ReligionNewsBlog.com, Apr. 29, 2004
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, Apr. 29, 2004
[Feng Shui] Locating a lucrative qi
Feng shui master So Man-Fung using a '24 Mountain' compass, a gauge for determining a building's energy, or qi, outside a client's apartment in a Hong Kong estate. So is a former hairdresser who, after more than 20 years as a professional feng shui consultant, is now regarded as one of Hong Kong's masters. He's just one of many. Hong Kong has been suffering through high unemployment, which hit a record 8.7% last year due to the SARS outbreak. The joblessness has stirred a crisis of confidence in the once-booming economy that has many people looking for new careers. Long-time feng shui masters fret that the rush into fortune-telling as a business will degrade the ancient art.
[Hate Groups] The Conviction of Matthew Hale
The conviction of notorious hate monger Matthew Hale for trying to get a judge murdered in Chicago may have ended whatever remains of his white supremacist group, the World Church of the Creator. [...] Hate group monitors say Hale inflated the group's membership numbers, claiming tens of thousands when there were never more than a few hundred.
[Hate Groups] FBI steps up monitoring of hate groups Web sites after Hale verdict
The FBI has increased its monitoring of hate groups' Web sites after the conviction of a white supremacist on charges he sought to have a judge murdered, agency officials said. Federal officials won't tolerate anyone crossing the line from protected free speech to advocating violence in the wake of Matthew Hale's conviction, said Richard K. Ruminski, the FBI's assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism investigations in Chicago. Ruminski said Tuesday that a couple of unnamed Web sites have been of particular concern, with views "almost threatening in nature."
"It concerns us to the point where we're going to see what legal actions can be taken in order to maybe legally take that Web site down," he said.
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Jehovah's Witnesses challenge police
Topsfield may have a bylaw requiring door-to-door solicitors to register with police, but it does not apply to religious groups distributing faith-based materials, said Topsfield Chief of Police Dan O'Shea. Earlier this month, the issue came under scrutiny when the town's Board of Selectmen received a letter of complaint from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. The Society, which represents the interests of Jehovah's Witnesses, stated in their letter that Topsfield police officers had advised their ministers to register with the police department before engaging in public ministry.
[Christianity] Mormonism ministry moves into LDS country
"We were always open to relocating," said McKeever, a California resident since 1957. "California is so expensive. We began to think, is this a good use of God's funds?" Their search, quite naturally, took them to Draper, Utah, a suburban community 20 miles south of Salt Lake City. "The only one (location) that made any sense was Utah," he said. It's a fertile habitat for McKeever, a born-again believer who has dedicated years to the study of Mormonism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to McKeever, seven of every 10 Utah residents are Mormon.
[Mormon Church] City Embraces LDS Church's Arguments Against Strip Club
City officials, using arguments advanced by the Mormon church, are seeking to revoke the license of the Crazy Goat Saloon, a downtown strip club. [...] "I expected it. I know who's running the show," Crazy Goat co-owner Daniel Darger said Wednesday. "The church (says) 'Jump,' and they say `How high?"' he said.
[Deepak Chopra] Deep, deeper, deepest
What makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise? Deepak Chopra thinks he knows, and he's sold 20 million books to prove it. David Jenkins meets the good doctor at his Chopra Centre for Well Being in California.
[Transcendental Meditation] Students organizing cultural exchange
High school students from the Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, a Baha'i youth organization and five American Indian groups are slated to take part in a cultural peace exchange this weekend at Maharishi School in Fairfield. The exchange is being organized by members of the Students Creating Peace Network, a group founded by Maharishi School students after the 1999 Columbine school shootings in Colorado. Originally called End School Violence Now, the group expanded its focus and changed its name after Sept. 11, 2001.
[USA] Suspects' rights 'ignored by US'
The Bush administration has ignored the fundamental rights of two American terrorism suspects by jailing them and denying them access to lawyers and courts, the Supreme Court was told yesterday. The court was hearing two human rights cases with far-reaching implications for individual liberties. People queued all night to get into the hearing. The key issues are what rights Americans have when they are designated "enemy combatants" and how far President George W Bush's authority can and should extend over judicial matters on issues of national security.
[Catholic Church] Catholic Priest Who Aids Church Sexual Abuse Victims Loses Job
Twenty years ago, the Rev. Thomas Doyle warned the nation's Roman Catholic bishops about the church's looming sexual abuse nightmare. Since then, he has become a hero to the victims, speaking out on their behalf and helping them in legal cases in recent years. In doing so, Father Doyle also became a thorn in the side of the church hierarchy. In the latest chapter of his turbulent career, Father Doyle was quietly removed from his job as an Air Force chaplain in a clash with his archbishop over pastoral issues.
[Obituary] Evolutionary Biologist Maynard Smith Dies
John Maynard Smith, a leading evolutionary biologist widely credited with taking the radical step of applying game theory to the subject, has died at the age of 84.
[Islam] German Headscarf Bans May Be Unconstitutional, Lawyers Say
German state laws banning Muslim teachers from wearing headscarves in publicly run schools may be unconstitutional as they contravene the principle of religious equality, lawyers said. Lower Saxony today became the second German state to pass a headscarf ban.
[Islam] Second German State Bans Headscarf
Lower Saxony became the second German state to ban Muslim public school teachers from wearing headscarves after regional deputies voted in a new law to that effect yesterday.
[Islam] Canadians Muslims will get sharia courts to settle disputes
Canada is embarking on an unusual judicial experiment that will allow members of its Muslim community to submit to the teachings of the Koran to resolve a variety of civil legal disputes, ranging from divorces to business conflicts. The new model, which will be closely examined by other countries grappling with the place of growing Muslim communities in their populations, is to be administered by a body of imams and Islamic scholars, the Islamic Institute of Justice, which was created at the end of last year. It will be pioneered in the province of Ontario under a law introduced in 1991, the Ontario Arbitration Act, which allows minority groups to provide arbitration to members in a limited number of civil matters. Enforcement of rulings and awards would be left to Canada's regular courts. [...] But they will not be allowed to deal with criminal matters. Ontario's government is insisting that cases will only go before Muslim arbitrators with the voluntary assent of all parties involved. Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ontario attorney general, said: "If the award is not compatible with Canadian law, then the court will not enforce it. You can't agree to violate Canadian law." There is also the concern among some Muslim women that they will feel religious and social pressure to enter the Sharia system when sometimes they would rather avoid it.
[USA] 'Frontline' takes a balanced look at Bush's religious faith
The Bush seen here may startle those who've doubted either the authenticity of his faith-based convictions or his political smarts. What can be difficult sometimes, as "The Jesus Factor" makes clear, is distinguishing between the two. And how much that should matter. [...] "The Jesus Factor" shows how Bush used his religious bona fides to help his father win the White House in 1988 and to forge his own political path. While underscoring the depth of his conviction, it also shows how many of the nation's estimated 70 million evangelical Christians appreciate his public support of government funding for issues like faith-based initiatives and the so-called partial-birth abortion ban.
[Islam] Muslim terrorism will be around for years, says Dutch spy chief
The Netherlands will have to get used to living with the threat of terrorism for years to come as Muslim extremists are very difficult to combat, the head of the Dutch AIVD secret service has warned. While acknowledging some short-term successes against Muslim terror groups, AIVD boss Sybrand van Hulst said on Thursday the groups are becoming more autonomous and regional, making them harder to detect and dismantle. He warned terror groups were increasingly focusing on soft targets - both people and objects that are easy to get access to.
[Islam] Dutch politician: ban 'Islamic' incitement
The parliamentary party leader of the Christian Democrat CDA party, Maxime Verhagen, has called for a new law to outlaw activities that threaten democracy. Under such a law, Islamic religious leaders, or imams, and directors of mosques in the Netherlands could be held criminally accountable if, for example, the call for gay people to be murdered, Verhagen told newspaper Trouw. [...] There was a storm of protest last week about the book - translated as the Way of the Muslim - which is available at El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam. The book advocates violence against women and killing gay people. Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings, it says. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book suggests. Earlier in April another book available at El Tawheed mosque, 'Fatwas of Muslim Women', caused uproar when it emerged it backed the idea of female circumcision and beating women who lie to their husbands. The controversial mosque has been accused of preaching intolerance and the oppression of women. One of the mosque's clerics infamously described non-Muslims as "firewood for hell".
[Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Ohio Diocese Eye Satanic Slay Allegations
The Toledo Diocese is taking another look at a woman's previously dismissed claims of satanic sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests now that one of the clergymen has been charged with the "ritualistic" slaying of a nun 24 years ago. The Rev. Gerald Robinson was arrested last week on charges of strangling and stabbing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, about 30 times during Easter weekend 1980. Her body, covered by an altar cloth and surrounded by burning candles, was found in a hospital chapel. Pahl's body was posed to look as if she had been sexually assaulted, but investigators said they found no evidence of sexual activity. Bishop Leonard Blair announced Tuesday that a seven-member diocesan review board will re-examine allegations made by a woman who told the panel in June that when she was a child she was physically and sexually abused by several priests, including Robinson.
[Yazidi] In Iraq, ancient sect quietly lives on faith
This is the sacred temple of the Yezidis, often - though wrongly - known as "devil worshipers." As followers of one of the world's oldest and most unusual religions, Yezidis practice a faith that reveres Malak Ta'us, an angel in the form of a peacock, and forbids eating lettuce, wearing the color blue or marrying in April. But if their beliefs are far from mainstream, the Yezidis themselves reflect the great ethnic and religious diversity of Iraq, a rich melange of Christians, Kurds, Muslims, Chaldeans, Turkmen and Assyrians. And like others who suffered so much under Saddam Hussein, the Yezidis who survived his rule are determined to ensure their rights in a new and hopefully democratic Iraq.
[Hate Groups] Neo-fascist ringleader admits attacking leftists, cult
Ichiro Murakami, the leader of a neo-fascist samurai sword appreciation society, has pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including violent attacks on pro-Pyongyang Koreans and the AUM Shinrikyo death cult. [...] The court also heard that Murakami had deliberately gone out to attack high profile targets to gain publicity for his ultra right-wing beliefs, then boasted about his bravado to members of his club.
[Feng Shui] Feng Shui masters revel as Asian property picks up
Asia's feng shui masters are thanking their lucky numbers as the ancient Chinese practice gains in popularity and the region's property markets are on the upturn. Feng shui has become so popular among Asia's ethnic-Chinese business elite from Bangkok to Beijing that Western investors are hiring practitioners, partly to please staff and local partners. For example, self-styled Singapore "queen of feng shui" Lyn Yap, who counts Oracle Systems, Citibank and ICI Paint among her clients, said IBM paid $6,000 for her services. She ensured the positioning and characteristics of IBM's seven-story office conformed to the principles of feng shui - which means wind and water - to maximize energy flows and improve the fortunes of the firm and its staff.
[Feng Shui] Correct Placement: Around Your Neck
Feng shui: It's an ancient Chinese tradition, it's a New Age lifestyle -- and now it's a trademark. Irwin Sternberg, the neckwear maven who gave the world Jerry Garcia ties, told a business conference at the University of Baltimore yesterday that he has trademarked the words "feng shui," which mean "wind and water" but describe the art of placing objects in accord with principles of energy and balance.
[Christianity] Church on break from coffee biz
Pastor Clint Roberts makes it clear that his church isn't going out of business - just the coffee house. [...] The relocation of the coffee church on Main Street is news because of the role it has played the past few months as a pawn in the dispute between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Crazy Goat Saloon/strip club. The LDS Church wants the city to revoke the Crazy Goat Saloon's sexually oriented business license on the grounds that it violates a number of city ordinances, among them the rule that no establishment can allow employees to take almost all their clothes off within 1,000 feet of a church (I'm paraphrasing here). The LDS Church would have used its own downtown places of worship to satisfy the 1,000-foot rule, but Temple Square is 1,202 feet from the Crazy Goat's property (by my pacing). The Main Street Coffee House/Summit Church is 840 feet (again, my pacing) - a measurement the LDS Church included in its complaint to the city, thus producing the irony of a church that bans coffee aligning with a church that not only doesn't ban it, but brews it and sells it - all in the name of stopping strippers.
[Russia] Russia's Chief Rabbi Says Sects Should Be Banned
Russia's chief rabbi Berl Lazar has proposed passing a federal law banning the activities of religious sects. "Reports available to us suggest that more than one million Russian citizens are members of various sects. This is a serious threat. We shouldn't sit back and wait until something bad happens. We don't need such sects," Lazar told Interfax. He said Russia needs a normal law clearly defining the meaning of the terms "sect" and "century old tradition."
[Nuwaubians] Recanted testimony prompts delay
A key government witness in a cult leader's sexual abuse and racketeering case has recanted her testimony, but a judge told her Friday she will have to wait to tell her story. Malachi York, head of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, was sentenced to 135 years in federal prison largely because of the testimony of cult members who said York, 58, regularly molested children and manipulated the sect's finances. U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal postponed a Friday restitution hearing because, he said, he wanted to research whether Habiba Washington can take the stand during the hearing to recant her testimony. The U.S. Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case, doesn't believe Washington's testimony is pertinent to the hearing.
Please Support Apologetics Index / Religion News Blog
Religion New Blog is a free service provided by Apologetics Index.
But we do have website-related bills to pay. If Apologetics Index
and RNB are of service to you, please consider making a donation:
Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
Research resources on religions, cults, sects, doctrines, and related issues:
http://www.religionnewsblog.com (News and news archives)
http://www.apologeticsindex.org (Other research resources)