince Gastgeb, an Allegheny County Councilman, is trying to gather votes to pass a resolution that supports keeping the Ten Commandments mounted on the side of the courthouse. He needed 10 votes, but he was one short. The council voted to further debate the issue and get advice from county lawyers. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is threatening to sue the county over the mounted Ten Commandments. This nonprofit organization says that the...

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Scouts Have Different Approaches to Moral Questions

October 12, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On October 12, 2000, The Denver Post reported that "Rabbi Steven Foster is not alone in protesting the Boy Scouts' policies of discrimination against homosexuals and atheists. Financial support has been dropping, and concerned parents have withdrawn their children from troops in Denver and many other cities. The Boy Scouts' leadership stubbornly insists that the only way the organization can promote morality is through exclusivity. The Girl Scouts of America disagree. 'The Girl Scouts is open to all girls between the ages of 5...

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Scouts Have Different Approaches to Moral Questions

October 11, 2000

Source: The Denver Rocky Mountain News

On October 11, 2000, The Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that "Rabbi Steven Foster of Temple Emanuel returned his Boy Scout medals Tuesday in protest over the group's ban on gays. 'I felt it was appropriate to resign from the Eagle Scouts because of the discrimination against atheists and gays,' he said. 'It's a simple matter for me. I don't think it's appropriate to be associated, for myself, with an organization that chooses discrimination.'

"Tom Fitzgibbon, chief executive director of Boy Scouts of...

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George W. Bush and Religious Belief

August 6, 2000

Source: The Times-Picayune

On August 6, 2000, The Times-Picayune reported that George W. Bush's religious views "could have an impact on all Americans if he is elected come November...For Bush, faith and politics are intertwined, and favorite phrases like "armies of compassion" are rooted in a Christian lexicon that comes easily to a man who talks more openly and fervently about his Christian faith than any other presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter...This "compassionate conservatism" that Bush repeats like a mantra is a catch-all phrase that is as much...

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Cyberreligion

August 5, 2000

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On August 5, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the First Church of Cyberspace and its pastor, the Rev. Charles Henderson. The four-year-old congregation includes members of a variety of religions, including Christian, Jew, Pagan, and atheist. "It's tremendously diverse," said ordained Presbyterian pastor Henderson from the church's office in New York. "It has pagans, Wiccans, liberals, gays, straight --- that's what makes it so exciting." Henderson's church is part of a growing trend in...

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Kentucky Senate Passes Resolution to Post Ten Commandments

February 16, 2000

Source: The Courier-Journal

On February 16, 2000, The Courier-Journal reported that the Kentucky Senate passed a resolution to encourage schools to post the Ten Commandments and teach about religion's influence on America by a 37-1 margin. A great deal of debate ensued over the inclusion of the influence of the Jewish faith on American history. The original resolution only referred to the teaching of the Christian faith, but the Senate decide to include the entire Judeo-Christian faith's impact in the United States. Sen. Albert Robinson, who sponsored the...

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Creche Controversies

December 9, 1998

Source: No source given.

In Somerset, MA, a 60-year tradition of a creche on the front lawn of the Somerset Town Hall was ruled unconstitutional because it violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. On December 1st, 1998, the Boston Globe reported on the federal ruling by US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns in Boston (December 1, 1998, Boston Globe, Metro/Region, Pg. B1). Stearns ruled this particular creche presentation unconstitutional because it offered "no superabundance of secular symbols to dilute the religious message...

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