Interfaith

Interfaith Families Celebrate And Respect Each Other's Traditions

December 21, 2000

Source: The Arizona Republic

On December 21, 2000, The Arizona Republic reported that interfaith couples celebrate an array of holidays during this season. Phyllis and Herb Tragethon are but one example. She is Jewish, and he is Christian. Even when Hannukah and Christmas overlap, they celebrate both. " 'This is his biggest holiday, and it means a lot to him,' she said. 'We are very strong in our religions, and they are different, and we have to respect those differences. That's how it works.' " She goes to Church with him on Christmas and Easter, and he...

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Bush Tries to Garner Support From Black Voters in Austin While Introducing His "Faith-Based" Initiatives

December 21, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 21, 2000, The Washington Post reported that President-elect George Bush met with religious leaders in Austin yesterday to talk about his "faith-based" initiative. The event was also an attempt to gather support from black voters, only 9 percent of whom voted for Bush. The group included a rabbi, academics and representatives of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Islamic Center of America. The largest representation was from African Americans. Civil rights leaders and representatives from black...

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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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Immigrants Have Mixed Feelings About Christmas

December 19, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 19, 2000, The New York Times reported that "[New York City's] newest wave of immigrants, for whom Christianity is often an alien and mystifying religion, have even more radically sliced and cut, discarded what does not work and ignored what is inconvenient to fashion a palatable Christmas. The mutations represent at once the weary resignation of immigrants who must learn to accommodate, yet struggle to cling to the traditions and culture they have left behind." Many immigrants say that they celebrate Christmas as a day...

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Anti-Arab Jewish Group Outsmarts Law

December 19, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 19, 2000, The New York Times reported on the Rabbi Meir Kahane Memorial Fund, which was established in memory of "the radical Brooklyn Jew and Israeli politician who was assassinated" 10 years ago. The fund supports the "political and religious activities in Israel" of Kahane's son Binyamin, who has "been associated with terrorist groups." Members of the Kahane political organizations "are still seen organizing anti-Arab demonstrations and handing out literature." In 1995, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai...

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Christian Finds Personal Meaning In Ramadan

December 18, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 18, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on a Christian and her appreciation of Ramadan. She focuses on fasting, because it requires self-restraint. As she understands it, fasting is a way for people to turn away from materially satisfying the physical body and instead, turn to spirituality, to "a realm beyond the physical and to the home of the perfect and divine." She believes that the spirituality emphasized during Ramadan is not restricted to one religion or only one time of the year. In a...

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In South Salem, NY, Women Dominate Clergy

December 17, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 17, 2000, The New York Times reported that "when the Rev. Harold E. Quigley retired after almost 20 years at Stevens Memorial United Methodist Church here, he turned to a parishioner, Pat Gannon, and said, 'You know, it's all women now.' Rabbi Carla Freedman of the Jewish Family Congregation, a mile down the road, was thinking the same thing when she was driving around this bucolic hamlet not too long ago. All four houses of worship in South Salem, an upscale northern Westchester community approximately 50 miles from...

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Los Angeles Pre-Schoolers Learn About Multicultural Holiday Celebrations

December 17, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 17, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported on the multicultural, multifaith activities at the "African American Presbyterian church--which also hosts an Ethiopian congregation--with a preschool that includes a little blue-eyed blond, singing Christmas carols, led by a woman in African garb, accompanied on piano by a teacher from Korea whose first name is Easter, serenading an English class taught by a Jewish woman, whose students are immigrants from Mexico, Ethiopia and El Salvador, whose children sport Lakers jerseys and...

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Controversy Over School Nativity Scene

December 9, 2000

Source: The Boston Herald

On December 9, 2000, The Boston Herald reported that "Norwood selectmen voted pro-creche this week, placing themselves on the opposite side of the Nativity scene issue that has entangled Lexington officials in court." Lori Novick requested that the creche, located in front of a public school, be removed. She is concerned that it might make non-Christian children feel marginalized and left out. An attorney for the ACLU is monitoring the situation, as is attorney and head of the Citizens for the Preservation of Constitutional...

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Buddhist Guides Meditation for Members of Diverse Faiths

December 8, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 8, 2000, The Washington Post reported that "D'Estree, a Harvard Divinity School graduate who was recognized in 1981 as a lopon (master teacher) by the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, sits on the floor at the front of the room. He gently rings a ritual bell, and the evening's meditation session begins." D'Estree stresses that one does not necessarily need to be Buddhist in order to appreciate meditation as a stress-relieving technique, or as a form of prayer for theistic traditions. "'Meditation can be a stress reduction...

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American Muslims Celebrate Ramadan

December 8, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 8, 2000, The Los Angeles Times reported that "an Islamic holiday display now shares a patch of grass in Mission Viejo with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, marking what Muslim leaders say is the first time in California that the holy month of Ramadan has received equal billing with Christmas on public space. The small billboard shows a photograph of the Kaaba--the central shrine of Islam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia--with a message: 'Season's Greetings.' A caption under the photo reads 'The First House of Worship on Earth.'...

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Los Angeles Schools Debate Display of Holiday Lights

December 7, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 7, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "despite objections last year--and the state's power crisis--parents put up holiday lights at a Newport Beach public school but were compelled to take them down after a warning from the school board president. Many parents, who spent hours Saturday cleaning the grounds at Mariners Elementary School and stringing colored lights around the buildings and white lights in adjacent olive trees, said Wednesday that they were bitter over the thwarting of their show of holiday...

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Interfaith Hospitality Network Volunteer Helps Those In Need

December 6, 2000

Source: The Plain Dealer

On December 6, 2000, The Plain Dealer reported that "to some people, she is known as Connie the Schlepper; to others, she is the Hospitality Queen. But these names don't begin to describe the lengths to which Connie Hanson goes in helping homeless families. As a volunteer for the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cleveland, the high-spirited Hanson spends countless hours each week transporting furniture and other donated items to housing for the homeless. The Interfaith Hospitality Network, a national agency that opened a...

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Interfaith Hospitality Network Helps Homeless

December 6, 2000

Source: The Plain Dealer

On December 6, 2000, The Plain Dealer reported that "as a volunteer for the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cleveland, the high-spirited [Connie] Hanson spends countless hours each week transporting furniture and other donated items to housing for the homeless." Families are given shelter at night and counseled during the day on day care, employment, and housing, to help them achieve independence and stability. Hanson values being able to help people: "It's so concrete," she says. "It's so on the firing line, just like...

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