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Religion News Blog, Mar. 30 - Apr. 1, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    Religion News Blog, April 1, 2003 [Hate Groups] CSIS: Zundel a risk to Canadian security http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00002903.html ... Holocaust
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2003
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      Religion News Blog, April 1, 2003

      [Hate Groups] CSIS: Zundel a risk to Canadian security
      :===Begin Quote===
      Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel is a risk to Canadian security and if
      released would be a lightning rod for the white supremacist movement,
      a CSIS agent told an immigration hearing Monday.
      :===End Quote===

      [Bible Code] Decoding Bible's 'cryptogram'
      :===Begin Quote===
      While Drosnin apparently has his fans in U.S. military circles, both
      Rips and Gans have distanced themselves from Drosnin's conclusions,
      saying using the Torah codes to predict the future is unfounded,
      futile and of no value.

      Barry Levy, dean of McGill University's religious studies department
      and a Torah scholar, says, "I'm surprised to learn that the Pentagon
      is engaging in sorcery as part of its military strategy. There is
      nothing particularly spiritual or convincing or valid about this. It's
      :===End Quote===

      [House of Prayer] Expert says Alabama is lagging in raising its
      marriage age
      :===Begin Quote===
      The House of Prayer church in Atlanta, embattled over its use of
      corporal punishment on children, was sending young girls to Alabama's
      border county east of Anniston to take advantage of this state's more
      lenient marriage laws.

      Ted Hall, an attorney for the Fulton County Department of Family and
      Children Services in Atlanta, said the order only applies to those
      children taken into custody by his agency. It does not stop the church
      from marrying off other young girls, and he said the practice is still
      occurring from time to time. He just doesn't know where.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Supremacist group drops offer to settle York suit
      :===Begin Quote===
      A white-supremacist organization has withdrawn an offer to settle a
      civil-rights lawsuit against the city because the group alleges that
      officials continue to enforce an unconstitutional public assembly

      Richard Barrett, attorney for the Mississippi-based Nationalist
      Movement, said he would drop the lawsuit if York paid nearly $40,000
      for attorney fees accrued in fighting the ordinance in federal court.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Slaying of gay couple brings 29-year term
      :===Begin Quote===
      James Tyler Williams was sentenced to 29 years to life Thursday for
      the July 1999 double murder of gay couple Gary Matson and Winfield

      But his older brother, who had been considered a dominant force in his
      life, took to giving media interviews to espouse his anti-Semitic and
      white supremacist beliefs.

      In a Nov. 4, 1999, jailhouse interview, he admitted killing Matson and
      Mowder, saying he did it because he believed God viewed homosexuality
      as a mortal sin.

      "I'm not guilty of murder," Matthew Williams said at the time. "I'm
      guilty of obeying the laws of the Creator."
      :===End Quote===

      March 31, 2003

      [Human Rights] U.S. Faults China, Others on Human Rights
      :===Begin Quote===
      The State Department accused the Chinese government Monday of numerous
      and serious human rights abuses and also took Israel and the
      Palestinian Authority to task for what it described as poor rights
      :===End Quote===
      Note: Absent from the report is any discussion or acknowledgment of
      U.S. human rights abuses.

      [Waldorf Schools] Lawsuit against Waldorf revived
      :===Begin Quote===
      John Morse Waldorf School in south Sacramento and the Yuba River
      Charter School in Nevada City are once again targets in a legal battle
      that seeks to ban any public school in America from using Waldorf
      teaching methods.

      The group that filed the lawsuit against them contends that the
      Waldorf system cannot be separated from founder Rudolf Steiner's
      religious philosophy -- so the public Waldorf schools are sectarian
      and ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars.

      Debra Snell, president of People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools
      and a former Waldorf parent, said it boils down to a question of
      fairness. "If Catholic or Lutheran schools cannot be publicly funded,
      then neither can Waldorf, " she said.
      :===End Quote===

      [Religious Insanity] The Smart case and religious certainty
      :===Begin Quote===
      How do people come to imagine that they are prophets or even God? What
      gives them an ability to lead other people into the terrifyingly dark
      corners of their labyrinthine minds?
      :===End Quote===
      Note: A largely uninformed opinion piece

      [Nuwaubians] Man makes threats against Pentagon, president
      :===Begin Quote===
      When officers arrived at his Whitehall Road home, Tatum - who is a
      member of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors - answered the door in
      an Egyptian fez and a white robe, according to a police report. He
      identified himself as the Messiah and said the Heavenly Father told
      him to call the Pentagon and have Nuwaubian leader Malachi York
      released from jail, according to the report.
      :===End Quote===

      [Jehovah's Witnesses] Obituaries in the News: Milton Henschel
      :===Begin Quote===
      Milton Henschel, who served as a member of the governing body of
      Jehovah's Witnesses since 1971, died on March 22. He was 82.
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights] What is Geneva Convention?
      :===Begin Quote===
      Actually, there is more than one Geneva Convention, but the one
      referred to in the context of the current US-UK against Iraq is the
      convention that lays down how prisoners of war (POW) are to be treated
      by countries that are party to the convention. It defines who
      qualifies as a POW and what constitutes inhumane treatment (which is
      prohibited under the convention).
      :===End Quote===

      [Homosexuality] Gay vicar in appeal to Williams after bishop blocks
      :===Begin Quote===
      His case, which he has outlined in a letter to Dr Williams, is
      highlighted in a new BBC documentary series, which starts this
      evening. In a personal reply, Dr Williams told Mr Wardale that he was
      looking at all the issues involved.

      Mr Wardale's situation will dismay gay rights campaigners, who expect
      Dr Williams, a liberal on the issue, to relax the Church's
      restrictions on practising homosexual clergy.

      But evangelicals have warned that the Church will split if the new
      Archbishop, who has admitted ordaining at least one practising
      homosexual, softens the hard-line stance of his predecessor, Dr George
      :===End Quote===

      [Ethics, Morals] Church told to rethink bar on sex before marriage
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Church of England should consider changing its teaching on sex
      before marriage and preach that cohabitation should be viewed as a
      “new path from the single state to the married one”, a report
      published tomorrow says.

      The report, which contains several papers, representing a number of
      points of view, was commissioned by the Southwark Diocese. It will be
      sent to all parishes for study and is certain to provoke discussion
      throughout the Church. “Society as a whole, not just the Church, is in
      a state of crisis in its attitude to cohabitation and marriage,” it
      says. The pastoral question of cohabitation is “scarcely being
      confronted by Church or State”.

      The report, Cohabitation: A Christian Reflection, by a working party
      of the Southwark Diocese, says the Church’s traditional teaching that
      sex before marriage is wrong has been inherited from a different form
      of society from that of today and is now felt as a “heavy load”.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] Detox center seeks wider acceptance
      :===Begin Quote===
      Narconon, a drug treatment program with Scientology backing, now wants
      taxpayer assistance
      :===End Quote===
      Note: Best research resource on this Scientology front group:
      Narconon Exposed

      March 30, 2003

      [Religious Freedom] Pakistani Court Reverses Christian Case
      :===Begin Quote===
      An appeals court has ordered the release of two Christians in eastern
      Pakistan who were sentenced to life in prison for allegedly insulting
      Islam's Prophet Mohammed, a Christian activist said Saturday.

      Last year Amnesty International urged Pakistan to amend or abolish its
      blasphemy law.

      "The law has frequently been abused to imprison people on grounds of
      religious enmity, but also has proved an easy tool to have people
      imprisoned when the real motives are business rivalry or land issues,"
      the human rights group said.
      :===End Quote===

      [Sikhism] Sikhs talk about faith -- and fear
      :===Begin Quote===
      But with the nation at war again in the Middle East, many local Sikhs
      are concerned, with good reason, that they will be mistaken for the
      things they are not: Arab, Muslim and, of the most concern, terrorist.

      In the wake of Sept. 11, Arab and Muslim groups reported about 2,000
      attacks on Arab and Muslim Americans nationwide, including those
      mistaken because of their skin color, accent or dress.
      :===End Quote===

      [Branch Davidians] 10 years later, Waco still trying to live down
      Davidian notoriety
      :===Begin Quote===
      Waco probably handled the Davidian situation as well as it could, says
      Baylor University sociologist Larry Lyon, who was involved in early
      discussions regarding the stigma that attached itself to the city. The
      passage of time may help address it, too, he says.
      :===End Quote===

      [Antisemitism] Jews fear a resurgent anti-Semitism in Europe
      :===Begin Quote===
      For Jeremy and his parents, the incident a year ago was the harrowing
      confirmation of a trend that many say has only gathered momentum
      since: a resurgent European anti-Semitism, coming not from its
      traditional source among Europe's right-wing nationalists, but from
      the Continent's growing Islamic community, egged on by the political
      :===End Quote===

      [Sikhism] £17m Sikh temple opens
      :===Begin Quote===
      The largest Sikh temple outside India has been officially opened in
      west London on Sunday.

      Organisers claimed 40,000 people attended the opening ceremony of the
      Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara.
      :===End Quote===

      [Religion Trends] Religious census: Study looks at the way we worship
      :===Begin Quote===
      In a nation where Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists dominate the
      religious landscape, one-third of this community’s church listings
      fall under the heading “Lutheran.”

      But North Dakota and Fargo-Moorhead’s religious identity is changing
      ever so slightly, according to a recent religious census.

      The study, which is conducted nationally every 10 years, was compiled
      in 2000. It is published by the Nashville-based Glenmary Research
      :===End Quote===

      [Mormon Church] Counting the faithful: Mormon church thrives
      :===Begin Quote===
      Between 1990 and 2000, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      grew by 55.4 percent, or 1,307 members, in North Dakota, according to
      a religion census released last November.

      That makes it the fastest-growing religious body in the state,
      according to the Religious Congregations and Membership report, which
      is released every 10 years.

      It is also one of the five fastest-growing faith communities in the
      :===End Quote===

      [Religious Intolerance] Indian state legislature adopts law banning
      coerced religious
      :===Begin Quote===
      An Indian state legislature on Wednesday approved a law that would
      impose a three-year jail term and a fine of 100,000 rupees (US$2,100)
      on anyone found guilty of inducing or coercing someone into religious

      The jail term would be four years if those forced to convert were
      minors, women or people belonging to the lowest castes in western
      Gujarat state.

      The legislation will become a state law after it is approved by the
      federally appointed state governor -- seen as a mere formality.
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] Religious leaders, scholars debate end-time prophecies
      of Bible
      :===Begin Quote===
      Staff said there is a danger when Christians attempt to interpret
      every current event in the Middle East as a sign of the end times.
      "They end up crying wolf, and too often people stop listening to the
      urgency of remembering that Jesus Christ will personally return," he
      :===End Quote===

      [What's Your Name?] Roving evangelist gets TV show
      :===Begin Quote===
      A roving evangelist who walked into this struggling former coal town
      several years ago, barefoot and clad in messianic white robes, now has
      a local television show.

      "The idea of this is to help fill a void that's in the media industry.
      There's a need to present the spiritual more ... and focus on the good
      news to counteract this tendency to focus excessively on the negative
      things in the world," said Carl Joseph, whose show debuted in
      mid-March in the Hazleton area.
      :===End Quote===

      [Ritual Killing] Priest 'makes human sacrifice'
      :===Begin Quote===
      Police have arrested a village priest in the central Indian state of
      Madhya Pradesh for allegedly carrying out a human sacrifice.

      The priest, Chandrabhan Singh Lodhi, is accused of sacrificing a low
      caste Hindu, or Dalit, to please the village goddess in Parsari
      village of Sagar district.

      Human sacrifice is illegal in India.
      :===End Quote===

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