ReligionNewsBlog.com, Aug. 18, 2003
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, Aug. 18, 2003
[Burning Man] Burning Man desert event fires up creativity
The festival that began in 1986 with a few friends burning an 8-foot wooden man
on a San Francisco beach has mutated into a temporary annual city of 30,000
where the flames of creativity burn bright.
[UFOs] UFO pioneer inspires camp site's astronomy theme
When Larry Read and Elizabeth Norris became partners and bought the Oak Knoll
Campground on Palomar Mountain four years ago, they didn't know they were
acquiring what some consider among the most famous landing sites in the world,
if not the solar system.
"We asked the prior owner what was going on and he said, 'Oh, those are the
Adamski people from Japan.' We didn't know what an Adamski was."
Adamski was George Adamski, considered to be a founding father of ufology, the
study of unidentified flying objects.
[Lord's Resistance Army] Ugandan rebels raid village, kill 12 former captives
Rebels from the shadowy Lord's Resistance Army slashed more than a dozen of
their former captives to death with machetes during an attack on a village in
north central Uganda, officials said Sunday.
[Unification Church] Events will honor slain Unification Church worker
Byrne was abducted and murdered as she offered jewelry in exchange for donations
for the Unification Church at Roseland Apartments in west Charlotte. Eugene
Evans pleaded guilty and will spend at least 40 years in prison after Byrne's
parents pleaded with prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.
[Islam] Why young Muslims line up to die
While there are many reasons young Muslims sacrifice their lives -- including
the honor and money bestowed onto their families after their death -- it is the
martyr's afterlife that captures the imagination.
In the late 1990s, Pakistani journalist Nasra Hassan interviewed nearly 250
prospective bombers, their families, as well as their trainers, from within
militant Palestinian camps.
In remarkable accounts, members of the Palestinian fundamentalist group Hamas
described how potential bombers came to believe that paradise was on the "other
side of the detonator."
[Five Percent] Inmates Are Free to Practice Black Supremacist Religion, Judge
For years, New York State prison officials would not allow Mr. Allah who is
known to inmates and guards by his new legal first name, Intelligent, or Intel
to openly practice what he describes as his religion, central tenets of which
encourage self-analysis, meditation and a black supremacist message.
Mr. Allah is a Five Percenter, part of a black militant group that broke from
the Nation of Islam in the 1960's.
But on July 31, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of Federal District Court in
Manhattan ruled that Mr. Allah is entitled to the same religious freedoms as the
thousands of practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hare Krishnas and Wiccans
incarcerated in New York State's prisons.
[Astrology] Astrologers fail to predict proof they are wrong
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most of them
born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should
have had very similar traits.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the "time
twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of
Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been more
conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative."
[Islam] David Oldfield sued over terrorism website
Pauline Hanson's controversial former chief advisor, David Oldfield, is at the
centre of a case which could set new limits on what material can legally be
published on the internet.
A Melbourne lawyer has taken action against the One Nation politician under
Victoria's new Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
MARK TAMHANE: New South Wales Upper House MP, David Oldfield, says
muslimterrorists.com serves an important function.
DAVID OLDFIELD: It's a resource, an archive, and provides forum for people with
regards to the debate generally in Australia and internationally on Islam and
[Catholic Church] Europe Suffering Values Crisis, Pope Says
Pope John Paul II said Sunday that Europe is suffering a crisis in values and
expressed hope that the addition of 10 more countries to the European Union next
year would be an occasion for the continent's renewal.
The pontiff in recent weeks has decried what he calls a movement away in Europe
from its Christian roots.
[Polygamy] AG: Polygamy conviction is the beginning of more prosecutions
A Washington County jury's conviction of a police officer for bigamy and illegal
sex with a minor could bring a new round of prosecutions targeting those who
exploit children in plural marriages, state lawyers say.
The officer's attorneys, however, say their defense and promised appeal means
Rodney Holm and polygamists like him have a better chance of legalizing the
[Church and State] Crowd rallies to support Commandments monument
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told thousands of supporters Saturday that he
would be guilty of treason if he didn't fight to keep a monument of the Ten
Commandments in the rotunda of the state judicial building.
[Hate Groups : Scientology] NY firefighters visit Vail firehouse
"These guys weren't sleeping, they weren't eating and they couldn't exercise,"
said Joanie Sigel, a spokeswoman for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification
Fund. "In September 2002, we opened a detoxification clinic in downtown
Manhattan with more than 150 rescue workers who received the detox."
The detoxification clinic is part of a research project that was founded more
than 20 years ago to help remove drugs and residuals from the body, said Jim
Woodworth, director of operations for the New York Rescue Workers
Two clinics were set up in Los Angeles by medical doctors who used L. Ron
Hubbard 's method of detoxification.
[Transcendental Meditation] Relax: Denver to vote on stress-reducing referendum
If honking motorists and your boss are making you tense, Jeff Peckman thinks he
has the answer: Force the city to come up with a stress-busting plan.
The former transcendental meditation teacher collected enough signatures to put
a proposal on the November ballot requiring the City Council to reduce stress in
hopes of "defusing political, religious and ethnic tension worldwide."
It's a plan that isn't exactly putting him in harmony with the council.
"It's fantasy. We live in Denver, Colorado, not in Disney World," said
Councilman Charlie Brown. "What are we supposed to do, hand out incense sticks
at Denver International Airport? Is that the image we want for our city?"
[Mormon Church] Work on Mormon Temple to Begin
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke ground in Newport Beach on
Friday for its first Orange County temple, the religion's most sacred facility.
The hourlong event, attended by a small number of church and city officials, was
a significant moment for the county's 50,000 church members.
[Christian Research Institute] Audit's Lesson Was 'Painful' for Evangelist
Officials with the national Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
conducted an audit that has resulted in what they called a "significant
reimbursement" in June to the Christian Research Institute, a ministry run by
Christian author and radio personality Hank Hanegraaff.
The dispute is another in a string of controversies surrounding Hanegraaff, who
is best known as a Christian purist who holds pastors, churches and
denominations accountable for teaching Bible-based Christianity.
Nine years ago, another group of former employees who banded together as the
"Group for CRI Accountability" accused Hanegraaff of abusive leadership, misuse
of donor money and other transgressions. In 2000, the widow of institute founder
Walter Martin called for Hanegraaff's resignation, citing similar concerns.
[Catholic Church] Vatican 'ordered abuse cover-up'
A secret Vatican document, outlining procedures for handling allegations of sex
abuse by priests, has been published in the US and UK.
Lawyers acting for alleged victims of abuse say the document proves that for
decades the Vatican has systematically obstructed the course of justice in order
to protect Catholic priests.
Church lawyers, on the other hand, argue that the document referred only to
church law and did not order bishops to engage in criminal cover-ups.
But the US lawyer who uncovered the document told a British newspaper the
archive material is a smoking gun.
[Holocaust] Germany's Holocaust Memorial Takes Shape
Germany's national Holocaust memorial took shape Saturday after years of delay
as its U.S. architect presented the first of 2,700 stark charcoal-gray concrete
slabs that will make up the monument near the Brandenburg Gate.
Backers expressed relief that the memorial was finally getting under way in
earnest on a sandy site in the capital's revived center where the Berlin Wall
ran before Germany reunited in 1990.
[Hate Groups] German police arrest 71 neo-Nazis at march
German police detained 71 neo-Nazis marching Saturday in the Bavarian town where
Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess was buried after his 1987 suicide.
Police said they deployed some 1,000 officers to prevent trouble at the march,
which drew 2,600 neo-Nazis to Wunsiedel. Demonstrators were detained for
displaying outlawed Nazi symbols like the swastika or for carrying weapons such
as knives, tear gas spray and a baseball bat, police spokesman Klaus Bernhardt
All 71 were released without charges by Saturday evening, by which time marchers
dispersed without incident, he said. Police said they also confiscated neo-Nazi
music CDs from some marchers.
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