Religion News Blog, Mar. 1, 2003
- March 1, 2003
[Yellow Journalism : NBC] NBC targets Southern Baptist pastor about
2002 remarks on Islam's Muhammad
Vines also stated, "It is my understanding that good journalism seeks
to be fair and balanced. NBC Nightly News was neither. The story was
so poorly done, I am embarrassed for them."
No one supportive of Vines appeared on the NBC segment, while six
critics of Vines were quoted, including Greg Warner, executive editor
of Associated Baptist Press, a part of a breakaway movement opposed to
the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.
[Yellow Journalism : NBC] Reaction mounts to NBC News over segment on
pastor's view of Muhammad
Two key leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have added their
concerns about NBC News/Tom Brokaw's depiction of a former SBC
president as "Preaching hate."
SBC President Jack Graham and SBC Executive Committee President Morris
H. Chapman issued statements Feb. 27 concerning an "NBC Nightly News"
segment targeting Florida pastor Jerry Vines, a former SBC president
who described Islam's prophet Muhammad as a pedophile in a widely
publicized sermon last summer.
The statements by Graham and Chapman joined concerns voiced by Richard
Land, president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Louisville, Ky., voicing an array of concerns about the
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Longo Trial: Potential Jurors Asked About
The Jehovah's Witness church in 2000 shunned Longo, who will stand
trial for the deaths of his two oldest children, after he was
convicted of writing $30,000 in bad checks.
Potential jurors are now being questioned on their knowledge and
understanding of the practice.
[Branch Davidians] Survivors, relatives mark anniversary of raid on
[Hate Groups] Winrod property, church to be sold to pay court award
The Rev. Gordon Winrod's church and Ozarks farm will be sold in March
to pay a $26 million jury award for abducting his grandchildren and
indoctrinating them in his anti-Semitic beliefs.
Jurors returned the award last May in a civil lawsuit accusing Winrod
of using mind-altering techniques, such as keeping the children in
isolation and whipping them, to meld the children's attitudes. His son
Stephen and daughter Carol, along with Our Savior's Church, also were
defendants in the lawsuit.
[AUM Shinrikyo] Asahara trial nears sentencing as defense questioning
If Asahara does not cooperate at the next hearing, three attempts will
be made to question him. If those attempts fail, prosecutors will
present their case for Asahara's sentencing on April 24, and defense
lawyers will give their closing arguments in autumn. The ruling on
Asahara would then likely be handed down next spring, eight years
since the beginning of the trial.
[House of Prayer] Families' suit charges state with child abuse
A blistering federal lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of 46 children
from the House of Prayer charges that when the state took them into
protective custody, it sent them to places far more abusive than their
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, alleges that
children were forced to wear the same underwear for weeks, lived with
rats and roaches, were punched, slapped and burned and went to bed
hungry, all while in the state's foster care system.
House of Prayer families are seeking $100 million in punitive damages
from the city of Atlanta, Atlanta police, the Division of Family and
Children Services, foster parents and others in the 43-page lawsuit.
[Offbeat News] Bible College Gets 666 Prefix Removed
[Atheism] Pledge Battle Could Head To High Court
A federal appeals court Friday rejected the Bush administration's
request to reconsider its decision that the Pledge of Allegiance is
unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God."
This now means the case almost certainly will go to the U.S. Supreme
Court, says CBSNews.com legal analyst Andrew Cohen, where at least one
justice, Antonin Scalia, said in January that judges who declared the
pledge unconstitutional had some "plausible support" to reach their
conclusion. Most legal experts, however, think the high court will
overturn that conclusion and uphold the pledge as is.
February 28, 2003 (Continued)
[Ritual Killing] Kanu appeal in torso case
The Arsenal footballer Nwankwo Kanu has appealed for information to
help solve the murder of a young Nigerian boy whose mutilated body was
found in the River Thames.
[World Ministries Church / Stan Adair Bennett] Wife prayed 3 weeks
with dead man in home
A woman remained in her Tucson home for up to three weeks with her
dead husband as his corpse decomposed and friends and a religious
leader prayed for his resurrection, police said.
"Chris said that James became involved in a 'cult,' " Doggett wrote,
adding, "Chris also said that James told him that he was going to be
resurrected by the 'cult' leader, Stan Adair Bennett."
A friend of James Killeen told Doggett that "Stan told his 'followers'
that he could resurrect people from the dead," Doggett wrote.
Bennett, identified in police reports as the minister of the World
Ministries Church, did not return phone calls from the Tucson Citizen
and could not be reached for comment.
[Media] What we don't know can hurt us
Last year WORLD examined the treatment of Christian conservatives in
the press. This year, with the war in Iraq, the slant of stories about
Saddam Hussein and the effort to stop him is significant. But it's
even more important over the long run that our press educators alert
us to the warlike propensities of a large chunk of Islam, not just an
This essay examines U.S. newspaper coverage of the three powerful
non-Christian religions in the world: Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Related articles bring out some press tendencies concerning Judaism
and Christianity. Drawing from an examination of several thousand
newspaper articles from January 2000 to January 2003, what follows
provides examples of two press tendenciessuperficiality and
syncretismand raises questions about what we're missing. But we'll
begin with what readers in the United States are learning about Iraq.
[Branch Davidians] Lawman kept Koresh on the line
[Patriot/Militia Groups] Patriot games: 10 years after Waco, players
are harder to find
But where are they now almost 10 years after the Waco inferno that so
incited them to action?
Reality is you never hear about Waco anymore, said Mr. Potok, who
routinely monitors Patriot propaganda. I havent seen a poster, heard
a speech or read an article about Waco in probably two years.
Authorities believe a combination of tough new laws and unfulfilled
prophecies have left the militia movement vanquished.
There really are no real active militias out there anymore, Mr.
[AUM Shinrikyo] Asahara to be questioned March 13
The Tokyo District Court on Friday finished hearing from witnesses in
the trial of AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara charged with murder
and attempted murder in the fatal 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack,
setting the stage for questioning Asahara himself at the next session
slated for March 13.
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