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...
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...
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...
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...
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
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...
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...
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.'
Fitzgibbon, chief executive director of Boy Scouts of...
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...
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...
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...
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...