Interfaith

U.S. Responds to Earthquake in India

February 5, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 5, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on the response of metro Atlanta's Indian faith communities to the earthquake in Gujarat. Many members of the the Bochasanwasi Swaminarayan Sanstha Hindu Temple in Clarkston, Georgia, "are channeling their energy toward BAPS Care International, a nonprofit relief organization that is providing food, shelter and medical aid to tens of thousands of the tragedy's survivors." A community prayer service at BAPS, drew more than 1,000 members of this...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 4, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 4, 2001, The New York Times published an article about the public's reception of Bush's new faith-based initiative. "Many Americans are indeed enthusiastic about stepping up government support to religious programs...But, as polls indicate, across the political spectrum Americans are wary of anything that appears to tamper with the First Amendment... [Americans] are instinctively uncomfortable when their government appears to promote one religion over another, or allows discrimination based on religion, or interferes...

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Native Americans Find Value in Indian Radio Stations

February 4, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On February 4, 2001, The New York Times published an article on Indian radio stations. Indian country just celebrated its first radio station, KUYI-FM, in First Mesa, Ariz. The new station is significant in part because it "can give news to elderly Hopi that can't speak English." In addition, the birth of the station represents "another triumph over difficult conditions in an industry that ignores Indian broadcasting. KUYI (88.1 FM) is just the 30th American Indian radio station in the United States." KUYI serves a remote...

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Jewish and Christian Clergy Form Interfaith Group

February 4, 2001

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On February 4, 2001, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an article about a newly formed interfaith group among Jewish, Lutheran, Unitarian, Roman Catholic, and Episcopal clergy from Pittsburgh's northern suburbs. Rabbi Art Donsky hosts the meeting of the group once a month at his synagogue, Temple Ohav Shalom in McCandless, Pennsylvania. "'It's a really great opportunity for people of different faith traditions to be in dialogue with one another,' said the Rev. Duane Morford, senior pastor at the Ingomar United Methodist...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 3, 2001

Source: The Economist

On February 3, 2001, The Economist published an article about reactions to Bush's new faith-based initiative. "To its proponents, this is nothing less than a new way to help the poor." Religious groups have the advantage that "they are prepared to insist that recipients change their behaviour, which is the best way of getting out of poverty...Opponents of the idea focus on a different aspect: it is, they think, an affront to the religious liberties enshrined in the constitution." The article says the basic idea of the plan is "modest...

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American Buddhist Teacher Talks about Buddhism in America

February 3, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 3, 2001, The Boston Globe published an interview of Lama Surya Das. Born into a Jewish family on Long Island as Jeffrey Miller, "Surya Das, who lives in Concord, has studied Buddhism for three decades with teachers including the Dalai Lama, and he has become a Buddhist teacher himself." In the interview Surya Das answered how his message differs from that of an Asian Buddhist teacher: "I'm trying to make Buddhism more accessible to Westerners. So I'm less monastic, emphasizing seclusion less and integration in daily life...

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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 2, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 2, 2001, The Washington Post reported on Bush's "maiden appearance before the annual National Prayer Breakfast," where he spoke about his new faith-based initiative. He "extolled the influence of faith on his life and on the life of the nation" and said that "the days of discriminating against religious institutions simply because they are religious must come to an end." Adopting an inclusive theme, he said that "an American president serves people of every faith and serves some of no faith at all." Although Bush...

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New Holy Land Park Stirs Controversy

February 2, 2001

Source: USA TODAY

On February 2, 2001, USA TODAY reported on the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, which claims to "transport" visitors to the ancient Middle East. Its 15 acres include a replica of the temple of King Herod, a cement copy of the Qumran Caves, where ancient Jews stashed the Dead Sea Scrolls, a palm-tree grove mimicking the Via Dolorosa, the path to Jesus' crucifixion, a Jerusalem City Gate, and "Calvary's Garden Tomb, where [people dressed as ancient Israelites] celebrate the resurrection of Christ." Costumed dramatists tell Old and...

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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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Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 2, 2001

Source: .The Houston Chronicle

On February 2, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported on some more responses to Bush's new faith-based initiative. One leading critic of Bush's plan is the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Another critic, Jim Harrington, of the Austin-based Texas Civil Rights Project, said Bush 'wants to almost constitutionalize religion.'" The program also has many supporters, including Carl Esbeck, a lawyer and director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom. Esbeck concedes,...

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Use of Jesus' Name in Bush's Inauguration Discussed

February 1, 2001

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On February 1, 2001, The Christian Science Monitor reported that, after preachers prayed in the name of Jesus at Bush's inauguration, many Americans have "made their distress heard in letters to the editor and on op-ed pages of local newspapers." A Boston public-school educator wrote that it would be better to be silent than to offer a prayer that does not include Americans of all religious faiths. Others point to an inconsistency "between the prohibitions against public prayer in the school classroom and at football...

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Arizona Court Ruling Bans Religious Discrimination Against Prospective Jurors

February 1, 2001

Source: Arizona Business Gazette

On February 1, 2001, the Arizona Business Gazette reported that, "in a precedent-setting move, the Arizona Court of Appeals has expanded the list of prohibited reasons for striking jurors to include their religion. The judges concluded that allowing attorneys to use their peremptory strikes to get rid of Roman Catholics because church leaders oppose the death penalty 'would condition the right to free exercise of religion upon a relinquishment of the right to jury service.'" The judges said, however, that it is still okay to...

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Op-Ed Articles Respond to Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

February 1, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On February 1, 2001, The Boston Globe published an op-ed piece by Ellen Goodman about the debate over Bush's faith-based initiative. Goodman writes that, when ministers invoked Jesus Christ the savior at Bush's inauguration, "millions of Americans - from Buddhists to Unitarians - had to chose between saying 'amen' or feeling excluded." When Bush introduced his new faith-based initiative, "talk about public funding of faith-based organizations was polarized between forces we have come to label the religious right and the secular left...

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Op-Ed Articles Respond to Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

January 31, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 31, 2001, the Los Angeles Times published a commentary by Charles W. Colson that defended Bush's faith-based initiative. Colson is chairman of Prison Fellowship Ministries and he served time in prison for Watergate-related offenses. He spoke about the InnerChange Freedom Initiative in Houston, which was started by his ministry. "For 18 hours a day, prisoners who volunteer for the program are immersed in intensive life-skills training and Bible study. After 18 months, they are released, matched with a mentor, given a job...

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Op-Ed Articles Respond to Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

January 31, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 31, 2001, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece on Bush's faith-based initiative by Tamar Galatzan, the Western states associate counsel for the Anti-Defamation League. She warned that "every component of these initiatives [supporting faith-based programs] must abide by legal and practical safeguards. For one thing, President Bush must ensure that recipients of federal funds comply with the requirements and restrictions that are imposed upon all government-funded activity by the religion clause of the 1st...

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