DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: RIDICULING RELIGION
SUBSECTION: FAITH PART 2
Revised 1/8/01

RIDICULING RELIGION - FAITH

 

Fort Worth Star Tribune 4/28/00 Teresa Watanabe (LA Times) "……. The census has caused anxiety -- even anger in some quarters -- with its questions about everything from income to plumbing. But there is one major aspect of American life it fails to cover: religion. Congress barred the Census Bureau in 1976 from compelling people to reveal their religious affiliations. As a result, America's religious landscape remains surprisingly ill-defined. Some of the most fundamental presumptions are based on educated guesswork, suspect science or leaps of faith...."

 

Town Hall 4/20/00 "……..Republican Govs. Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Ridge are warning that the GOP ought to abandon its opposition to abortion or risk annihilation. Their broadsides, coming not long after John McCain's blasts at Pat Robertson and Rev. Jerry Falwell, raise the perennial question: Do religious conservatives have a place in contemporary politics. And if not, why not? Whitman and Ridge claim that strict pro-life arguments are politically dangerous and palpably extreme -- as opposed to, say, Whitman's support for partial-birth abortion. They produce no evidence for their charge because there is none. Pro-lifers oppose abortion because they consider it the destruction of a human life. It is hardly unreasonable for people to oppose murder. Nevertheless, the "extremist" label enjoys enormous prestige in Democratic and Republican circles because organized religion does something many baby boomers find unbecoming. It reminds them that moral standards aren't merely advisory or malleable, but generally rigorous, firm and hard to obey. This is not true merely of floppy-Bible Baptism, but also of Catholicism, Judaism and Islam. ….."

Associated Press 4/25/00 "……Ohio's motto, ``With God, all things are possible,'' violates the U.S. Constitution as a government endorsement of religion, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today. A panel of the federal court sided with the American Civil Liberties Union, which contended that the words had no secular purpose and appeared to be a government endorsement of the Christian religion. Ohio took the motto in 1959 from the Bible, specifically Matthew 19:26, which quotes Jesus Christ. ``I read it to mean it's thrown out completely,'' said Mark Cohn, a lawyer for the ACLU. ``It cannot be used by the state as its motto.'' The Ohio attorney general was reviewing the decision and had no immediate response to it, spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher said from Columbus. ……The state could appeal the court's 2-1 ruling to the full, 13-judge appellate court or ask the Supreme Court to review it. ……"

 

WorldNetDaily 5/13/00 Dr Jerry Falwell "…..For years, Christian organizations have openly wondered how long it would be before a homosexual or homosexual-rights group attempted to gain entrance into their organizations. As the Boy Scouts battle for their right to define who may -- and may not -- serve as leaders in their association, this scenario has given religious conservatives cause to believe we could face a similar battle very soon. ...... That scenario may have actually already arrived in Medford, Mass., the site of a contentious debate over a Christian group's right to define the lifestyle of their leaders. Tufts student Julie Catalano, an openly-"bisexual" member of the Tufts Christian Fellowship, recently sought a leadership position in that group. However, fellowship leaders turned her down because her belief that homosexual acts are not biblically wrong countered their core belief. ……….. As a result, leaders of a Tufts student government panel has now ruled that the fellowship's policy violates the school's anti-discrimination policy. The Christian group has subsequently been stripped of its name and about $6,000 in annual funding from student fees. In addition, they are forbidden from meeting in campus classrooms. …… It appears that biblical morality is now a costly conviction. ……. The TCF, with about 65 members, has not met since the Tufts Community Union Judiciary's April 13 decision. …… "This is political correctness gone awry," Thor Halvorssen of the Philadelphia-based Freedom for Individual Rights in Education, told the Associated Press. "They're asking a fundamentalist Christian group to stop being fundamentalist Christians." Ms. Catalano, 20, said TCF leaders told her that homosexuality was a product of man's "brokenness" and she could change with prayer. She said she prayed for two years before deciding she could not change. Additionally, she claims she explored different biblical interpretations and eventually decided homosexuality was not a sin. I wonder if she ever read Romans, chapter 1. I don't say this to be smug, but the Bible unequivocally teaches us -- in many passages -- to avoid sexual sin. ......"

LewRockwell.com 5/29/00 Bill Barnwell "……For years conservatives and devout religious individuals have been lectured and scorned by the media and cultural elite for their supposed intolerance and hatred. No group has been more vicious in the war against those who adhere to traditional values than the collective gay rights movement. According to this crowd, conservative Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and other mean and nasty groups are said to be the epitome of hatred and ignorance, because they refuse to renounce their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. …….. The battle cry of these liberal groups is Celebrate Diversity! Anyone who has spent one week in a public university or politically correct corporation has had this phrase shoved down his throat a million times. What is quite interesting is that the only celebration is of liberal ideas and orthodoxy. Those heretics who do not accept our progressive societys beliefs on feminism, forced integration, abortion, and homosexuality are to be eternally driven out of the liberal Eden and subject to a lifetime of ridicule and disdain for their sins. ….."

EWTN 5/30/00 "…… A campaign led by a pro-abortion group to oust the Vatican from the United Nations is losing support with a major sponsor quietly removing itself from the list of endorsers, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) said on Friday. C-FAM said the Sierra Club, one of the largest environmental groups in the US, has disappeared from the list of groups endorsing the "See Change" campaign. The campaign to remove the Vatican's permanent observer status at the UN was organized by the pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), which recently criticized by the US bishops' conference as being a front for anti-Catholic organizations. C-FAM has organized a counter-campaign supporting the Vatican, with more than 2,000 groups signing on to their effort, as opposed to the approximately 400 supporting CFFC. ……"

Catholic Telecommunications 5/30/00 "……British government plans to lift the ban on men kissing in public have been opposed by a Catholic women's group. The proposal is part of the package of sex law reforms which was announced earlier this week. While the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) welcomed the "long overdue" changes which would protect men from rape, it remains opposed to proposals which would allow men to kiss in public -- currently considered an act of indecency. NBCW President, Freda Lambert, told The Universe newspaper: "We do not oppose homosexuality, but men kissing in public is a homosexual practice and we do oppose it. It would make us feel uncomfortable." ….."

Chicago Sun-Times 5/27/00 Thomas Roeser "…..A new book could well be a prelude to a new campaign by abortion proponents that ties false reasoning and misapplications of early church fathers Augustine and Aquinas to a rationale for abortion a full seven months after conception. The book by Daniel A. Dombrowski and Robert Deltete is published by University of Illinois Press and entitled A Brief, Liberal Catholic Defense of Abortion. Brief it is (158 pages), liberal it undeniably is, but Catholic it certainly is not. Its argument utilizes quaint, medieval philosophy of nature, the only knowledge known to Augustine and Aquinas at the time, to attempt to justify what certainly the two saints would not--abortion at seven months following conception. It argues that up to that point the unborn child is not a human, but just as "a pile of wires and switches is not an electrical circuit," a "collection of nerve cells is not a functioning brain." …..

CBN News 5/31/00 Kelly McElveen "…… Witches and pagans, hippies and New Agers, radical feminism and alternative spirituality -- these are not the eclectic streets of San Francisco. This is Lexington Avenue in Asheville, N.C., and here you're just as likely to find a Wiccan keeping shop as a Baptist going to church. Asheville is a small city of about 68,000 nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. It's located in the heart of the Bible belt -- the stretch of southern states considered to be the bastion of conservative Christian values. But this small city has earned a reputation of being anything but conservative. …….A recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine describes Asheville this way: "Asheville had recently become America's new freak capital. The place overflowed with hippies, neo-hippies, punks, witches, pagans, the homeless and lost, the homeless and found, fairies, dykes, braggarts, dreadlocked bliss ninnies, thieves, crystal worshippers, free-leonard peltiers, free-mumias, potheads, anarchists, performance artists, and so on." ……."

Denver Rocky Mountain News 5/31/00 Marlys Duran "…..Ten-year-old Patrick O'Loughlin stepped to the microphone Tuesday and pleaded for relief from the weekly abortion protests in front of his house. "I'm tired of hearing how my loving father is going to hell," said Patrick. He is the son of Dr. Edward O'Loughlin, who performs abortions two days a week at a Denver clinic. Patrick was one of nearly a dozen Huntington Estates residents who urged the Arapahoe County commissioners to limit how and when demonstrators could picket in residential neighborhoods. The five-member board gave unanimous preliminary approval to the ordinance and scheduled a public hearing at 9 a.m. June 27. ……"

EWTN News Brief 5/26/00 "……British government plans to lift the ban on men kissing in public have been opposed by a Catholic women's group. The proposal is part of the package of sex law reforms which was announced earlier this week. While the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) welcomed the "long overdue" changes which would protect men from rape, it remains opposed to proposals which would allow men to kiss in public -- currently considered an act of indecency. ……NBCW President, Freda Lambert, told The Universe newspaper: "We do not oppose homosexuality, but men kissing in public is a homosexual practice and we do oppose it. It would make us feel uncomfortable." ….."

AP Breaking via MyRightStart.com 5/29/00 Frances D’Emilio "…..Rome's mayor said Monday he was yanking the city's sponsorship of July's Gay Pride events, which the Vatican doesn't want taking place during the Holy Year called by Pope John Paul II. The decision follows an appeal by a top Italian cardinal to move the event elsewhere. Premier Giuliano Amato has called the scheduling of Gay Pride week during Holy Year "inopportune" and added that "unfortunately" Italy's constitution doesn't allow the gathering to be banned. Leftist Mayor Francesco Rutelli, citing events like a gay fashion show to be held near a church, said the city was withdrawing official backing of the event although it would still "be the guarantor of the gays' freedom to demonstrate." Right-wing politicians, including the president of Lazio region, which encompasses Rome, have demanded the events, which range from sports activities to cultural appointments, be scrapped. ….."

Family News in Focus 5/26/00 Stuart Shepard "……Bring your Bible to school and get suspended. That's what happened to two girls in Texas. Fifteen-year-old Angela Harbison was showing a teacher the math lesson she planned to work on in Saturday school, then showed her a New Testament, explaining she also hoped to do some reading. "She grabbed it out of my hand and she goes, 'These are not allowed on school campus or in this school. I don't know what you were thinking,'" Harbison recalled. Harbison's sister Amber, 13, was right behind her. Both Angela and Amber were also carrying book covers with the Ten Commandments printed on them. …"

Baptist Press 5/30/00 Todd Starnes "…..Homosexual activists angered by the Southern Baptist Convention's belief that the Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin are planning to protest the SBC's annual meeting scheduled for June 13-14 at the Orange County Convention Center. Soulforce, a national network of homosexual activists, has announced its intention to converge a national protest against the SBC during the Orlando convention. The group's Internet website encourages homosexuals to make preparations to be arrested during a planned civil disobedience on June 14. …….. However, as of May 26, the Orange County Sheriff's Department had not received a demonstration or parade permit from the homosexual group. …..Southern Baptists belief that homosexuality is a sin is based on a number of passages in the Bible, including Romans 1:18-30, I Cor. 6: 9-10; and Leviticus 20:13-16. ….."

BBC 5/30/00 "…….Gay rights leaders in Italy have criticised a decision by the Mayor of Rome, Francesco Rutelli, to cancel the city council's support of a World Gay Pride festival that was due to take place in July. Mr Rutelli was responding to moves by the Vatican and the Italian Prime Minister, Giuliano Amato, to have the event staged elsewhere. Mr Amato told parliament last week that Gay Pride celebrations in Rome were "inappropriate" during the Holy Year called by Pope John Paul II to celebrate 2000 years since the birth of Jesus Christ. ...... The Mario Mieli gay cultural group, one of the organisers, said the events would go ahead with or without authorisation. …….. One Italian gay rights leader, Franco Grillini, said Italy had to choose whether to be a free and democratic country or a Vatican serfdom. ……. Some opponents say they fear the Gay Pride celebrations will turn into a demonstration against the Pope, who has defended the Vatican's condemnation of homosexual acts. ......:

The Washington Times 5/24/00 Julia Duin "…… A Roanoke Episcopal priest whose parish has been charged with being too conservative has been formally ejected from the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Virginia, he was informed yesterday. In a letter faxed to the Rev. Quigg Lawrence, 40, pastor of the Church of the Holy Spirit, diocesan Bishop Neff Powell informed the priest he had been "inhibited" as of May 19 from performing priestly functions such as weddings, funerals, confirmations, confessions and baptisms. After six months, the bishop said, Mr. Lawrence would be "deposed," or defrocked. "I expected it," Mr. Lawrence said yesterday. Comparing himself to the newly retired Bishop John Shelby Spong of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., he added, "I'm disgusted. "I'm particularly perplexed they'd allow a man who disavows the entire [Nicene] Creed to remain a bishop in good standing in the church and they kick me out and I believe in every part of the Creed." ……"

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/22/00 Charles Morse "…..Dr. Harry F. Ward, known as the "Red Dean" of the Union Theological Seminary, was a leader in the founding of the Federal Council of Churches, the forerunner to the NCC. In a career spanning 40 years, Ward influenced hundreds of Protestant ministers and leaders to philosophical, if not outright Communism. There were few Communist fronts in which Ward was not involved. Ward stated on a radio broadcast, May 21, 1946, that "The Soviet Union is progressing and growing up economically and politically...while Capitalist society is starving and going down".

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/22/00 Charles Morse "…..HCUA staff director Richard Arens testified on Feb. 25, 1960 concerning the NCC as follows: Thus far, of the National Council of Churches of Christ in America, we have found over 100 persons in leadership capacity with either Communist-front records or records of service to Communist causes. The aggregate affiliations of the leadership, instead of being in the hundreds as first indicated, is now, according to the latest count, into the thousands, and we have yet to complete our check, which would certainly suggest...that there is infiltration of fellow travelers in churches and educational institutions is a complete understatement.

Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 5/22/00 Charles Morse "…..The NCC has been extremely active this year as they are paying for Elian Gonzales father, Juan Miguel's lawyer Graig Craig. They have been supporting Castro since the beginning and serve as a sort of American amen corner for the bloody handed dictator. Their positions have been consistently pro Communist and anti American. Their agitation for the disarming of American citizens is par for the course as a supine American population, deprived of its god given right to self defense, would be unable to ward off a possible military takeover. Of course, the Communists would not likely be bold enough to do this openly here, as they did in countries like Cuba, they would most likely call it something else. ….."

CNSNews.com 5/25/00 Bob Melvin "……A Washington, DC-based Jewish organization has admonished Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore for his inaccuracies and 'sacriligious' reference to the Bible on Tuesday night. Gore, speaking at the Democratic National Committee fundraiser in the nation's capital, took a jab at NRA President Charlton Heston and Texas Governor George W Bush by saying, "If I remember my Bible correctly, the last time that Moses listened to a bush, his people wandered in a desert for 40 years." …….. "First of all, Moses didn't listen to a bush - he listened to the voice of God (from a burning bush). God commanded Moses to be the leader of his people, and from that encounter, Moses went on to fight against tyranny and free his people from slavery. "The Jewish people wandered in the desert for 40 years because they fashioned an idol, the Golden Calf, and lost sight of their mission. "Millions of Jews and Christians know the difference between fighting for truth and freedom, and losing the way and following after false gods. Apparently, Al Gore doesn't. ……"

Hinduism Today 1999 Swami Dayananda Saraswati "……. Religious conversion is a widely discussed topic in the Indian media these days. I think this issue needs to be thoroughly understood by all the people that count in every religion. The world's religions can be categorically said to be either aggressive or nonaggressive. Each religion has a certain promise in the form of an ultimate goal. Their faithful people try to live the prescribed life and reach the promised goal. Neither they nor their clergy are out to bring the people of other religions to their flock. Zorastrians follow their religious tradition without attempting to convert anybody to their religion. This is true with the followers of the Jewish tradition, Vedic religion (now known as Hinduism), Shintoism, Taoism and the many other religions of various tribes in the world. I call these religious traditions nonaggressive because they do not believe in aggressive conversion. ……. Then there are religions like Christianity, whose theologies, containing a number of basic nonverifiable beliefs, advocate conversion. Evangelism and proselytization are sacred commitments of the entire cadre of the highly organized clergy. The clergy-inspired laity are not any less committed to conversion. They are zealous in their mission of preaching and conversion. In their zeal, the end more often than not justifies the means. From the days of the Inquisition, every attempt recorded in history to stop their program of conversion only stoked their flame of zeal. ...... As a result, many religions with their unique cultures have disappeared, leaving behind only mammoth relics, like the ones in Greece and Mexico.. .."

The Courier 5/23/00 Brian Domingue "…… A Willis school teacher who allegedly confiscated two students' Bibles and threw them in a trash can violated the students' freedom of religion, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday. Sara Flottman, a teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School in the Willis Independent School District, was supervising a Saturday detention in mid-March when students and sisters Angela and Amber Harbison, age 15 and 13 respectively, arrived with Bibles among their notebooks, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Houston by Liberty Counsel. …….Among the allegations are the violation of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the Establishment Clause which prohibits governmental hostility against, or favoritism for, religion. ......"

yahoo.com 5/24/00 Julia Lieblich AP "….. The Presbyterian Church's highest court ruled Wednesday that local congregations have the right to conduct religious ceremonies celebrating gay unions that stop short of marriage. The decision by the 16-member court is binding unless the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) overrides it. The case, one of three on gay issues argued last week before the tribunal, stemmed from a same-sex ceremony performed in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. The Northeast regional church court ruled that ceremonies of ``holy union'' for same-sex couples may be conducted if it is made clear they are not marriages. ….."

EWTN Website 5/23/00 "…..The archbishop of Turin said on Monday that new tests could be carried out on the Shroud of Turin to settle lingering questions about the authenticity of the cloth from the controversial 1988 tests. Archbishop Severino Poletto said, "We know it has to be science, and not faith, that has the last word on this mysterious image." He added, "We can't exclude new tests, in particular on some strands of the cloth where the image is found."…… Although the 1988 tests concluded that the cloth dated from between 1260 and 1390, many scientists disputed the accuracy of the tests because of questionable laboratory practices and because the parts of the cloth tested were damaged during the 13th century. And the tests were unable to determine how the three-dimensional, heat-resistant and apparently indelible image of a man with long hair and wounds consistent with Gospel descriptions came to be imprinted on the ancient linen cloth…….."

yahoo.com 5/25/00 Philip Pullella Reuters "….. Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's teaching against gay marriages Thursday, saying that only a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman could form the basis of a family. ``Attempts to define the family as something other than a solemnized lifelong union of man and woman which looks to the birth and nurture of children are bound to prove destructive,'' the pope said. ….. The pope's comments came as a dispute raged in Italy over plans for a massive gay pride rally in Rome this summer. It has been opposed by Catholic and rightist groups. Prime Minister Giuliano Amato sparked unrest within his own center-left coalition Wednesday when he said the rally was ''inopportune'' because it coincided with the Catholic Church's 2000 Holy Year. ……. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but that homosexual acts are. ……"

Breakpoint 5/25/00 Charles Colson "….. On BreakPoint's web page, we recently ran a poll asking people how they thought Christians ought to engage the culture. The answers were revealing -- and, for me, a little disheartening. …… Twenty-seven percent of respondents said we ought to change the culture by winning people to Christ. Twenty-two percent thought we ought to pray for the culture. Fourteen percent said we should set up an alternative, parallel culture as an example. But just 17 percent said we ought to work within the political system to change the culture. ……"

yahoo.com 5/25/00 "….. World Pride 2000 was an issue May 24 both inside the Italian Parliament at question time and outside the building where gay and lesbian activists gathered in protest. Italian newspapers reported earlier that day that the July celebration in Rome has been moved out of the city's center in deference to Vatican and right-wing protests. Ostensibly for the sake of "public order," a rally planned for the national monument site in the Piazza Venezia will be relocated and the pride march -- already planned to avoid major religious sites -- will be rerouted so as not to cross the city center or major streets. The pro-Vatican Il Messaggero said this "compromise" was agreed on over the weekend between Italy's Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and Vatican representative Cardinal Angelo Sodano, although the Vatican would have preferred that World Pride be delayed until after its Jubilee Year if not prohibited altogether. ! E! ven the government's equal opportunities minister was quoted as saying gays and lesbians should march only "where they will not disturb anybody." ……"

Detroit News 5/19/00 Jean Torkelson "…….The image may make members wince, but when the Freedom from Religion Foundation wins a round -- like shutting down the Lord's Prayer at a senior citizens center -- you can almost hear the Sunday morning alleluias. "I won!" chortles Everett Wilson, punching his fist in the air. Welcome to the monthly meeting of FFRF, where Wilson, a guest from Nebraska, and a dozen Denver members are reviewing their latest attempts to squelch public displays of religion. ...... Wilson, a slender, elderly man with a gentlemanly air, glows as he shares his victory. By threatening to sue, he stopped 50 golden-agers from saying the Lord's Prayer at a publicly owned building. Now the seniors pause for silence, which Wilson still finds annoying: "I'm not completely satisfied because that's tantamount to prayer." ......"

EWTN 5/19/00 "……Under the name World Pride Roma 2000, international homosexual associations are planning to gather in Rome, Italy for a World Gay Pride Meeting, scheduled to be held from Saturday, July 1st, to Sunday, July 9th, 2000. …... On Saturday, July 8th, there will be a World Pride March and Parade, which will pass in front of Vatican City. "This meeting is meant as a counter jubilee event, because these organizations rightly perceive the Catholic Church and the Holy Father as strong barriers to their worldwide plans to promote homosexuality as a valid alternative life style", said Father Richard Welch, CSSR, JCD, President of Human Life International. "It is appalling that the City of Rome has given permission for this parade of perversion around the city, despite the requests of The Holy See to not allow it. Given what takes place during these 'gay parades' in the United States, it makes one shudder that they plan to directly offend the primacy seat of Roman Catholic Church during their parade." ……."What is even more shocking is the open support given by United States Vice President Al Gore to this event. In a letter postdated for July 1, 2000, he states: '...I am pleased to send greetings to everyone participating in World Pride... Roma 2000....I regret that I am unable to join you...I want to offer my very best wishes for a successful event...I look forward to strengthening our working relationship throughout the 21st century...'. Al Gore knows very well that this event will be offensive to The Holy Father and to Catholics around the world…. "

Chattanooga Free Press 5/22/00 "……In past generations, the prevalent moral standards of civilized society were such that all reputable individuals and respected organizations were just naturally expected to "do the right thing." But the degeneration of moral standards in our country is reflected by the fact that "doing the right thing" now becomes "news" -- and results in organized criticism for those who support sound convictions. …….. In our free country, organizations -- certainly religious organizations -- have a right to establish their own standards, with people being free to support them or not support them, in accord with their personal values. Properly exercising that right, the United Methodist Church made two significant statements at its recent General Conference. One, it reiterated its Bible-based position of not recognizing homosexual "marriages." Two, it expressed disapproval of "partial birth abortions.' …... But because of its stands against homosexual practices and killing babies through partial birth abortion, the church denomination has been subjected to criticism. …."

WorldNetDaily 5/22/00 Chuck Baldwin "…..On May 5, Federal District Judge Jennifer Coffman ordered historical documents hanging on the walls of public buildings in Eastern Kentucky to be immediately taken down. The ruling directly targets courthouses and public schools in Harlan, McCreary and Pulaski counties. In defending her decision, Coffman said the displays have the effect of "conveying a very specific government endorsement of religion." Judge Coffman's ruling demonstrates either a profound ignorance of America's history or a profound contempt for America's history. In either case, the judge declared war on America's deep Christian heritage. ……. The offending documents ordered removed included the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, and the national motto, "In God we trust." A page from the congressional record of Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1983, Vol. 129, No. 8, which declares 1983 as the "Year of the Bible" and lists the Ten Commandments, was likewise ordered removed. In addition, a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking 1983 the "Year of the Bible," a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln designating April 30, 1863, a "National Day of Prayer and Humiliation," the Mayflower Compact, and more were ordered removed. Any document having any reference to God was ordered taken down. ………..

WorldNetDaily 5/22/00 Chuck Baldwin "…..Using Judge Coffman's reasoning, never again would people be allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a public gathering because the words "under God" are in it. No public meeting could ever be opened in prayer. The Supreme Court building would need to be remodeled. Directly above the head of the Chief Justice is an engraving of the Ten Commandments, which is protected by a great American eagle. On the east front is a marble sculpture of Moses. That would have to be torn down. No longer could the Court open with the invocation: "God save the United States and the Honorable Court." ……."

AP 5/22/00 "……Church officials said Monday that they have ruled out for the moment any new scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin, which many believe is Christ's burial cloth. The Turin archbishop, Monsignor Severino Poletto, told a Vatican news conference that there has been no scientific advance to warrant any new tests. ……."

InSightMag.com 5/21/00 Suzanne Fields "……Since Clinton's dallying with "that woman" in the Oval Office, stories about religion reflect a greater tolerance for adultery. ………. In a random study of 2,365 religious news stories in the mainline media the large majority of sources and commentators tilted toward traditional morality in matters of sex - in relation to abortion, homosexuality and divorce. But when it came to extramarital affairs the researchers found a decidedly liberal trend. …… The study included religious coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and the three major network evening newscasts. When the issue of extramarital sex surfaced in the 1970s and 1980s, 89 percent of those interviewed in the religious stories condemned adultery. By the 1990s, about two in five sources, 41 percent of those interviewed, voiced toleration if not approval. ….."

CNSNews.com 5/19/00 Justin Torres "…….According to many analysts, educational vouchers are the wave of the future - yet many religious educators are worried that with federal money, will come federal mandates that may dilute the effectiveness of private religious schools. The thorny question of vouchers and religious identity was the topic at a panel discussion sponsored by the Faith and Reason Institute Friday, with teachers, administrators and elected officials lining up on both sides of the issue. Vouchers have a long history as a conservative-endorsed idea on how to reform the nation's public schools by inserting competition into the system. But only since 1995 have voucher systems actually been established in the US. Presently, there are three major voucher programs in the United States, enrolling about 11,000 of the nation's 58 million school-aged children. ……"

LewRockwell.com 5/20/00 Joseph Sobran "…….Unlike most spiritual leaders and moral teachers, Jesus of Nazareth offered no formula for worldly happiness and social order. Just the opposite: he told his disciples to take up their crosses (an image he used well before the Crucifixion) and to expect suffering. He warned them that the world would hate them as it hated Him: it was their destiny as Christians……… But the most intense persecution of Christianity occurred not in the Roman Empire, but in the twentieth century, especially in the Communist world. A large part of this story, hidden and ignored, is told in a new book by Robert Royal, The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century (Crossroad Publishing). It is hard to tabulate or even estimate the number of Catholics and other Christians murdered by modern tyrannies. The figure certainly runs into the tens of millions, though it isn't always easy to distinguish between those killed specifically for their religion and those killed for other reasons, ethnic and social. But contrary to recent slanders, the Nazis as well as the Communists regarded the Catholic Church as their mortal enemy……."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 5/19/00 Robert Stacy McCain "…..Southern Baptists, citing the words of the Apostle Paul, Thursday proposed revising their statement of faith to declare that women should not be ordained to serve as pastors in the denomination's 41,000 churches. "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture," the proposed revision to the Baptist Faith and Message says. The nation's largest non-Catholic denomination will vote on the statement June 13-14 when the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) holds its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Southern Baptists are not alone in prohibiting or discouraging the ordination of women. Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches have no female priests, nor does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly called Mormons, ordain female ministers…….."

Washington Times 5/19/00 Jonetta Rose Barras "…….Founded in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, an anti-war activist and labor union advocate, the ACLU claims to be dedicated to "holding the government to the promise of freedom set forth in the Bill of Rights." Enthusiasts say the group protects the minority against the tyranny of the majority. ……...In the past 20 years, ACLU chapters across the country have repeatedly given cover to racist and fascist organizations. The group has defended suspected drug dealers terrorizing urban centers, despite calls from residents in those communities for stricter law enforcement. It fought against random, unscheduled workplace drug testing, put legal roadblocks in the way of citizens fighting for youth curfews, and opened the door to pornographic businesses despite intense opposition. And, it has gone after religion with the kind of zealotry it claims to want to protect citizens against, obfuscating the critical role of spirituality and its attendant rituals in the development of a whole individual and the preservation of a civil society. ……..The ACLU gives the perception it is an equal-opportunity defender against the encroachment of church into the domain of the state. But it appears that Christianity and Christians are the objects more frequently of the ACLU's religious animus. The outside joke is that the ACLU still is fighting the Christian Crusades. Whatever the origin, one thing is certain: The group is going to remarkable lengths to strip God out of public institutions with all the unhappy ramifications that portends……."

EWTN 5/20/00 "…..A group of Italian Catholic and Protestant leaders sent an open letter to US Vice President Al Gore on Wednesday asking him to revoke his support for the World Gay Pride festival planned for Rome this summer. "We think there can be no doubt about the highly controversial and confrontational nature of a World Gay Pride Day right in the Rome of the Jubilee," they said. ......Vatican officials have petitioned the Rome government to revoke permission for the event because other homosexual events throughout the world have included expressions of anti-Catholicism and mockery of Catholic symbols as well as public acts of erotic behavior. They also object to the timing of the event during the Jubilee Year 2000 when millions of Catholic pilgrims are expected to journey to the geographical center of the faith. ….."

United Press International 5/18/00 "…….The Indiana Civil Liberties Union Thursday filed suit to keep a Ten Commandments display from being set up on the Indiana Statehouse lawn. The Indiana Legislature adopted a measure earlier this year allowing state and local units of government to post the commandments as part of a historical exhibit. "The government should not decide which faiths or faith traditions are valid and which are not," ICLU Executive Director John Krull told the Indianapolis Star. ……Gov. Frank O'Bannon declined immediate comment but Republican Legislator Brent E. Steele, who sponsored the measure, said the ICLU is on the losing side of the issue _ constitutionally and morally. "I've used a wisecrack about this that if the ICLU was around when Moses was here, they'd have tried to get an injunction against him writing the Ten Commandments," Steele said. ….."

Tamp Bay Online 5/18/00 AP "…….A replica of a Michelangelo plaque depicting cherubs pouring water into a pail must be removed from the side of a couple's suburban home, the 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled. Sol and Renee Silberman were sued by their homeowners' association after refusing to take down the 45-inch by 25-inch terra-cotta frieze when their application to hang the plaque was denied. The Lakeridge Greens Homeowners' Association called the frieze of frolicking angels too large and too colorful for the community's taste. ……..Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Moses Baker Jr. ruled the couple was being targeted and that the community's rules were ambiguous. ……."

Tampa Wire 5/18/00 AP "……The Southern Baptists, America's largest Protestant denomination, have drawn up a proposed statement of belief declaring that women should no longer be ordained as pastors. The statement, released Thursday, will come up for ratification at the denomination's annual meeting June 13-14 in Orlando, Fla. The text reads: "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture." A footnote cites biblical support in 1 Timothy 2:9-14 ("I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent"). ……"

Harris Interactive via Business Wire 5/16/00 "…… Although the media pundits may obsess about the horse race between George Bush and Al Gore, and the narrow lead (49% to 45%) Bush holds over Gore, the real story of this election is the extent to which the constituencies of the two candidates resemble two very different nations. One nation is predominately Protestant, White, married, older, economically advantaged, and supportive of Bush. The other nation is much more likely to be non-Protestant, non-White, single, younger, less well-off and supportive of Al Gore. As a result, regardless of who wins, neither Bush nor Gore appears likely to emerge with the kind of strong mandate cutting across diverse demographic groups that makes major policy initiatives sustainable. This is the key finding from the latest Harris Interactive Election 2000 survey that introduces a new feature -- Family and Economic Status Segmentation……."

Harris Interactive via Business Wire 5/16/00 "…… Our religious affiliation segmentation shows the continuing importance in this campaign of religious beliefs and race. Bush continues to hold a strong lead among White Protestants, particularly Baptists and non-denominational Christians, as well as among Mormons. Gore holds equally strong leads among Black Protestants, Jews and the non-religious. Catholics remain the swing religious group although Bush currently holds a small lead among them (see Table 2)...."

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 5/17/00 Andrea Billups "……A Christian student group at Massachusetts' Tufts University that was banned from meeting on campus and stripped of its funding by the student judiciary for refusing to select a lesbian member for a leadership position has been reinstated. Members of the Tufts Committee on Student Life, a 12-member faculty/student panel voted unanimously to overturn a ruling by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary, which had revoked the status and funding of the 70-member Tufts Christian Fellowship as an officially recognized student group. "We are delighted and relieved that the TCF does not have to seek shelter in catacombs beneath the Tufts campus," said Thor Halvorssen, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a Philadelphia-based campus liberty organization that had organized a campaign to support the Christian students.........."

WorldNetDaily 5/17/00 Julie Foster "…..The Tufts Christian Fellowship, after being officially ostracized for refusing to allow an admitted homosexual to hold a leadership position, was notified yesterday by university officials that the group's organization status and funding have been fully restored. The decision came by unanimous vote of the Committee on Student Life, a faculty and student governing body that reviews campus judiciary decisions. …….. The vote was taken Monday night, during a lengthy meeting in which the 11 committee members discussed an appeal by Tufts Christian Fellowship of the Tufts Community Union Judiciary's decision to strip the group of its funding and official club status. The Tufts Community Union Judiciary had made its decision to "de-recognize" the club in a secret, midnight meeting because the Christian club's leaders would not allow an avowed lesbian to hold a leadership position. ….."

WorldNetDaily 5/17/00 Julie Foster "…..Today, schools and courthouses in eastern Kentucky are taking down displays of historical documents -- including the Mayflower Compact and the preamble to the state's constitution -- in compliance with an order from Federal District Judge Jennifer Coffman, who said the displays are a violation of the First Amendment. ……… Set up over the course of last year in Harlan County schools and the courthouses of McCreary and Pulaski counties, the displays have the effect of "conveying a very specific governmental endorsement of religion," says Coffman's order. …… The judge claimed, however, the revised displays still do not pass constitutional muster, as they were specifically designed to promote Christianity. Displays contained the following documents:

* an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, saying, "All men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness";
* the preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, which states, "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution";
* the national motto, "In God we trust";
* a page from the congressional record of Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1983, Vol. 129, No. 8, which declares 1983 as the "Year of the Bible" and lists the Ten Commandments;
* a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking 1983 the "Year of the Bible";
* a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln designating April 30, 1863, a "National Day of Prayer and Humiliation";
* an excerpt from President Lincoln's "Reply to Loyal Colored People of Baltimore upon Presentation of a Bible" reading, "The Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man";
* the Mayflower Compact, in which the colony's founders invoke "the name of God" and explain that their journey was taken, among other reasons, "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith."

Because displays originally included only the Ten Commandments, and because the revised displays still contained copies of them, Coffman refers to the displays throughout her ruling as "the Ten Commandments." ………..Defendants, including Judge Darrell BeShears of Pulaski County, who set up a display in his courthouse, maintain their purpose was to teach residents and students about American religious history and the foundations of the modern state. ……"

WorldNetDaily 5/12/00 Johnny Chung "…… Bob and I were both surprised and not surprised to hear them say this. It amazed us that a United States federal prosecutor was being protected by FBI agents who were concerned for the safety of him and his family. We wondered exactly who they were protecting him from and why on their own time, but we knew better than to ask such direct questions about such a sensitive issue. …… Just before dinner was served, McCaul said to Bob, "Why don't you say the prayer? We are all Christians here." That was the first time I realized McCaul was also a Christian. …….. So Bob said the prayer, and we sat down to eat. "What's this all about?" I wondered as we began eating. My own prosecutor resigned, Chuck LaBella resigned, and the FBI agents that knew my case very well were all reassigned. Now I hear my prosecutor was under FBI protection by agents on their own time. ……. During the drive, I pondered the complicated and unique situation I was in. My prosecutor, the man whose job was to put me in jail, called me a hero and became a lifetime friend. As strange as it was, though, my heart was relieved. When I got back to my hotel, I said goodbye to Andy, saying, "Andy, you are the toughest FBI agent, but you have a good heart. Thank you." "Mr. Chung," he replied, "I know you told the whole truth. Your story is always the same and always corroborates. Good luck to you." Then I went back to my room and began to sing an old hymn in my head. "What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer." ……"

Reuters 5/15/00 "……A Unification Church affiliate that owns the Washington Times newspaper has acquired United Press International wire service which broke the news of President John Kennedy's assassination but has since fallen on hard times, the agency said Monday. UPI said in an article Monday that News World Communications, established by Unification Church head Rev. Sun Myung Moon, "plans to maintain UPI as an independent news-gathering operation, while upgrading its capacity with new technologies and distribution practices." Since it was established by Moon in 1982, the Washington Times has provided a consistently conservative editorial voice in the nation's capital. Moon also lists on his Internet site newspapers in Seoul, Tokyo, Montevideo, Athens, Los Angeles and New York. ……"

USA Today 5/14/00 Guillermo Garcia "…….For years, the government has searched for the nation's best-known atheist, the abrasive woman who beamed when told that her successful 1960s lawsuit challenging school prayer had made her the "most hated person in America." But the FBI, IRS and others have not come up with whereabouts of Madalyn Murray O'Hair. They believe she was murdered, but they have no body. They don't know how she was killed. In truth, they don't actually know that she was killed. But they have a theory. ……… When Gary Paul Karr goes on trial here today , the government hopes a jury accepts that theory about the final chapter in the bizarre odyssey of O'Hair and her family. ……"

AFA Issues 5/11/00 Randall Murphee "……The CBS two-part movie entitled "Jesus" deserves, at best, mixed reviews. Some have sung its praises, but AFA reviewers cite several objectionable elements observed in the advance copy of the four-hour feature scheduled for airing May 14 and 17. Included in the film were these things:

1. About six minutes into the movie, there is partial female nudity when Mary Magdalene rises from her prostitute's bed where she has just entertained a client. Dialogue includes sexual subjects.
2. Later in the movie, there is another sex scene featuring Mary Magdalene.
3. Jesus is angry at God for the death of Joseph. When Mary refers to God as Jesus' father, he declares, "Joseph is my father!"
4. John agrees to baptize Jesus if he has repented of his sins.
5. Jesus often appears to be confused and uncertain about his ministry. ……"

AFA 5/12/00 Fred Jackson "……United Methodists have voted to continue the church's official stand against homosexuality, including a ban against Methodist pastors performing same-sex marriages. The vote came yesterday amid continuing protests from pro-homosexual forces within the church. In the end, the vote results were not a surprise. The feeling going into the Cleveland conference was that the majority of Methodists still agree with the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is a sin. ……."

Rediff 5/16/00 C K Arora "……Democratic United States Congressman Sherrod Brown has requested the House chaplain to set aside a day for a Hindu priest to deliver an invocation opening a daily session of Congress. He also asked for an opportunity to nominate a priest once time has been reserved. "Freedom of religion is the hallmark of the United States. By inviting clergy of various faiths to deliver the invocation opening the House of Representatives, we honour our diverse religious heritage," he added. ……"

American Family Association 5/10/00 Rusty Pugh "……It's a big victory for a NASA employee who was told by his supervisors that he could not post an e-mail notifying co-workers about National Day of Prayer observances. A few days before last week's National Day of Prayer, an employee at a NASA center in California sent e-mails to fellow employees telling them about the observance. It didn't take his bosses long to insist that the e-mail be removed because of its religious nature. The NASA employee contacted the Pacific Justice Institute, which threatened to sue NASA. Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus says NASA quickly approved the e-mail message. ….."

Journal Sentinel 5/9/00 "…… A 4-foot wrought-iron fence must be constructed around a controversial religious statue on property that used to be part of a Marshfield park, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. But that's not high enough for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Marshfield resident when the statue of Jesus Christ was on public land. The foundation wanted a 10-foot cement wall while the City of Marshfield wanted a 3-foot fence. The Marshfield resident, Clarence Reinders, said Tuesday he'd prefer a 12-foot wall - with razor wire on the top. Neither Reinders nor Freedom From Religion officials were happy with the ruling in Madison by U.S. District Judge John Shabaz. ….."

www.EtherZone.com 5/00 Timothy Rollins "……. In what is yet another move that is demonstrative of hostility towards religion and Christianity in particular, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional the Ohio State Motto, which is "With God, All Things are Possible". This comes from the book of Matthew in the New Testament and the Court felt it favored Christianity over other religions. What a crock! The three major religions of the world are Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All of them recognize God, albeit by different names. And Ohio is not alone by any means. Arizona and Colorado among other states use the name of God in their motto, and it by no means shows a preference for Christianity. …….One of the key ingredients that made us a country is that the colonists came over here to get away from a state-sponsored religion. They wanted to worship freely as they saw fit and not necessarily according to the dictates of the state. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others knew the importance of God in the everyday aspects of American life. Just because 200 years have passed by does not make our nations reliance on God any less. If anything, with the erosion of moral values inflicted on the American people by Bill Clinton and his lawless thugs, the dependence on and need for God in our lives has become stronger than ever. ……"

Liberty Counsel 5/2/00 Mathew D Staver, Esq "……. In a stunning victory for student-initiated religious messages and prayer at graduation, a federal appeals court issued a ninety-four page opinion upholding the right of students to pray. After seven years and four trips to the court of appeals, Liberty Counsel obtained a huge victory when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its ten to two ruling in favor of student free speech. …….. The ACLU has indicated that it will now ask the United States Supreme Court to review the case. If the Supreme Court accepts this case for review, we could present oral arguments in the fall of 2000. Please keep this case in your prayers. For a complete copy of the ninety-four page opinion, go to our web site at www.lc.org. ……."

 

The Daily Oklahoman 6/16/00 "……SOCIETY'S favorite whipping boy in recent years is conservative Christianity. And nobody gets whipped more often than the Southern Baptist denomination. Southern Baptists bring it on themselves, you say? Really? By upholding scripture as they interpret it, Baptists bring on the wrath of those who disagree with traditional Baptist values. Does anybody protest when a feminist group or a homosexual group adopts a position that applies only to its members? Baptists receive scorn for the policies they endorse which aren't even binding on the congregations that make up the denomination. It proves that the diversity crowd is interested in more than having a diverse society. It wants every segment of that society to be diverse within its own membership. In truth, it doesn't want diversity at all. It wants to impose its views on society by whatever means. ......... The elitist liberal view today is that only the liberal elite know what's best for all of us, and any organization that doesn't go along with their views deserves a whipping in the court of public opinion. This is folly and a bit frightening as well. It leads to the notion that society as a whole and its governing authorities should determine what is an acceptable belief. That's the way it worked in Hitler's Germany, as illustrated by a poignant movie on anti-Nazi Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer that aired on PBS Wednesday night. ….."

Boundless 6/16/00 Matt Kauffman "……Boundless readers will recall that Tufts University in April decertified a Christian group, the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF), as punishment for its refusal to allow a lesbian to run for president. The group was not only defunded but forbidden to use the Tufts name, to meet in any room that required a reservation, to advertise any events on campus. "On the Tufts campus," an Office of Student Activities administrator reportedly told the group, "you do not exist." As it turns out, TCF's stay in limbo didn't last long. Word of the university's action spread quickly, and it didn't go over well with the public. So on May 15 the Committee on Student Life - a faculty/student group that reviews campus judiciary decisions - unanimously repealed TCF's banishment. ………Score one for the good guys. Unfortunately, score just one. ……. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports that similar doings are afoot on other campuses. Ball State, Williams College and Middlebury College have all adopted "language and policies aimed at forbidding groups to bear witness to politically incorrect views while choosing their leaders." Grinnell College in Iowa and Whitman College in Washington State have banned evangelical groups on comparable grounds in recent years, the group adds. ……Think that's bad? Things are even worse in Canada, a country that's ahead of the U.S. in silencing Christians - though perhaps by only a few years. …….."

Asheville Tribune 6/15/00 David Morgan "……There was cheering and gleeful clapping in the Episcopal Church of All Souls Cathedral in Asheville, NC after the Rev. Todd Donatelli finished delivering his sermon. ………. The priest had just spoken on an experience he had as a young boy and how his parents had to discipline him because he had stepped out of line. He then drew the analogy that what was really important about this was family unity. Donatelli went on to expound on his belief that unity and harmony in the church was vital to the health of the church and sometimes hard steps had to be taken to insure that harmony and unity existed for the benefit of "all souls." ……… Although unstated in the sermon, what Donatelli had just done and was referring to was his use of the churchıs harshest punishment: he had "placed (in) Excommunicate" a long-standing member of the Church, Mr. Lewis Green. It was the latest escalation in a long-standing feud between Green and his church over Green's harsh, and sometimes explicit, writings critical of All Souls and its ministry………"

New York Times 6/15/00 Virginia Postrel "……The Southern Baptist Convention voted yesterday to amend its official statement of faith to declare that the Bible bars women from serving as pastors. Although each Baptist congregation is autonomous and the convention cannot stop a local church from ordaining or hiring a woman as pastor, the pronouncement is generally considered an important symbol of the denomination's increasing conservatism. …….. Critics also see the move as bad marketing. In a Gallup survey in May, 71 percent of Americans who expressed religious preferences said they favored "having women as pastors, ministers, priests or rabbis in your own faith or denomination." As a result, the Gallup organization said that in approving the new statement, the Southern Baptists would be "out of step with the significant majority" of religious Americans. ……… Far from being kept at home, Baptist women run many of the denomination's operations, and they have career aspirations similar to non-Baptists. Drawing the line at pastorships, Professor Iannaccone argues, is a low-cost way to preserve the church's distinctiveness while quietly accommodating broader social changes. ……"

AFR Net 6/15/00 Allie Martin "…..A Wisconsin pastor says he will sue the Milwaukee Police Department after Christians were arrested this past weekend for sharing the Gospel during a homosexual event. This past weekend, thousands of homosexuals and lesbians turned out in Milwaukee for Pridefest, a gay pride event. Pastor Ralph Ovadal, President of Wisconsin Christians United, led a group of nearly 100 Christians who used the event as an opportunity to witness to those at the Pridefest. He says many of the Christians at the event were met with hostility by police. …….. "When you have police officers walk up to you and say 'Be careful, the boss is leaning on us to do something about you,' and then something like this happens...they seize cameras." "This is not Nazi Germany, it is the good old USA. They should not be coming in stealing private property, seizing cameras, seizing videotapes, manhandling people, and arresting people like this." Ovadal says police mistreated and violated the constitutional rights of many of the Christians who were at the event. ……."I got those two separated, and the policeman just walked away. Then suddenly, for no reason, the police swarmed all over and were trying to take our videocameras." Four Christians were arrested, but Ovadal says all the trouble was a small price to pay for sharing Christ's message. ……"

AFA Center for Law & Policy 6/15/00 "…..Tupelo, MS -- In response to a lawsuit filed by the AFA Center for Law & Policy ("the Law Center") on behalf of a Christian employee group that had been denied official recognition, Sandia National Laboratories has agreed to amend its Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") policy and extend official recognition to the Christians. Michael Hall, William Morse, and Mary Tang, plaintiffs in the lawsuit, are employees at Sandia, the Albuquerque, NM, national security laboratory that designs all non-nuclear components for the nation's nuclear weapons. The Christians had complained in the suit that Sandia violated their constitutional rights by extending official recognition to a homosexual employee group, but denying the same privileges to Christians. The privileges accorded the homosexual group include special internal web site usage, input into managerial policies concerning diversity, and funding for certain projects. ......"

Newark (NJ) Star Ledger via AP 6/16/00 Richard N. Ostling "…… A worsening shortage of Roman Catholic priests will result in fewer Masses, more priestless parishes and deacons leading worship services, a study says. The nation's Catholic bishops yesterday held their first extended public discussion of the problem, which was highlighted by the release of the two-year study. ''Awareness of the reality is impacting us more and more. We decided we had to take a good hard look at it," said Bishop Richard Hanifen of Colorado Springs, Colo., who led the study. ……In 1965, there were 58,132 priests serving 46.6 million parishioners in the United States. Today there are 20 percent fewer priests and nearly a third more parishioners, the study said. …."

Religion Today 6/15/00 "…….Southern Baptists are sticking to the straight and narrow. They picked a new leader who is a trustee of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, revised their statement of faith to declare that women should no longer serve as pastors, and reiterated their condemnations of abortion and homosexuality. ……. "I will lift high the banner of truth found in God's inerrant word," James G. Merritt, 47, pastor of 11,000-member First Baptist Church in Snellville, Ga., declared to delegates, called "messengers," at the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando. He ran unopposed and was named president of the 15.9 million-member SBC, the nation's largest Protestant denomination. …….Merritt said he would make "soul winning" in the United States and abroad his top priority. He already has been successful at his home church, where 7,826 people have been baptized and Sunday school attendance has grown from 800 to 3,250 since he took over in 1985, Baptist Press reported. Merritt succeeds Paige Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. ...... "We're one of the few denominations to stand strong in the sharp winds of political correctness and to call sin, sin," Merritt said, according to The Associated Press. ……."

Upi 6/15/00 "…..The American Medical Association House of Delegates voted Thursday to support action to assure hospital access to pregnancy prevention services -- tubal ligation and contraception. However, doctors also refuse to force Catholic and other faith-based hospitals to perform the services. The compromise measure, which sidestepped a call for cutting government funding for failure to provide the service, was approved by the policy-making body of the AMA by a 247-184 votes. The debate over the issue centered on changes in hospital coverage that has occurred in hospitals in California when Catholic Healthcare West acquired community hospitals where no other heath care facility existed. Dr. Michael Cohen of Walnut Creek, Calif., said that such a situation in Gilroy, Calif., resulted in the hospital denying a tubal ligation procedure to patients at the Catholic hospital in the community. ……."

The Atlanta Journal Constitution 6/13/00 Steven Lubet "……Judge Roy Moore of Etowah County, Ala., became famous when he posted a hand-carved plaque of the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall and refused to take it down. Now Moore is about to become more famous, having just won the Republican nomination for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. If he wins the general election in November, he has promised to take his plaque with him to the Supreme Court, though he has not yet decided whether to place it in his chambers or in the courtroom. Moore clearly revels in the controversy. For the past three years, he has traveled the country promoting his views on law, religion and politics. He often concludes his speeches with a bit of poetry, explaining his worldview in a few short lines: "While truth and law were founded upon the God of all creation, man through law now denies him and calls it separation." ….."

FOXNEWS 6/13/00 Adam Pasick "….. Prayer may help heal the sick, according to a new review of studies on "distance healing," which encompasses prayer and other mental activities that can't be explained by contemporary science. …….Researchers at the University of Maryland looked at 23 clinical trials involving more than 2,700 patients, 57 percent of which found that prayer had a positive effect on health. Each of the studies was placebo-controlled - for example, half the patients were randomly assigned people who prayed for them, the other half received no prayer. "Absolutely, the evidence suggests that something may be going on," said lead author Dr. John Astin, an expert on alternative and complimentary medicine. "I'm open-minded to possibilities of things we don't understand." …….. The study, which appeared in this month's Annals of Internal Medicine, defines distance healing as "a conscious, dedicated act of mentation attempting to benefit another person's physical or emotional well being at a distance." It "does not necessarily imply any particular belief in or referral to a deity or higher power." …… In one of the studies included in Astin's analysis, researchers at San Francisco General Medical Center found prayer "to the Judeo-Christian God" helped heart patients. They required less assistance breathing, and needed fewer antibiotics and diuretics than a control group. "Intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect," the study concluded. ……"

Freedom Forum 6/12/00 Associated Press "…….School trustees in Grand Prairie have decided that distributing Ten Commandments book covers at schools is allowed under board policy. The decision comes more than a year after parent Karen Wiegman sought permission to distribute the covers. School officials have decided to place them in a designated spot on each campus at the start of the school year, where students can pick them up. The book covers in Grand Prairie are allowed under a board policy that allows nonschool materials - with administrative review - to be made available on campuses at a time, place and manner determined by each principal, trustees said in June 10 editions of the Arlington Morning News. Last spring, Wiegman asked for permission to distribute the Ten Commandments book covers at schools. District administrators denied her request, citing an exclusive contract with a company that already provides book covers free to the district……."

Washington Post 6/14/00 Liz Seymour "….Virginia's Education Department advised school districts yesterday to avoid telling students they have the option to pray during a mandatory daily minute of silence that will begin this fall in the state's public schools. The guidelines on implementing Virginia's new law were greeted with disappointment by some state lawmakers. They said they had championed the measure requiring the silent minute in the belief that students would be told each morning they could use the time to pray, meditate or reflect - activities that are spelled out in the legislation. "This is a very tepid response to a moral crisis in this country," said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William). "If they're so timid about mentioning the word 'prayer,' I'm doubtful about what it will do."…… The guidelines issued by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jo Lynne DeMary recommend that a teacher or principal simply announce: "As we begin another day, let us pause for a moment of silence."……"

Townhall.com 6/14/00 Michelle Malkin "……The nation's capital is a speech-free zone. This may be hard to believe, what with all the hot air produced here by political blowhards and blow-dried pundits, filibustering blusterers and professional mouth-flappers. But in the heart of the district and on the sidewalks outside the Supreme Court, the chilling message to people of faith is loud and clear: Sit down, shut up, and keep your views to yourself. Last week, city officials tore down a lawn sign in front of D.C.'s Lincoln Park United Methodist Church. With barely two hours' notice, a public-works crew descended on the church, and drove off with the 4-by-6 foot billboard. Pastor Harold Lewis told me his church "jumped through all the hoops" required to erect the sign, which carried scriptural citations and sermon topics. ……Neighbors complained the sign violated historic preservation standards, which the city neglected to review before granting the church a public-use permit. But the church's leading critics admit it was the religious content that really spurred them to action. On the day the sign was confiscated, it read: "Was it Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve? Genesis 2:18-25." The neighbors objected that the font size was too big, and the message too offensive to the gay community. ……."

The Times UK 6/12/00 Ruth Gledhill "….. ONE of the most influential clergymen in the Church of England has issued an apocalyptic warning that the end of the world is nigh and that time is running out before the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Rev Sandy Millar, 61, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, in Knightsbridge, London, has linked the contemporary worldwide evangelical revival to the imminent return of Jesus and the start of a "New Age". …… Writing in his parish's Pentecost newsletter, Mr Millar - whose pioneering Alpha course has persuaded hundreds of thousands of people to convert, or return, to Christianity - said the warning of an influential 20th-century clergyman, that "the coming of the Lord draws nigh", had even greater urgency today. ……..People must turn to Jesus Christ "while there is still time", he said. "On some day in the future, Jesus will return, the world as we know it will come to an end, and the real New Age will begin." Apocalyptic warnings, while fairly common from charismatic or fringe churches, are rare from a clergyman of the Established Church. ….."

Time Magazine 6/12/00 David Van Biema/Carriere "…… When a public school was swept by a full-blown religious revival, should teachers have stopped it? Jesus was nervous. The recruitment assembly for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Pearl River Central High School in Carriere, Miss., was scheduled for April 12, a mere week before the first anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. Like students all over the country this year, Brandon Smith, 16, had been drilled on how to survive school violence. And now Smith, cast as the Savior in one of the fellowship's skits, joked a bit tensely to his best friend and girlfriend, "You all, I'm Jesus in this skit; so if anybody gets shot, it'll probably be me." …………Instead of opening fire, however, the hundreds of Pearl River students watching Smith's mock crucifixion wept. They hugged one another, sang and testified to God's greatness and admitted their troubles. When the morning assembly, scheduled for 90 min., finally ended--five hours later--they knew a kind of fatigued ecstasy. They were not aware that they had presented conservative Christians and civil libertarians with a new object of debate: a full-blown, sweat-soaked religious revival in a public school. …….."

Catholic League 6/00 "…….It is a sad phenomenon of modern America that too often self-identified Catholics display anti-Catholicism or anti-Catholic rhetoric in the public arena. Anti-Catholic statements from Catholics, or those with Catholic roots, may seem to be an oxymoron. But it exists and those Catholics that engage in such inflammatory rhetoric against their own faith rarely see it as bigotry. ………. Influenced by the dominant secular culture, they see anti-Catholicism as a product of enlightened thought, rather than an inherited prejudice.1 Worse still, by the very nature of their Catholic background, their remarks gain a certain cachet in secular circles that would otherwise ignore them if the source were non-Catholic. Generally, anti-Catholicism from Catholics comes from three particular sources.

We begin with the "Uncle Pats"-- These are Catholics who find Catholic beliefs and practices embarrassing in an age of enlightened secularism. ….. Then there are those raised Catholic who convert to fundamentalist sects. Not all, of course, but too many of these former Catholics find it necessary to publicly heap scorn on their heritage. ……Finally, there are those Catholics who let their own vision of what the Church should or should not be poison their public comments. They often engage in the most shocking anti-Catholic rhetoric to push a particular agenda within the Church, with little interest in the impact such rhetoric might have on the image of the Church in the general culture. Their goal is to force change in the Church through assault. ……Papal Sin reads and argues at varying times as if its author can't decide if he is a Bible-thumping fundamentalist, a secular agnostic or a bitter ex-Catholic. But for the most part, Wills comes across as a Catholic with such a heavy-handed agenda that reasonableness or any attempt to accurately portray Church teaching has long since been abandoned for ideological zealotry. …."

Savannah Morning News 6/13/00 Ann Stifter "……It's been a Southern Baptist tradition -- women just weren't pastors. But it's never been a written tradition -- until Wednesday, when the Southern Baptist Convention decides whether to officially reject women as church leaders. "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture," the Baptist Faith and Message will read if approved. If accepted, the sentence could prompt some area Baptist churches to withdraw in favor of other alliances that have emerged in the last few decades. ……. And the SBC follows a free church tradition, meaning each church is autonomous with its own bylaws and constitution, he said. "It's only a confessional statement, there may be some individual congregations that will still chose to ordain women as senior pastors," he said. Nearly 40 of SBC's 40,000 churches have female senior pastors. …….. "So we're not talking about some kind of over-arching occurrence in Baptist life anyway," Toalston said. "Really what you have is a Baptist statement of what we regard to be the teaching of scripture, not a corrective of some kind of over-arching problem right now." ……."

The Times Online 5/13/00 "…….Doctors at the American Medical Association are being asked to back a proposal that would force Catholic hospitals to provide birth control and sterilization procedures, procedures the church forbids. But religious leaders at Ancilla Systems Inc. in Hobart say the rule is unlikely to become law in Indiana. On Monday, Cardinal Francis George warned AMA members gathered in Chicago for their national meeting that the resolution targeted not health but faith. "I urge the American Medical Association not to join this campaign against religious freedom," he told delegates. …… The archbishop of Chicago and other Roman Catholic leaders fear it would force Catholic hospitals to provide certain contraceptives and reproductive procedures and, ultimately, would force doctors in Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. ……"

National Post 6/9/00 Luiza Chwialkowska "…..A federal funding agency has paid for a study aimed at helping feminist organizations strategize against "pro-life and pro-family" lobbyists at the Beijing +5 conference on women's equality under way this week at the United Nations. Among the transgressions of the targeted groups are not following proper procedures at a meeting, wearing buttons reading "Motherhood," lobbying governments and carrying Bibles. A 40-page paper entitled "Right-Wing Anti-Feminist Groups at the United Nations," produced by some academics at the Institute of Feminist Studies at the University of Quebec in Montreal, describes lobbying tactics of conservative groups and recommends to women's organizations "ways and means for responding." "This information should support a more adequate response to anti-feminist groups and their anti-democratic strategies during the upcoming United Nations meetings on women's rights," states the paper. ……."

Washington Times 6/13/00 Balint Vazsonyi "…….Current efforts to persuade Americans about the existence of a constitutional provision for the separation of church and state match those that seek to eliminate freedom of speech or the right to bear arms. Many will be surprised to learn that "separation of church and state" is not a phrase to be found in the U.S. Constitution. Of course, the Founding Fathers did decide against a dominant, state religion. In our time, that decision is being used to buttress the argument against any role God might have in the affairs of this nation. In our courtrooms, we no longer have to swear upon the Bible to tell the truth. Our current president has made perjury a matter of opinion. Even on customs forms, we are no longer required to sign our names under oath. ……. The generation that claims to speak for America just now proudly proclaims its independence of divine providence and looks with condescension, if not contempt, upon poor unenlightened souls who have yet to emancipate themselves from the heavenly connection. …….."

Buffalo News 6/13/00 Lauren Sadler "……I'm sure the June 6 letter protesting the hanging of the Ten Commandments in public schools raised some eyebrows. Whenever Christian Americans propose an activity that "exercises" their religious beliefs, a First Amendment, constitutionally protected right, we are told by non-believers that we should "recognize and respect the rights of others." We are reminded that we "should not infringe upon the equal rights of others" and that we are "thereby obligated to respect the same rights of others." ……… Yet when we Christians express dissatisfaction with pornography on magazine shelves, we are told, "Just don't purchase it!" When we express dismay at the content of television shows and movies, we are told, "Just change the channel!" When we raise concern over the language and ideas expressed in popular music, we are told, "You don't have to listen to it!" When we express distaste for government-subsidized pornography that is called art, we are told, "You don't have to go see it!" ……Would I be remiss in saying that these people don't have to read the Ten Commandments just because they are hanging on a wall? ……"

Liberty Voice 5/11/00 Jerry Falwell "….. Company officials then approached me in hopes that I would defend Procter & Gamble against these allegations. After discovering that the stars represent the original thirteen American colonies and the man-in- the-moon symbol was simply a continuation of a popular logo from the mid-1800's, I decided to go to bat for Procter & Gamble. …….. I used my National Liberty Journal newspaper, weekly Falwell Confidential e- mail and my Web site (http://www.falwell.com) to help reject these rumors. ……In addition, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, The Southern Baptist Convention, and other denominations and church organizations have attempted to dispel these false tales. When Procter & Gamble needed leaders of the conservative religious community, we were there to defend them. …..Now Procter & Gamble has determined that they cannot be associated with another leading conservative spokesperson - Dr. Laura Schlessinger………"

Liberty Voice 5/11/00 Jerry Falwell "…..As I've learned through the years, defending godly precepts can be very costly. Dr. Laura can certainly attest to this. "There has been controversy surrounding Dr. Laura on a number of topics," read a statement released by Procter & Gamble earlier this week. "We've chosen n t to be involved with a show that will require time and resources to deal with this kind of controversy." You mean, like the time and resources that many conservative ministries gave to Procter & Gamble? I must say that I feel a sense of betrayal that Procter & Gamble - a company that once desperately appealed to conservative ministries for help - has so quickly turned its corporate back on a woman who has upheld the moral principles on which this nation was founded……"

AP 6/9/00 "…..A Roman Catholic college that fired a gay dean was censured Friday by the American Association of University Professors. The organization accuses Albertus Magnus College of violating the academic freedom of Michael Hartwig, a former priest who had been an associate dean and religion professor. College spokesman Mike Serpe called the censure "predetermined" and "biased," saying the school took proper steps in not renewing Hartwig's employment for a different reason. Hartwig had publicly described himself as "a priest on leave" in a newspaper article, but college administrators said he had told them when hired in 1991 that he had left the priesthood. ……"

EWTN 6/10/00 Alberto Carosa "…..A torchlit procession at 10 pm on July 1st in reparation of, and protest against, the World Gay Pride (July 1-8): this was the gist of a press conference on June 8th, 2000, by a number of Catholic-inspired organizations which are spearheading the growing opposition to the gay event. The itinerary chosen, in the words of the initiative co-ordinator, attorney Claudio Vitelli, "well symbolises the spirit of the initiative: St John Lateran, the official seat of the Roman Pontiff, will be the starting point of a pilgrimage due to reach in few hours' time, at dawn, the Marian sanctuary of Our Lady of Divino Amore (Divine Love), which is the most important sanctuary of the capital of Christendom". And in fact, attorney Vitelli recalled, the Roman faithful have always successfully resorted to Her intercession whenever Rome had been in danger, as was especially the case during World War II. ………. The initiative was fully backed by the senior MPs who took the floor during the press conference to manifest their opposition to the Gay Pride from their different angles, from the CCD deputy speaker Carlo Giovanardi to National Alliance's president of the party council for Ethical and Religious problems Gustavo Selva, from Forza Italia's president of the council for Ethical and Religious problems Maria Burani Procaccini to Northern League's president of Constitutional Affairs Commission Alessandro Cé, and National Alliance's Riccardo Pedrizzi, deputy president of his party caucus at the Senate. ……."

Toledo Blade 6/9/00 Rose Russell "….. Just when some local black churches begin responding to the need to sponsor programs on HIV and AIDS awareness, they are now being called on to address another, related concern. For decades some social problems weren't as much a priority as spiritual and civil rights issues in the black church. But it has expanded its role, doing such things as hosting health fairs where blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes checks are made. Now the church is being challenged on equally touchy matters as AIDS and HIV: Sex education. Indeed, parents who prefer to teach abstinence are in a Catch-22. They know that young people face peer pressure and are constantly bombarded with messages about sex. ……A Chapel Hill, N.C., public health practitioner wants the black church to teach youth sex education. In her research, she found that 76 per cent of the black clergy surveyed in North Carolina would agree to hold meetings on sexuality for youth between 11 and 14. But that figure is high because those clergy already know how important these issues are. They have had conferences on AIDS and drug and alcohol prevention. …..About 30 per cent of them wouldn't permit homosexuality to be the focus of such discussions, and only 6 per cent would agree to distribute condoms from the church. ….."

AP 6/9/00 "……Officials at an Episcopal church have cast out a member of the congregation who has spent years criticizing them for welcoming gay members. He's been banned until he apologizes. Lewis Green accused the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore of trampling on his First Amendment right to free speech. "I've been writing bad things about gays for some time, deleterious things, and that's what this is about," said Green, 68. "What I'm doing is exercising my First Amendment rights, and if it's about them, too bad. There's nothing they can do about it." Church leaders sent Green a letter May 30 notifying him that it was banning him from church property and denying him the sacrament of communion. The rare but reversible step of excommunication is so infrequently imposed that the Episcopal Church USA does not keep statistics. "In my experience - and I've been in this position in this church for 20 years - I've heard of this maybe three times," said Todd Duffy, director of archives for the Episcopal Church USA. ……..Green would be reinstated only after studying a Bible passage on how to treat fellow Christians and apologizing in writing for making an obscene gesture to the congregation at a Mass last December. ……."

Zenit News Agency 6/8/00 "…….A debate on the role of the Vatican in international politics started from the very beginning of the special session of the U.N. General Assembly, "Beijing+5." Amnesty International has accused the Vatican of "a hybrid alliance" with Iran, Algeria, Nicaragua, Syria, Libya, Morocco, and Pakistan, to create obstacles in the preparation of this summit. Archbishop Renato Martino, Vatican Permanent Observer at the United Nations, responded to Amnesty International on Vatican Radio. "I am profoundly surprised and very disappointed with Amnesty International's accusations against the Holy See. Amnesty International should have a better memory, because the Holy See has walked on the path they also follow, that is, the defense of human rights in all areas: the right to life, the right to work, development. Obviously they have not followed the preparatory work of this General Assembly and are speaking from hearsay. In any case, I confirm that the Holy See has always struggled in favor of women. In Beijing, it was the only group that wanted a declaration on the dignity of women, and no country, I repeat, no country wanted to underwrite this affirmation." ……"

Dallas Morning News 6/11/00 Berta Delgado "…… The country's largest Protestant denomination is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday to make additions to its basic statement of faith, including a prohibition against women serving as pastors and a statement against homosexuality. Other proposed revisions to the Baptist Faith and Message would continue to pull conservative Baptists even further apart from more moderate Baptists. ……. The Southern Baptist Convention doesn't shy away from controversy, and the last few years are proof. The nation's largest Protestant denomination has been particularly vocal during its annual June conventions. …..But no matter what critics may say, Southern Baptist leaders say they are just doing what they are supposed to do as Christians. "I had someone tell me the other day, 'Don't you know that you're rubbing the cat's fur the wrong way?'" said Dr. Paige Patterson, outgoing president of the 15.9 million-member denomination. "And I said, 'Then turn the cat around.' "He was having trouble understanding why we didn't mind having the world against us. You get used to it, but you don't go out looking for it. But neither should any Christian be surprised, because Jesus said the world hated him and they would hate Christians. For us to be astonished would be to fail to hear what our master said." ……"

Boston Globe 6/11/00 David Abel "…… The born-again Christians came out for battle yesterday toting apocalyptic signs warning the thousands of gays and lesbians reveling in yesterday's annual Pride March of a future filled with fire and brimstone. But their ranks were thin. And wherever they went to preach, they were quickly overwhelmed. One of them, Jeffrey, who did not give his last name, wore a white robe with a flame-colored sign hanging from his neck bearing this unpopular message: ''America Will Burn.'' The 29-year-old from Chelsea passed out pamphlets titled, ''Doom Town: The story of Sodom.'' ''All I'm doing is trying to save people,'' he said as a chorus of boos and taunts howled from all around him. ''These people here have to repent. If they don't, they're going to hell.'' …….. Nik Swinden, 29, of Cranston, R.I., questioned Jeffrey on why he was using religion to ostracize other people. Then she took a different tack: ''I love the God squad,'' she said. ''Really, they're too funny. But how could God have a problem with all these people?'' ….. Leading the sometimes scantily clad group was the Moving Violation Motorcycle Club, featuring scores of lesbians thundering down the street. ......... "

The Wall Street Journal 6/6/00 Harry Stein "……But the fact is that over the years, and more explicitly since her embrace of Orthodox Judaism, Dr. Laura has cast her message in traditional religious terms; routinely referring to the Ten Commandments or the Old Testament, even when driving home a point about office gossip or someone's mother-in-law. In that sense, to activists pressuring Paramount and would-be sponsors to drop her show, she has long been anathema, not just because they find particular remarks she's made bigoted or hateful but because she represents an entire world view they consider archaic. ……… In fact, for a time Dr. Laura was unaccustomedly ambivalent on the issue of homosexuality, her adherence to biblical teaching warring with her innate sympathy for decent people who saw their sexuality as part of who they were. Even today she points out her position is nothing more than that adhered to by traditionalists of many faiths: to condemn the sin but not the sinner. "Unless I have hallucinated," as the stopdrlaura.com Web site quotes her, "I have never made an anti-gay commentary. I have made anti-gay-activist agenda commentaries." ……..Her position on the "deviancy" comments is that as alien as such terminology might ring to contemporary, secular ears, it is literally accurate: Homosexual behavior does deviate from the norm. Furthermore, according to scripture, it is proscribed. End of argument. Is that "hate speech"? If it is, then all traditional religious teaching on the subject is hate speech. ……"

NewsMax.com 5/24/00 Dr James Herson "……. Federal District Judge Jennifer Coffman recently engaged in the ultimate semantic distortion of the law. Through use of a twisted interpretation of the First Amendment's text, which over the last several decades activist jurists have carefully crafted, Judge Coffman ruled that displays of priceless American treasures must be removed from public view. We are, amazingly enough, referring to historic documents that set forth the soul and conscience of our laws, our heritage and our very culture. ......... Documents from which the eyes of the public must be sheltered include: the Preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, which speaks of gratitude to Almighty God for the "civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy"; a portion of the Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"; the Mayflower Compact, which speaks of the name of God and explains that one of the reasons for the journey of the early settlers was "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith"; and lastly, that perennial favorite of the dubious defenders of civil liberties, the Ten Commandments. …."

Charisma News 6/6/00 "…..The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed suit yesterday on behalf of Thomas and Melody Horne, who live in East Brainerd County. The Hornes each wanted to buy a $50 brick inscribed "Hope Horne, to the Glory of God," but were told by school officials that they could not use any language referring to God. They suggested writing the dedication in Latin instead--"Hope Horne, Soli Deo Gloria"--but were turned down again. The Hornes' suit argues that the brick project--which has raised around $15,000 for the school--was open to everyone in the community, and the application placed no restrictions on messages. ACLJ attorney Stuart Roth told "The (Chattanooga) Times & Free Press": "I'm not sure what theory of law [the school] relied on, but if it was separation of church and state, clearly they have misread the application of the law. Most of these [bricks] are signed by the family. Individual citizens are always free to engage in religious speech. It's not the government speaking. It's the family speaking, not the school." ........."

American Family Association 6/6/00 Chad Groening "……Rita Cline, the embattled treasurer of Shawnee County, KS, says she will not back down to the latest intimidation from the ACLU. In an earlier story, AFR News chronicled the struggle of Ms. Cline, who has refused to remove posters from her office, on which are printed the national motto: "In God We Trust." Yesterday, an ACLU representative came to her office and demanded that she remove the posters or face a lawsuit. "She came with three demands," Cline says. "One of those was that I take the poster down. When she suggested what maybe the ACLU would approve, she clearly said that they would not consider approving anything made by a Christian organization."......... "Hanging the national motto is not promoting my religious beliefs," she says. "It's patriotic, and it's a very appropriate slogan for an office that is demanded and mandated to collect money." ……."That slogan is on every piece of United States currency, and it's most appropriate for the county treasurer's office to display it." ......,:

yahoo.com 6/5/00 Reuters "……A sex and religious issues column written by an Episcopal bishop made its debut Monday on an Internet Web site that includes erotic art and a column by a former porn star. Bishop John Shelby Spong's column, ``The Religious Write,'' appeared on ThePosition.com, and already was drawing e-mail messages to the editor that Spong is ``going to hell'' and ``is not a Christian.'' The 69-year-old bishop, who retired four months ago as head of the Newark, N.J., Episcopal Diocese to pursue writing and lecturing, has been attacked regularly for his liberal stands, including the approval of gay clerics. ……Spong's first contribution posits that the Ten Commandments are chauvinistic. ``When one looks at the Ten Commandments closely, the anti-female bias is clear,'' and, ``The church does guilt better than it does anything else,'' the bishop writes. The column appears with cover story, ``The 100 Most Important People in Sex'' (including Spong), an erotic art gallery and a sex newswire. Contributors include former porn star Candida Royalle as well as Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, writing on sexuality and the law. ......"

Religion Today 6/6/00 "…… Stung by assertions that preaching can lead to hate crimes, some of the country's most prominent Christian leaders are reasserting the constitutional right to evangelize. Eighty-four scholars, theologians, and church leaders last week endorsed a document called The Chicago Declaration on Religious Freedom: Sharing Jesus Christ in a Pluralistic Society. They include Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship, theologians Carl F. H. Henry, J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham. ...The leaders rejected the notion that evangelism undermines "a peaceful, pluralistic society and may lead to intolerance, bigotry, and even violence," but said that only a society that permits free discourse "can safeguard the true liberty, freedom, and human dignity we all pursue." ... ...Southern Baptists last year announced a plan to evangelize Chicago this summer. An interfaith coalition asked the denomination to reconsider the campaign, fearing that it might lead to violence against Jews, Hindus, and Muslims. ...That was "the straw that broke the camel's back," Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told the Dallas Morning News. Saying that evangelism leads to hate crimes is nonsense, he said. "The declaration puts our critics on notice that they're going to have to defend what appears to a lot of Americans to be intolerance." ……"

Jewish World Review 6/6/00 Naomi Schaefer "……TEN YEARS AGO, Kristopher Okwedy fled Nigeria, hoping to escape the persecution imposed on Christians there. "The wonderful thing about this country," he explains about his new home in America, "is the freedom to express yourself." But this year, Mr. Okwedy found out that freedom was not as absolute as he had thought. Mr. Okwedy and his Keyword Ministry leased space on two billboards on New York's Staten Island. Each one cited four translations of Leviticus 18:22, which in the Living Torah translation by Rabbi Arye Kaplan reads: "Do not lie with a male as as you would with a woman, since this is a disgusting perversion." A few days after the billboards went up, the president of PNE Media, the company that owns the billboards, called. He told the pastor that the messages were going to be taken down because they were too offensive. ……"

EWTN 6/6/00 "…..WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore this week refused to answer calls to back down from his endorsement of a controversial homosexual activist event planned for Rome in July. The New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights asked the vice president, who is also the Democratic nominee for president, to reverse his endorsement of the event which he gave in a letter dated March 23. In that letter to organizers, Gore said he intended to "stand ready to ensure gay and lesbian Americans have the opportunity to participate fully in a nation and a world that is united in those goals of importance to us all." …….. The event, planned for July 1-8, has been criticized for taking place during the Church's Jubilee Year and during a week with several high-profile religious events. Similar "gay pride" events elsewhere have included homoerotic satire of the Church because of her teaching that homosexuality is immoral. ……"

EWTN 3/6/00 "…….A long-running, heated dispute about an international homosexual and lesbian march to be held in Rome in July took a fresh twist this weekend, as organisers of the demonstration insisted that they be allowed to include the Colosseum in their march itinerary. The march will begin in Porta San Paolo, then wind its way past some of the city's most famous ancient monuments to end up at the famous Roman race track, the Circus Maximus, where a mega concert is to take place, including stars such as Grace Jones, Geri Haliwell and Gloria Gaynor. But the association which is organising the event, the Mario Mieli Circolo, has run into trouble with the police over its demands to be allowed to march past the Colosseum. The police are apparently not keen on permitting this detour, ostensibly because of the traffic disruption that it would cause. ….."

CNS News 6/6/00 "……"Was it Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve?" asked the sign posted on the lawn of the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Washington, DC - the same sign that city workers abruptly dismantled and carted away last week. The message advertised a May 30 sermon against homosexuality. Church leaders say the sign's message, not its size, is the real reason it was removed. The city defends its action on zoning grounds, saying the church didn't get the two permits it needed to erect the 4-1/2-by-6-foot sign earlier this year. ……..Church leaders say the removal of the $5,000 sign is an attempt to silence their religious message. "If the gay community can rally and have a movement to support their right to a cause, why can't we freely express our beliefs?" asked the Rev. Harold Lewis. According to the Post, at least one church neighbor agreed that the words on the sign were the last straw: "That sent us right over the top," Elizabeth Nelson is quoted as saying. …….."

New York Times 6/8/00 Kevin Sack "……Despite being vastly outspent, Roy S. Moore, the Alabama judge made famous by his defense of the Ten Commandments, won a convincing victory in Tuesday's Republican primary for chief justice of that state's Supreme Court. "Of course, we give our first recognition to God," Judge Moore said in an interview today. "He has providence over us, and his will is something that can't be thwarted." …….. And yet, Judge Moore won 55 percent of the vote, surprising many political analysts by easily avoiding a runoff……..Judge Moore, 53, will now face Judge Sharon Yates, a Democrat who sits on the Court of Civil Appeals, in the general election in November. Judge Yates had no opposition in her party's primary. ……."

Freedom Forum 6/1/00 AP "…..The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a case by a student who sued the Aledo Independent School District for allegedly infringing on her right to present a graduation-day prayer. Katherine Hackleman, 18, sued the district in May after a school district attorney deleted parts of a prayer she had written for graduation day. When she and the Liberty Legal Institute threatened to sue, the school district relented and allowed her to present the unedited prayer. It contained phrases such as "Heavenly Father" and "Thank you for having a plan to prosper us." Instead of delivering the speech, the Liberty Legal Institute, a socially conservative group based in Plano, sued, asking the court to declare the school's review of Hackleman's prepared remarks unconstitutional. A U.S. District Judge in Fort Worth, however, dismissed the case. The Liberty Legal Institute then appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ……"

Washington Post 6/4/00 Craig Timberg "….. CHILHOWIE, Va. - Derrek Martin's worn black Bible is a source of inspiration to him, God's own word revealed and true. And for a few months at the public high school here in this Southwest Virginia town, it was also his textbook. Martin, 18, and the 41 other students who have completed "Bible History" courses at Chilhowie High School are part of a national experiment aimed at returning the Bible to public schools decades after educators, fearing the wrath of the U.S. Supreme Court, tossed it out……… A growing number of educators and interest groups agree that teaching about the Bible and other religious texts is vital to a well-rounded education. But watchdog groups argue that such courses can tread perilously close to government-sponsored religious indoctrination, which the U.S. Constitution forbids. The line is thin, they say, between teaching about the Bible and teaching from the Bible......."

Catholic News 6/2/00 "…..The Diocese of Kaduna, Nigeria, said on Monday that a priest was murdered by Muslim extremists last week and a bounty had been placed on the head of all Catholic priests. The diocesan spokesman, Fr Peter Yakubu, said 26-year-old Father Clement Ozi Bello, who was ordained just last year, was stopped as he drove to his parish and dragged from his car by a mob. Fr Yakubu said the assailants tied up Father Ozi Bello, gouged out his eyes, and then killed him. He added that Father Ozi Bello was from a Muslim family and had converted to Christianity. ……"

phillynews.com 6/3/00 Ron Goldwyn "…… The local United Methodists' sedate debate over homosexuality came out onto a city sidewalk last night. The Methodist Federation for Social Action held a candlelight prayer vigil outside Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, Broad and Fitzwater streets, in solidarity with gays and lesbians who are barred from ordination or holy unions. The social action group "supports the elimination of heterosexism in the United Methodist Church," said organizer the Rev. Jay Newlin, of Drexel Hill UMC. "We are standing in support of those who won't be ordained because of their sexual orientation." Afterward, some of the 100 or so demonstrators went inside for the Methodists' annual ordination service of 23 clergy members. It was designed to celebrate the denomination's diversity as part of the four-day Eastern Pennsylvania Conference that concludes tomorrow. ……"

Religion Today 6/8/00 "…… Thu. Jun. 8 -- A crew from the Washington, D.C., Department of Public Works arrived at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church June 1, disconnected the new $5,000 sign, loaded it onto a flatbed truck, and drove away, The Washington Post reported. On the sign were the words, "Was it Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve?" and a reference to Genesis 2:18-25, which describes God creating Eve for Adam. …… The church says it was not the sign, but what was on the sign that angered residents. "If the gay community can rally and have a movement to support their right to a cause, why can't we freely express our beliefs?" pastor Harold D. Lewis, Sr., said. ……"

WorldNetDaily 6/8/00 Julie Foster "…..The Clinton administration collaborated with Cuba in the Elian Gonzalez matter, according to government documents obtained by Judicial Watch. ……."These 'smoking gun' documents help prove what we've suspected -- that the Clinton-Gore administration was doing the bidding of Fidel Castro when they raided the Gonzalez home using 151 armed federal agents," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ………Additionally, Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner expressly orchestrated the visit of Elian's grandmothers. Another message, dated Jan. 15, shows Meissner planned the January 2000 in consultation with Cuba, and that INS knew it could not seize Elian without a court order. Meissner also sought to hide the agency's role in the visit. "We spent a great deal of time discussing how the grandmothers' visit could be facilitated," the email reads. "The conclusion reached was that INS cannot assume the role of facilitator for this visit nor provide access to Elian. DM [Doris Meissner] was FIRM (sic) about not having any INS involvement in this initiative. If our conversations in Cuba can proceed with the understanding that INS would not be involved, then DM would be most interested in hearing more about this idea." ……."

WorldNetDaily 6/8/00 Julie Foster "…..But the INS memo clearly shows the agency was indeed involved in making the visit happen and that it even used the Catholic Church in the process. "Our contacts in Miami believe that the Catholic Church in Miami would respond to a direct (via Cardinal Ortego) request from the grandmothers for the church's assistance in scheduling a visit," wrote INS employee Janelle Jones in what she prescripts as a summary of a meeting with Meissner. "Miami's advice was to have the grandmothers use Cardinal Ortega's office to make contact with either Cardinal Law or Archbishop Favalora in Miami. Such a plea coming from the grandmothers would be very difficult for the church to ignore. Absent a direct request from the family, no one thinks the Miami church will get involved," Jones continued. ……"

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 6/5/00 George Archibald "….."JUSCANZ attempted to hijack the preparatory negotiations in March by pushing a consensus over issues regarded as objectionable and unconstitutional by many developing nations, the Arab nations, and the Holy See," the Vatican's delegation at the United Nations, said Maria Sophia Aguirre, an NGO representative of the National Institute of Womanhood, based in Bethesda, Md. "Perhaps one of the more contentious of the JUSCANZ-backed issues was language regarding the reproductive rights of the girl-child," Mrs. Aguirre said. "Such language aimed to ensure the girl-child's right to a 'full realization' of her sexuality and sought to entitle the girl-child to private and confidential sexual and reproductive information, counseling and services 'both in and out of school' by implementing national mechanisms, policies and programs." Mrs. Aguirre said the attempted expansion of U.N. women's rights initiatives to cover minor children in the sexual realm has "angered" women from less-developed countries, where religious faith is strong......."

NY Post 6/4/00 Linda Massarella "….. A book that suggests the Catholic priesthood is becoming a gay profession has quietly become a bestseller among priests and Catholics. Copies of "The Changing Face of Priesthood," written by the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, have sold out of many Catholic bookstores - and currently ranks 64th on Amazon.com's bestseller list. "It's doing pretty well. Not super-duper, but not badly at all," Sister Joshua, who works at the Catholic book store Pauline Books and Media on East 52nd Street, said yesterday. "We sold our copies and had to order it a couple of times." ...... The book is a hard look at the church written by a respected priest, the head of the St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland who previously penned a book on priestly spirituality. ……… Cozzens blames the Vatican's unwillingness to talk about the culture of celibacy imposed on priests and that "recent clerical scandals of sexual misconduct with young boys have severely tarnished their collective reputation." Cozzens, who did not conduct his own studies, says he gleaned the information first-hand and from published articles. "At issue at the beginning of the 21st century is the growing perception - one seldom contested by those who know the priesthood well - that the priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession." He also asserts that the number of gay seminarians who have "sexual contacts and romantic unions" is high enough to make some straight seminarians very uncomfortable. ......"

Breakpoint 6/1/00 Charles Colson "…… If the average person were asked to name the top religion stories of the past year, chances are they'd remember a scandal involving a minister, a battle over church-state relations, or maybe an assault on religious people or their churches. In his new book, HOW THE NEWS MAKES US DUMB, John Sommerville says there's a reason why the media's coverage of religion is always so negative: it's because religion and daily news simply don't mix. We all remember the headlines about how outraged Hindu and Jewish leaders became over the reports that Baptists were planning to pray for their conversion. The networks were all over that story. Sex scandals involving clergy always make page one, so they're hard to forget. And remember all those Y2K stories? Many focused on how those crazy religious folks were stocking up on Spam, and bracing for the end. ...... Sommerville says there's a good reason why church controversies get publicity, while good works go unnoticed. It's because religion and the news are polar opposites in their approach to life. "Religion celebrates what we believe to be settled and even eternal," Sommerville says. But the news is about change and excitement. So reporters yawn when Christians go to church or volunteer at soup kitchens. ……"

Baptist Press 6/5/00 John Yeats "……When ABC (Disney's educational media wing) news program "20/20" aired across the country May 12, you knew quickly there was an agenda to discredit the beliefs of those of us who believe we are saved by the blood of Jesus as revealed in the Bible. The comparative approach by the producers-turned-editorialists weighed heavily on the side of multicultural pluralism. ……. The segment, by ABC News religion correspondent Peggy Wehmeyer, centered on a 12-year-old Jewish boy in the Dallas area who made a profession of faith in Christ last year at a Southern Baptist church youth rally and subsequently declined to proceed with his planned bar mitzvah, the Jewish community's formal acknowledgment that a child has become an adult in matters of faith and reason. ……. The parents of the young man were upset to learn their son had embraced Jesus as the Christ. After his parents and Hebrew school principal counseled with him, the youth recanted the conversion and, according to the program, plans to proceed with the Jewish ceremony later this year. ……..The producers of this 20/20 segment chose this event as a platform to comment on those of us who believe in the exclusivity of the gospel, that there is only one way to God, Jesus Christ. The program cast Southern Baptists as people who are hard-nosed, Bible-thumping biblicists, who are intolerant of other faith systems. …… The reality is, our definition of "tolerant" is rather normative. We oppose the coercion of people belonging to other faith groups, but at the same time we reserve the right to lovingly share with all people the gospel truth. Tolerance does not mean other belief systems are equal in value to the truth about our God revealed in the Bible. We believe the truth of God's Word is complete, and we are compelled to obey its teaching. ......"

Baptist Press 6/5/00 John Yeats "……To make matters worse, the ABC program stated there are "Christian" groups -- the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the United Presbyterian Church -- that discourage the conversion of Jews. The program went on to state that many Christian denominations, including moderate Baptist affinity groups, believe one can get to heaven without believing in Jesus. Jim Sibley, an interfaith evangelism missionary for the North American Mission Board, said, "It's evident our society does not want to hear that the Bible says there is only one way to God." One member of a faith group said on the 20/20 program, "That kind of religious exclusivity just doesn't belong in today's society anymore." ……… The above statement is illustrative of the new politically correct bigotry that exists against those who hold to the teachings of God's Word. Baptists have a past, and contemporary, history of giving people the liberty to believe differently than we do. However, we also reserve the right to privately and publicly disagree with those who reject or disbelieve the Bible. We take a lot of heat protecting the religious liberties of those who disagree with us, but we have the same the liberty to publicly share the truth about Jesus. …….We have become a minority voice in our culture. If you listen to the media moguls, they would lead you to believe that Bible-believing Christians are what is wrong with America today……"

MSNBC 6/16/00 "…..BRIDGEPORT, Conn., June 16 - A state committee under fire for dropping the Boy Scouts of America off the list of eligible charities for state employee payroll deductions is now taking heat from the Roman Catholic Church. State workers can contribute to a Catholic organization that supports abortion, birth control and endorses the concept of married women and men for the priesthood. And the inclusion of Catholics for a Free Choice on the payroll deduction list has drawn fire from the Diocese of Bridgeport and the New York-based Catholic League. ……..It's the latest dispute facing the Connecticut State Employee Campaign Committee, which determines the charities eligible for donations from state workers. The Boy Scouts of America are suing the state for being bumped from the list after state officials concluded the Scouts ban on hiring gay leaders violates state discrimination laws. ….."

EWTN 6/18/00 Alberto Carosa "…..Rome. If what happened last Saturday evening, June 10th, in one of the most central squares in historic Rome, piazza del Pantheon, can be regarded as a foretaste or a dress rehearsal of the upcoming World Gay festival, then the most pessimistic fears of those who had previously cautioned about its highly controversial nature, cannot but be corroborated. In fact last Saturday evening a hundred homosexuals gathered to protest what they view as the unjust exclusion of the Colosseum from their July 1-8 itinerary, vowing to proceed with their plans irrespective of the authorities orders to use a different route. Whether by coincidence or design, their somewhat vociferous protest was taking place before a Catholic Church, while inside the solemn vespers for Pentecost were being celebrated by Msgr Virgilio Levi. ……… Now, if hundred thousand homosexuals are expected to converge from around the world to Rome in early July, who can guarantee that many other churches will not be likewise besieged? ……"

EWTN 6/18/00 Alberto Carosa "….." And in a subsequent tirade in Milan-based Il Giornale (June 5, 2000) the extreme left "guru" and post-communit MEP Gianni Vattimo, who is also an avowed homosexual, proclaimed: "The gay parade is against the Catholic Church and rightly so". This increasingly hardline attitude is plunging gays into a growing moral isolation, as is evidenced by the increasing number of left wing politicians who have been backtracking on their initial, wholehearted support of the Gay Pride. There are commentators who explain these turnarounds, which infuriated the powerful gay lobbies, with the fact that various campaigns by Catholic NGOs are starting to bite. ……… "

EWTN 6/18/00 Alberto Carosa "…..In a full page interview in the major Rome's conservative daily Il Tempo (June 9,2000), prof. Roberto de Mattei, president of another organization in the forefront of the opposition against the Gay Pride, claimed that the event to be staged in Rome in early July has to be seen against the background of an overall strategy pursued by a gigantic international lobby to destabilise the principles of traditional society. "The homosexual lobby do not simply call for certain freedoms to be acknowledged, freedoms that it in fact already has", he argued. "Its ultimate aim is the homosexualization of society and discrimination against traditional-minded people. In other words, hatred against homosexual persons as such is incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel, hatred against the homosexual practice and, most of all, homosexual ideology is a duty for all Christians". ......,:

Orlando Sentinel 6/18/00 Charlie Reese "…..Suppose, as the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci advocated, that an attempt is being made to control the Western mind. Suppose that "control of the Western mind is to be achieved not only by means of the dishonest use of language, but also through operations to demoralize the West through corrosive attacks on society's institutions, the active promotion of drug abuse, and the spread of agnosticism, nihilism, permissiveness and concerted attacks on the family in order to destabilize the society." The quotation is from a forward to the book The Perestroika Deception by Anatoliy Golitsyn, a former KGB officer who defected in 1961. Even though this book was published in 1995, it is Golitsyn's earlier book New Lies for Old, published in 1980, that lends credibility to Golitsyn. …….. In that first book, nearly a decade before it happened, Golitsyn predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall, the apparent collapse of communism and the apparent liberalization of Soviet society. He stated that it was all part of a grand strategy of strategic deception. He hasn't changed his mind. ……..The idea is to lull the West into disarmament and to create the conditions in the West that would make it easy for it to converge into a new world order, run, of course, by the communists. Is it true or is it paranoia? …….Religion is under such constant attack by secularists that most journalists think that routine beliefs about the Bible are "controversial." There is, for example, no question whatsoever that the Christian Bible condemns homosexual behavior and clearly does not authorize women to be pastors or priests. That may be news to the secular crowd, but it's ancient history to those of us who grew up in that old-time religion. ……. "

WBAL 6/22/00 Ron Smith "…….Western intellectuals have a grand time scoffing at the backwardness of religious fundamentalists, particularly Islamic fundamentalists. Secure in their supposed freedom of thought, they worry in their columns and their magazine articles about the threat to honest inquiry and debate posed by the mullahs of the Iran, the insurgents in Algeria, and the militants in Egypt. How retrograde, how unenlightened, how repulsive the enforcement of religious dogma seems to them. …….. The Supreme Court rules that invoking God before high school football games in Texas violates the First Amendment, and that non-believers or believers in other faiths must be protected from the beliefs of the majority being inflicted upon them. …….

WBAL 6/22/00 Ron Smith "……. Our own taboos are enforced as rigorously as those of the Islamic world. But they are not the taboos of the Southern Baptists or the Catholic Church, rather the patchwork quilt of totemic beliefs of the political left. You think, perhaps, I exaggerate. If so, consider this. In Egypt and elsewhere in Muslim nations, writers and others who utter heretical thoughts are harassed and sometimes imprisoned. In Germany, France and Canada, such folks (whose heresy is to question the dogmatic assertions of the leftists) are harassed and sometimes imprisoned. The only thing that keeps Thought Crimes from being similarly punished in the United States is the First Amendment, which is under attack even as you read this. ………. Many devout Christians of our time witness the intelligentsia's relentless attacks on their faith and conclude we live in an age of skepticism and disbelief. But the fact is we humans must have faith because we are wired that way. What changes with time is not the amount of faith, but the direction it takes. Established faiths give way to new ones. And our society is very little different than, say, the Egyptian, in enforcing conformity…….."

Ether Zone 6/21/00 Shelley McKinney "…… The problem I have with the homosexual lobby is not with their homosexuality, which I view as just another sin in the long list of sins that every single one of us has committed: it's their arrogance that raises my hackles. The essence of the hate crimes legislation is to force an acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle on a largely unwilling American populace. I know a lot of evangelical Christians, and I don't know a single one who thinks that homosexuals should be persecuted, hated, or murdered. I don't know a single person who wasn't horrified by those disgusting "Christian" people who were holding up signs at Sheppard's funeral that read "God Hates Fags." But even that isn't good enough for the homosexual lobby. They will bear no dissent, and anyone who suggests that homosexuality is morally wrong had better be ready for his own personal onslaught of hate. I've been aware for a long time, as have you, no doubt, that there are certain kinds of bigotry which are acceptable and very politically correct, and it is very PC to vilify anyone who doesn't embrace homosexuality with joy. Our very opinions stand the risk of being monitored and judged by the PC crowd, and even right now, reasonable debate simply won't be tolerated. ......"

Charisma News 6/21/00 "……. Former actress and political activist Jane Fonda has spoken for the first time about her newfound Christian faith. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey for the TV chat show host's new "O" magazine, she talks about feeling "this incredible connection to God, or what I call the Holy Spirit." …… Raised in an agnostic home, the 62-year-old began her spiritual search about 10 years ago. She now attends a black Baptist church in Atlanta. "It's been difficult, because when you're famous and the word gets out that you're a Christian, every church is saying, 'Even Jane Fonda.' People come up to me in airports and throw their arms around me." ……The two-time Oscar winner widely vilified for her strong anti-Vietnam War stand says she will "go to her grave" regretting being photographed in a Vietcong antiaircraft carrier during a visit to the country. "It galvanized such hostility. It was just thoughtless. I wasn't thinking." ..."

LewRockwell.com 6/22/00 Judith Vinson "…… The Supreme Court decision declaring it unconstitutional for athletes to pray before games was not just a blow to religious freedom. For all us in Prosperity, Texas, the decree was downright dangerous. …….. A lot of good people here spent years flushing all the praying types out into open places where the worst that could happen was a few broken legs or an occasional fractured skull. The real reason high school football in Texas has a quasi-religious nature is because it's a place where the only sin is losing the game. …….The school day began, then, with a prayer. This was before it was learned how truly dangerous that might be. We prayed prayers that might last for a long time, not because we were really into it, since we had already made up our minds on the matter, but because we dreaded the day's lesson which usually consisted of something on the order of a sing-song session of verb conjugation. At the time, praying for the rain the farmers needed, but at the same time dooming all our daddies who were in the building trades, to be unable to pay their bills down at the lumber yard seemed less like courting disaster than the days' lessons. …….."

EWTN 6/22/00 "……The US House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to protect non-profit religious broadcasters by preventing the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the content of broadcasts by noncommercial radio and television stations.The bill, passed 264-159, allows a nonprofit organization to gain a noncommercial educational license if it broadcasts material that the organization determines serves an educational, instructional, cultural, or religious purpose. ..."

WorldNetDaily 6/24/00 Dr. Jerry Falwell "……While I was in Orlando, Fla., during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting earlier this month, I was interviewed by Dr. Richard Land, president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, for the denomination's "For Faith and Family" radio broadcast. During that interview, I told Dr. Land that religious conservatives are today the "most energized" they have been since they helped elect Ronald Reagan president in 1980. And I truly believe this to be true. …… ..."

WorldNetDaily 6/24/00 Dr. Jerry Falwell "……Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, apparently disagrees (at least in regard to conservatives speaking out). Mr. Lynn is attempting to silence religious conservatives at the voting booth this fall and has enacted a misinformation campaign designed to thwart the People of Faith 2000 effort. …….. Mr. Lynn, whose organization has filed several lawsuits against faith-based organizations, recently filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, saying that my appeal for donations through People of Faith 2000 defies bans on partisan politicking by tax-exempt groups. However, these donation appeals have been to raise funds to mail out voter registration information packets (containing absolutely no endorsements or candidate information) to hundreds of thousands of American pastors. ……… "

WorldNetDaily 6/24/00 Dr. Jerry Falwell "……Following my interview with Dr. Land at the SBC meeting, Mr. Lynn read an Associated Baptist Press account of my statements. He immediately fired-off a letter to Dr. Lamb in which he charged that SBC members listening to the program "would certainly conclude" that my "agenda" has the "official endorsement of the Southern Baptist Convention." ….. Furthermore, Mr. Lynn smugly threatened "to file more complaints with the IRS if necessary" -- a clear effort to intimidate Dr. Land and the SBC. (Such acts of attempted coercion are nothing new for Mr. Lynn, who bills himself as a "reverend," but -- by admission -- is ordained by an extremely liberal denomination and has never served any local church in a conventional pastoral role.) ...... "

WorldNetDaily 6/24/00 Dr. Jerry Falwell "……Richard Land, however, is not a man who is easily bullied. Without delay, he returned a well-reasoned response letter to Mr. Lynn in which he refused to "self-impose censorship on our guests as a result of the threats of an organization to file a complaint with the IRS, particularly when that complaint would have absolutely no merit." ......Dr. Land added, "Your letter demonstrates a total misunderstanding of the way the Southern Baptist Convention operates. You believe that many listeners would conclude that Rev. Falwell's agenda has the official endorsement of the Southern Baptist Convention because he is 'a Southern Baptist pastor and prominent leader in (the) denomination.' That view is not consistent with Southern Baptist polity, which emphasizes the autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of the believer. Southern Baptists are well aware that every local Southern Baptist church is an autonomous entity, and the pastor of a local church speaks only for that church and not for the entire denomination, even if he is a 'prominent' Southern Baptist. Both Al Gore and Clinton are well-known Southern Baptists, but nobody would presume that they speak on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention." ...... In other words, these thinly-veiled threats by Barry Lynn are not only empty, they are ineffective because the SBC will continue to take biblical stands on political and social issues. And I will continue to encourage pastors across this nation to make sure their congregations are registered to vote. ……"

CNSNews.com 6/23/00 Edward Blum Marc Levin "......The membership crisis that has plagued mainstream Christian and Jewish denominations for the last 25 years may be spreading to inner city black churches as well. ........ According to Carl Ellis, president of Project Joseph, a Tennessee-based Christian ministry, about two and one-half million American blacks classify themselves as Muslims. He believes that if the conversion rate continues unchanged, Islam could become the dominant religion in black urban areas by the year 2020.......... Considering that in the early 1930's there were only a few dozen black Muslims in the United States, Islam's growth has proven to be nothing short of incredible. Throughout the country, one cannot attend a black community event without the acolytes of the Nation of Islam visibly in attendance; well-dressed young men, arms folded, at attention, awaiting orders from their leader---the imam. In nearly every major American inner city, one can find a mosque, Islamic cultural center and school, and a halal butcher shop. ........ According to Muhammad, blacks once ruled the world, but were overturned 6000 years ago, when a renegade black scientist---Mr. Yakub---created the white race. ..... The new white race's reign over blacks was to end in 1914. Pipes speculates in a brilliant article published this month in Commentary magazine that this "history" offers blacks a palpable reason for their underachievement and weakness: white evil. It has the benefit also of "motivating blacks to prepare themselves through discipline and hard work to seize power." ......... Ellis believes that the traditional black church may have grown too Eurocentric and in the process, abandoned the strict moral and cultural leadership it once championed. ......For the great majority of young men in America's black ghettos, a father is tragically absent from family life. It has been estimated that over seventy percent of black births are out-of wedlock and the pathologies that exist in our inner cities find their genesis here. The Nation of Islam fills that void with an external discipline that young men of all races typically need........"

AFA Issues 6/23/00 Ted Baehr "…….On Monday night, ABC will present "Peter Jennings Reporting: The Search for Jesus." There is an important reason to be concerned about this program (which we have not yet reviewed): That reason is that, behind the program, are the anti-Christian crowd at the so-called Jesus Seminar. …….. Throughout the years we have presented many articles about the Jesus Seminar, a group funded in part by Norman Lear. The Jesus Seminar folks have spent their years vehemently attacking Jesus' divinity and undermining his credibility. In the tradition of 19th century biblical criticism, they have tried to find " a historical Jesus," but rather than use the sophisticated linguistic deceits that the German critics used to undermine faith in Jesus and prepare the way for the Nazi holocaust, the Jesus Seminar folks simply cast lots to determine whether what is attributed to Jesus in the Bible are his words or not. By casting lots, they say they've found that only 18 percent of the words attributed to Jesus in the Bible are his actual words. ….. Of course, this is ridiculous. The Jesus Seminar process is academically absurd and their theology is myopic and solipsistic. Their work has been dismissed by major scholars, both liberal and conservative. ……What may be of more concern about the ABC program is that ABC refused to allow the conservative or liberal scholars who disagreed with the Jesus Seminar, to present a counterpoint. ….."

Houston Chronicle 6/18/00 Julie Mason "…… THE Republican Party of Texas, in Houston last week for its glitzy, multimedia, $600,000 state party convention, is praying to continue dominating statewide politics -- literally, of course. Much has been made of the role that religious and social conservatives play in the state GOP. One prevailing theory attributed Gov. George Bush's decision to be elsewhere during the convention to concern over how his increasingly centrist campaign for president would be received by the more conservative delegates. ……. Back at the George R. Brown Convention Center, there was no shortage of proselytizing from the podium during three days of speeches, prayers and tributes at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. The defiant religious flavor of the event was in evidence throughout the convention hall. In the press room, Terry Lowry, publisher of the ultraconservative Christian Link Letter, was credentialed and working side-by-side with Texas journalists and news crews from France and Asia. ….."

Washington Post 6/20/00 Bill Miller "….. Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in the Texas school prayer case could fuel challenges to laws providing for moments of silence in public schools, including a measure in Virginia that takes effect this fall, lawyers and advocates said....... The ruling struck down a school district policy that permitted student-led prayer at high school football games, reinforcing earlier court decisions prohibiting school districts from official actions that coerce participation in religious activity…….. But Virginia Attorney General Mark L. Earley, who last week advised public school officials that they could mention prayer as an option for the minute of silence, predicted the state law would pass constitutional muster. "We see no reason why today's unfortunate decision about student-led prayer at football games will have an effect on Virginia's moment of silence legislation," he said…….."

Washington Post 6/20/00 Bill Miller "….. Jay Alan Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, who argued on behalf of the Texas school district policy, noted a passage in the majority opinion, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, that nothing in the Constitution "prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during or after the school day.".……. Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court struck down an Alabama law mandating a minute of silence in public schools because its wording amounted to what the justices viewed as an endorsement of religion. Since then, numerous states have enacted laws with language tailored to convey a secular purpose. The Virginia law says that pupils may "meditate, pray or engage in any other silent activity which does not interfere with . . . other pupils."….."

Washington Post 6/20/00 Bill Miller "….. John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, a conservative civil liberties group that backed the Santa Fe policy, said he believed students still could thank God or make spontaneous religious statements on their own at school events. In 1990, for example, the court gave high school students the right to meet on their own in Bible and prayer clubs on public school campuses.......The bottom line, Whitehead said, is that school districts cannot in any way direct the saying of prayers. "The schools are going to have to back off," he said……."

Fox Newws 6/19/00 Mark Babineck "……The Supreme Court has spoken, but that doesn't necessarily mean there won't be any prayers anymore before football games at Santa Fe High. In a 6-3 ruling Monday, the court barred school officials in this Houston suburb of 10,000 from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before games. However, school board member Robin Clayton warned that the mostly Baptist district cannot control what students or others say on their own. "Spontaneous things happen, don't they?'' Clayton said at a news conference. …….The high court said the school improperly sponsored religion by allowing the student body to elect someone to give an invocation before football games. School board members said they do not yet know what kind of rules will be adopted in place of the old ones. ……"We got a very disappointing, disturbing and disillusioning answer from the Supreme Court this morning,'' said John Couch II, president of the Santa Fe school system for the past two years. ……"

New York Times 6/20/00 David Stout "…..The Supreme Court handed down its most important decision on school prayer in years today, declaring that it is unconstitutional for public school districts to allow students to lead crowds in prayer before high school football games. ……. The majority, in an opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, flatly rejected the contention of the school district, voiced in arguments on March 29, that an individual student chosen by election, and not told by district officials what to say, was a mere "circuit-breaker" for the message to be delivered. Therefore, the district maintained, the pregame prayer did not place school officials in the position of crossing the line between church and state. ……Justice Stevens wrote that the school district "asks us to pretend that we do not recognize what every Santa Fe High School student understands clearly -- that this policy is about prayer." …….. Justice Stevens repeated the language the court used eight years ago, in the school-graduation case: "The 'degree of school involvement' makes it clear that the pregame prayers bear 'the imprint of the state and thus put school-age children who objected in an untenable position." …….The plaintiffs in today's case, who were allowed to sue anonymously, were not atheists or agnostics but rather a Roman Catholic and Mormon family. ….."

ABCNEWS 6/19/00 Dalia Sussman "….Public support for school prayer extends beyond the classroom: Most Americans also say students should be able to lead prayers at after-school activities, such as sporting events. The Supreme Court ruled today that student-led prayers before football games at a Texas public school violates the separation of church and state. But two-thirds of Americans surveyed for an ABCNEWS.com poll in March took the opposite view, siding with the school district's contention that student-led prayer is a matter of free speech. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said students should be permitted to use the PA system to lead the audience in prayer at public school activities, such as sporting events. Fewer than three in 10 opposed it……"

WorldNetDaily 6/20/00 Joseph Farah "…..Many people will be outraged by the Supreme Court decision yesterday that students in government schools cannot lead prayer at public events. I'm not. Oh, don't get me wrong. I know it's a bad decision. Clearly, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are correct in their dissent. ………. But, at this point in America's history, it might just be best that we all understand the inevitability of such decisions. Cast your children's fate to the government and this is what you will get. Government schools have one purpose -- to turn your kids into walking, talking government automatons, devoid of religious values, unable to think for themselves, ready, willing and able to serve the state as their highest authority. That's what this decision illustrates oh so clearly. ……"

Catholic World News Service (Vatican Update) 6/19/00"…… The formal publication of the "third secret" of Fatima, together with a commentary prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will take place on June 26. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will present the new document to the media, along with the secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone. The text will be published simultaneously in several different languages. The 40-page document contains a reproduction of the manuscript written by Lucia dos Santos, one of the three children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima in 1917. Lucia-- the sole survivor among the Fatima seers, who is now a Carmelite nun living in Coimbra, Portugal-- wrote down the message in 1944. …… Until this year, only the first two parts of the message conveyed to the children by the Virgin had been made public. Those first two parts included a vision of Hell, a prediction of World War II, a call to prayer and repentance, and a warning that the Church would face persecutions which could only be overcome by the consecration of the world to Mary. The "third secret" had been very closely guarded, until on May 13 of this year Cardinal Angelo Sodano announced-- at the explicit request of Pope John Paul II-- that the message would soon be made public in its entirety. Cardinal Sodano made that announcement at Fatima, were he accompanied the Pope to celebrate the canonization of the two deceased Fatima seers. ......Cardinal Sodano said that the "third secret" concerned the "battle of the atheistic systems against the Church and against Christians. Of the 28 lines of the message, 2 lines refer to a bishop "dressed in white" who is shot down while marching toward the Cross. That vision apparently refers to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981, on May 13-- the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. ..."

LII -- Legal Information Institute 6/19/00 Chief Justice Rehnquist, with whom Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas join, dissenting...... "…..SANTA FE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DIST. v. DOE (99-62) 168 F.3d 806, affirmed. Syllabus……. The Court distorts existing precedent to conclude that the school district's student-message program is invalid on its face under the Establishment Clause. But even more disturbing than its holding is the tone of the Court's opinion; it bristles with hostility to all things religious in public life. Neither the holding nor the tone of the opinion is faithful to the meaning of the Establishment Clause, when it is recalled that George Washington himself, at the request of the very Congress which passed the Bill of Rights, proclaimed a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God." Presidential Proclamation, 1 Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, p. 64 (J. Richardson ed. 1897). ......... The Court, venturing into the realm of prophesy, decides that it "need not wait for the inevitable" and invalidates the district's policy on its face. See ante, at 24. To do so, it applies the most rigid version of the oft-criticized test of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).1……….. Even if it were appropriate to apply the Lemon test here, the district's student-message policy should not be invalidated on its face. The Court applies Lemon and holds that the "policy is invalid on its face because it establishes an improper majoritarian election on religion, and unquestionably has the purpose and creates the perception of encouraging the delivery of prayer at a series of important school events." Ante, at 26. The Court's reliance on each of these conclusions misses the mark....... First, the Court misconstrues the nature of the "majoritarian election" permitted by the policy as being an election on "prayer" and "religion."2 See ante, at 22, 26. To the contrary, the election permitted by the policy is a two-fold process whereby students vote first on whether to have a student speaker before football games at all, and second, if the students vote to have such a speaker, on who that speaker will be. App. 104-105. It is conceivable that the election could become one in which student candidates campaign on platforms that focus on whether or not they will pray if elected. It is also conceivable that the election could lead to a Christian prayer before 90 percent of the football games. If, upon implementation, the policy operated in this fashion, we would have a record before us to review whether the policy, as applied, violated the Establishment Clause or unduly suppressed minority viewpoints. But it is possible that the students might vote not to have a pregame speaker, in which case there would be no threat of a constitutional violation. It is also possible that the election would not focus on prayer, but on public speaking ability or social popularity. And if student campaigning did begin to focus on prayer, the school might decide to implement reasonable campaign restrictions.3…….. But the Court ignores these possibilities by holding that merely granting the student body the power to elect a speaker that may choose to pray, "regardless of the students' ultimate use of it, is not acceptable." Ante, at 25. The Court so holds despite that any speech that may occur as a result of the election process here would be private, not government, speech. The elected student, not the government, would choose what to say. …."

American Family Association 6/20/00 Rusty Pugh "…..Yesterday's 6-to-3 ruling by the Supreme Court striking down prayer at high school football games has brought reaction from the father of one of the defendants, from a leading pro-family group, and from the Presidential hopefuls of both major political parties. ……. In the Santa Fe Independent School District vs Doe case, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that student-initiated prayer before football games is unconstitutional and amounts to a government endorsement of religion. The father of a student involved in this case says he is surprised that his daughter's private prayer should be seen as representing the school district. ......Ward says the decision will draw a strong reaction in the Texas community. A poll conducted by ABC News in March indicated that two-thirds of Americans believe that students should be permitted to lead such prayers. ...... Crystal Roberts, Legal Policy Analyst for the Family Research Council, says government schools have no business censoring student religious speech, and that allowing students to speak about their faith in public in the their own words does not create a government endorsement of religion. She says the court's decision is nothing short of antagonistic hostility. ….."

American Family Association 6/20/00 Rusty Pugh "….."It appears to me that there is a clear hostility towards religious beliefs and expression coming from this opinion," Roberts says. "They were very quick and eager to come to a decision that is blatantly hostile to religious expression in public schools." ......Roberts says the decision may be a reflection of society today. "I think the court to a certain degree may just be reflective of what's in our culture today," she says. "The court's opinion seems to present an approach by the six members that signed on to the majority opinion that assumes religious speech is bad, religious expression is bad, and religious activity is bad, and that only a negative can result from religious expression and religious activity that occurs in public." ……Roberts says the court has made a high school student an agent of the state and then censored her prayer, trampling her free speech and free exercise rights. ….."

American Family Association 6/20/00 Rusty Pugh "……The Senate is expected to vote this afternoon on a so-called "hate crimes" bill. A pro-family attorney believes this could lead to ministers being arrested for preaching the Gospel. …….. The Senate should vote today on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Pat Trueman, Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, says if this bill passes, it will inhibit the free speech of spiritually based people in this country. Trueman says the measure would make it illegal for anyone with a Biblical view to speak out against homosexuality. …… "For example, if a minister lectures his parish or church on homosexuality and intimates that it is wrong," Trueman says, "then someone in the church may go out and do something to offend a homosexual, and the pastor will be considered to have committed a crime in inciting an act against a homosexual." …….. Trueman also says a double standard exists in enforcement of so-called hate crimes. He says there is no evidence to indicate that crimes committed by homosexuals or minorities are ever been treated as hate crimes. ….."

electronictelegraph (UK) 6/20/00 Sean O’Neill "….. A BISHOP gave his blessing yesterday to a vicar who is to have a sex change operation before resuming his ministry as a woman. The Rev Peter Stone, 46, who will be known as Carol, is the first serving priest in the Church to have "gender redesignation" treatment. The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Rev Barry Rogerson, said there were "no ethical or ecclesiastical legal reasons why the Rev Carol Stone should not continue in ministry in the Church of England". He said he had researched the issue of transsexualism and consulted Lambeth Palace before approving Mr Stone's continued ministry. ……"

Salon.com news 6/20/00 Kerry Lauerman "…… O n Tuesday, the titans of the religious right will meet in Washington for an annual summit of sorts to discuss how entertainment programming is harming American families. But this time, topping the agenda of the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council and the American Family Association will be the free speech rights of an orthodox Jew: Dr. Laura Schlessinger……Conservative Christians are lining up behind the controversial talk-show host, calling her the latest victim of an "anti-family" crusade. ……… Defending the wildly popular radio conservative who has more than 14 million listeners immediately became a cause for the religious right. "The television airwaves are rapidly embracing indoctrination, as honest debate is apparently no longer important," the Rev. Jerry Falwell said as he jumped to Dr. Laura's defense. ……"

Salon.com news 6/20/00 Kerry Lauerman "……Of course there's irony in members of the Christian right defending someone they think is going to hell. ("Yes, anyone needs to accept Jesus Christ to be saved," says Focus on the Family spokesman Tom Minnery. "Even Dr. Laura.") But that hasn't stopped them from taking up her cause, and doing it mighty effectively. On May 22, Focus on the Family's leader James Dobson jumped to her defense, telling his radio-show listeners (which Focus estimates at 3 million a week), "There must be pluralism in this country." He admitted that Dr. Laura "does not claim to be a Christian -- she's Jewish -- but she's taken a strong stand for moral principles: the 10 Commandments and traditional parenthood and so on." ......"

AFR Issues 6/21/00 Rusty Pugh Fred Jackson "……. Pro-family groups are expressing shock and alarm that the U.S. Senate yesterday passed an amendment extending the federal prosecution for so-called "hate crimes." By a vote of 57 to 42, the Senate passed the amendment by Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts that extends the federal government's prosecution of hate crimes to include gender, disability, and sexual orientation. The Traditional Values Coalition calls it "a defeat for families and a victory for homosexual activists" who wanted this amendment because it gives them a special status. "Every crime is a hate crime," TVC spokesman Andrea Lafferty says. "No special interest group should be singled out for extra legal protections." ……. "The ultimate goal of homosexuals is to criminalize any criticism of their behavior," she says. Lafferty believes this amendment moves them one step closer to that goal. ……. "

Miami Herald 6/21/00 George F Will "…….. And you thought that the Supreme Court could not further split repeatedly split hairs concerning what activities with a religious flavor, however optional or faint, in or around public schools violate the Constitution's ban on ``establishment'' of religion. ...... ….. This case lengthens the court's meandering record of on-again, off-again, and occasionally partial, adherence to a three-pronged test to decide when public policy that touches religion, however tangentially, constitutes ``establishment'' of religion: The policy is constitutional if, but only if:
It has a secular purpose.
Its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion.
It does not foster excessive entanglement with religion.
.........The three-pronged test disregards the intention of the framers of the Establishment Clause, which was to ensure government neutrality between religious factions, not between religion and irreligion. And the test has produced some peculiar, even hilarious, rulings, such as the one in 1983, when the court, allowing political prudence to trump the logic of its illogical precedents, said that Nebraska's legislature could continue beginning each session with a prayer by a paid chaplain. …… Pity the poor chaplain, who suffered the indignity of a court declaration that he did not have the primary effect of advancing religion. …….. Among the first acts of the First Congress, which wrote the First Amendment with its Establishment Clause, were the hiring of a chaplain, and the urging of President Washington to proclaim a day of ``public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.'' ......But, then, Washington at least did not proclaim it over a public-address system……"

Electronic Telegraph 6/20/00"….. AFTER trying out the roles of Oscar-winning actress, liberal activist, fitness guru and billionaire's wife, Jane Fonda has undergone yet another transformation. She now appears to have found peace as a devout Christian, worshipping at a local black Baptist church and living in a spare room at her daughter's house in suburban Atlanta. …….. Since separating from her third husband, the CNN founder Ted Turner, Miss Fonda, 62, has been piecing together her life by staying with her daughter Vanessa. She hopes soon to move into a flat in central Atlanta where she can concentrate on her work curbing teenage pregnancy - far from the fancy suburbs where she used to live with Mr Turner. ……In an interview in Oprah Winfrey's new magazine O, a chastened and more temperate Miss Fonda expresses her remorse for some of her youthful actions and reflects on her marriage to the mercurial Mr Turner. She reserves her deepest regrets for having posed for a photograph with North Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War - an action which earned her the nickname "Hanoi Jane" and the contempt of American troops. …….."

AP 6/20/00 "……High school football games in at least one Louisiana parish will keep starting with a prayer, in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling that calls the practice unconstitutional. ``If we get an objection, we'll stop it, we'll follow the law,'' said James Charles, acting superintendent of Terrebonne Parish schools. Charles said Tuesday no one had complained about the prayers yet. ….."

CBN News 6/20/00 "…….Commenting on the latest Supreme Court decision to ban student-led prayer at a Texas high school football game, Pat Robertson says, "We have now the tyranny of an oligarchy: six people deciding to strike down the clear desire of the people of Texas, the clear desire of the people of the United States, to have a religious observance to let their children pray. This was voluntary prayer by students."……… On today's broadcast of The 700 Club, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), talks with Pat Robertson about the decision.
PAT ROBERTSON: Jay, it's not that they brought the ruling, but the thing that shocks you is how hostile it was to the things of religion.
JAY SEKULOW: As you know, I argued the case at the Supreme Court. We went in there knowing that it was going to be a tough case. I said I think there will be a split decision. I suspect they'll strike down the policy, but we may get positive language. I was in the courtroom yesterday when they read the opinion. With Justice Stephens, there was nothing positive about what he wrote. And what you just said is the key: 'This blisters with hostility toward religion.'
The idea that a private student, a student speaker, can be censored because the word she's uttering is a prayer is repugnant to the Constitution. It converts prayer into pornography. They're treating those words, 'In Jesus' name' -- that's the big issue in these cases -- like they're pornography.
Now we have six justices of the United States Supreme Court who say it is OK to stifle a student's speech if that speech is a prayer. Six justices opposed three that went with us. Clearly Justice Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas carry our position, but in the minority. There are two Roman Catholics, Reagan appointees O'Conner and Kennedy.
There are cases coming down in the next day: a partial birth abortion case, a Boy Scouts case with homosexuals in leadership and an abortion protest case. They're coming down in the next three days. I don't know. Win, lose or draw? The reality is that we'll have to continue to fight the cases despite the fact that we have a court that is often bristling with hostility. ……"

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 6/21/00 "…… It's being billed as the U.S. Supreme Court's most far-reaching school prayer decision in nearly a decade. Pity that this one, too, is so perverted. In 1992 the court offered an outlandish rejection of clergy-led invocations and benedictions at high school graduation ceremonies. In 2000, an equally ghastly decision bars students from leading stadium crowds in prayers before high school football games. …….In a 6-3 decision on Monday, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority that pre-game prayers violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: ``Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ...'' Of course, as was the case eight years ago, the court majority this time also seemed to dismiss the rest of that clause, ``... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' …….Chief Justice William Rehnquist led the dissent (with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas). They concluded that the majority not only ``distorted existing precedent'' but added a measure of ``hostility to all things religious in public life.'' ………. As Mr. Justice Rehnquist put it, ``Neither the holding nor the tone of the (majority) opinion is faithful to the meaning of the Establishment Clause when it is recalled that George Washington himself, at the request of the very Congress which passed the Bill of Rights, proclaimed a day of `public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.''' ……"

The Wall Street Journal 6/21/00 "……. Good thing George Patton didn't have the U.S. Supreme Court with him in 1944 at Bastogne. That December Patton's troops found themselves bogged down in the Saar with bad weather, which allowed German panzers to attack without fear of Allied air support. Patton responded by calling in the army's padre. Not only did he order up a prayer for good weather, he had 3,200 copies of Training Letter No. 5 distributed to commanders throughout his army, emphasizing the importance of getting the men not to confine their prayers to church and services. Though released under the signature of the Third Army chaplain, there was no mistaking whence the order had come. "Be assured that this message on prayer has the approval, the encouragement, and the enthusiastic support of the Third United States Army Commander." Imagine what a Supreme Court that has just deemed unconstitutional a prayer broadcast over public school loudspeakers before football games would have done with that. ……"

Washington Times 6/22/00 "……To be a Coptic Christian in parts of Egypt can make a man a candidate for torture and imprisonment no matter how dubious the evidence……… Consider the case of Shayboub William Arthur. Following a double murder in August 1998, Egyptian police rounded up some 1,014 villagers, most of them Coptic Christians, from the town of al-Kosheh in Upper Egypt, including Mr. Arthur, as part of their "investigation." ……. For 34 days, they brutalized Mr. Arthur by hanging him from a window by his arms and legs in an effort to get him to testify against another suspect in the slayings. (When prosecutors examined Mr. Arthur Sept. 16 of that year, they found 12 documentable injuries to him, including marks on his wrist and feet from hanging as well as evidence the police applied electric shocks to his face, chest and back.)…….When Mr. Arthur declined to cooperate in this star chamber proceeding, police decided to charge him with the slayings. …... "This decision indicts the government because it proves that what the West has been saying is true - that there is no religious freedom in Egypt," Mamdouh Nakhla, Mr. Arthur's lawyer, said in an interview from Cairo. The defense has yet to receive the court's explanation for its ruling.......,There is, however, a wealth of evidence to suggest Mr. Arthur's innocence. For example, the night of the double murder, Mr. Arthur was with the mother of one of the victims and the father of the other. ….."

The Milwauke Journal-Sentinel 6/25/00 AP "……Presbyterian leaders gathering here this week will debate whether to ban blessings of same-sex unions even if the ceremonies stop short of marriage, the latest ecclesiastical conflict over recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Organizers of the annual meeting of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) hope a consensus reached at the weeklong gathering that convened Saturday will unify factions of traditionalists and reformers threatening to fragment the church over the issue of homosexual unions……..``The differences are real and serious ... and I hope the discussion will enable us to focus on the fundamental nature of our responsibility,'' said the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, who is required to remain neutral on policy debates in his supervisory position in the denomination's General Assembly….."

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "…..A workshop about "The Religious Wrong" was conducted by gay activist Leif Mitchell at "Fistgate," where state teachers taught graphic sex to teenagers and teachers from across Massachusetts. ……Mitchell is the Community Educator/Trainer for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut and he is on the National board of GLSEN. He trains teachers and children about sex education in the classroom and how to integrate homosexuality into the curriculum of public schools. ……… Mitchell told the audience he follows the Religious Wrong "religiously" and has been infiltrating religious groups for many years. ……The program guide stated: "This workshop will explore ways to counteract the messages used by the Wrong. Participants will learn exactly what the Wrong is saying about 'us' (and who that includes) as well as develop strategies to tackle opposition..."

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "…..After his brief introduction, Mitchell showed a video to the audience containing hate speech against Christians and other people of faith. "The video was very disturbing," one teacher told Massachusetts News. "They showed various images and quotes from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to give the impression that their views were shared by all religious adversaries. It was an attack on all people of faith. Anyone who disagreed with Mr. Mitchell was labeled a homophobe and compared to Robertson and Falwell. Mr. Mitchell concluded after the video 'This is who we are fighting! This is the religious right!'" ……..The teacher said she thought the conference was supposed to be about safe schools and stopping discrimination. "To think that David Driscoll and the Department of Education would be preaching religious hatred to students and teachers under the pretense of safe schools was frightening. And they were using our tax dollars to endorse it. This was nothing more than a government -sponsored attack on religion and anyone who disagrees with the gay political agenda on the far left," she said. ……."

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "…..At one point in the video they said 'Studies show that lesbians are the best mothers in America. Are you interested in the truth Pat (Robertson)?' The teacher says she was shocked. "I have been teaching for over 25 years and I've been studying these issues for over a decade. I have never seen a study that lesbians make better mothers. I was traumatized by what I was seeing. ……… Mitchell then asked the audience to break up into small discussion groups. The teacher recounts: "We were told to discuss our experiences and strategies on how to deal with religious opposition to gay activists in our communities. It didn't sound like tolerance to me. …"

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "…..Mitchell then talked about a website www.wiredstrategies.com/Hitler which compares religious people to Hitler and the Nazis. The website contains headlines such as: ………."Nazi Anti-Jewish Speech vs. Religious Right Anti-Gay Speech: Are They Similar?" The site shows a side-by-side comparison of Nazi propaganda against Jews during WWII with the "Christian anti-gay movement" of today saying: "...are fundamentalist Christians using anti-gay arguments that echo back to the Nazi era?" This page compares quotes from The Eternal Jew with Christian conservatives' modern-day quotes about gay Americans. ……..Mitchell spoke of religious people, hatred, homophobia, religion and the religious wrong as though each word were synonymous, interchanging religion and the Religious Wrong with Hitler, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and even the murder of Matthew Sheppard. ……."

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "…..Mitchell outlined his strategies on combating the Religious Wrong "in your community."
1) Focus on Violence Prevention. Always go back to the issues of safety to explain why Gay/Straight Alliances need to be formed. "Violence helps us!" he said …..
2) Focus on Legal Perspectives, He used the 1996 lawsuit which was settled for $900,000. The suit was about Jamie Dboznia who was not protected from gay bashing by his school…
3) Put a Face on Homophobia. "Matthew Sheppard is a good example," Mitchell said…..
4) Use Statistics Effectively. "Just the Facts was sent to all Superintendents in the country," Mitchell said. "Now the opposition has a response, 'Just the Facts on Just the Facts,' but they have no credible organizations or data to support them in this, unlike the original which came from the Center for Disease Control and the Youth Risk Survey."
5) Build Coalitions Proactively with Like-minded Groups. "Be prepared and come together," he said. "Use the Coalition for Democracy, use the NAACP, The Anti-Defamation League and Planned Parenthood."

http://www.massnews.com/julgs4.htm 'Religious Wrong' Exposed at Fistgate Tom Duggan "….."Remember," Mitchell told the audience, "It is very important to tie the Religious Right to hatred." ……..The keynote speaker, Kevin Jennings, co-founder of GLSEN, also attacked religion and even used the Gospel to do so. He used the story of the widow's mite to motivate children in the audience to give all they can give to the gay and lesbian community. ……. "This is ridiculous," exclaimed one teacher in utter disbelief. "I know that Bible passage and it is a direct reference to giving all you can to God. How ironic that GLSEN is preaching hatred towards religious people, attacking religion as 'wrong' and at the same time they are quoting Jesus and twisting the scripture. ……..Another publication which was handed out included an article entitled: "Teaching Outside the Curriculum: Guerrilla Sex Education and the Public Schools" from the Radical Teacher, which listed its sponsor as "The Coalition for Positive Sexuality," which promotes the idea, "Just Say Yes." The article stated emphatically : "We hope that students do get ideas from our booklet - ideas about how to talk about sex as well as how to do it, how to get pleasure with their bodies as well as how to take care of them." ……"

The Daily Oklahoman 6/20/00 Diane Plumberg "….. "Amen" has started football games in Oklahoma for years, but the U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday outlawing prayer at football stadiums has left many students and school officials feeling bitter. Even though the case before the Supreme Court dealt with high schools, University of Oklahoma President David Boren canceled pre-game prayers this fall at all OU home football games. But he wasn't happy about it. "I strongly disagree with the court's decision," Boren said. "I am deeply disappointed that we will be forced to suspend this long-standing university tradition." ...... State schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett said she thought schools and courts had reached a compromise with prayer at athletic events by allowing students to lead prayers, instead of using administrators or ministers. …….. Gov. Frank Keating accused the Supreme Court of violating the Constitution instead of upholding it by interfering with students' rights to express themselves. ……"

The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 4, No 25 6/19/00 Tibor Machan "…… When the students in Carriere, Mississippi, recently became enraptured at their public high school, during a Fellowship of Christian Athletes' skit in which the character of Jesus appeared, some folks had a fit. Several reporters noted that civil libertarians claimed that a law was violated. What law? Presumably the First Amendment to the US Constitution. ……. Of course, government is not supposed to support religion. But what does this mean? It means that the institution that was established to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was not supposed to embark upon establishing some official church. Here and there, of course, God is mentioned - like on the dollar bill - but that is mostly non-denominational and hardly much to fret about for anyone, like me, who would cringe at a government established church or religion (such as they have in England and, especially and with a vengeance, in Iran). …….What is disturbing, however, is that so many places are now designated as public - as in public parks, schools, forests, roads, stadiums, symphony halls, museums and much, much more - that ordinary human religiosity is now locked in constant battle with what was a pretty sensible law when government was deemed to be limited. ……It should be noted, by the way, that strictly speaking the First Amendment is a prohibition on the federal government to establish a religion for the nation. ….You can have government stay out of religion if government does pretty much what it should, namely, keep the peace - protect our basic rights and what follows from this. ……Well, the answer is not to make government support religion but to get government separated from education. Another reason why the one-size-fits-all philosophy of public education is so wrong. And it provides a lesson why government ought to be reestablished as a limited organization instead of a bloated, meddling body that invades all realms of society. ….."

ABC 6/28/00 Geraldine Sealey "……The Supreme Court today ruled 6-3 that taxpayer money can be used to buy computers and other instructional materials for religious schools…….At issue in the closely watched case from Louisiana is a section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which provides funds to educational programs for services and equipment. The funds are to be shared with nonpublic schools, including parochial schools……. Today's ruling has vast implications on the national debate over the separation of church and state. …….. The appeals court decision was based on previous Supreme Court rulings that have generally prohibited aid to religious schools except for textbooks. More recently, the high court has allowed public school teachers to provide remedial aid to religious school students. But the parochial school parents have argued that the educational benefits provided by the federal program should take precedent…….. "

ABC 6/28/00 Geraldine Sealey "……Experts say the court had a chance with this case to clarify its interpretation of the "establishment clause," currently a concoction of conflicted rulings……. The court's decision gives a glimpse into the high court's stance on using taxpayer-funded vouchers to send students to religious schools, a passionate debate the court has yet to engage. By any measure, experts say, the case is one of the term's most significant…….The case is Mitchell vs. Helms, No. 98-1648. ….."

CBN 6/27/00 Craig con Buseck "……. I felt like I was back in college. I enrolled in a class called "Philosophy of Religion" during one semester at the politically liberal university I attended. As a Christian I was excited that I would be able to take a course that focused on the Bible. Well, the professor, a former Jesuit Priest, did focus on the Bible -- but his aim was to discredit the Scriptures and show how erroneous they were. I was so disheartened by the class that I wrote a song to encourage my classmates in their faith. I was reminded of that song as I watched the ABC News special, "Peter Jennings Reporting: The Search for Jesus." …… My answer to my professor and to Jennings is, "You don't know what you're missing." ……… Jennings started the program with the most noble of intentions. "We tried to be respectful of what people believe. After all, all but the most skeptical believe that Jesus actually lived." …….. Almost immediately, however, he began taking shots at the integrity of the Gospel accounts and the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Speaking of the Gospel writers, Jennings declared, "It is pretty much agreed they were not eye witnesses." I thought to myself, "Agreed by whom?" I spent a year and a half in seminary, and at my school it was pretty much agreed that the Gospels were what they said they were -- an eye witness account. ….. Don't get me wrong, folks. I don't mind a lively philosophical debate -- I enjoy it in fact. Let all the opinions be declared, and then let truth rise to the top. But to have a debate you must have opposing viewpoints. Jennings chose to only include the opinions of scholars who viewed the Bible as a human document, full of inconsistencies and error. There was not a single scholar who supported the view that the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God. ......"

Chicago Tribune 6/27/00 Steve Kloehn "……. Carl Demma believed a statue could bring people into closer communion with God-believed it enough to sell his liquor store, use the money to commission a 33-foot stainless-steel rendering of the Virgin Mary, and truck the sculpture from parish to parish for more than a year. …….. His unlikely act of faith transformed an ancient form of Catholic devotion into a popular phenomenon for 21st Century Chicago. To the surprise of church officials, scholars and just about everybody but Demma, the towering statue has drawn emotional crowds at each of its 34 stops in and around the city, as the curious and the fervent lined up by the thousands. ……….It even inspired another donor to commission a massive statue of Jesus, the Icon of the Divine Mercy, which was unveiled last weekend at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church on Chicago's Near Northwest Side. Demma went Sunday afternoon to see the new, 18-foot bronze statue for the first time, and he made plans with its sponsors to help transport it to 15 parishes around the city this summer. ......"

Detroit Free-Press 6/28/00 Amy Klein "…..A controversial artist whose Detroit Institute of Arts show was shut down last fall faces an obscenity charge this morning in Pontiac District Court that stems, ironically, from an exhibit at a March symposium on censorship…… Jef Bourgeau of Rochester has gained the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is providing a lawyer for the pretrial hearing and calls the charge a "violation of the First Amendment." ……Bourgeau's "Fear No Art" exhibit at the Oakland Arts Center in Pontiac included several of the controversial works from the DIA exhibit, such as a toy Jesus lying in a bathtub wearing a condom……."

Family in Focus 6/27/00 Stuart Shepard "…..The ads proclaimed hope for homosexuals, but a federal judge said San Francisco had a "duty" to call them hate speech. The city's Board of Supervisors even claimed the ads were partially responsible for the death of Matthew Shepard and hostility toward gays. "Truth in Love" was an ad campaign, sponsored by several Christian organizations, that proclaimed homosexuals can change. ……"The dream that I thought could never happen -- having a wife and kids -- has finally come true," said one of the ads. "If you're hurting, lonely or confused, Jesus can set you free." ……The city of San Francisco concluded the ads contributed to "horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians," and city officials asked local TV stations not to run them. ……In response, pro-family groups -- the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and Kerusso Ministries -- filed a lawsuit in October 1999 to stop the Board of Supervisors from issuing similar resolutions in the future. Earlier this month, however, a federal judge ruled the city was only doing its "duty" to address concerns for "public safety." ……"Nothing like this has ever happened in this country," said Brian Fahling, with the American Family Association's Center for Law and Policy. "This, really, is extraordinary and should give everybody great pause, because now we have a court decision -- a federal court decision -- that says governments can take official action condemning religious beliefs." ……."

Baptist Press 6/28/00 Todd Starnes "……An ABC television program about the search for the historical Jesus that categorized the savior as a "minor character" and cast doubt on the authenticity of the Gospels has sparked an outcry of dissent from laymen and seminarians across the country who argue that the show denigrates the Lord. …….. The program, "Peter Jennings Reporting: Search for Jesus," aired June 26 and featured Jennings in a search for the historical Jesus. Jennings interviewed a number of scholars, including some from the controversial Jesus Seminar. However, no evangelical scholars or leaders were included in the two hour, primetime program. ………. ABC's website was deluged with responses to the show, mostly accusing the network of challenging the claims of Christ. In an ABC poll, more than 68 percent of the 21,309 participants said the media unfairly treated and devalued the life of Jesus. ……. Of the seven religious scholars on the program, only one -- N.T. Wright, canon theologian of Westminster Abbey -- is a self-described evangelical. Four of the seven scholars participated in the highly controversial Jesus Seminar, which was comprised of more than 200 men and women who met and "voted" to determine the accuracy of the gospels. They concluded that only 18 percent of the sayings of Jesus were at least "probably accurate," while only 16 percent of the events in the gospels "probably occurred." …….."

Washington Times 6/27/00 Frank J Gaffney Jr. "……"To modify one of Jesus' sayings, it would be better if this program -- at times bordering blasphemy -- had never been born," said Andreas Kostenberger a professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. ……."The effort to make Jesus the subject of this kind of investigative news reporting must be judged a failure. In the end, Peter Jennings falls victim to the sources he chose," Kostenberger said. "One wishes his advisors had suggested better informants than Robert Funk on Judas, Marcus Borg on the star of Bethlehem, or John Dominic Crossan on the resurrection. Without the name 'Jesus Seminar' being mentioned once, this 'Search for Jesus' turns out to be little more than an infomercial on the views of this group." ……."

Toogood Reports 6/28/00 Vin Suprynowicz "……On Saturday, June 17, a city zoning code enforcement officer showed up as Rabbi Moshe Omer was leading an Orthodox prayer meeting at his Las Vegas home, near Sahara Avenue and Durango Drive. The visit was the latest in a series of attempts by city enforcement officers to deal with neighbors' complaints that Omer is generating too much traffic - and resulting parking problems - by operating his Kabbalah Centre in an area zoned exclusively for residential use……. The local Kabbalah Centre is one of 39 operated world-wide by the Los Angeles-based organization of the same name……… In front of a dozen congregants, the city inspector - accompanied by three Las Vegas police officers - issued Omer a citation for conducting religious worship in a private home and "creating a public nuisance."……Rabbi Omer refused to sign the citation, explaining he was forbidden to even sign his name on the sabbath, under his religious laws. Treating him as a non-cooperative suspect, police then proceeded to place him under arrest, handcuff him, and lead him to a waiting patrol car…….The rabbi explained his faith forbids him from riding in automobiles during the sabbath, as well. Ignoring that, the cops hauled him downtown and booked him, anyway……..Fortunately, a judge was located to sign the rabbi's citation for him, and he was released that day, though the arrest left him stranded downtown till the sabbath ended at sunset. By Wednesday, Mayor Oscar Goodman was apologizing for what he called his officers' "ignorance and a mistake in judgment."……"

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 6/28/00 Larry Witham "……Religious liberty advocates on Capitol Hill are concerned about a proposed French law to imprison religious "proselytizers" for up to two years for "mental manipulation" of the public. The bill aims to limit the spread of what French officials have called 173 "dangerous sects" in France. These include Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists and Unificationists, among others, but also well-known evangelistic denominations such as the Baptists……… The proposed crime, which critics say could cover many religious, advertising and interest groups, is to "exercise serious and repeated pressure on a person in order to create or exploit a state of dependence." The bill would allow the French government to shut down a religious group when two representatives are found guilty of at least one legal infraction…….. Once approved, French law could proscribe incidents of evangelism even by the religious faith of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, who are both Southern Baptists. "This is something that we are going to have to watch closely," a senior State Department official said yesterday. "In a worst-case scenario, it could turn out to be a nasty piece of legislation."……… T. Jeremy Gunn, who as a member of the U.S. Institute of Peace had visited France on religious liberty matters, said several French officials resorted to "ad hominem" attacks on American officials by charging they belonged to the "sects" in question.......

THE WASHINGTON TIMES 6/28/00 Larry Witham "……State Department officials who have spoken to French lawmakers say that many of them describe the legislation - drafted by members of the Socialist Party - as advocacy work by a charismatic citizen named Jacques Guyard. Mr. Guyard leads an anti-sect movement and was author of the government's sect list. ………. The push in Western Europe to form "sect commissions" and legislate against sects began after the 1994 and 1995 suicides and murders by Solar Temple members in Canada, Switzerland and France……… Scholars say Western Europe is the most secular part of the world and many young people are looking at unconventional approaches to find a deeper meaning to life. For example, in traditionally Catholic France only 8 percent of the population attends Catholic services, according to a Catholic bishop cited in the State Department report……….France, Germany, Austria and Belgium set up commissions to list sects, which in Belgium include even the YWCA. But France is the first to make so-called religious "mind control" a crime………The French sect list, published in 1996, was followed by the establishment in 1998 of a government agency called the Interministerial Mission to Battle Against Sects. "The fact that it is called a 'battle against' assigns a prejudice," the State Department official said……. "

WorldNetDaily 6/27/00 Paul Sperry "……Vice President Al Gore acts as if he barely knows convicted fund-raiser Maria Hsia. He can't recall sitting next to her at a Buddhist Temple fund-raiser. He says he was blind to her illegal fund-raising scheme. He doesn't even recall talking to her. …….At least that's what he told the Justice Department's campaign-finance task force in April. …..But Gore's ties to Hsia run deep. ……No fly-by-night fund-raiser, Hsia coordinated campaign events for Gore for eight years. More than that, she was a "great friend," as he once told her. Investigators have discovered that Gore even sought her help in writing his 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit." ……. Hsia also advised Gore on immigration and environmental policy when he was a U.S. senator. In 1989, the suspected Beijing agent escorted him on a trip to Asia. ……. "The materials you got for Al's book on the environment were perfect. Thanks so much for taking the time to do it," Peter Knight wrote to Hsia in a March 6, 1991, letter. "He would have been lost without your efforts, because the chapter on religion and the environment is integral to his work." …….That would be chapter 13: "Environmentalism of the Spirit." Hsia's contribution, showing an alleged link between Christianity and Buddhism, appears on page 261. …………."

WorldNetDaily 6/27/00 Paul Sperry "……In March, Hsia was convicted of charges related to the laundering of more than $100,000 in illegal temple money for the '96 Clinton-Gore reelection effort. She awaits sentencing. …..In an April 18 interview with task-force prosecutors, Gore, under oath, claimed he couldn't remember sitting with Hsia at the temple fund-raiser that she organized and he hosted.
Q: Do you recall being seated at her table?
A: No, I don't. ……
Just six weeks before the April 29, 1996, temple fund-raiser in Los Angeles, Gore met with Hsia and the temple's master, Hsing Yun, in the White House. (Gore and Hsia, who stayed at the Hay-Adams Hotel, also spoke by phone the morning of the meeting.) ……. A week later, on March 23, Hsia followed up with a letter to Gore. She informed him she was "organizing a fund-raising lunch event, with your anticipated presence, on behalf of the local Chinese community. ... The event is tentatively scheduled for April 29." ……."

Ether Zone 6/28/00 Phil Brennan "…..You could see it coming - a new blitzkrieg in the ongoing war on Christianity - this time launched by ABC's Peter Jennings who went as a "reporter" to the Holy land in search of the "real"Jesus. …..After all, this was Peter Jennings - the same Peter Jennings who assured his ABC audience that the organizer of the so-called Million Mom's March - a woman up to her hips in liberal democrat politics, a former aide to two democrat senators, an ex-PR flack for Dan Rather, and the sister of Mrs. Clinton's most intimate female companion was just "a housewife" with no interest or background in politics……… So I wasn't surprised at the belligerent assault on Jesus Christ Jenning's presented as enlightened biblical and historical scholarship. I'd been alerted that in producing the whole shameful exercise in debunking Jesus Christ ABC's sole authorities on Christ had been a motley cabal of so-called scholars from the Jesus Seminar - a group regarded by the overwhelming majority of real biblical scholars and historians much in the same way legitimate geographers look upon members of the Flat Earth Society…….One by one he trotted out these self-proclaimed experts on Jesus Christ, an ardent student kneeling at the feet of his masters and seeking wisdom from these exalted savants who unlike thousands of their colleagues over the past 2,000 years "know" the real story about the Son of God, and were willing to explain to hordes of unenlightened believers the truth about Our Lord…….The hubris was so thick it's a wonder he didn't choke on it…….."

CNS News 6/28/00 Jerry Miller "……Barring last-minute court appeals, the first "civil union" ceremonies will take place in Vermont this holiday weekend, despite the fact that a number of Vermont town clerks have resigned, rather than issue the requisite licenses to homosexual couples. "As a practical matter, the law is going to go into effect on Saturday," said Vermont's chief Assistant Attorney General William Griffin. …… Topsham Town Clerk Juanita Claflin said her "moral fiber" does not allow her to support civil unions. "I feel it's a very harmful law...it's a form of government-endorsed perversion," she said. "My beliefs tell me I would be hurting the people of the state if I issued the licenses and I will not hurt the people of Vermont." …… Two weeks ago, Claflin sent a letter to every home in her community, informing voters that she would not issue the licenses and asking fellow residents if they thought she should resign, defy the law, or appoint an assistant to issue the civil union licenses, something the law permits. …….Claflin says of the 200 letters sent, 100 people have responded. "An overwhelming number want me to refuse to issue the licenses and see what happens," she said. A dozen respondents told Clafin she should resign, while 11 said she should appoint an assistant to issue the licenses to avoid involving the town in an expensive legal battle. …… At her swearing-in ceremony, Claflin added the phrase "except to sell civil union licenses," to the traditional oath. At the time the oath was administered, Claflin said she did not believe the proposed civil union bill would become law. "I was wrong," she now admits. "The unthinkable did become law." "I am unwavering in my commitment to refuse to be a party to this endorsed perversion, and I base my decision on both my personal beliefs and my constitutional rights," she added. ….."

Mrc.org 6/29/00 "……The Bible can't get a break on network TV this week. On Monday night Peter Jennings undermined its accuracy and then on Wednesday's Survivor on the CBS an island inhabitant took a shot. ...... In the June 28 episode of the CBS show about 16 people living on an island with one voted off by the others each week, an older man named Rudy, the former Navy SEAL who gained some publicity on the opening show when he couldn't start a fire, is annoyed by a younger guy named Dirk who reads the Bible:….."It's funny to me that a guy would read the Bible out here. The only reason I'd bring a Bible is if, I mean I'm religious too, if I needed toilet paper." What would he do with the Bible if he weren't "religious" …."

FoxNews 6/29/00 "…… DENVER - The Roman Catholic Church gave up voting privileges in an interfaith church group after it admitted a predominantly gay church. ……. The Catholic Church last month voted against admitting the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches to the Colorado Council of Churches. The Metropolitan group is a Christian denomination founded by homosexuals who felt left out of established churches. ……. Protestant council members supported the gay church because they believe "Christian unity is about inclusion," the Rev. James Ryan, council executive, said Thursday. ……. The Catholic Church announced Wednesday that it had given up its vote on the council. Denver Archdiocese officer Bill Beckman said the council's decision to admit Metropolitan might have misled Catholics about the church's stance on marriage, family and human sexuality. The church teaches that homosexual activity is a sin. ………"

Newark (NJ) Star Ledger 6/29/00 "…… A Pennsylvania preacher who allegedly used the Internet to arrange a sexual encounter with a New Jersey teen was arrested yesterday in Middlesex County [New Jersey], where he had agreed to meet the boy, authorities said. William Cabell Jr., pastor of Faith United Church of Christ in State College, Pa., was snared in a sting operation in which law enforcement agents go online posing as teenage boys in an effort to trap sex offenders, federal officials said. Cabell, 53, was charged with interstate travel for the purpose of engaging a minor in a sex act after he showed up at a fast-food restaurant for what he thought was a rendezvous with a 14-year-old boy, said Special Agent Joseph Lewis of the FBI's New Jersey office. If convicted, Cabell faces up to 15 years in prison or a $250,000 fine, but under federal guidelines, the sentence would typically range from 18 to 24 months. ….."

Baptist Press 6/29/00 Todd Starnes "…..Southern Baptist missionaries and laypersons who share their faith in Jesus could be imprisoned for up to two years under a proposed French law that accuses religious "proselytizers" of "mental manipulation" of the public. Southern Baptists are just one of 173 religious groups labeled "dangerous sects" by members of France's Socialist party. The proposed bill aims to limit the spread of what French officials have called the mental manipulation of the public by evangelical and other religious groups. ……"

Enter Stage Right 6/26/00 Scott Tibbs "….. The recent Supreme Court case involving prayer at a public high school football game has again thrust the issue of school prayer into the national spotlight, and this particular ruling raises serious concerns for those who believe in freedom of religious expression……. The Supreme Court ruled that a student-initiated, student-led prayer at a public high school event violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In their defense of the decision, the majority wrote that prayer broadcast over a P.A. system causes those who don't ascribe to the faith of the speaker to feel left out and uncomfortable. To protect the feelings of the minority, the free speech rights of the individual offering the invocation must be restricted……….Never mind that the founders would have never envisioned or supported such a ruling when they wrote the Constitution. The intent of the First Amendment was never to restrict the public expression of faith by individuals to protect the feelings of those who may not agree. The "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment was written to prevent the government from establishing a state church, like the Church of England, or to take sides between different denominations or faiths…….But while the Left wraps itself in the Establishment Clause to prohibit public expressions of faith by individuals at a government-sponsored event, they conveniently forget the fact that the second part of that sentence clearly states "or prohibit the free exercise thereof". ……The school in question was not endorsing a specific religion. What they were doing was allowing the students to choose who the speaker would be before the football game, and that speaker then had a wide latitude in the topics he or she could talk about. …."

Newsmax 6/28/00 Carl Limbacher "…… If you think religious freedom is under attack by the U.S. government, just take a gander at France. Those naughty Frenchmen are, believe it or not, considering a law that would imprison religious "proselytizers" for two years for "mental manipulation" of the public, the Washington Times reported Wednesday. French bureaucrats are targeting 173 "dangerous sects," including mainstream groups such as the Baptists as well as Scientologists and Jehovah's Witnesses. …….Critics say the harebrained bill restricts freedom of speech and religion and could cover advertising and interest groups as well as religious groups. ……. Under the proposed law, power-crazed bureaucrats could shut down a group when two representatives are deemed guilty of even one "offense." ……The Times noted, perhaps with a straight face, that the proposed law could criminalize evangelism even by the faith of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, both of whom are, it is alleged, Southern Baptists. ….."

Washington Times 6/29/00 Frank J Murray "…… The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the constitutionality of a federal program that lends computers, software and library books to religious schools as well as public schools…..The 6-3 decision tantalized both backers and opponents of school-choice vouchers……"We conclude that [the law] neither results in religious indoctrination by the government nor defines its recipients by reference to religion," the court said in its main opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas. "The private choices of parents in determining where to send their children determines the amount of aid," Justice Thomas said in announcing the decision in a crowded courtroom……. Justice Thomas, backed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist with Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy, went further, ruling such spending is permitted for other reasons. "Chapter 2 does not result in governmental indoctrination, because it determines eligibility for aid neutrally, allocates that aid based on the private choices of the parents of schoolchildren, and does not provide aid that has an impermissible content," the plurality opinion said…….. Dissenting entirely were Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Among their objections was the issue of "whether a school that receives aid (or whose students receive aid) is pervasively sectarian." …… Matthew Berry, staff attorney at the Institute for Justice, a leading proponent of school vouchers with which parents finance private education with public funds, called the verdict "a clear signal" that aid to parents is not unconstitutional merely because they apply it at religious schools. "Moreover, it raises the prospect that excluding religious schools from voucher programs may itself be an unconstitutional form of discrimination against religion," Mr. Berry said…….."

Washington Post 6/29/00 George Will "……Nowadays pro-abortion forces, speaking with the mincing language of people who lack the courage of their squeamishness, speak of abortion producing "fetal demise." Remarkable, that--the demise of something only potentially alive. But not long ago pro-abortion forces denied that what they call "fetal material," and Nebraska calls "a living unborn child," can feel pain. In fact, partial-birth abortion, which is generally used in the third trimester of gestation, is inflicted on beings that have reflexes and brain activity and other attributes of newborn infants.......Not long ago pro-abortion forces argued that abortion involves no cruelty or gruesomeness from which society should flinch. Now they defend partial-birth abortion in order to defend all late-term abortions, all of which involve the violent dismemberment of "fetal material" that looks exactly like a baby…….."

Washington Post 6/29/00 George Will "……America's subsequent slide into the culture of death was manifest Sept. 26, 1996, during a Senate debate on partial-birth abortion....... Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum asked Democrats Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey this: Suppose during an attempted partial-birth abortion the infant, instead of being just almost delivered, with only a few inches of skull remaining in the birth canal, slips entirely out of the canal. Is killing the born baby still a "choice"? Feingold and Lautenberg said it was still a matter between a mother and her abortionist. (C-SPAN captured this exchange. The Congressional Record was subsequently falsified.) …….. Feingold and Lautenberg anticipated the court….."

Washington Post 6/29/00 George Will "…… In Roe v. Wade, which arose in Texas, the court left standing a Texas law prohibiting "the killing of an unborn child during parturition," meaning the killing of an infant "in the state of being born and before actual birth." On Wednesday, such killing--what Justice Scalia, dissenting, accurately calls "live-birth abortion"--became a fundamental constitutional right………..Wednesday's decision will, as Justice Scalia said in dissent, rank with the cases of Dred Scott (1857, saying blacks could not be citizens and so could not seek judicial protection of their rights) and Korematsu (1944, upholding the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry) as acts of judicial infamy……."

National Review Online 6/28/00 "…..On the last day of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed conservatives and libertarians two significant victories. In the Boy Scouts case, it has reaffirmed that freedom of association is alive and well, for the time being. And in a case involving a federal program providing instructional materials for students in public and private schools, the Court has signaled once again that school vouchers are likely to be declared constitutional under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. While both decisions are clearly cause for at least some celebration, the extent of one's revelry in both cases will likely depend on one's temperament. …….. "

CNSNews.com 6/28/00 Thomas Jipping "…………..The Court long ago abandoned using the real Constitution in deciding such cases. The First Amendment, as you know, prohibits the federal government from passing any laws involving an establishment of religion. This means the federal government may not interfere with how the states deal with religion and may not itself create an establishment of religion. That's all. ……… While the Constitution prohibits the federal government from establishing religion, the Supreme Court now prohibits a local school district from even allowing students to offer a statement that might or might not be a prayer before a football game. How did we get to this point? ……… A majority of the Court now believes that they determine what the Constitution means. For 150 years, Justices believed that those who wrote the Constitution determined what it means. All the Justices did was uncover that meaning, apply it to the facts of a case, and announce the result. This approach kept the Constitution stable, and allowed it to limit and shape what government could do. The Constitution was law that governed government. ……..Roosevelt's choice was to get control of the economy by getting control of the Constitution. He appointed Justices who believed they, and not the authors of the Constitution, could determine what the document means. That switch in strategy turned everything upside down. The Constitution no longer controlled the government; the government, through judges, controlled the Constitution. ……."

Massachusetts News 7/3/00 Nev Moore "…… If your child decides he might be homosexual and you take him to a psychiatrist for help, you could lose that child to the DSS. ……. We've witnessed cases where DSS became involved with families because there was conflict between the parents and adolescents who wanted to be free to become active in the gay lifestyle at the ages of thirteen and fourteen. There were no beatings or physical assaults, but the fact that the parents didn't accept their children's wishes and "support" them provided grounds for DSS to remove the children and place them in gay foster homes. …….DSS also transported at least one child we know of to gay rallies, dances and other social events at the age of fourteen. They instructed this particular boy that he did not have to have any contact with his Christian mother if she would not support his gay activism. They would prepare him for independent living. ……The DSS Policy and Procedure Manual states that parents must be receptive and supportive if their children disclose that they are gay or bi-sexual. In their assessment questions, DSS policy reads: "If the adolescent has identified a sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual, has he/she disclosed this information to a parental figure or trusting adult? If so, has the adolescent received an appropriate, receptive and supportive response?" ......... It is not the place of any government agency to determine if our responses to our children on sexual disclosures are "appropriate." If gays demand the right to have their homosexuality accepted, the other side of that equality is that other individuals must have the equal right to not accept homosexuality in their personal belief system. How a parent responds to their children's sexual disclosures, of any nature, is a private and individual choice that the government has no business being involved with. ……."

Massachusetts News 7/3/00 Nev Moore "…… Parents are accused of sexual abuse based on the most innocent, ludicrous allegations, yet they are considered unfit if they do not support and accept homosexual activity by their children. According to DSS, parents must accept and encourage the free expression and experimentation of homosexuality in their children but could be accused of sexual abuse if they take photos of their kids playing in the bathtub. ......At the same time, DSS is actively recruiting for gay foster homes and has special gay fosterparent training programs. The gay fosterhomes are not just for gay kids; they are open for all kids. I am not saying that these gay people may not be kind, caring caretakers. I am saying that parents have the right to not have their children exposed to the gay lifestyle or to a same sex partnership if that is not part of their family's belief system. No child should have forced exposure to any sexual influences - homosexuality, bestiality, whatever - by a government agency. It is not DSS's place to influence a child's sexuality in any way. ......"

Oak Lawn (IL) Reporter 7/3/97 Michael Bates "……. The Declaration is more than a political manifesto ……Tomorrow we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. At a time when the Left wails about the need to maintain a firm separation between church and state, it's good to keep in mind the Declaration is hardly just a political statement. It is also a proclamation of profound faith. …….. It includes repeated references to the Almighty: "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God;" "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;" "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions;" and "a firm reliance on the Protection of divine Providence." ……..Today some children are taught the Founders were Deists or agnostics or religious skeptics. You'd not conclude that from their words. …….. The Declaration's primary author, Thomas Jefferson, wrote: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" …….George Washington spoke of "That great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that ever will be, that we may then unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people." …….John Quincy Adams drew a direct line between the Declaration and religion: "Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the Foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?" ……How far we have drifted from the convictions of the men who established the United States. ….."

The Times (UK) 6/30/00 Ruth Gledhill "…… CHURCH leaders have been urged to fight a government-backed European directive that will force Christian charities and schools to employ non-believers and practising homosexuals. Religious groups say that the directive, aimed at promoting equality, will expose faith-based organisations to infiltration by hostile campaigners. It will also mean that churches could face legal action for employing Christian staff. ……. Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: "The Labour Party employs only Labour Party members. But this new government-backed Euro-directive will make it illegal for churches to employ only Christians, or for Jewish organisations to hire only Jews." ……Under the proposals, all schools run by religious organisations, whether Christian, Muslim or any other faith, will have to be willing to employ atheists and homosexuals on their teaching staffs. ……."

AP 7/2/00 "…….A United Methodist Church pastor who was suspended for a year for conducting a same-sex marriage returned to the pulpit Sunday. The sign outside Broadway United Methodist Church, where about one-third of the members are gay or lesbian, read, "He's Baaaack." The Rev. Gregory Dell said the congregation was very supportive. "It was exciting. I felt it to be challenging. This congregation has some real energy and commitment," the 54-year-old Dell said. ……"

World Net Daily 7/2/00 Julie Foster "…..Europe's crackdown on what French lawmakers have deemed "dangerous sects" -- including Southern Baptists -- has captured the attention of Congress now that France's National Assembly is considering a law to imprison "proselytizers" for up to two years. ……. The bill aims to restrict the growth of 173 blacklisted faiths, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists and Unificationists. Also among the targeted groups is the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the largest denominations in the United States and the church affiliation of both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. …….. Should the bill become law, evangelism by the groups could be criminalized as an "exercise [in] serious and repeated pressure on a person in order to create or exploit a state of dependence." The socialist French government would be allowed to shut-down a religious group when two representatives are found guilty of at least one legal infraction, including "mental manipulation." ……However, Dwayne Hastings, a spokesman for the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said the Bible commands believers to share their faith. "The Bible is explicit in its command that we should seek to share the Gospel with everyone," he said. "Evangelism and witnessing are actions generated out of love and concern, not hostility or hatred. It is clearly not an exercise that should be regulated by the state." ……"

AP 7/2/00 Jay Hughes "…….Prior to Benjamin Smith's deadly rampage last Fourth of July, there was little known about -- and little interest in -- the racist church to which he belonged. But over the past year, the World Church of the Creator has found a national platform and has seen its membership increase. Its leader, Matthew Hale, claims to have adherents in most states and says membership to the East Peoria-based group has doubled. …….. The World Church of the Creator has become a ''magnet for young volatile white supremacists,'' the suburban Chicago hate-monitoring group Center for New community said in new report. The report was released to mark the anniversary of the two-state rampage by Smith, who shot 11 people, killing two: former Northwestern basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, 43, and Won-Joon Yoon, a 26-year-old college student from Korea. ………. Smith, 21, committed suicide as police closed in on him. Eight months before his rampage, he was profiled on the World Church of the Creator's Web site as ''Creator of the Month'' for his efforts to distribute racist literature. …….".

THE WASHINGTON TIMES/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 7/3/00 Gunther Kern "……The Catholic Church yesterday began a fierce attack against global gay-pride celebrations in Rome, ordering a bishop not to attend a homosexual forum on religion and condemning what a senior theologian dubbed "gay ideology." French Bishop Jacques Gaillot said Pope John Paul II had ordered him to drop plans to address the meeting, scheduled for today at a Rome hotel as part of a series of July 1-9 homosexual-pride events. "Gaillot is very angry but will respect what the pope said," said Deborah Oakley-Melvin, a spokeswoman for World Gay Pride 2000……… Bishop Gaillot said at a press conference the Church "must be where it is needed; homosexuals have suffered countless discriminations." "If the Church does not free people from oppression, what good is it for?" he asked……. The papal ban was the latest move by the Vatican in its campaign to scuttle the weeklong homosexual-pride festival - which coincides with the Vatican's Jubilee 2000 celebration - the first of its kind in the Italian capital……… Pope John Paul II yesterday welcomed motorbikers, Polish pilgrims and athletes to Rome in his traditional Sunday prayer but did not mention the homosexual-pride event, for which organizers expect more than 200,000 people to converge on the city…….Vatican theologian Georges Cottier, a close aide to the pope, meanwhile reaffirmed the Catholic Church's condemnation of homosexuality in an interview with the daily newspaper Avvenire…….He said it was the Church's duty to reject homosexual acts without offending the individual……."

LewRockwell.com 7/3/00 William Anderson "…… In the days leading up to the execution of the obviously guilty Gary Graham in Texas, Jesse Jackson seemed to be everywhere, at least where a television camera was present. The condemned prisoner, he told the assembled sympathetic media, was a modern figure of Jesus Christ. Gov. George Bush of Texas, who could not legally have stopped the execution even if he had wished to do so, was likened to Pontius Pilate…….. This is not the first time Jackson has used the analogy of characters from the Bible to make political points. During the presidential election of 1992, Jackson, who was stumping for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, condemned the anti-abortion beliefs of Vice President Dan Quayle and compared him to King Herod. Herod, as St. Matthew wrote in his Gospel, ordered all of the boys under age two living in and near Bethlehem to be killed in order to keep the Messiah from occupying Herod's throng……… Of course, one is bewildered by this comparison. Quayle, after all, supported the right of unborn children not to be torn apart in their mothers' wombs or be put to death immediately upon birth (all in the name of "choice"). Therefore, it seems strange to compare him with someone who did what Jackson and his supporters believe to be moral: kill babies. However, no media pundits questioned Jackson's faulty biblical exegesis, which is not surprising, since few media personalities even read the Bible……."

The NY Times 7/3/00 Michael Janofsky "…….Close on the heels of the Supreme Court's latest ruling against officially sponsored prayer at public schools, the Colorado State Board of Education is expected to pass a resolution on Thursday that encourages public schools to display the national motto "In God we trust." ………The measure would be nonbinding, and its leading proponent, the board chairman, said it highlighted "civic virtue." But the effort has drawn criticism as yet another attempt to bring religion into the classroom in Colorado, even though courts have ruled that the motto's appearance on United States currency does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which defines the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. ……."

NewsMax.com 6/13/00 Balint Vazsonyi "…… Current efforts to persuade Americans about the existence of a constitutional provision for the separation of church and state match those that seek to eliminate freedom of speech or the right to bear arms. Many will be surprised to learn, "separation of church and state" is not a phrase to be found in the U.S. Constitution. Of course, the Founding Fathers did decide against a dominant, state religion. In our time, that decision is being used to buttress the argument against any role God might have in the affairs of this nation. …… In our courtrooms, we no longer have to swear upon the Bible to tell the truth. Our current president has made perjury a matter of opinion. Even on customs forms, we are no longer required to sign our names under oath. ……The generation that claims to speak for America just now, proudly proclaims its independence of divine providence and looks with condescension, if not contempt, upon poor unenlightened souls who have yet to emancipate themselves from the heavenly connection. ......People who continue to believe in God are suspect at best. When it comes to the Christian Coalition or, as they are called by their detractors, the Religious Right, they are insinuated to be the enemy, if not the closest things to Nazis. ……"

CNS News 7/5/00 Bob Melvin "……. With "World Pride 2000," an international gathering of homosexuals in Rome, underway this week, Vice President and presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Al Gore, a supporter of the celebration in Italy, has told the Catholic League that he urges 'tolerance' of homosexuals. On June 1, Catholic League president William Donohue, in a letter to Gore, asked him to support the Vatican's request that the World Pride 2000 march in Rome, scheduled for this Saturday, either be postponed or moved to another location so as not to interfere with the Roman Catholic Church's "Jubilee 2000" celebration. ………Donohue told Gore in the letter that leaders of the World Pride 2000 event said they chose Rome as the venue for their homosexual celebration so they could offend the Vatican. Gore responded to Donohue's letter on July 3 by saying that he respected the Catholic League for its work against intolerance and "all organizations that are committed to ridding our society of bias and prejudice. "This is one issue where I will be unable to help," Gore stated. He went on to say, "I believe that the larger issue is one of tolerance. Just as I will stand by you whenever you are working to fight intolerance on religious grounds, I also believe we need to be tolerant when it comes to sexual orientation as well." ……In response to Gore's fax received on Monday, Donohue said, "My letter to the vice president was occasioned by the expressed intolerance of Roman Catholicism by the leaders of the World Gay Pride march, and he writes back saying 'the larger issue here is one of tolerance' for sexual orientation! ……."

Truthcast.com 7/6/00 Redv Louis Sheldon "…..Early in June, United States District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong handed homosexuals in San Francisco another legal victory. Christians and ex-homosexuals are, as usual, the latest victims in this ongoing Culture War. The Oakland, California, judge has granted the San Francisco Board of Supervisors the right to condemn and censor certain religious beliefs it thinks are politically incorrect. The case involves the "Truth in Love" TV ad campaign sponsored by several Christian groups, including Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Coral Ridge Ministries, and Kerusso Ministries--headed by Michael Johnston, an ex-homosexual who is HIV positive... "

WorldNetDaily.com 7/6/00 Jon Dougherty "….Detractors of the Vatican's official version of the third secret of Fatima point to reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary that occurred in the early 1970s as evidence that the newly released secret could be false, or, at a minimum, incomplete. ….Critics of the version of the third secret released by Rome last month say that it is not the "real secret," and that key portions contained in another version believed to be authentic by some Catholic traditionalists have also been "foretold" by the Holy Mother to a nun in Japan in 1973. Those apparitions, known collectively as the "Message of Akita," were revealed to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, beginning June 12, 1973, and lasting nine years, according to various sources. …..Included in those apparitions were these messages:

* July 6, 1973: "Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? Pray in reparation for the sins of men. [The apparition gave the text of a prayer.] Pray very much for the pope, bishop and priests. Tell your superior all that passed today. ..."

* Aug. 3, 1973: "If you love the Lord, listen to what I have to say to you. It is very important; you will convey it to your superior. Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console him to soften the anger of the heavenly father. I wish, with my son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates.

"In order that the world might know his anger, the heavenly father is preparing to inflict a great chastisement on all mankind. I have intervened so many times to appease the wrath of the father. I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering him the sufferings of the son on the cross, his precious blood, and beloved souls who console him forming a cohort of victim souls. Prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices can soften the father's anger. ... Even in a secular institute, prayer is necessary. Already souls who wish to pray are on the way to being gathered together. Without attaching too much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the master."

* Oct. 13, 1973: "My dear daughter, listen well to what I have to say to you. You will inform your superior. As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. ... The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres ... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them. Today is the last time that I will speak to you in living voice. From now on you will obey the one sent to you and your superior."

The final date of the prophecy given to Agnes by the Holy Mother, researchers point out, was 56 years to the day after the Virgin Mary stopped appearing to the three Portuguese visionaries. ……."

Fox News 7/5/00 Betsy Scheinbart "…… Who can beat Millionaire in network TV ratings? Jesus can. Want to sell your magazine, TV series or movie? Make Jesus the star. Jesus, the CBS miniseries, was the first program all season to defeat ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Jesus has been on TV a lot lately, from the miniseries to a claymation show that aired on Easter Sunday. …… Why this growing interest in Jesus? According to Roy Anker, a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., the entertainment industry is looking for new ideas that will capitalize on America's persistent interest in religion. "These two factors: religious hunger and emptiness in the entertainment industry," Anker said. "One comes to see the attractiveness to film makers, and the public, of Jesus stories." ……"

CBN News 7/11/00 Judge Roy S. Moore - Circuit Judge, 16th Judicial District "…… Since 1992, Judge Roy S. Moore has been a circuit judge for the 16th Judicial District in Etowah County, Alabama. A former deputy district attorney, he is also a Vietnam veteran, a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of Alabama School of Law……… Twice in recent years Moore has been sued for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. His remarks here are excerpted from the August, 1999, issue of Imprimis, a monthly publication of Hillsdale College. …..

In his first official act, President George Washington did something that would be unthinkable today. He prayed in public! Specifically, during his inaugural address he made: "Fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes." …….

Even the American justice system, which is firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, has developed a bias against public worship and the public acknowledgment of God that ought to give the most militant atheist cause for concern. If judges can deny Christians and Jews the right to express their beliefs in the public square, they can surely deny secular humanists (devout believers of a different sort) the same right.

In California, creches and crosses have been removed from downtown Christmas and Easter displays.

In Kansas, city hall monuments featuring religious symbols have been torn down.

In Rhode Island, high school graduation invocations and benedictions have been banned.

In Alabama, students have been prohibited by federal court order from praying, from distributing religious materials, and from even discussing anything of a devotional or inspirational nature with their classmates and teachers.

And in Ohio, an appellate court has overturned the sentence of a man convicted of raping an eight-year-old child ten times. Why? Because the judge who pronounced the sentence quoted from the 18th chapter of Matthew: "But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." …….

When the federal legislature met in 1789, one of its first actions was to appoint chaplains in both houses of Congress. (Congress still recognizes God by appointing and paying chaplains who open each session with a prayer--even the recent session devoted to the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.)

On the very day that Congress approved the wording of the First Amendment, its members resolved to request of President Washington a day of public thanksgiving and prayer for the peaceful manner in which the Constitution was formed.

A month earlier, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, one of the most important documents in our history. Article III of the Ordinance declared, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

Every president of the United States (with only one possible exception) has been administered the oath of office with his hand on the Bible, ending with the words "so help me God."

The Supreme Court begins every proceeding with the ringing proclamation, "God save the United States and this Honorable Court."

United States currency bears our national motto, "In God We Trust."

Also by law, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag affirms that we are "one nation under God." Congress would not even allow a comma to be placed after the word "nation" in order to reflect the basic idea that ours is a "nation founded on a belief in God."

Have we become so ignorant of our nation's history that we have forgotten the reason for the adoption of the Bill of Rights? It was meant to restrict the federal government's power over the states, not to restrict the states from doing what the federal government can do………

The Pharisees demanded of Jesus, "Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" He asked them to produce a coin and tell him whose image was inscribed on its face. When they replied, "Caesar's," Jesus gave his answer: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

But in the latter half of the 20th century the state is trying to take by force the unalienable rights freely given to us by God, declared in the Declaration of Independence to be "self evident." Caesar is trying to tell us when, where, and how we can profess our faith.

In 1962 the Supreme Court outlawed a simple, 22-word, nondenominational prayer devised by the New York Board of Regents and used in the New York public schools: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country."

A year later the Court issued another ruling declaring that reading the Bible and reciting the Lord's Prayer in Pennsylvania and Maryland public schools was unconstitutional, thus outlawing "without the citation of a single case" practices that had existed in American schools for over 170 years.

Since the 1960s judicial activists have made a concerted effort to banish God from the public square. They have done this by deliberately destroying the distinction between "religion" and "religious activity." These terms may sound similar, but in fact they are very different. Religious activities may include many actions that would not themselves constitute religion. For example, prayer and Bible reading might be characterized as religious activities, but they do not constitute religion, and they are not limited to any specific sect or even to religious people. One may read the New Testament to gain wisdom, and school students may pray before a big exam. Neither activity was intended to be, is, or should be, proscribed by the First Amendment, even if practiced in public.

No student should ever be forced by law to participate in prayer or in other religious activity. But to outlaw the public acknowledgment of God simply because another student might have to witness it is as illogical as abandoning a school mascot or motto because it might not be every student's favorite or because some might not believe in "school spirit." …….

Liberal commentators in the media, academe, and the justice system deride the notion that restoring prayer and posting the Ten Commandments can help stem the tide of violence and bloodshed. They prefer secular solutions, especially ones that involve more federal spending and regulation. In effect, they favor more concertina wire, metal detectors, and armed security guards instead of the simple and effective teaching of moral absolutes…….."

WorldNetDaily 7/5/00 Jon Dougherty "….. The Vatican's release of the 'third secret of Fatima has sparked controversy in a number of Catholic quarters with experts, researchers, religious figures and authors debating whether or not the released secret is authentic, and if not, what the real secret actually says and means…… Michael Brown, a noted Catholic author and researcher, said he is aware that some traditionalists routinely disparage Vatican announcements and policies, but noted that not all traditionalists fall under a category one might describe as "extreme." Regarding the Fatima prophesies, Brown told WorldNetDaily that, while not an official "expert," he has spent a great deal of time and energy researching the phenomenon, as well as its lone surviving visionary, the 93-year-old Sr. Lucia de Santos……. "I would be intensely skeptical of anyone who saw that secret except for those who were privy to the Holy Office," where the secret has been kept since 1957, Brown said. "Cardinal Ratzinger [the Vatican official who wrote the interpretation] and Pope John Paul II certainly had read the secret before it was revealed, but I don't believe [others] saw it first." ……… Brown noted that there have been "false versions" of the third secret circulated prior to its official release this month. ……One notable release of an alleged false secret, Brown said, occurred in a German publication in 1963, a year after the Second Vatican Council was underway. That version contained elements asserted by De Pauw, including the penetration of the Church by Satan, along with its resultant fall in modern times, and a description of global destruction, resulting in "the time of times and the end of all ends." "Sr. Lucy herself said that version was bogus," Brown said. ……"

WorldNetDaily 7/5/00 Jon Dougherty "….. Brown disputed that, adding that Lucia -- if the Vatican approves -- is even set to publish a new book entitled, "Os apelos da Mensagem de Fatima," that answers many questions she has received over the years from pilgrims. Other "hidden" insights that Brown did find, however, include revelations:
* ... that the pope did indeed believe that the intervention of Mary deflected the bullet that struck him May 13, 1981, causing it to take a path away from vital organs. According to John Paul II himself, "it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the pope halted at the threshold of death."
* ... that there is an intense spiritual struggle in the present age. "The Evil One has power in this world," is the way the Vatican phrased it, and evil attempts to "steer our freedom" away from God.
* ... that Fatima is "the most prophetic of modern apparitions" and has "drawn back on a series of events which make history and interpret it in depth, in a spiritual perspective alien to present-day attitudes, often tainted with rationalism." This statement was a clear rebuke of overly intellectual and scientific approaches to the ultimate truths in today's society.
* ... that John Paul II first read the secret not in 1979, as widely thought, but only after his shooting. It was received by Cardinal Franjo Seper of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 18, 1981, in two envelopes: one white, containing Lucia's original text, and the other orange with an Italian translation. John Paul then read it and it was returned to the Archives of the Holy Office, where it had been so confidentially kept since 1957.
* ... that John Paul specifically asked for deliverance of the world and all the nations from nuclear war during the special Consecration of the world to Mary in 1984, which Lucia says prevented a war that would otherwise have occurred in 1985. Had the Consecration not occurred -- had John Paul not invoked "Our Blessed Mother's light of Hope" -- the angel with the flaming sword would not have been drowned out by Mary's light. The sword itself sounded like [multiple warheads] tipped with multiple nuclear bombs……..
"That the media did not pick up at all that [in the third secret] you had an angel poised with a sword was incredible," Brown added. "That had not been revealed on May 13," when the pope authorized a Vatican spokesman to release a short summary of the secret. ……"

WorldNetDaily 7/5/00 Jon Dougherty "…..Kathleen Keating,, who has just finished publishing, "Final Warning: The Book," an apocalyptic nonfiction prose about -- among other things -- subjects discussed in the version of the third secret held by De Pauw -- told WorldNetDaily her sources inside the Vatican confirmed long ago the version which predicts the fall of the modern Catholic Church. "When he was in Fatima May 13, the pope said we are in the midst, basically, of chapter 12, Verse 3 of the Book of Revelation," Keating said. According to The Living Bible, Revelation 12:3 reads, "Suddenly a red Dragon appeared, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his head." The "red Dragon" is then described in Revelation 12:9 as Satan. ……. Yet, she pointed out, in Ratzinger's interpretation of the third secret, he wrote, "The future is not, in fact, unchangeably set, and the image which the [three Portuguese] children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in which nothing can be changed." ……"How can the Vatican support the Word of God, as stated in the Bible, which prepares us for the tribulations in Revelation, then suggest that the future can be changed? That's hypocritical. The future can be mitigated, but not changed," Keating said. ……"

WorldNetDaily 7/5/00 Jon Dougherty "…..In the first secret, for example, the Vatican accepts Lucia's description of Hell shown her by Mary. Yet, in Ratzinger's interpretation of the third secret, he wrote that at its conclusion it "uses images which Lucia may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspiration from long-standing intuitions of faith." ………."On the one hand, the Vatican accepts her vision of Hell at face value, but on the other hand, Rome now seems to be saying the visions in her third secret -- which, again, were also shown to her at nearly the same time by the Virgin Mary -- are part of her imagination," said Keating. "Which is it? Is Sr. Lucia right all of the time in what she and the other children saw, only part of the time, or none of the time? She has not changed her story since 1917." ……"

EWTN 7/12/00 "……..* The United States House of Representatives today voted to denounce the campaign of the pro-abortion lobby to oust the Catholic Church from the United Nations. In a lopsided and bi-partisan fashion the House also voted 416 to 1 to endorse the Permanent Observer status of the Catholic Church at the UN. Even the most vociferous abortion rights supporters voted to support the Catholic Church. …….* More than a year ago a small number of pro-abortion groups launched a campaign to remove the Holy See from its Permanent Observer seat at the UN. Like Switzerland, the Holy See may not vote in the UN General Assembly but may speak during UN debates. The Holy See has participated in a coalition of states that has stopped pro-abortion extremists from naming abortion a universally recognized human right. It is the desire of the pro-abortion groups that the Catholic Church be downgraded to the status of a non-governmental organization (a lobbying group). ……..* The strongly worded US Congressional resolution expressed "the sense of the Congress strongly object(s) to the any effort to expel the Holy See from the United Nations as a state participant by removing its status as Permanent Observer." The resolution goes on to note that the efforts to remove the Vatican from the UN are based on the Church's strong positions in favor of the "unborn child" and traditional notions of the family. ……."

AP 7/10/00 Selcan Hacaoglu "…….In his last hours in Italy, Agca offered profuse thanks to the pope, who had personally forgiven and comforted his would-be killer during a 1983 visit to Agca's prison cell. But as he was moved out of the Istanbul courtroom Monday, Agca, white-haired after nearly two decades in jail, shouted: "The Vatican is the enemy of God, it is the enemy of humanity!" "I will make the Vatican empire - the enemy of humanity - feel remorse," he said. "I have launched a cultural war against the Vatican." Agca also issued a handwritten statement through his lawyer accusing the Vatican of "changing" the secrets of Fatima and of orchestrating the 1981 assassination attempt against the pope. ……."Oh My Dear Brother Pope: RESIGN!, resign right away and return to Poland," Agca wrote. "You are a good man. You cannot sit at the top of the devil's center, the Vatican and at the top of history's dump. "My Catholic brothers, I love you, why do you not abandon a Vatican which arranges the assassination of its own pope?" ......"

Truthcast.com 7/11/00 Sharon Wyper "…….How is it then so "politically correct" now to believe that Christians should have no rights to participate as Christians in the political process? Even many of us who are Christians apparently believe that withdrawing from political life is somehow a righteous behavior. We offer reasons from Scripture (we're to be in the world but not of it) and practical reasons (it doesn't matter who you vote for, because the politicians are all the same). We allow the issues and the arguments of politics to be framed in terms devised by others, not ourselves. We allow any outrage against common sense and common decency to be enacted into law with barely a murmur of protest. We are apathetic to any call to political action if it requires effort, investment, or worst of all, confrontation..."

WallStreetJournalEUrope 7/12/00 George Weigel "…..Failing to win his blessing, the world pride protestors sought to embarass the Pope into silence or consent. ...Some may find the Pope's theology of sex impossibly high minded. Yet when we ponder the vast human suffering caused by modern society's inability to temper the constant human temptation to use another human being as an object for transient gratification, then perhaps we may begin to understand that the Pope's critique of libertinism and sexual utilitarianism is in fact deeply humanistic. …….... But this is what precisely the leasders of World Pride cannot accept. In their narrow view, unless one accepts the gay agenda in all its ramifications, one is, by definition, a 'homophobe' and a bigot. ... "

The California Mission 12/99 Father Gerard Beigel, STD "……In his apostolic letter, "The Coming of the Third Millennium," Pope John Paul II asserts that we live in a time of a "crisis of civilization," brought on in particular by "the challenge of secularism." …….." "Secularism" refers to a system of thought and belief which explicitly or implicitly excludes God from human affairs. In short, secularism proclaims that the world we live in is all there is -- there is no God, or if there is, He is too far beyond our understanding to be of any relevance to human life today. The truth is that we are all too familiar with secularism -- it is like the air we breathe in our modern culture. ………Modern secularism is a profound challenge to Christian faith. Over the past two centuries secularism has not only undermined people's belief in God and in Jesus Christ, it has also undermined morality and with it the stability of family life. If there is no God, we must "create our own values." And since everyone's values will be different, there is no such thing as objectively right and wrong human actions. The secularist understanding of human values has become entrenched in our public school systems. As a consequence, there is little support today for parents who are attempting to teach their children respect for God and His commandments. There seems to be no limit to the capacity of secularism to erode all moral foundations of society. Almost thirty years ago abortion was legalized. Euthanasia is now legal in some states and countries, and there have been several ballot measures in different states to establish homosexual "marriage." It will not be long before infanticide of unwanted or medically handicapped children becomes accepted practice. As we consider all these varied manifestations of secularism, it is obvious that this social movement is as profound a threat to Christianity as any of the ancient heresies were. ……"

PRNewswire via Spirit Daily 7/10/00 "…..Declaring that Texas "Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, members of other faith groups, and non-believers, all of whom are entitled to equal respect, would have difficulty responding" to Governor George W. Bush's proclamation of June 10 as "Jesus Day," the American Jewish Congress today called on Bush to refrain from issuing "such sectarian pronouncements in the future." ……"

Evansville Courier & Press , (AP) 7/12/00 "……The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging a law requiring the placement of a Ten Commandments monument outside the Capitol. The debate over the Ten Commandments grabbed much of the emotional attention of the 2000 General Assembly session. Proposals to mandate their display in schools were shelved, but the resolution that directs the monument be displayed also encourages schools and local governments to display the decalogue...."

St. Paul Pioneer Press 7/12/00 Nancy Ngo "……A former car dealership executive filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court charging Minar Ford in New Brighton with religious discrimination. Ira Chemers, who is Jewish, said he was fired on Feb. 24 as general sales manager after he objected to efforts by his employer and co-workers to convert him to Christianity. The lawsuit accuses Cushman Minar, president and CEO of Minar Ford, of insisting that all management meetings begin with a Christian prayer. Chemers said he was fired after he objected to participating in the prayer services and refused to bow his head during prayer. Chemers said that his firing occurred one week after Minar told him that he wanted ``everyone in this organization to be a Christian.'' …….."

TBO.com 7/7/00AP "…..Santa Fe school trustees voted Thursday to eliminate a policy that allowed student-led prayer before football games, declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court last month. "Although we, along with most of the people across the nation are disappointed with the ruling, in keeping with the district's pattern, we will comply with the ruling," school board president Denise Cowart said after Thursday night's vote, the Galveston County Daily News reported Friday. …."

Creators Syndicate 7/5/00 L Brent Bozell "…… It looks like CBS has officially sanctioned anti-religious bigotry on its network. Last Thursday on the CBS "Early Show," host Bryant Gumbel was conducting his standard interview with a conservative guest, which is to say that he was brawling. The subject was the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexual scoutmasters. The guest -- which is to say: target -- was the Family Research Council's Robert Knight, who had the audacity to defend the morality behind the decision. Naturally, Gumbel was openly hostile to anything Knight had to say, which is not surprising given that he's openly hostile to anyone to the right of Kweisi Mfume. At the end of the contentious segment, CBS cut away to Mark McEwen who began the weather report. But then the camera unexpectedly cut back to Gumbel as he was rising from his seat, unsnapping his mike. And there was the very unsuspecting Gumbel, live on national television, sneering and mouthing the words: "What a f---ing idiot!" ……."

Frontpage Magazine 6/28/00 Lowell Ponte "…….. Contrary to its 1789 values, France is today busily enacting a new law to punish "mental manipulation" with up to two years in prison. Since all communications can be deemed an attempt to persuade or inform, to "manipulate" the mind of others, the government will more or less arbitrarily decide whose communications are to be punished. It's already indicated that "sects" and "cults" such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, and proselytizing Southern Baptists meet its measure of who is a mind-manipulating sect……. Yes, this is the same France where the RU-486 abortion pill was created and that until days ago allowed high school nurses to give morning-after birth control pills to girls without their parents' knowledge or permission. But France is not alone in its re-definitions of values and morality. Many political and civic leaders in Chicago have spoken out against a planned Southern Baptist outreach in that city this summer -- -some calling its Christian evangelizing a "hate crime" that will cause violence. Yup, Democrat leaders calling the practice of Christianity a "hate crime."……."

Catholic World News 7/00 Tim Drake "……On March 28, 2000 the Women's Studies Club at Spokane's Gonzaga University invited a representative of Planned Parenthood to appear on campus and discuss reproductive freedom, the 2000 presidential election, and the organization's concerns about safety at abortion clinics. After learning of the invitation Gonzaga's President, Father Robert Spitzer, SJ made the decision to "disinvite" the Planned Parenthood speaker-a decision which he announced on April 12. The resulting controversy on the Gonzaga campus and in the surrounding community sparked debate about the meaning of academic freedom and the nature of a university's Catholic identity. That debate was especially pointed because the same general topics had recently been addressed by the Catholic bishops of the United States, in their latest discussion of the new guidelines for the implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on higher education. ……."

EWTN 7/5/00 Zenit "……Over one thousand people participated in a torchlight procession organized in a spirit of reparation and protest against "Gay Pride" by the Catholic group Centro Culturale Lepanto (Lepanto Cultural Center). The participants formed a procession which left the of St. John Lateran's Square and processed to Piazzale Numa Pompilio where professor Roberto de Mattei, president of Lepanto, briefly addressed the participants explaining the purpose of the demonstration. At midnight the procession continued to the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Divine Love, 10 miles outside the city, where they arrived at dawn. …….. Among the participants of the procession, which had at its head a large banner reading "In defense of the natural and Christian order," were male and female religious, priests, and people from all walks of life, including several politicians. ……..Many other Italian and foreign personalities, unable to attend, sent in their formal support. Among them were Maronite Patriarch Harb Chucrallah and Archbishop Custodio Alvim Pereira, who on July 1st, the same evening, celebrated a solemn Mass in one of the main squares in Lisbon for the participants' intentions. Numerous monasteries and abbeys in Italy and abroad joined in prayer and adoration at the same time, in particular the Benedictine abbeys of Notre Dame de Triors and Notre Dame de Fontgombault. ……"

Christain Broadcasting Network 7/6/00 Gailon Totherah "…… Political correctness has invaded campuses across the country for years, where the "thought police" of higher education have come against traditional speech and behavior. The intellectual powers-that-be have begun targeting religious groups that meet to talk, pray and study the Bible. …….. Tufts University in Massachusetts has an elite student body of fewer than five thousand students. It is a private institution where tolerance and diversity are king, except when the scenario involved Tufts Christian Fellowship in April. …..Lesbian Julie Catalano, a member of the fellowship, could not join the group's leadership circle because of her unbiblical beliefs about sexuality. ….. "Private liberal arts universities like Tufts proclaim themselves the place where tolerance is of the highest value," says Chang. "We feel that's fine, but just make sure you apply that standard equally to all groups." ……"

miami herald 7/6/00 Tristram Korten and Steve Satterwhite "……. Police brass don't cotton to Ofcr. William Oertwig, Jr.'s ideas about law enforcement. William Oertwig, Jr., is a born-again Christian, a 25-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and every speeding motorist's dream come true. For the past two years, the 47-year-old road patrol officer has refused, on principle, to write traffic citations. Although he pulls over drivers for violating the law, he contends his police powers shouldn't be used to collect cash for the county and the state. "I don't believe compliance is gained by the issuance of a traffic ticket," says Oertwig, a compact, clean-shaven man with neatly combed steel-gray hair. "I believe that by making the traffic stop, educating and informing the motorist, I am accomplishing traffic enforcement." Oertwig, who earns $50,000 per year, adds that the training manual his department issues to each officer explicitly states tickets are given at the officer's discretion…….."

Newark [NJ] Star Ledger 7/7/00 David Gibson "….. In another move to raise the political profile of U.S. Muslims, a leading Islamic advocacy group yesterday announced plans for a national voter registration drive aimed at bringing thousands of Muslim voters into the electorate and forcing the presidential candidates to heed their concerns. To drive home its point that the candidates should court the Muslim bloc, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, also released a new survey that showed the Muslim vote is largely up for grabs. ……According to the CAIR poll of 755 politically active Muslims, Democrat Al Gore has a slight lead over Republican George W. Bush by a margin of 33 to 28 percent in the Muslim community. The respondents also favored the Democratic Party over the GOP by 31-17 percent. ……"

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. Every Nazi-occupied country of World War II had a resistance -- courageous patriots doing all they could to vex, subvert, cripple, and eventually destroy the monstrous Nazi regime oppressing their homeland. The Allied forces working to liberate Western Europe from Nazi occupation gained valuable assistance from each nation's resistance. ……. The Western world today is, by and large, occupied by hostile forces in many ways more monstrous than the Nazis. These forces, like communism and National Socialism itself, are committed to a rapacious secular humanism. They are incensed by any public expression of Christianity, and they violently oppose it. The prime objective of their elites is worldwide domination for the forces of anti-Christianity. ........."

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. Early this June, for example, students at a public high school in Mississippi held a fully legal and constitutional out-of-class meeting in which they apparently experienced genuine, Christian revival. The principal, a professed Christian, did not step in when the five-hour revival spilled into class time. She was criticized and even vilified by the secular liberal elite. ...... The secular elite are not neutral when it comes to Christianity. It is not neutrality they want in the public arena, but dominance for their religion -- secular humanism. ……..This secular humanism is the dominant religion of our culture, not merely the schools. It pervades the arts, media, and technology, business -- and even many churches. Its goal is a radical transformation of the inherited Christian civilization of the Middle Ages and the Reformation to which colonial America and the early United States were committed. It is nothing less than a full-scale revolution designed to remake Western society in the image of secular, humanist man. Sadly, the revolution to this point has dramatically succeeded. …….We live in an almost thoroughly secular culture, devoid of almost all Christian civilization. ……"

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. The new Christian resistance must change this. We must not sit passively by while unborn children are butchered, older children are indoctrinated in anti-Christian propaganda funded by our tax dollars, "churches" deny the core doctrines of the Bible, and country-club politicians surrender our liberties. We must write, pray, preach, teach, work, vote, telephone, and e-mail -- we must employ every legitimate peaceful measure to turn the tide of evil. A status quo Christianity that lopes along hoping all will be well simply will not suffice. It is high time that Christians say, "Enough! We will no longer tolerate abortion, euthanasia, pornography, feminism, socialism, gun control, tax-financed secular education, Hollywood sewage, immorality, and so on." ….."

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. Second, we must return to the whole Word of God, the Bible. We must not think that the Bible's message can be reduced to the gospel. The gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a central theme of the Bible; but it is not the only theme. The same Bible that says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31), also says, "Thou shalt not kill," and "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:13 and 15). ….."

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. Third, we must recognize that Christianity is not a Sunday-go-to-meetin' religion, but an entire "life system," or worldview. The popular view which holds that all of our duties are discharged to God when we have attended church on Sunday and experienced a five-minute daily "quiet time" enjoys no approval from the Bible. The Scriptures tell us, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). ….."

Worldnetdaily 7/8/00 Andrew Sandlin "….. Finally, and no less importantly, we must rekindle our love for and devotion to the Triune God. This is the first and great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Ours is not fundamentally a political, or even a cultural, agenda but a religious agenda with profoundly cultural and political implications. …….Christians must return to their knees and cry out to God for revival and reformation, beginning in their own lives, families, and churches. There must be a restoration of fervent, biblical, Spirit-anointed preaching in our pulpits. There must be a revival of husbands' and fathers' decisive, manly leadership in the family and in the church. There must be a heightened dedication to training our children in the Faith -- and training them to assume positions of leadership in tomorrow's culture. When our territory is occupied by secular humanists, halfway measures will not suffice. ……"

The Wall Street Journal 7/7/00 Susan Lee "…… The scene was the grand ballroom of the Yale Club in midtown Manhattan. The menu was mesclun greens and roast chicken. The men were wearing dark suits and silk ties; the women, pale suits and pearls. Letters of congratulations from the governor and the mayor were read. Typical, right? Not on your life. The lunch began with a blessing, a soloist sang "Panis Angelicus" and the whole room rose to sing "How Great Thou Art." The program included several prayers and ended with a benediction. Indeed, this luncheon was hosted by the New York Evangelical Seminary in honor of Carl F.H. Henry--the great evangelical theologian of the 20th century. ...... Evangelicals at the Yale Club? In New York? You bet. And it's not as far-fetched as it might seem. Richard G. Scurry, a money manager and member of the seminary's advisory board, says: "The unique thing about a New York City location is that both rich people and people living in the inner city need to hear about Jesus -- and New York has both." And apparently New York also has plenty of evangelical Christians. There are more than four million evangelicals in the metropolitan area--about one-fifth of the population (which is, however, a smaller proportion than obtains for the whole country, where evangelicals constitute slightly more than one-quarter of the population). More important, the evangelical church is the fastest growing institution in the city. ….."

Reuters via Fox 7/7/00"…… In a painstaking reconstruction of events before and after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, a new report blames the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, the United Nations, France, the United States and Belgium for failing the country during its greatest crisis. Commissioned by the Organization of African Unity, the 296-page report, titled "The Preventable Genocide,'' called for a "significant level of reparations to be paid by those who failed to prevent or mitigate the genocide.'' ……. The 90-day genocide was orchestrated by a small group of Hutu extremists against the Tutsi minority, and then many others joined in. Up to 800,000 people were killed in a slaughter that ended when a Tutsi-led army seized power. "It is, of course, true that there would have been no genocide had a small group among the Rwandan governing elite not deliberately incited the country's Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority,'' the report said. "But this terrible conspiracy only succeeded because certain actors external to Rwanda allowed it to go ahead.'' ………. It is more critical of some leading players, especially France, which it said had "unrivaled influence at the very highest levels'' of the 1994 Rwandan Hutu government and military and "chose never to exert that influence.'' The report said the U.N. Security Council, mainly because of the United States, bore the brunt of the blame for not sending enough peacekeepers before and during the genocide. Washington persistently delayed sending in U.N. forces and played down the crisis in a council generally lacking the will for a tougher response. …….. But among foreigners within Rwanda, it said France and the Catholic and Anglican hierarchies all supported the Hutu government, ignoring human rights abuses and thereby unwittingly encouraging radicals to pursue their course. ……"

AgapePress 7/7/00 Fred Jackson "……. If you are heading for a bookstore this weekend, you may want to prepare for a mob of Harry Potter disciples. The latest edition in the Potter series, The Goblet of Fire, goes on sale at midnight tonight. Four million copies of Harry Potter's latest wizard adventure have been produced for the American market alone. Since the series started, 30 million copies of the books have been sold around the world in 32 different languages. ……The books tell the story of Harry and his friends who go to school to learn witchcraft. Christians have raised concerns about the occult content, especially in light of the fact that public schools and libraries have been busy promoting it. ….."

EWTN 7/7/00 "….. The Internal Revenue Service issued an advisory on Wednesday, warning churches and charities against engaging in political activity or risk losing their tax-exempt status.. …..ASCS has also asked the IRS to investigate the activities of the Rev. Floyd Flake, a former Democratic member of Congress, for allegedly endorsing Democratic candidate Al Gore for president at New York's Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church early this year. ......,:

LewRockwell.com 7/8/00 Brandon Dutcher "……Education - because it deals with ultimate reality, with ideas and values of ultimate importance - is necessarily religious……… Education (duco: I lead) should lead students to answers to some of life's basic questions: Where did I come from? What is the nature of man? What is truth? What is the meaning of sexuality? What is the meaning of history, and what is my part in it? Educators who pretend the crucial questions can be avoided for 12 years, or can be answered in some "neutral" or "value-free" way, are deceiving themselves………..One cannot separate the "religious" from the "academic," as if the God of the universe could be placed into a tidy little compartment. Christ will not be marginalized: He is holding the universe together, and in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is the central reality, the very I AM. He cannot be finessed……… Am I saying then that the public schools should impart the Christian worldview? No. They have neither the authority nor the ability. Besides, Christians shouldn't use the coercive power of the state to foist our beliefs on others……. But that doesn't mean the public schools will be devoid of religious messages. Far from it. As Humanist Manifesto signer John Dewey understood, public education is religious - and whether you call the prevailing philosophy humanism, or secularism, or agnosticism, the public schools are soaked through with it………Their religious message is clear: God may or may not exist, but He's simply not relevant to what goes on in school……"

Dallas Morning News 7/9/00 Jeff Mosier "…… The Biblical Arts Center said it has canceled an exhibit by internationally known artist Edward Knippers after a test audience reacted negatively to the abundant nudity and one painting's anti-abortion theme. Scott Peck, co-director of the nonprofit center in North Dallas, said more than 40 regular patrons and tourists previewed the "Passionate Grace" show, which included about 30 paintings. A decision was then made to call off the exhibit, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday, he said. ……. Mr. Knippers, who could not be reached for comment at his Virginia home Saturday, is known for large-scale paintings of biblical scenes in which many of the subjects, including Christ, are nude. Officials with the Biblical Arts Center said they were aware that Mr. Knippers' work had stirred controversy elsewhere and decided to use a test audience to gauge the local response to his paintings. ...... One of the paintings that inspired strong feelings was Massacre of the Innocent, an interpretation of King Herod's declaration that all newborns in Israel be killed. Mr. Peck said members of the test audience interpreted the work as an anti-abortion statement. ……."Our mission is to show art, but we also don't want to offend people," he said. "We're trying to keep that balance." ……"

AP 7/9/00 Candice Hughes "…..Pope John Paul II bitterly denounced the gay pride festival in Rome as offensive to Christians and said Sunday that homosexual acts are ``contrary to natural law.'' The pontiff spoke from his balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square the day after tens of thousands of people took part in an international gay pride parade in Rome. The parade capped a weeklong festival the Vatican had tried to get canceled. …….. John Paul expressed what he called ``bitterness for the insult'' of having the festival ``during the grand Jubilee of the year 2000 and for the offense to Christian values in a city that is so dear to the heart of Catholics all over the world.'' …… The Roman Catholic church is celebrating a Holy Year that has attracted millions of pilgrims to Rome. ……One of Italy's leading gay activists, Franco Grillini, was swift to respond to the pope's words, which state TV called a ``sentence without appeal.'' ``The true offense is homophobia and anti-gay prejudice fed by the Vatican hierarchy,'' Grillini said in a statement. …..World Pride organizers said they chose Rome for the festival in hopes of opening a dialogue with the church. Instead it highlighted tensions between the two - and between Italy's secular and Catholic establishments. ………. "

Chicago Tribune 7/8/00 Steve Kloehn "….. Carrigan and Williams were among more than 3,500 Southern Baptists and other Evangelical Christians, including 1,000 out-of-town volunteers, who fanned out across Cook and DuPage Counties Saturday to get across their Gospel message, by hook or by cookout. Hundreds more took part in nearby counties. ………. Along the lakefront north of Monroe Drive, church members tossed flying discs bearing a religious message to passing skaters and walkers. Others handed out tracts, performed puppet shows or gave away balloons. More than 2,000 volunteers had registered there by evening, while the sunny weather and nearby Taste of Chicago created a steady traffic of potential contacts.......... National Southern Baptist leaders have been quietly distancing themselves from the Chicago 2000 campaign for weeks, saying their efforts to make inroads in urban America are now focused on Boston and Las Vegas in 2001. ……. But despite the disappointing turnout, the advance publicity for the summerlong campaign-headlined by Saturday's evangelical sortie-has already created a new national discussion on when and how believers should proclaim their religious faith. ......"

Chicago Tribune 7/8/00 Steve Kloehn "….. Last November, the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago asked the Southern Baptists to reconsider their plans for fear that they would target particular non-Christian groups for conversion. That drew an angry response from Evangelical Christians around the country, and ultimately prompted a high-level coalition of church leaders to draft a new defense of direct evangelism, issued last month as the "Chicago Declaration on Religious Freedom." ......... At the institutional level, the controversies ranged from cultural expectations in a pluralistic society to competing visions of what Jesus had in mind when he told his disciples to spread the good news. …… "We are very sensitive to wanting people to feel comfortable sharing their faith," said Tom Kleinfeldt, SearchLight director for the Chicago Metropolitan Baptist Association. To that end, the association gave volunteers a brochure titled "City Survival Kit," with tips from "Do not flaunt valuables (jewelry, radios, cameras, purses)" to "Be sensitive and obedient to the work of the Holy Spirit." ……… Kleinfeldt said local organizers have also gone out of their way to adopt evangelism techniques that are inoffensive and respectful to the listeners, training volunteers to follow guidelines set forth in a book called "Share Jesus Without Fear." ...... If the Chicago approach is modest by Southern Baptist standards-whose assertive style is more familiar in Baptist strongholds in the South-it still falls in the category Moody Bible Institute professor Bob Smith calls "confrontational evangelism." …….. Rabbi Ira Youdovin, executive director of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and one of the clerics who expressed early concern about Southern Baptist plans for Chicago, said he appreciated the conviviality of Saturday's event. "From what I saw, it was a very nice church picnic," said Youdovin, whose downtown condominium overlooks the lakefront park. "They handed out leaflets, but we have no problem with that. That's a constitutional right." ......"

RNC Email 6/30/00 Jim Nicholson "…..Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson today announced a major expansion of the Party's program of outreach to Catholic voters. "We're shifting into high gear in our efforts to engage Catholic voters. We believe, based on solid research, that Catholic voters are especially inclined this year to support Republican candidates, and we intend to do everything we can to realize this potential," said Nicholson. ……Nicholson has appointed Brian P. Tierney as Chairman of the RNC Catholic Task Force. Tierney is the president and CEO of Tierney & Partners, a very successful and highly-regarded advertising and public relations firm based in Philadelphia. Tierney has long been active in the Catholic Church and in the Republican Party. ….."

From the Chuck Wagon: Food for Thought 6/30/00 "….. Several Christian organizations in the San Francisco area recently ran an ad campaign designed to reach homosexuals. Television ads proclaimed, "The dream that I thought could never happen - having a wife and kids - has finally come true. If you're hurting, lonely or confused, Jesus can set you free." Reaction to the ad by city government was anything but enthusiastic……..The city's Board of Supervisors claimed the ads were partially responsible for hostility toward homosexuals. They even charged the ads with being complicit in the death of Matthew Shephard. The city of San Francisco concluded the ads contributed to "horrible crimes committed against gays and lesbians," and requested local TV stations not to run them…….. Pro-family groups like the American Family Association and the Family Research Council filed a lawsuit to stop the city from issuing similar resolutions in the future. A federal judge recently ruled, however, the city was merely doing its "duty" to address concerns for "public safety." The implications of this ruling are enormous…….Far from being neutral toward religious beliefs, federal courts and city governments are becoming more and more hostile toward religious beliefs, especially Christian beliefs. The message is clear: proclaiming the Christian Gospel is "hate" speech and will not be tolerated………Add to these twisted city ordinances and court rulings the part the propaganda press is playing in de-Christianizing America. Just recently, ABC devoted two hours of prime time programming impugning the Christian faith. Throughout our nation, public education, from grammar schools to college and university classrooms, inundates our youth with blatant attacks upon the Christian religion. Night after night, prime time television does the same thing……."

Reuters 6/29/00 "…..Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, the state's largest private provider of foster care services, has decided to stop accepting wards of the state in a dispute over its firing of a homosexual worker. The decision means that 340 abused and neglected children now in the Baptist Homes system as state wards will have to be transferred into other homes or agencies, state officials said. ……. Bill Smithwick, president of Baptist Homes, said Wednesday that his organization would not renew its two-year contract with the state when it expires this weekend and would have to lay off more than 200 workers. ……. The controversy dates back to 1998 when Baptist Homes fired a lesbian social worker, saying her lifestyle conflicted with the organization's values. She later filed a federal lawsuit against both the Baptist group and the state, challenging her dismissal. ……."

7/1/00 Alan Keyes "…The Supreme Court's decision striking down a state ban against partial-birth abortion has everyone in the pro-life movement reaching for new adjectives to describe the depravity of our so-called political elites. The decision makes clear, yet again, that the only real prospect for ending the abortion nightmare in America is for the people to assert their sovereign will. The highest court in the land has, in effect, prohibited the banning of infanticide. Such an uncivilized decision will no doubt tempt many of us anew, and not unreasonably, to conclude that American civilization is ending. ……. Our duty to be prudent and careful, however, does not pass away with the latest outrageous act of our government. Before we decide that the time for political action is over, and that we must turn to preparing our families for the dark age to come, we should pause to consider our duty. We are in a time when many things and people are being tried and weighed in the balance and we shall see whether they are adequate or to be found wanting. We can be sure that this time of trial will have real and grave consequences, even if we have but a murky view of the course that events will take. Whatever else is veiled to us, we must hold to the truth that we are called by God and country to act with all the dedication and wisdom we can muster to limit the damage and inspire a renewal. ……."

The London Telegraph 2/20/99 Bruce Johnston "……. TO the amusement of the Italian public but the consternation of the Vatican, nuns and priests in Rome have become catwalk models and crooned on a karaoke show for a television audience of millions. The two events were widely seen as further evidence of the clergy's bid for a more modern profile ahead of the Millennium celebrations. "Being beautiful doesn't have to mean being vulgar," said Sister Danilea, a 25-year-old in cherry-red lipstick, who was speaking backstage after modelling a grey bell-bottomed trouser suit. "Beauty is a gift of God which can be modelled with simplicity. That is my message." …… The fashion show in a Rome pizzeria was organised by a priest, Fr Antonio Mazzi, to help fund the drug rehabilitation clinic he runs. But its real message was aimed at the fashion world. The organisers said it was a way of gently striking back at the growing use by the fashion world of religious symbolism to create a shock effect. ….. But not all the clergy approve. One bishop said the events were "blasphemous" and a "dangerous compromise." But last night many clergy were expected to tune in secretly to Furore, a karaoke games show, where this week's contestants were nuns and priests. ….."

Nando Times Online 7/1/00 Amy Forliti "……Shrugging off threatened lawsuits, Orange County officials became the first in the state to take advantage of a new Indiana law allowing government entities to post the Ten Commandments. Renditions of "God Bless America" and scripture readings echoed from the steps of the county courthouse Saturday as nearly 300 people who began gathering just before midnight watched officials unveil a plaque with the religious tenets the moment the new law went into effect. "You talk about being moved. Those people were really full of spirit - they were just so excited that it was happening," County Commissioner Charles W. Hall said. ….."

The Massachusetts News 6/30/00 Nev Moore "…… If your child decides he might be homosexual and you take him to a psychiatrist for help, you could lose that child to the DSS. ……..We've witnessed cases where DSS became involved with families because there was conflict between the parents and adolescents who wanted to be free to become active in the gay lifestyle at the ages of thirteen and fourteen. There were no beatings or physical assaults, but the fact that the parents didn't accept their children's wishes and "support" them provided grounds for DSS to remove the children and place them in gay foster homes. ……DSS also transported at least one child we know of to gay rallies, dances and other social events at the age of fourteen. They instructed this particular boy that he did not have to have any contact with his Christian mother if she would not support his gay activism. They would prepare him for independent living. ……"

WorldNetDaily.com 6/30/00 Tom Ambrose "……. As you are likely aware, the U.S. Supreme Court has now, once again, declared by a 5 to 4 decision that it is God. In this particular decision, the Court struck down the ban against partial-birth abortion in Nebraska. In essence, they have allowed the bloody slaughter of innocent, viable babies to continue……… The standard by which we define human death in our society is the absence of brain waves. Should we not, then, at least be logically consistent and define human beings as alive when brain waves are present? ……In the human species, this begins approximately 40 days / six weeks after conception. This is why, for example, there has been a recent surge of interest in playing classical music for babies to hear while they are in their mother's womb: they hear, they feel, they dream, they learn!…..By such a definition, any deliberate abortion that occurs more than 40 days after conception is, inescapably, murder. Fetal brain waves are detectable. Can we not look into each of our own hearts and support this logical, clear and easily determined position of when life begins? ……"

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 7/2/00 Dennis Barbagello "…….Human life - when it actually begins, when and under what circumstances it should be terminated - has probably been the most volatile of political issues in America since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion with its Roe vs. Wade decision nearly three decades ago. Yet, it has been an issue plagued by a glaring inconsistency that neither political nor spiritual leaders have dared to even acknowledge. That is: How can any self-proclaimed "pro-life" politician adamantly oppose abortion, yet still favor the death penalty? Pennsylvanians will soon have that controversy stoked to a white-hot level by a series of broadcast advertisements to be aired across the commonwealth during the next six weeks. ……… A group of Roman Catholic clerics, "Priests for Life," is sponsoring that ad campaign, which they say is aimed at politicians of their faith who also claim to be "pro-choice" on the abortion issue. But the campaign is unlikely to mention capital punishment, which the Catholic Church also opposes. ……."

The Detroit Free Press 6/30/00 Amy Klein "…… Before the business of zoning changes and building permits can begin, the Troy City Council tends to its soul. Scott Rutterbush, a member of the Troy Baptist Church, moves to the front of the room. The audience rises and he begins to pray, asking God to give the council wisdom to make fair decisions and calling on Jesus to protect city firefighters and police officers. Amen, the room murmurs. ……… It's a ritual performed at the start of council meetings in city halls across metro Detroit --often one that began before many elected officials can remember and one that has continued unchallenged for years………."

London Daily Telegraph 6/20/00 "……. A GOVERNMENT-BACKED European directive forcing religious organisations to employ non-believers and homosexuals is a step too far in the battle against discrimination. Under the directive's provisions, any employment discrimination on grounds of sexuality or religion would be outlawed. It would be illegal for churches to employ only Christians or for Jewish organisations to hire only Jews. It is of some small consolation that the clergy are exempt from the provisions. If they were not, a man could not be refused a job as a rabbi on the grounds that he was not a Jew……… "

Catholic World News 6/30/00 "……The British Methodist Conference on Wednesday announced plans to welcome pedophiles into their churches without alerting other members of the congregation in order to create a "community of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation" for offenders. The Conference had decided some time ago not to allow sex offenders to hold office in the church and to insist they were chaperoned at all times when they might be near children. And a working party set up in 1999 on Wednesday urged to the Conference's meeting in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to accept that it was more appropriate to talk of sex offenders as "recovering" rather than "recovered" or "cured." ………However, their report also noted that 25 percent of convicted sex offenders attended prison chapels while serving their sentences and that a large proportion wanted to continue in faith on their release. It would be wrong, the report said, to turn them away. ……"

CBN NEWS 6/30/00 Wendy Griffith "……In a "secular age" when just mentioning God or prayer can sometimes elicit hostile reactions, how do Americans today feel about God and spirituality? A recent Gallup survey has dug deep into America's religious landscape and uncovered some surprising findings. The numbers are in and God is getting high marks. Despite rumors to the contrary, religion is still popular and America remains a predominantly Christian nation. Some 96 percent of Americans say they believe in God, which is about the same number as believed 50 years ago……… A new Gallup poll finds 85 percent of Americans say they believe in some form of Christianity. Of those, 59 percent are Protestant and 26 percent are Catholic. Five percent name a non-Christian religion, including two percent who are Jewish. Ten percent of Americans have no religious preference or can't designate one. …….But what's astounded pollsters is the recent surge in spirituality. Eighty-two percent of Americans say they feel the need for spiritual growth; that's up an unprecedented 24 percentage points in just four years. And 69 percent say they're searching for greater meaning in their lives; that's up 11 percent since 1985…….."

CBN NEWS 6/30/00 Wendy Griffith "……Kevin Manoia, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, agrees that something is indeed stirring in the souls of Americans, as well as the church as a whole. "God is moving in fresh, incredible new ways," he says. "God wants to renew the church. He wants to fill the sails, drive the boat. He wants to use us to accomplish His mission in this country, and that's the exciting part."………. "Eight in ten Americans say they're Christians, but only four in ten know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount," says Gallup. "Most people say the Ten Commandments are valid rules for living, but they can't name them." ………"I think Christians should be concerned because the spirituality that's very popular now is going off in a lot of different dimensions," he says. "It's basically a smorgasbord kind of religion made to suit the individuals." ……. However, the church is growing in other areas. More people are flocking to non-denominational churches, which tend to be more evangelical in nature. And Southern Baptists have remained steady over the years. One group fueling the growth of evangelicals is Hispanics, said to be the nation's fastest growing segment of the evangelical church. "They are loyal, they like to attend church, and they like to belong to a church," says Jesse Miranda, president of AMEN. African-Americans also enjoy church and may be the most religious people in the world. Fifty-one percent of blacks consider themselves to be born again, compared to 36 percent nationally. Eight-two percent say they're church members, compared to 69 percent nationally. …….."

WorldNetDaily.com 7/2/00 Jon Dougherty "…..A Catholic priest who says he has seen the original text of the "third secret" of Fatima disputes the official interpretation of the secret released by the Vatican…….. Now that it has finally been published, Catholics in the traditionalist faction say the version published differs from the original. Critics include a priest who says he has seen the original third secret text. …… Rev. Dr. Gommar A. De Pauw, founder of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, told WorldNetDaily earlier this week that while attending the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council -- held between 1962 and 1965 -- he was shown a copy of the third secret. …….. Fr. De Pauw, a Belgian-born priest who attended the Council as an adviser, said that although he had to "let the Vatican's interpretation sink in," his first impression of the 27-page document explaining the third secret and placing it in context of the other two was, "Thanks, but no thanks." ……. Missing from the Vatican's explanation, he said, was a portion of the secret that predicted the fall of the modern Catholic Church. ……"While at the (Second Vatican) Council, I was given the text -- the supposed text -- of the third secret of Fatima," Fr. De Pauw said. "Journal reporters -- journalists -- gave it to me" and a few others in attendance. …."They left it for me in a strange way, really," he said. "At my desk, in front of me, in the press room." Besides serving the Vatican in various functions and manners over the years, Fr. De Pauw said he was also an "accredited journalist," which, he said, explained his presence in the press area. Fr. De Pauw, who couldn't remember the reporter's name, said, "word got out among the journalists" that a copy of the text was "floating around." "Reporters would increasingly ask me, 'Is this real? Is it genuine?'" he said. ……."

telegraph /UK 7/2/00 Bruce Johnston "…… A BISHOP blamed Italy's permissive society yesterday for the actions of three middle-class teenage girls whose brutal murder of a mother superior "for a lark" has shocked the country. The girls confessed to killing Mother Maria Laura Mainetti, 61, two days after they were arrested on Wednesday. Police said they told officers, "with an incredibly cynical and determined manner, like mafiosi", that she died as part of a joke. The trio - one aged 16 and the others 17 - were tracked down after a witness reported seeing them with the victim, who was discovered stabbed and bludgeoned in a park in Chiavenna, northern Italy, in early June. ……. Residents of Chiavenna, a prosperous town of 7,000 inhabitants near Lake Como, were stunned by the news. Mother Maria Laura's convent specialises in working with drug addicts and prostitutes, and it was thought at first that she had been attacked by one of those being helped. ….."

Spirit daily 7/4/00 "……The chief exorcist in Rome states in a new book that infestations of evil are on the rise and in some instances skyrocketing, especially in the form of seances, witchcraft, and satanic cults. "Unfortunately, in the past fifteen years, we have witnessed an increase, almost an explosion, of these types of associations," says the exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth. …….The priest also points out that any form of magic, the occult, or psychic phenomena is dangerous. "There are no such things as `white' and `black' magic," writes Amorth. "There is only black magic. Every form of magic is practiced with recourse to satan." ……Amorth is also concerned with false visionaries who "simply by sitting in front of a blank piece of paper with a pen in their hands are able to write page after page of spontaneous messages." The most frequent signs of evil influence, he says, are "visions, locutions, false mysticism, or the claim to be a visionary. In these circumstances, when we are not in the presence of psychological illnesses, we are often confronted with the deception of demons." ……..Amorth says the presence of evil is often manifested by insomnia, headaches, or stomachaches; or general malaise that happens in particular settings. Often, he says, diabolical possession is mistakenly considered a mental illness. "I must point out that too many churchmen are totally disinterested in these problems, and so they leave the faithful defenseless," he warned. …."

Fox News 6/30/00 David Crary AP "……The Boy Scouts of America triumphed in their legal battle over gay scout leaders, but the victory could prove costly. Critics say the Scouts have squandered a reputation for tolerance and face an erosion of public support. ……. "They're getting left behind where America is going,'' said Matt Coles, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. "People are going to turn to their local governments and say, `This is a pack of bigots. Don't give them special treatment.''' ……. He predicted that a nationwide movement - "church by church, business by business, town by town'' - will gradually cut community ties with the Scouts and edge them into the ranks of ideological, right-wing groups. ……..''

Daily Catholic 6/15/00 Dr. Frank Joseph, MD "…….. It must be obvious to all by now, that our once Godly country is sinking into hell at an alarming rate. Can anyone doubt that satan is licking his "chops" as he reflects on the Clinton/Gore administration. How proud satan must be of his star pupils. …… They say that 90% of the people believe in God, if so, then one must also believe in satan. The Holy Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ was tempted by satan. For some reason, we never hear much about the prince of darkness. People go about their lives as if he doesn't exist. ….. As a matter of fact people even act as if there is no God. …… To these people, I say, get your head out of the sand and look around. Do you like what you see? If you were satan, whose souls would you covet the most?….. How about the leaders of the most powerful country on Earth. How about one entire political party of the most powerful country on the planet, Earth. ………How does one explain why the oldest political party and once the champions and voice of the poor and downtrodden, have become nothing more than the pawns of satan -- his pride and joy? The American people have been duped by the Democratic party and I must admit I was included. …….. How else can one explain why Clinton and Gore, early in their political careers were pro-life, but now, don't even care if babies are killed when they are 3/4 born and suffer sever pain in the process. They found out that it was not conducive to climbing the Democratic political ladder, which requires a litmus test -- to be an unqualified supporter of legal abortions, so they sold out, to who else, but satan. They found out that the Democratic party, in their race to get money and votes, relinquished all moral accountability……. Support of the Holy See has grown in only a few months to more than 2,000 groups from all faiths from all over the world. They know, if the Vatican is removed, there will be no voice, internationally for people of Faith and no voice for the unborn. ……. Bush noted that pro-abortion groups have been arguing that the Vatican's status, which gives it a chance to advocate the pro-life stance at the UN, should be changed. He indicated his opposition to the pro-abortion effort and his support for keeping the Vatican's position in the UN intact. ……."The position of the administration is unclear,'' he said. "The position of my administration will be very clear and firm: America supports permanent observer status for the Holy See." ………Years ago, I left the Democratic party, when they chose to be the party of evil. Did you ever in your wildest dreams, picture our country, where people of faith were ridiculed and called by the Democrats -- "the religious right," as if it were some sort of an evil preoccupation. And if you attend church on a regular basis, then you are a "religious fanatic." ……….Where one major party's (Democrat) base are the purveyors of death, sin and evil. Their major contributors: Planned Parenthood -- the killers of unborn babies; NARAL -- their cheerleaders; the Hollywood filth industry -- requires no explanation; the gay community and their perverted and deadly life style. …….There is no time left. It's has to be obvious to all, that a vote for Gore will be a vote for satan. I dare anyone, "in his right mind," to deny this. It cannot get any plainer -- there is a war going on in our country, between good and evil -- between God and satan. Whose side are you on? ……".

AP 7/4/00 Judith Kohler "…..A day before the Episcopal Church's national debate on homosexuality, dozens of gay and lesbian advocates were arrested Tuesday during a protest and conservative members unveiled a campaign saying homosexuals can change their lifestyles. At issue at the 10-day Episcopal General Convention, which begins Wednesday, is a proposal to codify the 2.4 million-member denomination's unofficial policy of letting each diocese decide the role of gays and lesbians in the church. …..In Denver, White led more than 100 protesters wearing T-shirts with the slogan ''Stop spiritual violence.'' After singing songs from the civil rights movement and listening to speakers, the activists held hands in front of the convention center and waited for police to handcuff and lead them away to be cited for trespassing and disobeying police……"

Washington Post 7/4/00 Emily Wax "…….After months of debate over lofty constitutional issues, yesterday was Northern Virginia's awkward, but subdued, initiation into the state's new minute-of-silence law. ……. "I was making buzzing noises to try to make people laugh," said Joel Silva, 17, who is taking a geometry class at Wakefield High School……"I was asking everyone, 'What is this for?'‚" said Jose Andres, 19. After he heard that the moment could be used to reflect or pray, he started a "prayer" at Wakefield for getting cable television – specifically MTV – in the classroom and improving the school's "rancid" lunch……….Despite all the debate and worry over whether the minute of silence was a violation of the First Amendment separation of church and state, yesterday's minute was greeted with lighthearted joking, apathy and even some understanding inside classrooms, rather than outrage and protest……"

The Washington Times 7/14/00 Larry Witham "…….A global summit bringing 1,000 religious leaders to the United Nations will disclose some participants next week, good news to U.N. officials eager to plan security and protocol for the unprecedented Aug. 28-29 event. The "working list" to be issued Tuesday will not include personages such as Pope John Paul II and probably not the Dalai Lama, who reports no invitation. But the Vatican's Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian, will make the trek to New York City as will spiritual leaders from countries such as Peru who have never before left their native soils………… The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders is organized by an "independent coalition" of interfaith leaders, and is being held in a year when nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, are seeking use of the General Assembly chamber more than usual…….."We're hoping in the next two weeks that their program will begin to gel," a U.N. official said………One casualty of the inevitable political delicacies may be the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet. China holds one of five permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council and long has opposed his speaking at the United Nations. "His Holiness has not been invited to the summit," an Office of Tibet spokeswoman in New York said Thursday……….The religious leaders are expected to issue a Declaration for World Peace and agree to some form of a permanent International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders……..Mr. Turner, the summit's honorary chairman, has promised full live coverage by CNN.......,:

Christian Science Monitor 7/12/00 Kim Campbell "….But the British Methodist Church is taking the discussion to a different level. It's welcoming convicted sex offenders into its 6,500 congregations, and it's established guidelines for how to help them rebuild their lives - while protecting the children in their communities. ……. Along with the Methodists, the Anglicans, and to some extent the Roman Catholics here have also addressed how to deal with the presence of sex offenders. ………."

Episcopal News Service 7/16/00 Joe Thoma "…… Bishops concurred with the House of Deputies on the morning of July 14, their last legislative day, in a resolution (C031) that encourages the Boy Scouts of America to allow adult leaders to serve regardless of their sexual orientation...."

The Sunday Times UK 7/16/00 Uzi Mahnaimi "……..Thirty-five years ago, the only people who were trumpeting the normalization of homosexuality were left-wing college professors. Few people took them seriously. That was a fatal mistake. We should have remembered Lincoln's sage instruction: "The philosophy of the classroom in one generation is the philosophy of the country in the next." Who can deny that those liberal college professors in the 1960's changed the direction of the entire nation? It behooves us, therefore, to give serious consideration to what liberal college and university professors are now promoting. I'm told that in an article in the May/June issue of Society magazine entitled, "Sexual Liberation's Last Frontier," Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University, Julia Erickson calls for more tolerance and understanding for pedophiles. Yes, pedophiles. Erickson argues that the word pedophilia is too harsh and judgmental. She prefers using "child-adult sex." She questions research that shows long-term effects of such activity. ......"

 

Washington Times 7/20/00 Kenneth Smith "......Sarian Bouma was six months pregnant and worried. An immigrant from Sierra Leone living in the District, she had no health insurance and no guarantee that she would be able to get the medical attention the child inside her needed. She considered the prospect of giving birth in her back yard or, in still darker moments, of committing suicide. That was 23 years ago. Today Ms. Bouma is a successful entrepreneur, one who is forever grateful to officials at Providence Hospital's Center for Life who took her in when she had no place else to go. They cared for her and the child to whom she gave birth, as they care for hundreds of low-income women every year, and gave her a chance to collect the fragments of her life and fashion it anew. The Center for Life is just one small part of a vast Roman Catholic safety net in the District that provides everything from education to medical care to housing to persons who might not otherwise receive it ........Such help may have been enough for Ms. Bouma but not, alas, for the District City Council. Last week, council members voted unanimously to require that in return for acting so charitably, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington must give away its doctrine too. Specifically, the council demands - in complete violation of the church's pro-life, anti-contraceptive teachings - that the diocese join other District employers in offering insurance to cover the cost of contraceptives for its employees. That goes for the Little Sisters of the Poor too......."

Reuters, via Excite 7/18/00 "…….Dutch authorities will not prosecute Pope John Paul for discrimination after he slammed a gay rights march as an "offence to Christian values," an Amsterdam court said on Tuesday. It said the public prosecutor had decided not to press charges because of the Pope's status as head of the Roman Catholic church, head of the Vatican state and highest representative of the Holy See. This position gave him global immunity from jurisdiction, the court said in a statement. ……"

Family News in Focus 7/20/00 Larry Poland "......Truth is stranger than fiction. In Hollywood, that's especially true. ...... a Christian senior vice president in one of the big four television networks discovered that an employee, whom he had to let go in a staff "downsizing," had filed a complaint against him with the network's human resources department. The disgruntled employee claimed that he fired her "because she wasn't a Christian. ........When the executive talked to human resources, he discovered that, on two previous occasions, this woman had filed complaints about him; one, for having a Bible on the bookshelf of his office. And she filed a second one after she walked by the open door of his office and saw him reading his Bible. She claimed that she found this offensive since she was of another faith. ......... But when this matter was disclosed to the executive, he was asked if the charges were true. "Well, yes," he replied, "but I have far more dangerous books on my shelf than the Bible. Feel free to stop by and check them out." .....If the day comes when a Hollywood media professional is fired for not being a Christian, then the spiritual awakening will have gone farther than even we expect it to. And when possessing and reading a Bible is a corporate crime in America, we're in trouble.. ......"

 

The Washington Times 7/18/00 "…..Last week the D.C. Council struck a blow for religious intolerance by imposing on Roman Catholics an obligation in complete violation of church doctrine. Specifically, the legislation would require all health insurance plans covering the cost of prescription drugs - including plans at Roman Catholic institutions - to provide insurance that covers the cost of health insurers to pay for contraceptives. Such contraceptives include controversial intrauterine devices and morning-after pills, which effectively "abort" embryos....."

Charisma News 8/2/00 "……A Christian family organization is beefing up security for its staff after a speaker needed a police escort to leave a university campus when gay activists reacted angrily to her testimony of having left a homosexual lifestyle. Family Research Council (FRC) worker Yvette Schneider was spat on and heckled at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where the Christian student group president who hosted the meeting was warned by police to stay away from her dorm room because the situation was too dangerous. ……. Two lesbians jumped onto the stage and began kissing in front of Schneider as she prepared to talk, FRC executive vice president Chuck Donovan told supporters in a letter. Schneider managed to share her testimony despite interruptions. After being led to safety, she spent the night at a secret location to protect her from further protests. ......The "terrifying" encounter was indicative of the gay lobby's intolerance toward Christians who proclaim homosexuals can change, Donovan said. ….."

CBN News 8/2/00 David Snyder "……In the crucial early primary contests, religious conservatives favored George W. Bush, but they haven't been heard from in recent months as Bush turned his attention to the moderate faction of the Republican Party. Bush is a man who has expressed his personal faith publicly. In doing so, he won the support of many politically active Christians. While his position on most social issues is conservative, he has been somewhat ambivalent about embracing the "religious right." ……. "There's a campaign going on right now where the goal is to try to appeal to the voters of the middle," says Bush advisor Marvin Olasky. "And that means some of the things that were enunciated in the primary campaign are probably not going to be enunciated as strongly over the next several months." ……."

Lew Rockwell.com 7/20/00 Gary North "……..With the President meeting this week with Prime Minister Barak of Israel and Yassir Arafat, it may be time to review a topic that is baffling for Jews, annoying to Arabs, and unavoidable for American Congressmen: the unswerving political support for the State of Israel by American fundamentalists……… Vocal support of a pro-Israel American foreign policy is basic for the leaders of American Protestant fundamentalism. This has been true ever since 1948. Pat Robertson and Rev. Jerry Falwell have been pro-Israel throughout their careers, beginning two decades before the arrival of the New Christian Right in the late 1970's. These men are not aberrations. The Trinity Broadcasting Network is equally supportive. So are the best-selling authors who speak for, and influence heavily, Protestant fundamentalism, most notably Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), and Tim LaHaye, the husband of Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America, which says on its Web site that it is "the nation's largest public policy women's organization." Rev. LaHaye and his co-author have each earned some $10 million in royalties for their multi-volume futuristic novel, Left Behind. They have a very large audience......."

7/14/00 Wilmington Morning Star Amy Turnbull "….The state rested its case Thursday in the second-degree murder trial of retired Army Col. George Marecek, and New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies were stationed outside the courthouse door to monitor the potentially volatile proceeding. ……. Security was tightened Wednesday after Dennis Rood reported to Carolina Beach Police that he had been harassed by two men at his home the night before he was to testify against Mr. Marecek. He identified one of the men as Jonathan Keith Idema, an outspoken supporter of Mr. Marecek. ……. Carolina Beach Police Maj. William Still said Thursday that witness tampering charges will not be filed against Mr. Idema. "I discussed it with (District Attorney) John Carriker this morning, and it does not meet elements of the statute," Maj. Still said. "This was a heated argument, but does not meet criteria of a threat." The incident report will remain on file, he added, but Mr. Idema will not be charged. ………. The report came as no surprise to Mr. Idema, a former Green Beret like Mr. Marecek who Thursday was visiting the Committee to Free Marecek headquarters on Princess Street. He said the report was made as an attempt by law enforcement to quiet him just as he was about to make public damaging information about the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department's investigation of the case. Mr. Idema said he only approached Mr. Rood to confront him about information he has that contradicts statements Mr. Rood has made in court. Mr. Idema said he asked Mr. Rood why he lied under oath. "If that question is intimidation, then every journalist in this country is guilty of intimidation," he said. …….Mr. Idema has been working on the Marecek case for about a year, he added, and he is convinced that Mr. Marecek is not guilty of murdering his wife, Viparet, at Fort Fisher in 1991. …….He said he isn't working for the defense team. He said, in fact, that he has been ordered not to turn over the information he gathers to the defense. He said he works for the Counter-Terrorist Group, an organization whose primary focus, according to its Web site, is an academy that "provides its graduates with the most modern tactics and techniques for armed encounters and for the successful prevention and resolution of acts of terrorism." …….."

WorldNetdaily 8/28/99 Betsy Gibson "...A former Special Forces commando says he spoke yesterday to a Delta Force commando who was present at the final tear-gas assault on the Branch Davidian compound. Keith Idema, who was a member of Special Forces and Special Operations units from 1975 to 1992 and helped to train hostage rescue team personnel for both Delta Force and the FBI, says pictures from Waco released this week by the Texas Department of Public Safety have been mistakenly identified by the department as gun silencers and suppressors belonging to David Koresh and his followers which were found inside the compound after the fire. Idema says they are actually concussion grenades manufactured by a company, Defense Technology, and purchased by the FBI. Idema also says the bright light seen on video footage as flashing inside the building moments before the fire broke out have been misidentified as a fire started by Branch Davidian leader David Koresh, when, in fact, to the trained eye of a Special Forces explosive expert it is unmistakably the flash caused by a "concussion grenade" that has been lobbed inside the compound...."

Annals of Warfare 3/9/98 Richard Preston "……. KEN ALIBEK is a quiet man, forty-seven years old, with youthful looks and an attractive, open face. He lives in a rented condominium in Arlington, Virginia, a five-minute walk from his office at a private consulting firm. Alibek has dark hair and Asian features, and a dimpled scar on his nose, which he got in an accident that was "not heroic," he says, involving a machine in a biowarfare plant. …….. Before he arrived in the United States, in 1992, Ken Alibek was Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy chief of research and production for the Soviet biological-weapons program. He was the top scientist in the program, a sprawling, clandestine enterprise known as Biopreparat, or The System, by the scientists who worked in it. Biopreparat research-and-production facilities were flung all across the Soviet Union. As Dr. Alibekov, Ken Alibek had thirty-two thousand scientists and staff people working under him. …….Alibek has a Doctor of Sciences degree in anthrax. It is a kind of superdegree, which he received in 1988, at the age of thirty-seven, for directing the research team that developed the Soviet Union's most powerful weapons-grade anthrax. He did this research as head of the Stepnagorsk bioweapons facility, in what is now Kazakhstan, which was once the largest biowarfare production facility in the world. The Alibekov anthrax became fully operational in 1989. It is an amber-gray powder, finer than bath talc, with smooth, creamy particles that tend to fly apart and vanish in the air, becoming invisible and drifting for miles. The Alibekov anthrax is four times more efficient than the standard product. ……Ken Alibek is part of a diaspora of biologists who came out of Russia following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Government funding for research decreased dramatically, and scientists who were working in the biowarfare program found themselves without jobs……."

Annals of Warfare 3/9/98 Richard Preston "…….BIOPREPARAT, or The System, was set up in 1973, just a year after the Soviet Union signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, an agreement banning the development, use, and stockpiling of biological weapons. The United States, which had ended its offensive-bioweapons program in 1969, also signed the treaty, as did Great Britain. (Some hundred and forty nations have signed the convention by now.) The Soviets continued to believe, however, that the United States had not ended its bioweapons program but simply hidden it away, turning it into a "black" weapons program. "The notion that the Americans had given up their biological weapons was thought of as the great American lie," a British intelligence officer recalls. "In fact, most of the Biopreparat scientists had never even heard of the Biological Weapons Convention." ……"

Annals of Warfare 3/9/98 Richard Preston "…….The yolk of the bioweapons program may now be hidden away in military facilities run by the Russian Ministry of Defense, which are off limits to Americans. The largest of these is a complex near Sergiyev Posad, an old town about thirty miles northeast of Moscow. It's not clear how much real control Boris Yeltsin has over the Russian military. If the Ministry of Defense wanted to have a bioweapons program, could anyone tell it to stop? One prominent American scientist said to me, "All of our efforts in touchy-feely relationships have certainly engaged the former Biopreparat people, but we've been turned down flat by the military people. No doubt they're hiding something at Sergiyev Posad, but what are they hiding? Is it a weapons program? Or is it a shadow that doesn't mean anything, like the shadow on the shade in 'Home Alone'? We just don't know." ……"

American Family Association 7/11/00 Pat Trueman "….. For nearly two decades, the National Endowment for the Arts has infuriated Members of Congress and Christians by funding institutions and organizations that blaspheme God or distribute pornography and other indecent material in the name of "art." This year NEA chairman, Bill Ivey, in lobbying Congress for a budget increase has certified, according to press accounts, that "the problem grants have ended." "We come before you today as a different agency, a new agency," Ivey has said to Congress. But a close examination of the "new" NEA demonstrates that the agency has changed its rhetoric-but not its preferences for pornographic and blasphemous art.. ……..Here are just a few of the major problem grantees in NEA's past and a summary of recent NEA action towards those same grantees. ……"

Manhattan Theatre Club, Inc.
In 1998, the NEA was harshly criticized for funding this New York theatre, which staged the play, "Corpus Christi." The blasphemous play depicted Jesus having sexual relations with his apostles. One would have thought the NEA might refrain from funding the Manhattan Theatre Club ever again given the theatre's decision to present "Corpus Christi" in the face of an outpouring of criticism from Christian churches and organizations. Not so. The very next year the theatre was rewarded with a grant of $37,000. This year, the theater received not one, but two separate grants, each for $50,000.

Women Make Movies
In 1996 and 1997, the NEA received sharp rebukes for funding this group by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), chairman of the Education and Workforce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has jurisdiction over the NEA. At the time, Hoekstra noted that the NEA gave more than $100,000 over a three year period to Women Make Movies, which distributed numerous pornographic films such as "Sex Fish," "Watermelon Woman," and "Blood Sisters." These films include depictions of explicit lesbian pornography, oral sex, and sadomasochism. In 1997, the American Family Association, distributed to most Members of Congress clips from some of these and other pornographic films distributed by Women Make Movies. Criticism of the NEA for funding a group that distributes pornographic works was dismissed by the agency which continued to fund Women Make Movies as late as 1999, giving two grants, one for $12,000 and a second for $30,000. Women Make Movies continues to distribute hard-core pornography.

Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company
This Washington, DC theatre, a frequent recipient of NEA money, generated much controversy in the past for the NEA when it staged Tim Miller's one man performance titled, "My Queer Body." In this play, he describes what it's like to have sex with another man, climbs naked into the lap of a spectator, and attempts to arouse himself sexually in full view of the audience. Shrugging off the controversy, this year the NEA gave the theatre $28,000. Wooly Mammoth's 2000 season will include the production "Preaching to the Perverted," which is written and performed by Holly Hughes, who herself has been the cause of controversy for the NEA for her previous works funded by the agency. …. In the Wooly Mammoth's Internet catalog, "Preaching to the Perverted" is described as follows: "If you loved solo extravagances of Tim Miller, you won't want to miss this unique and irreverent evening of legal and sexual politics." ……."

The Times (London) 7/21/00 Giles Whittell "…..FOREIGN missionaries are being forced out of Russia and obstructed in their work in greater numbers under President Putin than in the year before his rise to power, British research has found. "We do not welcome American missionaries because they do proselytising work." The FSB, successor to the KGB, is often behind the harassment of missionaries and may have been encouraged to act more boldly by a new Russian defence doctrine that singles them out as a possible threat to national security, according to the Oxford-based Keston Institute. …….Seven cases cited in a series of reports by the institute, which began to monitor religious freedom in the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was itself denounced by the Soviet Union as a cover for spying operations in 1988, include the expulsion of 11 American missionaries from the autonomous Muslim republic of Bashkortostan. They were accused of activities "incompatible" with their humanitarian aid visas. ……."

Massachusetts News 7/25/00 Ed Oliver "…… The homosexual agenda is being promoted at the Ford Middle School in Acushnet, which adjoins New Bedford, it was revealed at a workshop at the "Fistgate" conference. The session was titled, "The Struggles and Triumphs of Including Homosexuality in a Middle School Curriculum." ……… It focused on the experiences of Christine L. Hoyle, a special education teacher who said she is a lesbian, who told how she expanded a holocaust class into an "anti-prejudice unit" in order to include homosexuality. Hoyle's session was included at Fistgate to offer advice on how to "get around roadblocks" to including homosexuality in a middle school curriculum. …….……… Hoyle said parents were informed in a letter that a person from the state-approved organization "Speak-Out" would speak to the children. They were told they could have their children opt out of the presentation under state law. Despite the law, kids "develop a network of passing the information along to those who didn't attend," Hoyle said. The principal received one objecting letter (from "a Sunday school teacher"). ……….. A child asked the speaker if he could be arrested for being gay. The speaker proceeded to answer the question by graphically describing the homosexual acts for which a person could be arrested. There was a complaint made about this to the principal, even from students in their evaluations. Students said they wanted to hear from homosexuals, but not about what they do. ……. The homosexual man from SpeakOut who was barred from returning to the school attended Hoyle's workshop. He defended himself by saying SpeakOut will honestly answer any question put to them by students. He said they would have to adjust their answers, however, to be more age-appropriate because they are used to speaking to high school students. …. He also said children should be discussing oral and anal sex with SpeakOut presenters because they cannot discuss it with parents, teachers or people at church…….

Massachusetts News 7/25/00 Ed Oliver "…… A student on the video said ancient Greek poets encouraged homosexuality and considered it normal for an adolescent boy to have an older, wiser man as his lover. The students posed questions and answers about homosexuality, such as:
Q. What percentage of the population are homosexual?
A. Ten percent, but probably more, because not everyone admits it. [Editor's note: Most experts today agree that less than 3% of the population is homosexual]
Q. How many men and women are gay?
A. More men than women.
Q. What's wrong with being gay?
A. Nothing. (Said with defiant tone).
Q. Is homosexuality a sickness?
A. People used to believe it was, but it is just one way to express sexual love.
Q. Can homosexuals choose not to be gay?
A. They can decide not to have sex with members of their own sex.
Q. What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
A. Sex is in the Bible, but it is used only for procreation. But, there are many Bible passages that say, "Love one another." The Bible is used against gays. ………"

Massachusetts News 7/25/00 Ed Oliver "…… A teacher who attended the workshop commented to Massachusetts News, "From this middle school workshop, I learned that educators who initially do resist this gay political movement, like Hoyle's principal, are too easily compromised. Remember, seven years ago when their holocaust study was expanded, they were told that under no circumstances could anyone come to speak on homosexuality. Now you have seventh grade girls presenting so-called research that affirms pederasty in ancient Greece. This is clearly desensitization to morality and the law. How come no one ever teaches students or teachers about statutory rape? Now that's something you'd never hear at a GLSEN conference. How about the tremendous health hazards of this lifestyle?" "What if the 250 boys that were molested in Middleton had been in this holocaust class? Wouldn't they have concluded that it was okay to engage in sex with grown men? After all, if pedophilia was openly accepted in the ancient Greek civilization, then why not here in America today? Isn't this the land of the free?" ……."

American Family Association 7/25/00 Allie Martin "……..The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with a Texas school district that refused to let a student pray at graduation ceremonies because the student refused to let school officials review her prayer in advance. The court refused to hear the case of Furly vs. Aledo ISD after a panel of judges from the Fifth Circuit had earlier dismissed the case. The lawsuit was originally filed by high school senior Katherine Furley against the Aledo Independent School District near Dallas after the school refused to change its policy that prohibits student prayers--except for those reviewed and edited by school officials. Kelly Shackelford, who is with the Liberty Legal Institute, says the Fifth Circuit's decision was a surprise "Whatever happened to separation of church and state?," Shackelford asks. "The term they always like to use doesn't seem to bother them now that the government is actually controlling the very words that people are praying. It's an outrageous violation of the First Amendment." ….."

Time Daily Online 7/25/00 "……The Issue Was Jerusalem - and Arafat Had No Wiggle Room Even if the Palestinian leader had been inclined to compromise on ownership of the Holy City, his Arab neighbors and supporters would have thrown a giant-size hissy fit……. "God, it's hard," President Clinton complained last week of his efforts - futile, it turns out - to cajole Israelis and Palestinians to agree on the terms of a divorce. The President's invoking of the Almighty may not have been coincidental. After all, he had been trying to coax both sides toward an elusive agreement in which a man-made set of laws would apply in different parts of a city deemed holy by the three great monotheistic faiths. ……"

Upi 7/26/00 "……A federal judge has overturned a state law authorizing display of the Ten Commandments on a monument erected on the grounds of the Capitol. ….. U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood said the Constitution prohibits the state of Kentucky from expressing "its faith in the Ten Commandments." Though lawmakers claimed they just wanted to highlight the historic significance of the Ten Commandments and had no intention of imposing any religious beliefs, Hood ruled the "purpose of this is not secular. I think it' s religious." He said if no religious significance was intended, the commandments should have been coupled with the Code of Hammurabi, the first known legal code traced to the 18th century B.C……."

Yahoo (AFP) 7/30/00 "…….US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is to travel to Rome this week to confer with the Vatican on the Middle East peace process, particularly the status of Jerusalem, the State Department said Sunday. Albright, who was originally scheduled to return to the United States on Monday after visits to Thailand and Japan, will instead fly to Rome for talks with Vatican secretary for foreign relations, Monsignor Jean-Louis Tauran…….. "This has been an area of great interest to the Vatican," Boucher said, noting in particular Pope John Paul II's calls for Jerusalem to be granted special status in any peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians……."Their view is quite well known and we do keep in mind the views of others as we proceed in this," he told reporters travelling with Albright……."

Daily Catholic 7/00 Dr. Frank Joseph, MD "…….If there's anything that makes my skin crawl, it's a clergyman, who says he is pro-choice. Pro-abortion -- pro-choice, it's all the same. If you condone and accept the proposition that a mother should be able to kill her unborn baby if she so chooses, you are pro-abortion. So let's not be cute and hide behind sugar coated words, like pro-choice and when a man of the cloth says he is pro-choice, it's all the more disgusting. It must be nice to pick and choose certain parts of the Holy Bible to live by. And if you feel that ignoring certain Scriptures will advance your career, then so be it. ………. Rev. Jackson changed the subject. It was apparent that he was getting nowhere with Lungren and his nonsensical views on the abortion issue. To the credit of Lungren, who apparently couldn't stand hypocrisy, a few minutes later, turned the subject back to the abortion issue. Lungren said, "the abortion issue is about life and death and the death penalty is about life and death." ……He was trying to tell Rev. Jackson in a nice way, that he was a hypocrite. Caring about the death penalty, but not caring if unborn babies were killed. …… Jackson abruptly replied, "don't put me in a box on abortion -- while I support pro-life, but the women has the ultimate choice. I don't support late term abortions -- I think it's runs dangerously close to infanticide. Jackson, again changed the subject and went on to talk about the current executions, which he condemned, since he is against the death penalty. ...... "

Truth In Media 7/00 Bob Djurdevic "…….(An Excerpt from an October 1997 Truth in Media Bulletin, CETINJE, Montenegro, September 1997) - Picture a Jesus Christ crucified on an (Orthodox) cross surrounded by four apostles, three of whom have the Nazi swastikas painted over their heads and halos. Sacrilegious? Blasphemous? Yes. But that's not all. Now, substitute a pig's head for Christ's on the same cross, and visualize his oversized erect penis protruding toward the apostles. …… Vulgar? Profane? Revolting? You bet. But that's not all, either. Imagine a nun praying on her knees to a naked woman with a halo over her head who appears to be masturbating. Envisage a cross with Christ's head on the cross shown as a lump of feces. …….. Disgusting? Crude? Primitive? Of course. But that's not all, either. ……The above were only some examples of the "art" which the liberal globalists, like Nikola Petrovic, a Paris-based distant relative of Montegro's famous 19th century poet and bishop, brought to Cetinje (Montenegro) Bienale III. This spoof of Jesus Christ and of the sacred Christian objects, was sponsored by the United Nations' UNESCO organization, the European Council, the Montenegro government (read Milo Djukanovic, the prime minister and leading presidential candidate), the British and Austrian embassies to Yugoslavia, the foreign ministry of Italy, and by and some other French, Spanish and Austrian organizations. ......"The Antichrist brought to you by the New World Order" (our term) exhibit was supposed to last from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2, 1997. It was hurriedly closed last week by the Montenegrin government after a barrage of protests from the Serbian Christian community, led by Metropolitan (Archbishop) Amfilohije of Cetinje. Djukanovic feared that his sponsorship of the exhibit may cost him some votes in the heat of the presidential election campaign, according to our Belgrade sources. Despite the closure, there is no evidence that organizers or sponsors were embarrassed by the sacrilegious filth they were brazenly pawning off as "art." ……… "

Truth In Media 7/00 Bob Djurdevic "…….Ed. An isolated case of anti-Christian propaganda? Hardly. In our TiM GW Bulletin 97/7-11 (7/29/97), we reported about an article published in the Israeli scientific magazine Galilo about the dangers of cloning, which was illustrated with an image depicting Virgin Mary with a cow's head, according to a July 5 report by the Birzeit News, a Birzeit University paper. The Greek Orthodox Archmandate, Dr. Attallah Hanna, similarly attacked it as " the slur on Christianity. The 'Latin' (the Roman Catholic?) Patriarch Michel Sabbah commented that the Galilo image represented a kind of provocation, "that leads to war and sectarian strife." The editor of the Israeli magazine apologized under pressure. Yet the New World Order sponsors of the Cetinje sacrilege remain unrepentant. Is it because they DID try to foment more "war and sectarian strife" in the Balkans with a DELIBERATE provocation of the Christians? ………"

Yahoo 7/26/00 "……/PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in history, religious and spiritual leaders of the world's diverse faith traditions will come together in New York on August 28th to discuss how to forge a partnership of peace with the United Nations. More than 1,000 leaders are expected. …..All regions of the world will be represented, as will the major faith traditions of Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Indigenous, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism. ...... The occasion will assemble leaders rarely seen together at religious gatherings, such as the Jingu Daiguji of the Grand Shrine at Ise, the Patriarch of Thailand, and Chief Patriarch Ehsin Watanabe of Mount Hiei from the Tendai School of Buddhism in Japan. Numerous spiritual leaders from the indigenous traditions around the world-such as Andean leaders from the line of the Incas-are also planning to participate. ….. Anticipated outcomes of the Summit are a Declaration for World Peace and plans for the establishment of an ongoing International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders that can serve as a resource for the U.N. Secretary-General and the U.N. system in its conflict prevention and resolution efforts………``There has been a phenomenal response from religious leaders around the world. They see this as a unique opportunity to join efforts with the United Nations in a worldwide interfaith initiative. Our goal is that religious leaders from different traditions will work together to help resolve global problems,'' said Summit's Secretary-General Bawa Jain, who has been traveling to many regions speaking with religious leaders about the goals of the Summit……."

Washington Times 7/31/00 Valerie Richardson "……The Episcopal Church's new policy on supporting and affirming committed relationships outside marriage comes a little late for Lee Ann Bryce. Miss Bryce has filed state and federal lawsuits against the church's Colorado diocese for civil rights violations after she was fired last year from her part-time job as youth minister at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church here. Her dismissal came after she participated in a service of commitment with her partner, the Rev. Sara Smith…….The irony is that Miss Bryce, 40, isn't even an Episcopalian: She belongs to the United Church of Christ, which allows such unions. Even so, her case, believed to be the only one of its kind, exposes the tension in the Episcopal Church's tenuous compromise on homosexual "marriage" while raising questions on whether the courts can breach church autonomy in the name of civil rights………Church officials argue that the issue has less to do with homosexuality than with the church's constitutional right to freedom of religion. Just as some denominations refuse to ordain women, the Episcopal Church has the right to reject non-celibate singles, whether heterosexual or homosexual, from the ministry……."

AFR News 7/25/00 Fred Jackson "…..Three conservative bishops in the Episcopal Church have been given an ultimatum. They have been ordered to start ordaining women into the priesthood or face disciplinary action. The issue of ordaining women has been in the news quite often lately. During the recent Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, delegates voted to reaffirm the Biblical teaching that women cannot be senior pastors. On the other hand, the Episcopal Church has been ordaining women for the past 30 years. The fact that three of their bishops are taking a stand against the practice has angered leaders within the church. The trio, who are bishops in California, Texas, and Illinois, say Christ did not choose women as apostles; therefore, today's churches have no right to ordain women. ……."

FOX 7/22/00 Reuters "……General Mills Inc. has apologized for including a free software version of the Bible in more than 12 million boxes of Cheerios, Chex and other brands of breakfast cereal, the Detroit Free Press reported (on) Saturday. The $10 million promotion, which included offering a Protestant version of the Bible on a CD-ROM containing games and dictionaries, was scheduled to kick off on Monday and run through August, the newspaper said. ……….."While inclusion of the Bible may be seen as added value by some, it is the company's policy not to advance any particular set of religious beliefs. ……. The Detroit Free Press quoted the company as saying the Bible was included on the CD-ROM "without our knowledge or consent.'' But it also published e-mails that appeared to show the cereal-maker knew it was included. …….Wisconsin's Rhinosoft Interactive founder Gregory Swann said free software of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire'' in boxes of General Mills cereals on store shelves now was also to have contained the Bible. But Disney Interactive, which licensed the software version of the popular game show, demanded it be deleted, the newspaper reported. ……"

WORLD magazine 7/29/00 Marvin Olasky "…… As the Republican convention approaches, delegates and reporters are asking how churches and government might work together in a new Bush administration. One vision of the future is on display at Greater Exodus Baptist Church on Broad St. in Philadelphia, a straight shot north from city hall. On the outside are red pillars and big glass doors below elegantly carved arches. Churchgoers stream through those doors into a sanctuary with 1,000 blue, white, and red seats. Above is a 50-foot-high ceiling with intricate designs etched into it. ……. Two decades ago the building was double-mortgaged, pigeon-infested, and structurally damaged. Deacons faced a $32,000 utility bill with $300 in the bank. To the rescue came Herb Lusk, known as "the praying tailback" because he was the first NFL player to crouch prayerfully following a touchdown. Just retired from the Philadelphia Eagles and considering whether to follow his father into the pastorate, he saw the sanctuary, with its buckets to catch roof leaks, as God-given opportunity. ……..Mr. Lusk used dramatic confrontation to build his church. Prostitutes hung out on the church steps, but he went out with a Bible and started reading in a loud voice, beginning with the first words of Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." He filibustered on until the hookers either started coming to church or moved on. Meanwhile, Mr. Lusk gained a master's degree in divinity from Reformed Episcopal Seminary. ……...."

Detroit Free Press 7/21/00 David Crumm "……. Bibles and Cheerios just don't mix, General Mills announced Friday afternoon. But the public apology from the cereal giant came too late: More than 12 million boxes of cereal containing software versions of the Bible are headed for grocery store shelves nationwide. …….. The apology was a shock because the unprecedented promotion, which involved giving away CDROM games, dictionaries and Bibles, was one of the most creative marketing ideas in years, said Phyllis Tickle, an editor at Publishers Weekly magazine and a leading expert on the marketing of religious publications. ……. "They got spooked with the idea of the Bible in their boxes," Tickle said Friday afternoon. "There would have been some controversy, but this probably would have been a very popular idea." The irony is that, for nearly a year, General Mills' partners in this promotion worked on a strategy to soft-sell the Bibles. ……. That included avoiding any mention in the colorful advertisements on General Mills' new cereal boxes that a Bible was included on the CDROM featuring a popular computer game. The boxes are being distributed nationwide through August. …….Even after the software is started on a computer, users have to select the "Reference Library" from a variety of choices to discover the Bible software. ……In March, Swann experienced the first hint of controversy. An executive from Disney Interactive, who licensed the "Millionaire" software for the CDROMs, told Swann and other partners that the Bible was too controversial. Disney demanded it be taken off the "Millionaire" CD-ROMs. That left the Zondervan Bible only on the 12 million boxes featuring the CD games: Clue, Carmen Sandiego Word Detective, Lego Creator and Amazon Trail. The Bible software works only on PCs. ……… "The Bible was on the discs from the very beginning, but the people from Disney didn't want it on their CDROMs," said Ken Patterson, a Minnesota-based software developer who worked on the discs. "It held up production, when Disney had us pull it from their discs in March." ......"

Agape Press 7/17/00 Fred Jackson and Bill Fancher "…….The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that student-led prayer at school sporting events was illegal. Now, school officials in Pearl, MS, are considering using school bands to express spiritual thoughts. For example, the band would open a football game or other sports contest with a religious song such as "Amazing Grace." …… But Ennis Proctor, head of the group which regulates Mississippi high school bands, says he does not see a problem with bands playing religious music. Proctor says some school bands are already doing that at state concerts and festivals……"

Newark [NJ] Star Ledger 7/16/00 David Gibson "…….Barring an act of God or cold feet on the part of one of the brides, Catherine and Hannah will walk up the aisle of Morristown's Episcopal Church of the Redeemer this fall to have their relationship blessed in a service that will be a Christian wedding in everything but name -- and even that isn't out of bounds. ''I call it a sacramental marriage," said the Rev. Phillip Wilson, Redeemer's pastor and a cleric who goes the extra step of recording same-sex unions in the church register along with traditional rites of passage such as baptisms, confirmations and plain old heterosexual marriages. ''Obviously it's not a legal marriage and I won't pretend it is," Wilson said. "But if you come at it from the premise that blessing same-sex unions is the same as blessing any other union, why would you treat it any differently?" ………In fact, leaders of Wilson's Episcopal Church and two of the nation's other mainline churches, the Methodists and Presbyterians, made it clear in recent weeks that they do view homosexuals differently. ……"

World Net Daily 7/21/00 Johnny Chung "…… Despite my anger with this administration for the way it is treating me, I am eternally grateful to God for His mercy and for using this situation to bring me closer to Him. Because of three assassination attempts against me, my family and I were put under government protection twice by heavily-armed FBI agents. But it wasn't just professional killers that were after me. During the Chinagate scandal, I felt like a hunted animal being chased by the news media, congressional investigators and professional prosecutors of the Department of Justice. …….……..While under government protection, isolated in a small hotel room, I soon realized I had no idea what my future would be. My daily life was controlled by others. I had no way of knowing what would happen the next day. I had no way of controlling my own life and my own family. We were are all under the control of others. I had a lot of time on my hands, and I spent it reading my Bible. When I was a kid, I always read the Bible before I went to sleep. I memorized verses and listened to my mother's wise words. She said being a good Christian means talking and acting exactly the way the Bible tells us to do, and that includes not lying. But during my business pursuits in the United States, I turned my eyes away from God and His Word. I often ran ahead of God - I stopped praying and reading the Bible. I never gave up my business dream and turned into a workaholic. ……. With no one to turn to and more time that I'd had in my entire life, I turned my eyes back to God's Word. I prayed everyday, without ceasing. I had never lost my faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, but I had lost my intimate relationship with him. This ordeal helped me realize that even when you think you have control over your life, you don't. The Lord is ultimately in control of everything, and He has a purpose for everyone, including me. ……. In November 1996, just after the scandal went public, my mom and I sat down in my backyard. "With all of these legal expenses and all your business friends walking away from you, how are you going to face the tremendous financial burden?" she asked me. I said, "Mom, I have faith that God will provide." And He did. ……. At the age of 40, God allowed me to kick back and take it all in. And if God is willing, I have another 30 or 40 years ahead of me. I'm going to make the most of that time by being useful to my family, my community and my country, just as a Christian should be. ......... I realized that the more this White House administration and DNC officials tried to trash me and wrongly accuse me, I could take solace in knowing that I was being a good Christian by telling the truth. The truth is light, and darkness hates the light. Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." That's why I have peace in our home and in my heart. I know God is with me. The Lord has not only given me peace, but He's also given me the courage to speak out. ...... "

WASHINGTON TIMES 7/21/00 "……When George W. Bush spoke at Bob Jones University during the Republican primaries earlier this year, Democrats were quick to criticize him for speaking at an institution that they claim foists "hate-filled, racist and anti-Catholic views upon its students." When House Speaker Dennis Hastert picked a Protestant rather than a Roman Catholic to serve as the chamber's chaplain, (with support from many Democrats by the way) House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt exploited the controversy "to prove the GOP has a strong anti-Catholic streak," Roll Call reported. So where are all the Democrats, self-appointed guardians of the Roman Catholic faith, now that the Democrat-dominated D.C. City Council is trying to foist anti-Catholic practices on the church itself? Why, doing their best to look the other way. At issue is the council's unanimous passage of legislation requiring employers in the District whose health insurance plans cover prescription drugs to cover the cost of prescribed contraceptives too. That mandate covers so-called morning-after pills or abortifacients. The church's position on contraception and abortion could not be clearer. It opposes both. ….."

Pan African News Agency 7/20/00 Tervil Okoko "……Two secondary schools in Kenya's Central province have been closed and students sent home following alleged invasion by ghosts, the Daily Nation has reported. It indicated that ghosts allegedly invaded Gitogo Mixed Secondary School, about 120 miles north west of Nairobi Thursday night and first targeted boys, who were thoroughly beaten by the ghosts, causing a stampede. The school was closed Friday. ……..The area police chief, Michael Muthike, said the mixed school had been closed indefinitely. He could not, however, confirm or deny whether there were ghosts in the school. ………. The students claimed that a senior member of the staff was linked to the evil spirits. …..On 3 July, students from Wang'uru Girls Secondary School, Kirinyaga district (113 miles north-west of Nairobi), stormed the office of the Central Provincial director of education protesting an alleged invasion of their school by ghosts. The students said they were terrified by the alleged demons, which they claimed appeared in form of white cats and black snakes. They further claimed the creatures, which run around their dormitories, had been introduced by their head-teacher. ………. Education officials and the government are currently grappling with the problem. However, they are undecided on whether to employ the services of a ghost buster or just dismiss the claims as wild imaginations. "An ominous sub-culture has crept in most secondary schools and this has put our nation's future at stake," Samuel Kariuki, a senior inspector of schools, said. …….. He added that the other members of this sub-culture are the touts (known for their rough mannerisms) and school drop-outs. He claimed that the sub-culture is increasingly growing into a cult that would idolise rock musicians and confessed drug abusers. ……… Kenya's education minister, Kalonzo Musyoka, has dismissed claims of ghost invasion as fertile but dangerous imagination. He blamed everything on the rise in drug use among school-going children, saying all the claims about ghost invasion is fantasy by drugged children………However, the minister feels that there are some elements of witchcraft among the people and he cannot rule out the possibility of some wicked people trying to disrupt the normal running of schools. He said the only solution to the problem could be to go to church and believe in God. ………. But there are also senior members of the society who believe in witchcraft and ghosts. For instance, legislator Jembe Mwakalu, a man who at one time went public to claim that somebody had bewitched him, says the ghost invasions are real and Kenyans have to protect themselves against them by wearing protective charms. ………"

EXCITE 7/18/00 Claude Marx AP "…..A national group of Roman Catholic priests, saying they want to expose Christian politicians who support abortion rights as false prophets, announced an advertising campaign Tuesday aimed at making opposition to abortion the top issue for voters. Priests for Life is beginning its effort with a full-page ad in Wednesday's editions of The New York Times. They will air television ads in selected markets next month. ……… "Voters are free to elect whom they choose. But to be free, one has to be informed of the implications of one's choice, including the moral and spiritual implications," said the Rev. Father Frank Pavone, the national director of the New York-based group. "It is our mission, as spiritual leaders, to instruct them on the moral principles that should inform their decisions." ………"

Agape Press 7/17/00 Allie Martin "……A Christian actor, best known for his role on the hit TV series "Growing Pains," has a lead role in a movie based on the best-selling fiction book series dealing with life after the rapture……… For his latest role, Kirk Cameron has been shot at, nearly blown up by an exploding car, and witnesses the chaos after millions of people disappear from the face of the earth. Cameron play Buck Williams, a television reporter in the movie "Left Behind"--based on the book by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins…….. Cameron, a committed Christian, spoke with AFR News during a break in filming on the set in Toronto, Canada. He says he hopes the movie will make people examine their relationship with Christ…….."It's just a great, great story that will make people consider their life in light of the truth of the rapture," Cameron says. "If the rapture were to happen tomorrow...if people were to start really thinking about that and thinking about the genuineness of their faith...would they be left behind?"…….."I think there are a lot of Christians who...don't live in light of what Jesus said he is coming back soon. I think that this project is going to make people really think about that, and think about whether or not they believe it."……."

yahoo.com 7/6/00 AP "…….Two years after a student was sent home from school for wearing a rock band T-shirt with the numerals 666, a state Education Department official ruled Wednesday that the school was wrong to do so. Robert Parker, 18, was a sophomore at Westerly High School when school officials sent him home and ordered him never to wear the T-shirt to school again, saying it posed a threat to school order. He graduated last month. ……. On Wednesday, Hearing Officer Paul Pontarelli ruled that Parker had not caused any disruption warranting being excluded from school. …….. He ordered any mention of punishment related to the T-shirt - bearing the numerals some believe refer to Satan and the name of the now-defunct rock band - expunged from Parker's educational record. ……"

Charisma News 8/8/00 Andy Butcher "……A rural county's official seal is set to become the latest flashpoint in the battle over church-and-state rights. Catawba County commissioners in North Carolina voted unanimously yesterday to ignore a call to remove the symbol of the cross from the emblem, likely prompting court action by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The organization also has its sights on Ten Commandments memorials in several Nebraska cities, which it claims contravene the constitution's required separation of church and state. A crowd of around 500 cheered when the Catawba County representatives made their decision, reported "The Charlotte Observer." Chairman Bob Hibbitts said that the cross, one of four symbols on the seal, was not meant to represent an official religion or discriminate against non-Christians. ……"We should not condone a sellout of our heritage," he said. "On the contrary, united, we should fight for it." The commissioners voted to defend their 75-year-old seal after a request from the ACLU to remove it. State director Deborah Ross said that the argument that the seal was part of the county's heritage was irrelevant. ….."

Conrad F. Goeringer 12/7/99 "…….The Vice President of the United States uses a national television program to denounce "the anti-religious view," adding that it is sometimes "arrogant" and "intimidating." Would he have made this type of remark about any other group? Probably not... ……. Fast forward to Sunday, December 5 when Gore appeared on the CBS program 60-Minutes, for a segment with Leslie Stahl. In a discussion of religious beliefs, Gore admitted to being a born again Christian, adding: I am. It -- it -- it's something lampooned, you know. And I think the --what I call the anti-religious view -- it sometimes tends to be arrogant and to the intimidating side of -- of making people who do believe in God feel kind of like they're, you know..." Stahl eagerly provides the ending for this: put down. Mr. Gore goes on to assure the viewers this "born again" philosophy is the "core of my life. It is -- it's the foundation of my other beliefs, my political philosophy..." ……….. Atheists can be as human as anyone else; we share the same neural wiring, similar genes, and frequently bumble through life making the same types of mistakes. Using the term atheist or freethinker to describe one's self is not a badge of exclusion from error, or criticism by others, any more than use of the term Christian or believer automatically renders one wholesome, moral and deserving of respect. …….There is a sub-text to Gore's remarks, though, which deserves consideration. The tone of his statement suggests that not only will religious faith be a litmus test in the year 2000 elections, but that the political fortunes of Mr. Gore, or any other candidate who so chooses, will be built in part on the reputations of atheists, those 'anti-religious' folks who dare question and who are easily marginalized, stereotyped and compressed into sound bites for the mass media. That strategy used to be used with other groups, especially blacks. When they organized, though, such rhetoric turned out to be a considerable liability. ……."

Freedom Forum 8/7/00 "......City officials and some residents are concerned that a monument featuring the Ten Commandments at a city cemetery could be the next target of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Parkview Cemetery marker was originally donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles to the Hastings Museum in the early 1960s. It was moved to the city cemetery when construction began on the IMAX Theater. "I can tell you that we have a number of religious symbols and religious artifacts on the graves of loved ones who lay at rest on our community cemetery," Mayor Phil Odum said. The Nebraska ACLU claims there may be over 50 similar markers around the state and it plans to investigate the situation and take action when the organization considers it necessary. "We have no beef with the Eagles putting up any kind of monument or marker. Our beef is with cities that have religious displays on public land," Nebraska ACLU Executive Director Tim Butz said......."

Asheville Citizen Times 8/4/00 Clarke Morrison "……Some local religious leaders are hoping a rally in Reynolds High School's football stadium will attract thousands of people and promote their goal of "spontaneous" prayer at football games this fall. The 7 p.m. Aug 17 event sponsored by the new organization We Still Pray will feature preaching, praying and singing, said the Rev. Wendell Runion of Asheville. Formation of the group was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June reaffirming that prayer in public schools must be done privately by individual students. By a 6-3 vote, the court barred officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games......."

Telegraph/U.K. 8/3/00 Ben Fenton "……RELIGIOUS conservatives announced that they were "alive and well" at a fringe meeting of the Republican Party convention, which their leader poked fun at as being "the convention of sweetness and light". Claiming George W Bush as the "candidate of the religious Right", Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a candidate for president in 1988, gave a powerful speech to more than 2,000 supporters. He seemed to breach well-organised party discipline by lambasting liberals and Democrats, calling for an end to abortion and urging Christians to launch a crusade to propel Mr Bush into the White House. ……."

Washington Times 8/7/00 Richard Ostling "….A conference of evangelical Protestant leaders, the largest ever, reaffirmed old-time religion yesterday in an "Amsterdam Declaration" to defend against attempts to water down the Gospel under assault by modern pluralism and relativism. The participants renewed their belief that Jesus Christ is the "one and only Savior," and that the only path to salvation is belief in His death on the cross to redeem human sin. The Bible, the declaration says, is God's "totally true and trustworthy" revelation. The conference concluded last night with a Communion service, rousing songs by a multiracial youth choir from 50 nations and brief marching orders from its absent chairman, the Rev. Billy Graham. Mr. Graham, looking reasonably fit but speaking in a husky voice, had recorded his remarks Saturday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he is recovering from surgery…….."Let us light a fire of commitment to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to the ends of the Earth, using every resource at our command, and with every ounce of our strength," he said……. He urged the crowd to light fires that would renew faith in the Bible as God's word, make evangelism the church's priority, banish moral blight and "roll back the poisons of racism, poverty and injustice."......"

Cox News Svc/Montgomery Journal (Maryland) 8/7/00 Howard Kleinberg "….In Germany last week, two lawyers asked the nation's Minister for the Family and the Elderly to classify the Bible as dangerous to children, much as some in the United States last month condemned the latest Harry Potter book as not only violent but anti-Christian as well. The latter complaint is based on young Harry's magical powers, a dominion they believe is God's and God's alone - not Harry Potter's, not Superman's, not Batman's, not even Merlin's or Tiger Woods'. Book police are everywhere. It was only a matter of time until they got to the Bible. ……. Attacks on the written word, Bible included, are not new. They are documented throughout history, most notoriously during the Nazi era but also including the present time as evidenced by organizations calling for - and often receiving - bans or revisions of books that are considered, retrospectively, racist, anti-God or obscene. ``Huckleberry Finn" and ``A Catcher in the Rye" are among those and, now, some would claim, so are ``Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" - and the Bible. ……"

New York Times 8/6/00 Laurie Goodstein "…..Four months ago in Texas, Gov. George W. Bush signed a proclamation declaring June 10 to be Jesus Day, and urging all Texans to "follow Christ's example by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods." The proclamation received little attention at the time, except for some gratitude from a Christian organization that had asked many governors to issue proclamations supporting its annual day of charity, prayer and parades in Jesus' name. …….Now what seemed purely ceremonial has turned into a controversy for Governor Bush. As word of Texas's Jesus Day has spread through e-mail, Jewish newspapers and church-state separationists, the Republican presidential nominee has come under criticism for insensitivity to people of non-Christian faiths and a disregard for the First Amendment. …….."The assumption is that Christianity is the norm for America," said Phil Baum, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, "and that Jews and other minorities are here essentially as guests at the sufferance of our hosts, in a secondary position, which is an uncomfortable situation to be in." ……"

Toogood Reports 8/10/00 Alan Caruba "...... I have a real problem with Al Gore's choice of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate. It began with the avalanche of news coverage that preceded and surrounded the actual announcement. It was Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew, Jew. I'm not voting for the chief rabbi of America. I am voting for someone to be the chief executive officer. I am going to vote for George W. Bush because the current one should have been impeached for lying under oath and engaging it acts that defiled the highest office of the land and brought shame to the entire nation. A man whom Al Gore calls a great President.........What troubles me, too, is that everything Lieberman says is going to be filtered by the media through the prism of his being Jewish. We don't do this with Gore's Baptist point of view, but there is the hypocrisy of criticizing Bush for his commitment as a born-again Christian and his belief in Jesus as his savior. If it is such a great thing that Lieberman is an orthodox Jew, why has this nation been engaged in a cultural war as liberals have striven to remove all reference to God from our schools and other public institutions? It stinks of hypocrisy......."

Denver Post 8/9/00 Virginia Culver "…….Catholic priests in religious orders have been warned by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput not to say Mass or officiate at same-sex ceremonies for the local gay Catholic organization Dignity. The warning went out to provincials of mens' religious orders that have members in the Denver Archdiocese because, according to Chaput, Dignity "publicly dissents from Catholic teaching." Dignity has a Mass each Sunday at 5 p.m. at Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, 1100 Fillmore St. About 18 priests - both those in religious orders and those attached to the diocese, who are called diocesan priests - say Mass for the group on a rotating basis, said Sheryl Green, chairwoman of the Denver Dignity board. Chaput wrote that he has received "a number of concerned letters" about the Mass "and some inquiries" about a samesex commitment ceremony which may have taken place during or before one of the Masses. He said he regards both of these matters as "serious." …….."

EWTN 8/9/00 "……Supported by the Catholic Bishops of California, on July 20, the Sacramento Catholic Charities filed a suit against the state of California, to invalidate two new state laws that attack the elementary right of religious liberty, guaranteed both by the U.S. and California Constitutions. The new laws, which were approved by the state legislature last year and promulgated by the California government on January 1 of this year, oblige Catholic institutions and organizations to offer their employees health insurance that covers the use of contraceptives, in direct opposition to the moral teachings of the Church. ……… The situation could become more serious in the near future, considering that the United States is about to legalize the use of RU-486, a powerful abortive, which would be classified by the FDA as an "emergency contraceptive." As a result, the Catholic Church and other California religious institutions would be compelled to offer abortive drugs to their employees. ………"

excite.om 8/8/00 Calvin Woodward AP "….. Even in this season of prayerful politics, Sen. Joseph Lieberman's introductory remarks to the nation as Al Gore's running mate stood out in evoking a deeply personal - but very publicly displayed - religious faith . To those who have a sensitive tripwire on the question of how much religion in politics is too much, Lieberman's speech did not necessarily offend. But it stirred concern. "If today's speech were the speech he gave every day, I would be troubled about what he's trying to communicate," said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Americans are a religious people but they get very nervous, properly so, when candidates appear to have more to say about their faith than they do about their solutions to the country's problems." Normally in national politics it is the Republicans, influenced for years by the religious right, who wear religion on their sleeves. ……… But Democratic Vice President Al Gore, a self-described "child of the kingdom," and Republican opponent George W. Bush, who signed a proclamation in Texas making June 10 "Jesus Day," are both comfortable emphasizing their faith and their wish to involve religious organizations more deeply in public policy while respecting the line between church and state. …….

excite.om 8/8/00 Calvin Woodward AP "….. Lieberman, the first Jew chosen as a major-party vice presidential or presidential candidate, asked the crowd in Nashville, Tenn., to "allow me to let the spirit move me as it does to remember the words from Chronicles, which are to give thanks to God. "To give thanks to God and declare his name and make his acts known to the people. To be glad of spirit. To sing to God and to make music to God, and most of all, to give glory and gratitude to God from whom all blessings truly do flow. "Dear Lord, maker of all miracles, I thank you for bringing me to this extraordinary moment in my life." ……By the standards of American political discourse, Lieberman crossed a line, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who studies campaign rhetoric as dean of the Annenberg School for Communication in Philadelphia. "You would think you had just entered a religious service," she said. Political allusions to religion "are not supposed to be explicit or extended. "If he is going to continue to open his speeches this way, it is going to become problematic." ……."

excite.om 8/8/00 Calvin Woodward AP "….. But in a candid moment more than a year ago, Gore policy adviser Elaine Kamarck told a newspaper, "The Democratic Party is going to take back God this time." <> And the new Democratic platform suggests belief in God is a universal attribute of the party, asserting "Democrats believe that God has given the people of our nation" a mission for racial and ethnic unity. ……"

The Washington Times 8/9/00 Bill Sammon "…..Vice President Al Gore introduced his new running mate at a rousing rally here yesterday that was only a hymn and the sawdust trail short of a down-home Dixie revival meeting. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the running mate, responded with remarks drenched with the religious fervor reminiscent of the so-called religious right, an unapologetic appeal rarely seen from Democratic candidates. The senator, parading his Orthodox Jewish faith, offered first a prayer to God and then his gratitude to Mr. Gore…….."

 

Washington Times 8/11/00 Wesley Pruden "……Lord knows a conscientious man doesn't have a prayer of casting a responsible vote this year. So much good will abounds that men of steady purpose, steely conviction and unbending rectitude are pushed in all directions at once. So many saints, so little time....... Thousands of Republicans are still in insulin shock, having consumed more sugar in Philadelphia than Hershey can wrap around all those nuts in a year. So many folks have been inclusified that soon there won't be any infidels left....... Joe Lieberman may never make it to the White House, even through the back door reserved for vice presidents, but if Billy Graham hasn't settled on who he wants to succeed him as national chaplain he might consider good old Joe. This man can preach. The only thing missing when Al introduced him in Nashville was the swell of the mighty Wurlitzer, the scent of sawdust and a rousing chorus of "Just As I Am."…."


Washington Times 8/11/00 Wesley Pruden "…… We must search for Talmudic wisdom on this. Joe Lieberman could no doubt shed light, but it would be just my luck to find him on Saturday when he couldn't touch the light switch. Now we learn that Dick Cheney is a Methodist, too. Do two Methodists outweigh one Jew? Since Hillary dragged Bill off to the Methodist church on most Sundays, where he could count on a fashionable preacher telling him that he and Monica hadn't really been such scamps and cut-ups as all that, is it really fair to apply the William McKinley test to George W.'s claim? We'll all be going to divinity school over the next three months, learning from the great media theologians of the day the differences between Al's deep-water baptism and the modest Methodist sprinkle jobs applied to George W. and his sidekick Dick, and what's kosher about Joe and what's not. We'll also learn whether Joe is up to the usual tasks of slashing, gouging and kicking expected of vice-presidential candidates………. He got a rabbinical lesson yesterday in being slow to take insult, even repeated insult. Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, appeared to have taken his text from the New Testament, preaching the Christ-like example of turning the other cheek, at least to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He rebuked the president of the Dallas chapter of the NAACP for dissing Joe as a Jew whose interest "primarily has to do with . . . money and those kind of things," and cited Mr. Jackson as the moral authority for the rebuke. This is the same Jesse Jackson who hangs out with Louis Farrakhan and who disdained New York City as "Hymietown," inhabited mostly by "Hymies," but who now poses as the czar of religious tolerance, saying nice things about good old Joe (if not necessarily nice things about the "Hymies")..........The Washington Post, which is no doubt expert in these things since it once described evangelical Christians as "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command," naturally doesn't quite know what to make of a Democratic ticket with not one but two candidates with a profound fear of God. So yesterday it sneered at the sincerity of George W.'s profession of his faith in Christ. Well, of course it would.........."

Washington Times 8/11/00 Joseph Curl "…… Liberal advocacy groups Thursday conceded a double standard on religion in the presidential campaign, but argue that it's legitimate because Republicans preach an exclusionary faith and the doctrine of Democrats is "all-inclusive"………. Texas Gov. George W. Bush was lashed by several groups last year for naming Jesus Christ as the most important philosopher to him. Few have criticized Al Gore and running mate Joseph I. Lieberman, the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate, for the stream of passionate religious rhetoric that has enveloped their fledgling campaign. "American Jews would have a knee-jerk reaction to Republicans' expression of faith, but not to the other side," says David Harris, deputy executive director for the National Jewish Democratic Council. The Republican presidential candidate has crossed the line, Mr. Harris said, by giving the government imprimatur to his faith by his recent proclamation declaring June 10 as "Jesus Day" in Texas and his support for school prayer and the posting of the Old Testament's Ten Commandments, among other things……."Bush's declarations have an air of exclusivity," Mr. Harris said. "But Gore and Lieberman appear all inclusive on faith, that all must be made to feel welcome."…….Says Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State: "There's a bit of a double standard, but Republicans have a long history of seeking votes on a religious basis."……."

Washington Times 8/11/00 Joseph Curl "……Mark Pelavin, associate director for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, says the double standard exists because Republicans also have a history of using religion for partisan and issue purposes. When Republicans speak about adherence to biblical tenets, that is code for supporting school prayer and opposing abortion and homosexual rights, he says……… "When Republicans talk about their faith, most know what that talk means," Mr. Pelavin says. "That's not as true for Democrats. The Christian right and the Christian Coalition have a policy agenda to change the Republican Party……. "Lieberman's comments were a legitimate expression of who he is that did not exclude others, as Bush's did. One is an individual speaking and the other is an act of government." Mr. Pelavin, as well as several others, say Mr. Bush's statement that Jesus Christ is the most influential political philosopher to him was followed by an egregious statement....... Asked to expand for viewers his answer in the September 1999 debate in Iowa that Jesus Christ "has changed my heart," Mr. Bush said, "Well, if they don't know, it's going to be hard to explain. When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as a savior, it changes your heart and changes your life, and that's what happened to me."
Most point to that as evidence that his religious views are exclusionary, whereas Mr. Gore's and Mr. Lieberman's professions of faith are generic and inclusive......., "He ought to be able to explain why he picked Jesus," says Eliot Mincberg, vice president of People for the American Way. "We did not object to the fact that Bush mentioned Jesus, but the fact that that was the only person Bush referred to and he said he just couldn't explain it."……."

AP 8/13/00 "……An 8-year-old girl was banned from singing the campfire favorite "Kum Ba Yah'' at her day-camp after talent show organizers said it violated their ban on religious songs because it repeats the word "Lord.'' Samantha Schultz had practiced the song for a week but was banned from singing it Friday at the North Port Boys & Girls Club talent show. Bill Sadlo, director of operations for the club, about 50 miles south of Tampa, said he was concerned parents would complain if children went home and said they heard a religious song at the nonsectarian camp. "We don't want to take the chance of a child offending another child's religion,'' Sadlo said. ……Samantha's relatives were livid. They said club officials should have told her in advance that she could not sing the song. ….."

WASHINGTON TIMES 8/14/00 Greg Pierce "……Not a problem If the Gore-Lieberman ticket is elected in November, Inauguration Day - Jan. 20, 2001 - will be on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Mr. Gore's running mate and an Orthodox Jew, strictly observes the Sabbath. "If you are elected vice president of the United States, Joe Lieberman, on Saturday you'll have to take the oath of office, get in a motorcade, celebrate with inaugural balls. Can you do it as an observant Jew?" Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked the Connecticut Democrat yesterday. "Well, as my mother would say, Tim, if she were here, 'Sweetheart, we should only have such a problem.' " Mr. Lieberman quickly added there is "no problem." He acknowledged he "normally" does not ride or use electricity on the Sabbath because "it's the way to protect the Sabbath as a day to stop, to thank God for the fact that we're alive, that the world was created." "But you'd make an exception for the inauguration?" Mr. Russert asked him. Mr. Lieberman did not answer that question directly. "Probably what I'd try to do, as I usually do when public service or the public interest is not on the line, I'd probably stay down around the Capitol. I'd certainly participate. I'd, you know, do my prayers on my own," the senator said…….. Mr. Russert asked Mr. Lieberman if he might walk on Inauguration Day, rather than ride in a limousine. "If the Secret Service says it's OK, I'd take a walk and be proud and thrilled to take a walk from the Capitol to the White House to watch the parade," Mr. Lieberman said……"

Chuckmorse.com 8/11/00 "……It should be admitted that Vice President Albert Gore, in a daring and even brilliant attempt to invigorate a seemingly moribund candidacy, chose Connecticut Senator Joseph Isador Lieberman to be his running mate. Gore needed to fumigate himself from the stench accumulated over the last seven years of standing behind President Bill Clinton and Lieberman, an orthodox Jew no less, presented the desperately needed contrast. As a Jew, and therefore a minority, Lieberman could also potentially galvanize ethnic voters tired of supporting people who appear to have had ancestors who came over on the Mayflower. Gore's gamble, however, will not likely pan out in the long run once the euphoria subsides and Lieberman's record becomes known to the American people. …….. If Lieberman had given the speech at a high school football game, he could have been arrested! As an American Jew myself, I can't deny the excitement I felt upon hearing of Lieberman's selection. Even though I endorsed George W. Bush for President early in the campaign, and stand four square behind that endorsement, I found myself overcome with emotion as I read the various news stories about Lieberman the day of his selection…….. Senator Lieberman suffers from a syndrome that many Jews experience and that is a certain timidity when it comes to taking public stands that buck the establishment view. Perhaps because of thousands of years of living precariously in exile where a politically incorrect position could result in calamitous consequences, many Jews recoil in instinctive fear when placed in a position requiring public moral action. This may explain why Lieberman would support positions antithetical to the Torah, Judaism, and, I would assume since he is a practicing Jew, his own conscience, such as partial birth abortion and the disarmament of citizens. Unfortunately, much of the Jewish establishment, in it's lust for acceptance and "respectability" has eschewed politically incorrect concepts such as God, Torah, and a vigorous moral code developed over thousands of years by a succession of Rabbis……..Instead, they kiss the toe of the amoral, atheistic liberal establishment and turn their back on Torah…….Most Jews assimilated generations ago and have no conception of what Judaism is or stands for. ….."

National Catholic Reporter 8/11/00 "…….Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a progressive frequently mentioned as a candidate to be the next pope, has advocated the creation of a "democratic and planetary" system of government that would transcend the powers of presently existing nation-states. …… Martini's proposal came in a July issue of the Roman daily newspaper La Repubblica. In an essay on human rights, Martini wrote that nations have the right to manage their own affairs, but in view of the universal nature of human rights, an absolute notion of sovereignty that prevents the international community from policing abuses is "anachronistic and unhistorical." Martini, 73, is the archbishop of Milan. ……. The cardinal supported "humanitarian intervention" in defense of suffering populations such as refugees, including the use of troops when other means have failed. Though "humanitarian intervention" was most recently invoked by NATO in defense of its bombing campaign against Serbia, Martini did not expressly approve or condemn that action. …….."

WSJ 8/11/00 Michael Medved "........Vice presidential candidate Richard B. Cheney ignited a firestorm of criticism with a shrill appeal to religious fanaticism, combined with a gratuitous attack on President Clinton's marital failings. Speaking in glowing terms of his running mate, the former defense secretary intoned: "He has never, never wavered in his responsibilities as a father -- as a husband -- and, yes, as a servant of God Almighty!" These remarks provoked protest from activists and public-interest groups. In a statement released within hours of Cheney's gaffe, People for the American Way declared: "By identifying one candidate as 'a servant of God Almighty,' Mr. Cheney implies that those who dare to oppose his agenda are, in effect, the enemies of God. This was one of the most God-soaked performances by a prominent politician since Pat Robertson's presidential campaign." The Anti-Defamation League also warned of the intolerant implications in Cheney's address, noting that he mentioned God no fewer than 10 times within the first three minutes. Joe Andrew, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, demanded a retraction and apology "on behalf of all those who wish to keep religion from infecting our politics -- and want to keep partisan politics from infecting our religion." ............ It's understandable if you happened to miss this explosive story from last week's news, because I've altered one key detail in the partially fabricated account above. The words attributed to a vice-presidential candidate are accurate enough, as is the description of the context in which he delivered them, but it was Joseph Lieberman -- not Mr. Cheney -- who gave the speech in Nashville. Because the politician identifying his running mate as a "servant of God Almighty" represented the Religious Left rather than the Religious Right, we heard an eerie silence from the liberal watchdogs who normally snap and snarl if Republican candidates claim divine authority for their positions. ......"

AP 8/11/00 "...... Los Angeles -- Cardinal Roger Mahony, who denounced the 1998 political campaigns as disturbingly ``anti-life'' but has since been courted by Al Gore, will deliver an invocation Monday during the opening of the Democratic National Convention. Mahony, 64, an increasingly influential member of the U.S. Roman Catholic leadership, accepted a surprise invitation this week from the vice president's office, said Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Tamberg said Thursday he had not spoken to Mahony about the prayer and whether it would include any reference to abortion . ......"

AP 8/14/00 "……Israeli police allowed the reopening of the al-Aqsa mosque compound to visitors Sunday, four days after closing it to prevent clashes between Jewish radicals and Palestinians. Muslim authorities at the site had closed the area to Jews Thursday to prevent the entrance of Jewish fanatics who support the reconstruction of an ancient Jewish temple in place of the mosques, which comprise the third-holiest site in Islam. ……."

Lew Rockwell.com 8/12/00 Joseph Sobran "…….Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are quoting the Bible all over the place. They seem to want to assure this God-fearing country that they are guided by Holy Writ in all they do, even when supporting abortion, infanticide, and the lifestyles of Sodom and Gomorrah.......After complaining for years that Republicans were making abortion a "litmus test," the Democrats have done the same thing in reverse, except that they are much less tolerant of dissent than the Republicans. More than any other issue, abortion now defines the Democrats. And they have committed themselves to defending even the grisliest slaughter of the unborn. On this, Joe Lieberman hasn't broken ranks. How can anyone with an active conscience support late-term abortion? .....In a way, Lieberman is slicker than Clinton. He fools people who aren't fooled by Clinton. He doesn't strike you as slippery; he doesn't seem to rely on glib and facile charm. He creates the impression that he is marching to a different drummer. Part of his appeal is that he is an observant Orthodox Jew. ...... So why does Joe Lieberman always wind up, in the end, in such close harmony with a party that stands in nearly total opposition to the traditions of both the Old and New Testaments? You cannot serve God and Mammon - or Moses and Moloch. How can you be at once an Orthodox Jew and an orthodox Democrat?......:

WorldNetDaily.com 8/14/00 Joseph D’Agostino "……Sen. Joseph Lieberman's pro-choice legislative record contrasts with the pro-life interpretation of Jewish law expressed by some prominent Orthodox rabbis. Lieberman has consistently voted in favor of abortion rights in his years in the Senate, even voting five times against a ban on partial-birth abortion. …….. Under traditional Jewish law, "a woman can have an abortion only if her physical existence is threatened, during all stages of development," says Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of Toward Tradition, a group of socially conservative Jews and Christians. "I can say that I am 100 percent convinced that Jewish tradition demands that Jews align themselves with the religious pro-life movement." However, said Lapin, "You will always find a rabbi who will back up the vice-presidential candidate." He explained that although abortion is generally proscribed, "the fetus is not a person" under Jewish law. Nor is there necessarily anything that would demand that Lieberman vote for the pro-life legislation that has come before him. ……… "I have no interest in being his policeman of piety," Lapin said. "I can say that his record appears to contradict Jewish values." …….Lapin also explained that the Jewish understanding is that the prohibition on abortion applies to all people, not just Jews. "The Noachite laws specifically cover them," he said. The seven laws God gave to Noah and his descendants apply to all people, whereas the other laws of the Torah apply only to Jews, he explained. ……"

WorldNetDaily 8/12/00 Tom Ambrose "…….Imagine yourself back in the struggling thirteen colonies during the time when they were fighting against the tyranny of King George. Suppose that Thomas Jefferson, when asked how he felt about the colonies stand for freedom said, "I'm sorry, I just don't have the time right now." What if John Adams, who, when faced with a lackadaisical congress said, "Nobody else cares, why should I knock myself out?" And, what if our nation's celebrated father, George Washington, who, when asked to lead the Colonial forces against the British replied, "Valley Forge is too cold; I'd rather sit home with Martha by the fire." Now, we all know these men never said these words and we know that we live in the year 2000 and not the 1770s. But, our country is facing challenges that are, nonetheless, as serious as those our forefathers faced. And, yet, somehow, our national ethos of hard work and public service has given way to abject apathy. ……….. I constantly hear people complain about the low quality of service in a variety of industries. Fewer and fewer voters show-up at the polls every year. Government officials increasingly use their power for personal gain rather than for public service. What has happened to pride of workmanship? To quality? To patriotism? What has happened to our national ethos? ……. * About 50 years ago, we began kicking God out of our schools and government. Since then, our schools have systematically revised history to support perverse "multi-cultural" agendas and our children have grown-up unaware of the significant, primary details relating to our nation's origins. In particular, fewer people than ever before, now know that our nation was founded by people seeking the freedom to worship God without government interference. ….. Taxes have rapidly climbed over the last 40 years to support various government social programs; the need to have both parents working has become an economic necessity in many homes. ….. Latchkey children were left to figure out their morals and values on their own (or from their new babysitter, the television). Promiscuous sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, abortion, adultery and violence became our new morality. Families began breaking down, divorce rates have soared, and fatherless children are all too common. ......, Involvement in wars like Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti and Yugoslavia have been demoralizing failures. Meanwhile, little has been done to counter real threats like China, North Korea and Iraq. ... Our politicians have brazenly become more perverse, corrupt and self-serving. Indeed, it now appears that people in the Clinton administration may have committed treason by accepting political donations from the Chinese while also allowing secrets critical to our national security to fall into the hands of the Chinese government. …….."

FREEDOM.ORG 8/12/00 Henry Lamb "…….Are your children being taught how to make "paper images of a Hindu god, make toothpick and yarn 'worry dolls' to ward off anxiety, and take part in Earth Day worship services?" They are if they attend the Bedford Central School District in White Plains, N.Y. Are your children being taught how to howl like a wolf, as an expression of their "oneness" with nature? They are if they attend church in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, or the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. Are your children being taught that the three "R's" are: Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse? They are if they attend most any public school in America. ……. Public education, and American churches are being overwhelmed by a deluge of environmental propaganda arising from a core belief in the gaia hypothesis. Popularized by James Lovelock, the gaia hypothesis contends that the earth is the giver of life; that all life forms have equal intrinsic value; and that human beings immorally abuse the rights of all other life forms……. The gaia hypothesis is the "sustainable" version of ancient pagan beliefs, articulated early in this century by Alice Bailey. Bailey said her wisdom came from an "ascended master," Djwhal Khul, a Tibetan teacher who spoke to her while she was in a trance. Her publishing company was named "Lucifer Publishing," but has now evolved into The Lucis Trust. ……. Were these the antics and beliefs of a handful of eco-freaks, it wouldn't matter. But when these antics and beliefs find their way into our public schools and our mainstream churches, it does matter. When our kids are not only exposed to, but are also required to participate in these rituals, it is time for parents to stamp it out at its source. But what is the source? ……Yes, it is the U.S. Department of Education. Yes, it is the National Education Association. Yes, it is the National Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and thousands of other environmental organizations. But behind these, there is a common source. Robert Muller is the author of the "World Core Curriculum." He is widely recognized as the "father of global education." ……"

 

The New York Daily News 8/25/00 A M Rosenthal "…… Maybe you are not interested in a faraway despotic African regime that in the past two decades has murdered about 2 million of its citizens and enslaved thousands more, that is still killing and enslaving every day of the year and that is now confident it is about to be elected a member of the highest council of the United Nations. The motives for this continuing orgy of murder are that most of the victims happen to be Christian, the wrong religion to suit the Islamic rulers, and were born in a part of the country floating in a substance the government expects will make it a major power - oil. ......... Not a single delegate at the political conventions brought up Africa's largest country and its government. A few American papers, TV stations and magazines - a few - have carried stories, sporadically. But if the entire press were on job probation that depended on its judgment of the human, religious and political importance of continuing coverage of the Sudan horror, I would fire it right out the door. ….."

Newsmax.com 9/2/00 Dorian Ian Atherton "…… Even if you didn't attend the U.N. World Peace Summit this week, you probably sensed the tremendous harmonic convergence - if only on a subconscious level. It was difficult to miss. Indeed, the universal love and understanding there radiated ever outward, into the cosmos, infusing wretched proletariats worldwide with new hope in their quest to stamp out religion. Amidst this epic love-fest, U.N. space cadets chanted, groveled for the Great Goddess and devoured 512 vegetarian pizzas. And, of course, billionaire Ted "Mouth From the South" Turner appeared, resplendent as ever, to rally the troops. Turner - the new Christ of the Global Governance movement - whelms me. Big Ted, I've decided, is a uniquely American creature - a maverick, true, but one always willing to admit his mistakes. The now tired (and oft-used) example is when he candidly acknowledged his despicable contribution to overpopulation by having so many children. Alas, of them, he would later observe, "once they were here, I couldn't shoot them." Quite right - although U.N. proponents are feverishly working on laws to correct that. Stay tuned. ………"

The Wall Street Journal 9/4/00 Vermont Royster "…….It's not that I don't understand the unease over mixing religion with politics. The record of that mixture is not a happy one. From the days of the Crusades until today, Christians and Moslems have shed much blood because they worship God in different ways. …….But neither the Founding Fathers nor our present political aspirants have it in their power to prevent people's views about God and man from affecting their views about secular political issues. There are few such issues that don't involve moral questions, and moral questions can never be separated from our religious views. …… Abortion, now a major secular issue, is a prime example. Your views about it depend on your view of human life, of when you think life begins, of how you weigh the balance between the rights of the unborn, if any, and the rights of the mother over her own body. ……. Capital punishment raises similar questions at the other end of the life cycle. To debate whether one person can take another's life and then peaceably live out his (or her) life, or whether we should exact a life for life, is to debate a profoundly moral question inseparable from the question of the purpose of life. ……"

Washington Times 8/29/00 Bill Sammon "…… The Anti-Defamation League, the most aggressive organization combating anti-Semitism, yesterday demanded that Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, stop calling attention to his faith in his quest for the vice presidency……. In a highly unusual and tersely worded statement, the arm of B'nai B'rith called on the Connecticut senator to "refrain from overt expressions of religious values and beliefs" in his role as Vice President Al Gore's running mate. "We feel very strongly, and we hope you would agree, that appealing along religious lines, or belief in God, is contrary to the American ideal," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL national chairman, and National Director Abraham H. Foxman, in the statement. "The First Amendment requires that government neither support one religion over another, nor the religious over the non-religious."……"

New York Times 8/29/00 "……. Along with chanting school cheers, students in some Southern high schools are now standing up to recite the Lord's Prayer at the start of football games. Although the stadium prayers seem spontaneous and undirected, they are in fact part of a movement, started by Christian ministries and radio talk show hosts, to promote school prayer. The purpose is to get around a recent Supreme Court decision that banned as unconstitutional school-sponsored student-led prayers that are broadcast over the public address system. …….. While there may be a legal and constitutional difference between prayer that is officially sponsored by the school and a more informal student-initiated pregame prayer, the impact on the audience is the same. When a crowd of 4,000 high schoolers rises to say a prayer, students who are nonbelievers or members of religious minorities are subjected to the majority's religious worship as the price of attending a school football game. …….The constitutionality of these outbreaks of prayer is heavily dependent on the facts of each case. Allowing a student to lead a prayer over the public address system would clearly be unconstitutional. Less overt forms of support by school officials may also be prohibited, depending on the degree of their involvement. ……"

Newsday.com 8/28/00 AP "……A federal court Monday was evenly divided in the case of a New Jersey boy barred from reading his favorite Bible story to his first-grade class, letting stand a lower court ruling that said the school district did not violate the boy's free-speech rights. The boy's mother will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, her lawyer said. The full 12-member panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split, 6-6, in the case involving Zachary Hood and the Haines Elementary School in Medford, N.J. The court sent back to the district court a portion of the case involving a Thanksgiving poster that Zachary drew. ……"

Washington Times 8/20/00 Roger Banks "…… The Washington Times quoted an article by Robert Darden suggesting that the use of Jesus' name to advertise vegetarianism creates "a problem" for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ("Jesus as vegan?" Culture, et cetera, Aug. 11). Mr. Darden's criticisms, though well-meaning, are lukewarm, and do not convey an adequate level of outrage at the irresponsible, coercive tactics used by PETA. Indeed, PETA's slogan that "Jesus was a vegetarian" is not merely "a problem." It amounts to a gratuitous molestation of the followers of Jesus, based on a claim that is wildly and demonstrably untrue. ……. Mr. Darden alludes to the herd of swine that Jesus sent over a cliff, an incident with only marginal relevance to the Savior's view of meat eating. Yet, there is far more conclusive evidence to contradict PETA's claim. ….. For example, when Jesus found His disciples fishing and learned that they had caught nothing, he did not lecture them about the evils of their carnivorous ways. Rather, he offered the famous advice to "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find" (John 21:6). The disciples obeyed and caught so many fish that the net nearly broke from the weight. Jesus then personally cooked the fish and served them to His disciples (John 21:9-13). Thus, Jesus did not share PETA's aversion to using animals for food. To the contrary, He helped His followers to kill and eat them. ……"

HotlineScoop 8/22/00 "….. The Florida Dem Party chair accused Gov. Jeb Bush's (R-Fla.) office of "bigotry" and "anti-Semitism" for failing to punish a press aide who accidentally e-mailed a Bible verse to reporters (St. Petersburg Times). ….."

The Washington Times 8/22/00 "……. Two Bavarian lawyers are trying to protect children from reading the Bible because of its purportedly violent, homophobic and anti-Semitic content. The two have written German Family Minister Christine Bergmann on behalf of a few parents of minors, asking the Bible to be put on a list of books considered dangerous for children. "It preaches genocide, racism, enmity towards Jews, gruesome executions for adulterers and homosexuals, the murder of one's own children and many other perversities," Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel said about the Bible in an Agence France Press report. The Bible should remain on the dangerous list until the "bloodthirsty and human rights-violating passages" were taken out, they said. ……."

newsday.com 8/23/00 Shelia Hardwell RD "….. (AP) -- Wide receiver Scott Edwards says high school football and prayer go hand-in-hand on Friday nights and no court can change that. The 16-year-old son of a Baptist preacher and many of his classmates at Bogue Chitto High are counting on fans in this little Mississippi community to restore prayer to the stadium legally -- with individuals deciding, on their own, to join hands and recite the Lord's Prayer. The students' effort is part of a grass-roots movement, mainly in communities across the South, to encourage ''spontaneous'' prayer as a way to get around a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring school officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer. The high court ruling in June came in a Texas case brought by two families -- one Catholic and one Mormon -- who challenged a school policy of letting students elect someone to lead the benediction. ''We have a very strong Christian atmosphere here,'' Scott said of the town, which has a Baptist church directly across from the 500-student school. ''I feel like people have a right to express their Christian views. This is a community thing.'' ……"

The Asheville Tribune 8/24/00 Christopher Knight "…… Reynolds High School, scene of last week's "We Still Pray" rally, might soon be seeing another religious gathering on its grounds. This time, a regional Pagan group is asking to use the facilities. The Appalachian Pagan Alliance sent letters to Reynolds principal Tony Baldwin and Buncombe County Superintendent Cliff Dodson on Friday asking to hold a "We Still Work Magic" rally, citing that if Reynolds had been used by one religious group, it should be made available for all others. "I thought it was an inappropriate place to have it at the public school," said Ginger Strivelli, leader of the alliance. "I'm all for them having their religious gathering, but it struck me as being a poor decision to have it at the school system." ……"

New York Times 8/26/00 David Firestone AP "…..It started slowly at first, a few students holding hands in the bleachers and saying "Our Father who art in Heaven" while football players gathered on the North Forrest High School field Friday night. But by the time they got to "deliver us from evil," most of the crowd of 4,500 was standing, proudly reciting the Lord's Prayer, insisting that God cannot be removed even from a Class 4-A high school football game. ……. School officials carefully stayed out of the way, in order not to violate a June decision of the United States Supreme Court prohibiting student-led prayer at games and assemblies if it is officially sanctioned by the school. Handbills had been distributed by a Christian ministry active in southern Mississippi urging people to pray just before the game, but no loudspeaker was used, and there was no official leader…….."

UPI 8/27/00 "……Opponents of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against school prayer organized "spontaneous" protests at high school football games throughout the South over the weekend……… In Hattiesburg, Miss., actor Tom Lester, who played Eb on the 1960s television series "Green Acres," led fans in a prayer before a game between McComb and Hattiesburg on Friday. Most of the crowd of 4,500 was standing by the time the recitation of the Lord's Prayer was completed……… "Most of the students and parents support this. They think the Supreme Court went too far," Hattiesburg High School principal John Simpson said……. Several dozen people recited the Lord's Prayer at Saturday's Kickoff Classic at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss…….."

Yahoo News 8/26/00 Amy Geier AP "…..Undaunted by the possibility of a lawsuit, Batesburg-Leesville High School's student body president took the microphone in the stadium press box and said a prayer as football fans stood silently. Other schools across the country - mainly in the Bible Belt - faced the same dilemma Friday as the first high school football games of the season began: whether to continue a tradition or obey a two-month-old Supreme Court ruling that declares school-sponsored prayer at sporting events a violation of students' constitutional rights. ……… "

Temple Daily Telegram - Temple Texas 8/19/00 Tanya Cunningham "……. It was during a football game in Academy last year that the Rev. David Newsome, pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Temple, said he felt compelled to recite "The Lord's Prayer" during the moment of silence held before the game. "I felt like the Lord led me," he said. Support for his stance soon poured in, he said. …….. Because of this incident and his disagreement with the Supreme Court ruling that banned student led prayer at football games, Temple resident Kody Shed came up with No Pray, No Play. The campaign advocates the continuation of prayer at high school football games led by fans, he said. …….. "

NewsMax.com 8/30/00 Austin Ruse "….. Any pretense that the "World Peace Summit" is anything other than a cover for a left-leaning agenda was stripped away as American media mogul Ted Turner addressed nearly 1,000 hooting delegates Tuesday in the U.N. General Assembly Hall. ….. Immediately Turner denounced his own childhood Christian faith. The crowd's laughter turned to approving whoops as Turner explained he turned away from Christianity when he discovered "it was intolerant because it taught we were the only ones going to heaven. That confused the devil out of me since that would have left heaven a very empty place." …….. In his spiritual search Turner realized that there was one God and multiple ways he manifests himself and that it makes little difference which one is chosen. This approach is precisely what evangelical Christians fear about the World Peace Summit. Among a small group of conservative Christians monitoring the event, Darren Logan, foreign policy analyst for the Washington-based Family Research Council, called Turner's speech "the most blasphemous thing I have ever heard in my life." ……. Logan said Turner advanced the notion of "reductionism," which suggests that all religions are essentially the same. "Turner believes true tolerance means doing away with the uniqueness of all faiths and marginalizing all faiths that profess an exclusive component, like Christianity and Islam," said Logan. ……"

Sun-Journal, Lewiston ME 3/16/00 "…… The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is investigating a local pastor who it says created a sexually explicit Web site that served as a photo gallery and e-mail directory for gay priests. A second local priest also was involved, a diocesan spokesman said. The Rev. John Harris, 45, pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary, was ordered by Bishop Joseph Gerry to shut down the site two weeks ago after its existence was exposed by a conservative Catholic watchdog group, said Marc Mutty, spokesman for the diocese. …….. Harris created the Web site, called St. Sebastian's Angels, last summer, Mutty said. His site was the outgrowth of another Web site where about 55 gay priests and other Catholic clergy from around the world posted e-mail messages and photos, he said. ...... The pages of the site pictured photos of more than a dozen priests and their e-mail addresses. The site also included a video loop of masturbation. ……… Mutty said Harris admitted his role to Gerry only after the Illinois group had threatened to expose him. A second priest, the retired Rev. Antonin Caron of Lewiston, had a Web site similar to that of Harris, which Gerry also ordered shut down, Mutty said. In addition, Caron was pictured on Harris' site along with his e-mail address. ……"

Boulder Weekly 8/24/00 "…… The Anti-Defamation League wants pro-gun activists to stop wearing the Star of David when promoting their cause. Bobbie Towbin, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League's Denver office, told the Weekly that Jews in Boulder are complaining about the Tyranny Response Team, which frequently demonstrates in favor of gun rights with bullhorns and signs. Most members wear large Star of David emblems that say "gun owner." Tuesday night, Tyranny Response Team member Shariar Ghalam wore the star on a TV debate that will be aired on Boulder's Public Access Channel 54 throughout September. "Is he Jewish?" asks Towbin. Ghalam says he was born into a Shiite family, but has no official ties to any organized religion. Rather, says Ghalam, he supports and respects all religions. ………. "It's offensive," Towbin says. "It's improper and hurtful to use Holocaust memorabilia, which the gold star is, to further a political purpose, in this case the purpose being gun ownership." ……… "We ask in memory of the six million Jews and millions of others that you refrain from using the Nazi Genocide as a political tool again in the future," her letter states. That request offends Glass, who says his pro-gun sentiment results directly from losing all relatives on his father's side to the Holocaust. The murder of six million Jews, he insists, was facilitated by the taking of guns from Jews. ……… Furthermore, Glass says, he thinks Towbin is lying about Holocaust survivors complaining to her. He said few anti-gun activists were at the hearing and none looked old enough to be Holocaust survivors. Most Jews at the hearing, he says, were on hand to oppose new gun laws in Boulder. ……… Law professor and author David Kopel says Glass is right to connect the Holocaust with gun control. Kopel, a Jewish Boulder resident, says it's inconceivable why the Anti-Defamation League should expect Glass to refrain from wearing the star. "If you take the 'never again' statement seriously, then it's the responsibility of every Jew to work against the conditions that facilitated the Holocaust," Kopel says. "Historically, gun confiscation always precedes genocide, without exception." …….. "

Newark [NJ] Star Ledger 8/27/00 David Gibson "……. As the political conventions unfolded this month like old-fashioned tent revivals, with the nominees preaching stump sermons that featured everything except a chorus of "amens," Ellen Johnson sat at her Morris County home fuming. Finally, she couldn't take it any more. ……. ''Can we PLEASE have an end to the moral posturing and acts of public humiliation and kneebending and get on with the real issues," Johnson erupted in a blast fax to media outlets. "The repulsive use of religious creeds, slogans and doctrines as campaign stickers is reaching a fever pitch." ……. That Johnson would be upset with the overt religiosity of the nation's political leaders is not surprising given that she is the national head of American Atheists Inc., as well as a self-described New Jersey soccer mom. ………. In newspapers, for example, some editorial writers and readers are expressing irritation with the amount of God-talk emanating not only from Republican candidate George W. Bush, but also from Democrat Al Gore and his Orthodox Jewish running mate, Joe Lieberman. ………. Even GOP-friendly columnist Cal Thomas, a former Moral Majority spokesman, has charged Republicans as "guilty of the same use and abuse of God" as the Democrats. ''If candidates speak of God and Jesus changing or directing their lives, that is one thing. But they should avoid enlisting the Creator in the campaign," Thomas warned in a recent op-ed piece. "Those who fall into such temptation bring God down to human level and align him with temporal things. Better to allow God to instruct us directly, not through politicians who might properly be suspected of having an agenda." ………. The unprecedented public spirituality quickly reached the point that a popular Web site for religion news, BeliefNet.com, started a "God-o- Meter," a sly way to quantify the candidates' religious references. At last look, the Democrats were outdoing the GOP ticket by a rating of 7.1 to 6.7 on a scale of 10, but that was down from a Democratic high of 8.1. ……. Even before Lieberman's big splash, however, the respective nominees were wearing their religion on both sleeves. ……"

World Magazine 4/5/97 Marvin Olasky "...... Four church leaders--Rex Horne from Immanuel Baptist in Little Rock, Tony Campolo from Eastern College, Gordon MacDonald from Grace Chapel in Massachusetts, dressed in coats and ties, and Mr. Hybels, in a sweater--sat in the private study on the second floor of the White House one evening late in November, 1994. Two others--the president of the United States, in a sweater, and a presidential aide--were with them. ...... President Clinton had called in the four because he was in not only a political funk but a spiritual one as well. Voters had just repudiated him by voting in a Republican Congress. Pundits were saying that the president could look forward only to two miserable years in a castrated White House, and then involuntary retirement. All in all, a bad month, and Mr. Clinton was perhaps hoping for balm at the end of the tunnel. ...... The men exchanged pleasantries, and then the meeting turned to a discussion of the problems the president was having in gaining acceptance among evangelical Christians. One of the church leaders told him, Most of our people are conservative Republicans. They ask me a very simple question: Is the president a good man? What can you tell us that would convince them that you're a good man? ......, Mr. Clinton reacted strongly and explained that he was trying to be a good man. The church leader stood his ground: Are you a good man? What do I tell my people? And the president continued to insist, without going into specifics, that he was good. ...... There was a standoff. Then one participant said quietly, I don't think any of us can say that, that we're good; he had in mind the biblical understanding that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." ...... Mr. Clinton, however, responded politically, arguing that some Republicans were trying to bring him down, and that their methods were often unfair and evil........."

Tribune-Review 8/21/00 ".......Democratic party politics and their two standard bearers, Vice President Al Gore, known to some as"Avaricious Al," and Sen. Joe Lieberman, who wanted to be known as "Preacher Joe" until he got to Hollywood, are too much! All one can do is to remember the wisdom of the great humorist Will Rogers, who, when asked if he belonged to anorganized political party, replied, "No, I'm a Democrat."...... However, the senator is organized. In his first Nashville press conference with Al Gore, Preacher Joe mentioned God 13 times in 90 seconds. He added that he saw his invitation onto the Gore ticket as comparable to being "called to the ministry."......."

Washington Times 8/21/00 Larry Witham ".....There were prayers for the unborn and declarations that homosexuals "all were created by God." The Democratic National Convention last week included a wide appeal to religion, but it was a departure from a secular image that once aimed to harmonize the party's diverse interest groups......... Vice-presidential nominee Joseph I. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, mentioned God eight times in his speech, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts extolled unselfishness, and Vice President Al Gore made clear his religious roots. "My parents taught me that the real values in life aren't material, but spiritual," the Democratic presidential nominee said in his acceptance speech. The bold embrace of religion at a Democratic National Convention has not been seen since Jimmy Carter, a Baptist governor and Sunday school teacher, was president. Moreover, the secular patina has been replaced by a culture interested in religious diversity, Democrats said........"

NY Law Journal 9/8/00 Michael Riccardi "……NEW YORK ATTORNEY General Eliot Spitzer (D) this week asked the state's highest court to review an appellate ruling upholding Yeshiva University's policy denying gay and lesbian partners housing in apartments which are available to married students. The Attorney General's Office said in its brief that the Appellate Division, First Department's reading of the New York City Human Rights Law was so narrow that, if allowed to stand, it could endanger enforcement of antidiscrimination laws not only in the case of gay and lesbians, but for all other protected classes. Mr. Spitzer weighed in on the side of plaintiffs in Levin v. Yeshiva University, one of the first suits in the United States to challenge a university policy barring same-sex couples from student family housing. The Attorney General has requested recognition as amicus curiae from the New York Court of Appeals, which is considering whether to hear the appeal. ……"

NewsMax.com 9/8/00 Carl Limbacher "……The Clinton-Gore administration has ended a federally subsidized food program for one of the largest homeless shelters in Vice President Al Gore's home state because visitors are required to attend a religious service. "The USDA has stopped supplying the Memphis (Tennessee) Union Mission with 12 tons of subsidized food because the Christian organization requires that needy people attend a prayer service before being fed," reported this week's Memphis Flyer, a local city newspaper. Reverend Mark Calhoun told the Flyer that the food cut-off will hurt the Mission's effort to feed the city's homeless population. "They were mainly meats, and the people we feed need protein," he said. "It's a hard time with the holidays coming up." ……The Clinton-Gore administration has told the mission that the food program can continue only if Calhoun agrees to make the prayer service optional. But says the reverend, "That's not a choice for us. Prayer has been in our charter since 1945. It's the reason we exist." ……"

AP 9/8/00 Kelly Kurt "…….The 17-year-old standing under the "Welcome New Students" sign in a stiff Oral Roberts University ball cap is a college freshman far from home. Within the week, he'll swear off alcohol, premarital sex and cigarettes to stay here. …… A coed from Arkansas explains that she's at ORU to "hook up with God's people." Another, an ex-gang member in a leopard-print dress, scans the newcomers to the charismatic Christian campus and wonders if any of them come from backgrounds like hers. "I need to get strong in the word of God to compete with the worldly things," says Tanya Magdadaro, a 19-year-old from suburban Houston. ……… A desire for higher education with a higher calling is filling faith-based campuses across the nation. …… The 12 percent enrollment growth seen by schools with religious affiliations through much of the 1990s was about three times that of all institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And many are setting records this year. ……."

CNN 8/31/00 "……The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a county official in Kansas for posting "In God We Trust" in county offices and allegedly using county funds to promote religious beliefs. In its petition filed with the U.S. District Court in Topeka Wednesday, the ACLU said Shawnee County Treasurer Rita Cline has been promoting her own religious beliefs through her official government capacity, violating the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to hanging religious-oriented posters in public areas, Cline has used public money to mail religious doctrine, including Bible verses, to citizens, said Dick Kurtenbach, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri. ……"

CBN.com 8/31/00 George Otis "….. Thousands of people recently gathered in the Nevada desert and asked Satan to take them to hell. It's hard to believe, but it's true: Neo-paganism is trying to gain a foothold in the United States. ……. Tucked into the remote northwestern corner of Nevada is Black Rock Desert, a searing world of gray-white dust that carpets some 1,400 square miles. Many ages ago, the prehistoric glacier-fed Lake Lahontan died and evaporated, leaving the wild and barren desert as its aftermath. An unnerved John Fremont, exploring the region in the mid-1800s, confessed: "The appearance of the country was so forbidding that I was afraid to enter it."……… Yet every Labor Day weekend since the mid-1980s, spiritual nomads from every U.S. state--especially from the psychedelic vortex of San Francisco--and from Canada, Germany, Brazil, Korea and at least 20 other countries visit Black Rock for a techno-pagan freakfest known as "The Burning Man." The participants' sole agenda is to transform the vast alkali flatland into what one reveler calls "a temporary autonomous zone at the edge of eternity." …….. For some, that "zone" means an opportunity to shed clothes, trance-dance and exchange idols. For others it is simply an earthly palette on which to display bizarre art forms. Last year, more than 10,000 participants came to the event--more than twice the number who attended in 1995. ……."

TIMES RECORD NEWS, Wichita Falls, Texas 9/1/00 Nick Gholson "…… So many people, it seems, get offended way too easily. I mean, isn't that what all this prayer hullabaloo is all about - people getting offended?.. those of us in the majority are always tippy-toeing around, trying to make sure we don't step on the toes or hurt the feelings of the humorless. And you can bet there's a lawyer standing on every corner making sure we don't. ……. Take this prayer deal. It's absolutely ridiculous. Some atheist goes to a high school football game, hears a kid say a short prayer before the game and gets offended. So he hires a lawyer and goes to court and asks somebody to pay him a whole bunch of money for all the damage done to him. You would have thought the kid kicked him in the crotch. Damaged for life by a 30-second prayer? Am I missing something here? ……. I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution. ….. Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. ……"

Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute 9/1/00 "…… What seemed to begin on Monday as a pell-mell sprint for world peace and understanding ended Thursday afternoon in bruised feelings and charges of favoritism. The World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders failed in its mission to establish a permanent UN religious advisory council. Part of the problem was what some see as a lack of representation from the world's two largest religions. "This Summit was a Hindu-Jain show," said a Catholic priest familiar with the UN. [Hinduism and Jainism are both far-eastern faiths that believe in karma and reincarnation.] From the great number of orange-robed holy men wandering all over the swank Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in midtown Manhattan, it appeared the eastern faiths were very well represented at the three-day Summit. "I wonder if this was really India's attempt at getting a permanent slot on the Security Council," said one skeptical Summit delegate. The seeming over-representation of the eastern faiths could have come from the natural inclination Summit chief Bawa Jain, a member of the Jain sect. …… A well-connected Muslim delegate also complained of what he felt was only a token presence of both Christians and Muslims. He explained that an overwhelming number of countries are under administrative control of either Christians or Muslims, yet he felt both religions were under-represented. "If this body is to have any credibility at all it must address the concerns of both Christians and Muslims," he said. He also complained that both faiths have come under attack during the week. American media mogul Ted Turner attacked his boyhood Christian faith, and Hindus delegates criticized the conversion policies of Christianity and Islam. ……"

Fox News 9/1/00 Adrienne Mand "…… With so much controversy swirling around school prayer, the state of Virginia decided a nice alternative would be a mandatory moment of silence, in which students could meditate as they saw fit. But the American Civil Liberties Union said school silence must stop, too. The ACLU asked a federal judge to stop the measure, saying even silence in schools violated the Constitution if students saw it as an encouragement to pray. Virginia's attorney general said the moment of silence policy didn't limit students' freedom, but protected it. "A moment of silence will contribute to maintaining order and discipline in our classrooms and allow students time to thoughtfully prepare themselves for the upcoming educational activities of the day," Attorney General Mark Earley said in a statement. ……"

WASHINGTON TIMES 9/4/00 Larry Witham "…..The Federal Communications Commission has been hit by a fresh tide of letters from Christians reacting to rumors that Madalyn Murray O'Hair's atheist group wants to ban religion from the airwaves. …….Despite the disappearance and presumed death of Mrs. O'Hair five years ago, the letters have proved unstoppable since the rumor began in 1974. This year, the FCC said, the volume of mail has increased with a new version of the rumor that says American Atheists Inc. is seeking to censor "Touched by an Angel," the popular CBS series. "We're getting tons of [letters]," FCC spokeswoman Rosemary Kimball said. "It began with a rumor in 1974, and everything has flowed from that." The rumor was that atheists, based on a petition with thousands of signatures, had gotten an FCC hearing to try to shut down religious broadcasts…….. In fact, the only such "hearing" was a ruling the FCC made in 1975. It rejected a 1974 petition by two broadcasters who asked the agency to bar religious groups from noncommercial education channels……."

Washington Times 9/6/00 Stephen Dinan "…..A federal appeals court refused to halt Virginia's minute-of-silence law yesterday, just hours after 1 million students took part in the first complete observance of it. ...... School systems across Northern Virginia reported no problems, though a few students in Fairfax County walked out of classes in protest. At Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County - which about half of the plaintiffs suing to overturn the law attend - some students walked out in protest. But many others seemed surprised to find they enjoyed the minute and the calm it produced. "It was kind of cool," said Ned Rice, marveling that the school came to a complete halt. "Everybody's normally in the halls, 24-7." That the minute of silence would be observed on the first day of school was in doubt. On Thursday, a federal district judge in Alexandria refused to grant an injunction requested by the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing to overturn the law. The ACLU appealed Friday, but yesterday a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upheld the district judge's ruling by a 2-1 vote……"

Washington Post 9/6/00 R Jeffrey Smith "……A new Vatican declaration issued Tuesday says that only faithful Catholics can attain full salvation from earthly sin, and that other beliefs -- including Protestant Christian ones -- have defects that render them inferior. The goal, according to a top Vatican official, is to combat the "so-called theology of religious pluralism," which suggests that Catholics are on par in God's eyes with, say, Jews, Muslims or Hindus. …….. The statement drew responses of dismay from other religious groups, with whom Pope John Paul II has sought to establish more peaceful and cooperative links over the past two decades. Muslim, Jewish and even Orthodox Christian leaders have repeatedly asked to be treated as equals in dialogue with the Vatican, an idea that the new statement explicitly circumscribes by reaffirming centuries-old claims of Catholic primacy. ……."

Massachusetts News 9/00 Tom Duggan "….. Although it is strongly denied, it appears that Boston College has appointed an atheist as the person in charge of theology for undergraduate students - and it is hoping that the matter will just fade away. But that doesn't appear to be happening because the faculty is in a veritable war over the matter. The controversy occurred because of the appointment of David Vanderhooft as "Director of Undergraduate Studies" which is a steppingstone to the Chair of the Theology Department. …….. The faculty member most prominent in the opposition is Prof. Margaret Schatkin who says that Vanderhooft is a "functional atheist." She says she was threatened and told that she would "suffer professionally" if she pursued the matter, and the official actions of the College appear to indicate the truth of that charge. …… The official college position has many obvious untruths: It says that Vanderhooft was appointed as the "Assistant" to the Director even though the title on his door says that he is the Director. In addition, Vanderhooft was not nominated to be the "Assistant," but "Director of Undergraduate Studies," according to the official "Agenda" for the Theology Department for April 12, 2000. ……. Who Is David Vanderhooft? The man who started this controversy was formerly the chairman of the Curriculum Committee at the College. He is apparently well liked by everyone, but many question whether the theology department at a Catholic college should be headed by an atheist. One faculty member told us, "You can not have someone who doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ in charge of undergraduate studies in theology at a Catholic University. I would suspect that when the summer is over and everyone is back to work full time, this will be rectified by the president and the board of directors. David is a great scholar and has much to contribute in other areas. But he is not a Christian and that fact can not be overlooked when considering someone for this position." ……Therefore, the question becomes, is David Vanderhooft a Christian? The biggest concern appears to be that he is obviously active in the Unitarian Church. Yet, despite this obvious fact, the official spokesman at the College denies it. If it is not troubling to them that Vanderhooft is active in the Unitarian Church which is dominated by atheists, why do the officials at BC fight so hard to deny his activity? ……."

Agape Press 9/12/00 Allie Martin "…… The United Auto Workers Union has been sued on behalf of a worker who was forced to pay union dues that conflicted with his religious beliefs. The case resulted from a union worker in Indiana who expressed his religious objections, in writing, to his union. The union rejected the man's request to be exempt from paying dues, and the worker contacted the Pacific Justice Institute. Brad Dacus, President of the Pacific Justice Institute, says unions have no right to force workers to pay dues……. "Our client is entitled--via the Constitution as well as Title VII--to have all of his union dues, not just part of it...given to a charity, church, or ministry instead of the union, since he has religious objections to paying union dues like most Christians do," Dacus says……."

CNN (LA Times) 9/12/00 Dana Calvo "…….With eight weeks to go until election day, most religious groups have taken their traditional places on the political stage: Protestants to the Republican right, Jews to the Democratic left. Standing center stage, however, are an estimated 15 million moderate Roman Catholics whose votes are up for grabs. Although Catholic voters of all stripes have tended to vote Democratic, they occasionally have backed Republicans for president. But moderate Catholics have been even more movable, and experts say this year they are especially unpredictable. ….."

UPI 9/12/00 Lou Marano "……America's secularist liberal creed is at its core un-Christian, un-Jewish and un-American, a professor told a convention of traditional religionists. Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton, said he works "behind enemy lines in the universities," where he specializes in natural law theory, religion and politics. ……… "Judaism is against paganism," he told the third national convention of Toward Tradition, a group describing itself as representing "Jews and Christians who believe in the time-tested principles of the Torah and the American Founding." The organization, based in Mercer Island, Wash., is led by Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin. …… Catholic thinker G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) described two kinds of paganism in his 1925 book "Everlasting Man." One form might be described as "Easter Bunny paganism," exemplified by the Roman household gods. Chesterton said that simple "happy paganism," which is an attempt to describe the universe through the imagination, became locked in a struggle with a much darker force -- the worship of the demon god Moloch. George spoke of this demonic paganism in his definition of Judaism. ……… George said one can distinguish between the worship of false gods from that of "the true God, the God of Israel, the Lord of Life" because false gods always demand innocent blood. "A pagan culture is always, in the end, a culture of death," he said, "Apply the test. The evidence that a culture is descending into paganism is always manifest in the body count....This was true in ancient Babylon and it is true in modern America. The same old Baal and Moloch...always crave the blood of the weakest and the most vulnerable. Today the unborn, the partially born and the handicapped newly born are daily sacrificed to the false gods of autonomy, choice, and liberation on stainless-steel altars by priests robed in surgical whites." ……… The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "To the cruel god Moloch, sacrifices of children were offered." The idol is thought to have been shaped as a furnace with a man's body and the head of an ox. To attain prosperity, parents presented their bound children to the pagan priests, who fed the babies into the flames. …….. George said that Rabbi Lapin has lamented the fact that many Jews in America have abandoned the Torah and substituted the religion of liberal secularism for the Jewish faith. "This religion, the rabbi observes, has its own doctrines, rituals, and codes of behavior," George said. "It is a religion of neo-paganism. What Rabbi Lapin says of many Jews is equally true of many American Christians. Secularized, liberal Christians dress up their neo-pagan ideology in the language of virtues: compassion, tolerance and inclusion. ……."

AgapePress 9/1/00 Robin Burchfield "…..The Southern Baptist Convention has written a letter of appreciation to Dr. Laura Schlessinger for her courageous stand and opposition to homosexuality. According to Baptist Press, messengers to the SBC's summer meeting overwhelmingly approved a motion to commend "Dr. Laura." One passage of the letter, penned by SBC President James Merritt, read: "The Southern Baptist Convention joins you in standing for what is right and against what is wrong. I send this letter with a prayer that God would protect you and your family during these days, and that He would continue to use all of us to speak out for the truth of the Word of God." ……"

Baptist Press 9/13/00 Todd Starnes "…….On the eve of the anniversary of this century's deadliest church shooting, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush promised to aggressively fight religious bigotry and said the Clinton Administration should be held accountable for labeling Southern Baptists as 'perpetrators of religious hatred.' ……… "People who belittle people of faith are exhibiting bigotry," Bush told Baptist Press, the national news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. "That bigotry comes in the form of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism -- in some movies recently produced --, and anti-Southern Baptist. It's religious bigotry pure and simple. Our nation is founded on religious freedom -- the principle that people ought to be able to practice religious freedom and speak their mind, freely." ……..Bush made his remarks during an interview with Will Hall, the SBC's vice president for convention news, following a rally in Louisville, Ky. Bush, a born-again Christian, said he was particularly disturbed by comments the White House made about Southern Baptists just three months after seven Southern Baptists were gunned down during a worship service at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. …….During a December 1999 press conference, White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart accused Southern Baptists of being, "perpetrators of religious hatred." The response came following a question about Southern Baptist evangelism efforts towards Jews. …….. "

Weekly Standard 9/11/00 Andrew Ferguson "…… The confessor in chief wows an audience of evangelicals. The recent bickering over the role of religion in presidential politics-brought on by a sudden and unexpected eruption of Bible-thumping from Sen. Joseph Lieberman-has of course alarmed the enlightened classes. "I was appalled," read a typical letter last week to the Washington Post. "Mr. Lieberman's comments were insulting to ethical and moral nontheists..." And it is not only they who should worry. By happy coincidence, a mere fortnight before Sen. Lieberman began tooting his hymns to an "awesome God," the country was treated to a pristine example of what happens when politicians and preachers get their roles mixed up. The example should have been enough to give all of us pause-moral nontheists, immoral theists, unethical pantheists, situational monists, everybody. …….."

Toogood Reports 9/6/00 Paul Weyrich "…… So now the United Nations, thanks to Ted Turner, is in the business of religion. This is the same Ted Turner who had to apologize for making a nasty joke about the Pope. The Pope, of course, wasn´t present at this Summit Conference of World Religions Turner has put together. Nor was the Dali Lama, because the Chinese Communists objected. But just about everyone else is represented and that is outrageous. This conference is blasphemous……… That these people would pray together? To whose G-d? At least when various Christian groups get together in an ecumenical fashion they share a belief in Jesus Christ. If they are Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians, they likely believe that Jesus Christ is G-d. So there is a basis not just for dialogue, but also for common prayer. One could even argue that Jews and Christians share the Old Testament, and that when they pray to G-d the Father they are praying to the same G-d. Forgetting about the revelation of the Trinity, at least that argument has some basis in Scripture………. There are those in the Middle East who even go so far as to suggest that Jews, Christians and Moslems are all monotheistic and therefore pray to the same G-d. Perhaps…… But at this conference are religions, if you want to call them that, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the ancient scriptures. Indeed the beliefs of these religions have kept mankind enslaved in parts of the world for centuries. Their beliefs are an insult to the one true G-d. For those who claim to be true believers to offer common prayer with the likes of these people is a scandal. ……"

FrontPageMagazine.Com 9/5/00 Michael Ledeen "….. The two most amazing things about the Anti-Defamation League's shot across Joe Lieberman's religious bow and his lackluster response to it, are the ADL's breezy misstatement of the First Amendment and of American tradition, and the utter failure of any leading politician or any leading publication to correct it. The Constitution contains nothing, not a syllable, about government "favoring one religion over another," or any of the other nonsense that the ADL falsely wrote. ... "

Associated Press 9/5/00 Victor Simpson "……The Vatican rejected Tuesday what it said are growing attempts to depict all religions as equal, accusing some Catholic theologians of manipulating fundamental truths of the church. The idea that ''one religion is as good as another'' endangers the church's missionary message, said the 36-page declaration. ''If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the church, have the fullness of the means of salvation,'' said the declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the guardian of church orthodoxy. Pope John Paul II has made inter-religious dialogue one of the principal goals of his 22-year papacy, but the document made clear that for the Vatican equality refers to the ''personal dignity'' of individuals and not to religious doctrine. It is the second recent document by the congregation warning against abuses by Catholics in dealings with other religions and denominations. Italian media have reported the congregation also has warned against the phrase ''sister churches,'' saying that it contradicts the Catholic church's identity as ''mother'' of all churches. That document has not yet been released……."

www.reagan.com 9/17/00 Mary Mostert "…….What will happen after the fall election if Al Gore is elected and Clinton's June 28, 2000 Executive Order making "sexual orientation" a "protected right" stands? If America chooses the notion that it's OK for young people to "fall into the clutches of predatory and deviant Scoutmasters" as the writer of the letter puts it, exactly how would any organization for children be allowed to choose leaders that won't guide them into, for example, a homosexual lifestyle that is almost guaranteed to shorten their life-span by as much as 30 years? (The average life-span of an American homosexual is 41 years.) If age is a "protected right" under anti-discrimination laws, as defined by Cozza and others, on what basis can laws against sex with young children be declared enforceable? Don't all laws against pedophilia assume that it is OK to have a different kind of sexual law for children than for adults? Isn't that discrimination based on age, as being newly defined by homosexual groups such as Lambda and their allies in such groups as those who hope to establish the International Criminal Court under United Nations jurisdiction? ...... Folks, the day appears to have come that the prophet Isaiah warned us about when there would be those "that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness" who would "justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him." (Isaiah 5:20-23) .........,, If America allows a group demanding that the Boy Scouts of America open its doors to homosexuals and atheists to get away with it, and chooses a leader who believes that such a policy is a commitment "to the principles of equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation" as Al Gore has said, we will have rewarded the wickedness of homosexuals and taken away the righteousness of the Boy Scouts of America. ......"

INSIGHT magazine 9/16/00 James Harder "…..In the name of world peace, the United Nations appears to have embraced a sort of religious universalism that views all religions as equals and is seeking to ban proselytizing. Bawa Jain, secretary-general of the Millennium Peace Summit, says he thinks all religions and spiritualists, as well as assorted witch doctors, sha-mans and medicine men, draw their wisdom from the same source. But he applauds efforts to outlaw proselytizing since it matters little whether one worships a downed World War II airplane with a cargo cult, is a snake-handling Baptist or a Roman Catholic. That view has been met with strict opposition from the Vatican and mainline Protestants, who oppose the notion that all religions are equal. ……… As host of the U.N.'s Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Jain told an international meeting of 1,000 delegates that religions need to accept the validity of all beliefs to attain world peace. ….. According to Francis Cardinal Arinze, president for interreligious dialogue at the Vatican and a speaker at the summit, the Catholic Church also would favor one religion in the world - if it were Roman Catholicism. Assorted grand muftis and other true believers hold the same view, again so long as it is their faith that is universally recognized. That each is out to convert the world is to be expected, so the proposed ban on proselytizing is surprising. ……"

St Paul Pioneer (de)Press 9/17/00 Richard Chin "…..In God they don't trust. At least that's the case at the Freedom From Religion Foundation convention held this weekend in downtown St. Paul. About 250 members of the FFRF -- or ``effers'' as some refer to themselves -- showed up at the Radisson Inn to attend hear speeches about sexual abuse by clergy members, denounce the rise of irrational thought, bemoan the decline of skepticism, and call for the separation of church and state. They exchanged jocular greetings like ``You're all going to hell'' or ``Well, hello, you godless sons of b------.'' They browsed book titles like ``The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible'' and ``The World Famous Atheist Cookbook.'' ...... The group also listened to anti-hymns like ``Nothing Fails Like Prayer,'' and ``You Can't Win With Original Sin.'' And they attended a nonprayer lunch Saturday, complete with a ``traditional moment of bedlam.'' That's where we learned that even atheists say ``My God!'' when they're excited. ``I say that all the time,'' said Norma Cusack, a second-generation freethinker....... ``All the heads go down. I defiantly keep my head up,'' said Phyllis Rose. ``It's arrogant for people to assume that other people think and believe as they do.'' ...... "

U.S. News & World Report 9/25/00 Michael Satchell "…..The search for Noah's Ark and for evidence of the great biblical flood has long consumed scientists, explorers, religious scholars-even government spooks. In 1949, a U.S. spy plane flew over mountains in northern Turkey and photographed what appeared to be the outline of an ancient vessel on the side of a glacier. ...... The site was Mount Ararat, named in Genesis as the place where the ark came to rest. The Central Intelligence Agency, reluctant to get involved in any religious polemic, continued to photograph the anomaly but kept it under wraps for 40 years. ……..Archaeologists led by oceanographer Robert Ballard, who found the Titanic, have been searching beneath the Black Sea off the Turkish coast for evidence of an apocalyptic natural event that could have inspired the Genesis account of the great flood. Last week, the expedition found a large wooden building 12 miles offshore at a depth of more than 300 feet. That reinforced their discovery last November of what was almost certainly an ancient coastline some 550 feet below the present sea level. Coupled with last week's revelation, the findings all but conclusively confirm the theory that melting glaciers some 7,500 years ago raised the level of oceans and sent the Mediterranean Sea pouring through a natural dam across the Bosporus Strait, inundating a huge freshwater lake and creating the Black Sea. …….."

The Commercial Appeal 9/13/00 Jacinthia Jones "…..What started as a religious stance by a local Christian-run homeless shelter has turned into a national backlash against the federal government. Religious and conservative political groups around the country are rallying behind the Memphis Union Mission and its policy that requires people to attend gospel services before they can eat meals at the shelter. Since Friday, the mission has received about $100,000 in contributions and has been the subject of religious and conservative talk shows in Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Detroit, Seattle, St. Louis ..."

 

EWTN 9/21/00 "…..Politicians might soon have a patron. The proclamation would be made in Rome on Nov. 5, the Jubilee of Rulers and Parliamentarians. Marco Tosatti, expert in Vatican affairs for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, was the first to reveal the news in a newspaper supplement this week. Who would be named the saint to watch over the life and work of politicians? All proposals in Rome point to one single person: England's Sir Thomas More. ……. Unable to take the Oath of Supremacy, which made the king head of the Church in England, Thomas More resigned his office. He was later imprisoned in the Tower of London. Despite pressure from his friends to take the oath, More insisted he could not reconcile such a decision with his conscience. When his wife urged him to take the oath for the good of their household, More replied: How many years do you think I could live at home? "At least 20, because you are not old," she answered. "Very bad business, because you want me to exchange 20 years for all eternity," he said to her. Thomas More was decapitated on July 6, 1535, a few days after Bishop Fisher's execution. ……"

Orlando Sentinel 9/19/00 Leslie Postal "….. Seminole teachers and administrators have been told not to participate in the annual "See You at the Pole" gathering, a student-run prayer event that typically takes place on thousands of school campuses nationwide. This year`s event is Wednesday and organizers predict some 3 million Christian students will participate by gathering to pray around school flagpoles. In past years, students at more than 100 Central Florida schools have joined in. …… Ned Julian, the attorney for the Seminole County School Board, issued a memo Friday saying it was best if employees did not join in the prayer circles. He said he was not sure how many staff members had participated in past years but a recent United States Supreme Court decision, and discussions with other school board attorneys, convinced him he should make sure staff members do not participate this year. ….."

Fort Worth Star-Telegram 9/19/00 Jim Jones "……. After declaring that Jesus was not born of a virgin and that many biblical reports of his life were conjured by early Christians, the Jesus Seminar is taking on God. The small band of religion specialists often criticized by even established scholars for their iconoclastic statements on Jesus will vote on whether God is all-powerful, whether he intervenes in the affairs of humans and, more radically, whether God even exists. "We are opening up a new phase of the seminar," said the group's founder, Robert Funk, director of the Westar Institute in Santa Rosa, Calif. "We are discussing the future of God, so to speak." ……… During its semiannual meeting next month in Santa Rosa, about 75 seminar participants will engage in discussions on several papers and return to their system of using colored beads to cast ballots on questions related to God. ……"

Chicago Sun Times 9/19/00 Ernest Tucker "……For the first time in its 160-year history, the Archdiocese of Chicago has appointed a full-time exorcist, who said his task is to "heal those afflicted by the Evil One." The archdiocesan priest, whose identity was withheld by the Roman Catholic archdiocese to protect his privacy, was appointed without fanfare nearly a year ago by Cardinal Francis George at the encouragement of a French cardinal.. ..."

Toogood Reports 9/18/00Chuck Baldwin "…… There are only two basic worldviews: theism and atheism. Many educators and philosophers today would have us believe that only a secularist/atheistic approach to government has any merit or credence. Such was not the position of America´s Founding Fathers. If fact, it has only been in the past half-century that America´s courts and culture have seen fit to reject the faith of our fathers. ……… The foundational document of this nation asserts, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights...". America´s founders obviously embraced a theistic worldview. ……. This trenchant principle is fundamental to the American concept of government. If G-d is the grantor of life, liberty and happiness, it behooves government to protect those rights. The Declaration of Independence categorically states, "That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men..." Therefore, legitimate government protects and defends G-d-given rights and freedoms, while illegitimate government seeks to destroy and steal these liberties. ……..It should be obvious to even a casual observer that much (even most) of our current political system today runs diametrically counter to these historic values. When politicians understand government to be the source of men´s rights, when they routinely usurp the principles of freedom without compunction or regret, government abandons its reason for existing and becomes illegitimate. At that point, it is the responsibility of freemen to "alter or abolish it." ……."

Yahoo News 10/3/00 Reuters "…..An animal rights group said Friday it planned to use the Turin Shroud in an advertising campaign to persuade people to stop eating meat. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it would unveil its campaign ``Make a Lasting Impression -- Go Vegetarian'' next week in Turin, where the shroud is on display in the city's cathedral. ……"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 10/4/00 Linda Sattler "…..A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that Pulaski County's chief deputy assessor, Janet Ward, is a "self-proclaimed witch" who tries to use sex, hexes and retaliatory firings to keep her employees in line. Former assessor's office employee Barbara Sparr alleges in the suit that she was fired Aug. 22 for refusing to campaign for Ward or to become her chief deputy if she is elected in November to replace retiring Assessor B.A. McIntosh. Ward, a Democrat, is facing Republican Nora Harris, a property tax opponent and president of Empower Arkansans. ….."

Associated Press 9/30/00 "……A Hebrew schol-ar and a mathematician have found what they call one of the most significant discoveries in the field of Bible code research. Nathan Jacobi, an Ashland scientist and Hebrew teacher, found a seven-word sentence encoded in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. "Everybody I've shown it to thinks it's phenomenal," said Jacobi. The longest code to date had been 13 letters long. The chances of finding a sentence-length code in a Hebrew text is one out of 685 billion times 1 billion, said Ed Sherman. He owns an Ashland firm that runs insurance statis-tics for several fortune 500 com-panies. …… Jacobi and Sherman's newest code is Shakak Meal Yeshua Shmi Az Sasu Avim, which is translated into "Gushing over Yeshua was my mighty name and the clouds rejoiced." Yeshua is the commonly agreed-upon name for Jesus, Jacobi said. The code was found in Isaiah 53, a text that prophcies the coming of Jesus Christ as messiah. Scholars attribute the text to a prophet who lived six centuries before Christ was born. ……"

The Washington Times 10/2/00 Ellen Knickmeyer (AP) "…..Pope John Paul II declared sainthood yesterday for 120 Chinese and foreign missionaries killed in the church's five-century struggle in China. In Beijing, an angry government called the martyrs "evil-doing sinners" and their canonization "an open insult." Naming of the church's first Chinese saints threatened to worsen already stiff relations with China, which is combating Vatican-allied Roman Catholicism and other banned spiritual movements it sees as challenges to its authority. The date of the canonizations was an outrage to China - falling on China's National Day celebrating 51 years of Communist rule. So was their chosen subject: 87 Chinese and 33 foreigners, most killed in what China still views as the righteous 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreign imperialism and religions. ......"

AP via Newsday.com 10/2/00 Laurie Asseo "…….The Supreme Court set aside a ruling that let public school students in a Florida county choose a class member to give a prayer or other message at high school graduations. The justices on Monday ordered a federal appeals court to restudy the case in light of their decision last June to bar student-led prayers at public high school football games. The justices said such prayers violated the constitutionally required separation of government and religion. In 1992, the justices prohibited clergy-led prayers at public school graduations. Invocations and benedictions were allowed at Duval County, Fla., public school graduations before the 1992 ruling. ……. In 1993, school officials adopted a new policy letting high school seniors decide whether to choose a fellow student to give a ''brief opening and/or closing message'' at graduation. The student would decide the message's content with no review by school officials. ……"

WORLD Magazine 10/7/00 Timothy Lamer "…… On Sept. 14, a joint session of the U.S. House and Senate basically bowed down to Baal. A Hindu priest from Ohio, Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala, gave the invocation that day, the same day that Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke to the legislators (WORLD, Sept. 30.) It was the first time that a Hindu priest had served as a guest chaplain on Capitol Hill, and the event showcased everything that is wrong, from an evangelical perspective, with the congressional chaplaincy in particular and civil religion in general. ……. But another response is appropriate: Perhaps Mr. Samuldrala's invocation will cause evangelicals to rethink their devotion to civil religion. As the United States increasingly becomes a gigantic Vanity Fair of false religions, it will become more difficult every year for Christians to see religion in the public square as a good thing. …….. Actually, America's increasing pluralism is only making clear what has been true for a long time but hidden from view: Christians are a minority in this country. America has a lot of nominal Christians in theologically liberal churches, but as J. Gresham Machen argued nearly 80 years ago, theological liberalism "not only is a different religion from Christianity but belongs in a totally different class of religions." ……."

Washington Times 10/3/00 Larry Witham "…… Both presidential candidates have defended the free speech of religious broadcasters - but until Vice President Al Gore is clearer on his future policy, many conservatives on the airwaves are leaning toward Texas Gov. George W. Bush. ….. "We have no idea what will happen with a Gore administration," said E. Brandt Gustavson, president of National Religious Broadcasters. As a senator in 1992, Mr. Gore fought to protect a "must carry" law that allows religious programs access to cable systems. Many NRB members, who are conservative evangelicals, believe Mr. Gore also was influential in the FCC's January reversal of a December "additional guidance" ruling that limited religious programs on noncommercial educational channels to 50 percent of those channels. But Mr. Bush, besides being a moral conservative with a free-market outlook, has taken an open policy stance that he "will not allow the FCC to censor or limit religious speech."……"

Post Gazette 10/1/00 Ann Rodgers-Melnick "..... The Rev. Michael Salvagna had just begun to offer spiritual assistance to people who believed they were troubled by evil spirits when the movie "The Exorcist" was released in 1973. ...... The movie is loosely based on the diary of a Jesuit priest who was involved in the exorcism of a teen-age boy from Maryland in 1949. Salvagna has never seen anyone's head spin, but believes such things do happen when someone is possessed by Satan. Salvagna sticks to milder cases, which generally confine themselves to shaking, crying and coughing -- though he has seen unnatural feats of strength and heard people speak in bizarre voices. ........ When 200 Catholic exorcists recently gathered in Rome, the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome told The National Catholic Reporter that he liked the film. He said the scenes of vomiting and the spinning head were mild compared with some demonic phenomena he had witnessed. Neither the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh nor the Byzantine Catholic Archdiocese of Pittsburgh has a designated exorcist. Such a post has not been required since the 1983 revised Code of Canon Law took effect. The Rev. James LaBar, the exorcist of the Archdiocese of New York, told the National Catholic Reporter that no more than a half-dozen U.S. dioceses have exorcists. Salvagna, 59, quietly practices "deliverance ministry," which deals with lesser forms of demonic harassment. His work is neither endorsed nor denounced by the diocese. ....... Salvagna described three levels of demonic affliction. The most common is oppression, in which someone is tempted or bothered by Satan. Obsession, which involves a loss of freedom to control one's own thoughts or actions, is far less common, he said. "Satan has some sway over them, but it's not total. They may be very sorry for what they are doing," he said. Possession, in which someone is taken over or inhabited by Satan, is rare. This is what true exorcism is intended to address, he said. ...... "

BBC 9/25/00 "….. President Saddam Hussein has taken delivery of a copy of the Koran written using his own blood. Iraqi TV and newspapers reported that the Iraqi leader had the volume produced in thanks to God for bringing him safely through many "conspiracies and dangers" in his long political career. "My life has been full of dangers in which I should have lost a lot of blood...but since I have bled only a little, I asked somebody to write God's words with my blood in gratitude," President Saddam Hussein said in a letter published in the official media...."

EWTN 9/21/00 "……Politicians might soon have a patron. The proclamation would be made in Rome on Nov. 5, the Jubilee of Rulers and Parliamentarians. Marco Tosatti, expert in Vatican affairs for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, was the first to reveal the news in a newspaper supplement this week. Who would be named the saint to watch over the life and work of politicians? All proposals in Rome point to one single person: England's Sir Thomas More. More was born in 1477. Married and a father, he became chancellor of the kingdom. A highly cultured man with a fine sense of humor, he was a friend of Erasmus and close companion of King Henry VIII. However, together with Bishop John Fisher of York, he opposed Henry VIII on the question of annulment of his marriage. ……. Unable to take the Oath of Supremacy, which made the king head of the Church in England, Thomas More resigned his office. He was later imprisoned in the Tower of London. Despite pressure from his friends to take the oath, More insisted he could not reconcile such a decision with his conscience. When his wife urged him to take the oath for the good of their household, More replied: How many years do you think I could live at home? "At least 20, because you are not old," she answered. "Very bad business, because you want me to exchange 20 years for all eternity," he said to her. Thomas More was decapitated on July 6, 1535, a few days after Bishop Fisher's execution. ……"

Independent/U.K. 9/23/00 Phil Reeves "…..Who is a Jew? It is one of the most divisive questions facing the 52-year-old state of Israel. And now the battle lines are being drawn in a fresh attempt to settle it. …… The issue is rooted in a massive wave of immigration which has seen the arrival of a million people since 1989, an astonishing number for a country just over a quarter the size of Scotland. Three out of every four of the newcomers are from the former Soviet Union. …….. Almost a sixth of the 6.1 million population are Russian speakers, whose presence is changing the character of Israel and intensifying tensions between the secular majority and its fundamentalist religious opponents. Indeed, the scale of the Russian influx is now prompting calls for reform of the historic law which allows anyone to immigrate if they have a Jewish grandparent. ….. According to Orthodox rabbis, the immigrant intake is less and less Jewish by the year. At first, the bulk of them were "halachically" Jewish - born of a Jewish mother. Now nearly two-thirds are not. Many immigrate for no better reason than they want better lives than they can have in the wreckage of the former USSR. They often arrive with no knowledge of Judaism or Israel. Yet the Russian vote has proved capable of determining the outcome of Israeli elections, including Ehud Barak's victory in 1999. ……."

Augusta Chronicle 10/6/00 Mondella Weathersbee / Letter to Editor "…… The highways of history are strewn with the wreckage of nations that have turned away from God. Judging by what's happening in America, our nation could very well be headed toward destruction. President Bill Clinton has done much to destroy the values that have made America strong. Vice President Al Gore will likely finish the job if he's elected. He has proven himself to be dishonest, unethical, a participant in questionable fund-raising activities and scrapping principled positions for political gain. Mr. Gore also approves of homosexuality which is an abomination of God's word and of late-term abortions which involves killing a baby just before it comes out of the birth canal ... The practice of abortion is premeditated murder. ……"

Washington Times 10/6/00 Andrew Cain "....... While the two candidates pledged at the outset not to get into personal attacks, Mr. Cheney sternly criticized Mr. Lieberman's evolving view of Hollywood......... "I do have a couple of concerns where I liked the old Joe Lieberman better than I do the new Joe Lieberman. Joe established, I thought, an outstanding record in his work on this whole question of violence in the media and the kinds of materials that were being peddled to our children, and many of us on the Republican side admired him for that," said Mr. Cheney. "There is, I must say, the view now that, having joined with Al Gore on the ticket on the other side, that the depth of conviction that we had admired before isn't quite as strong as it was, perhaps, in the past."...... Mr. Cheney said he was "especially disturbed" when he heard about a Beverly Hills fund-raiser attended by Mr. Lieberman in which a comedian got up and criticized George Bush's religion.......... "Al and I have tremendous regard for this industry," said Mr. Lieberman. "We're both fans of the products that come out of the entertainment industry." Mr. Lieberman downplayed any role he and Mr. Gore might play in cleaning up Hollywood, saying they would merely serve as occasional "critics, or nudges," a Yiddish term for gentle naggers. Also at that event, Larry David, executive producer of "Seinfeld," said: "Like Bush, I too found Christ in my 40s. He came into my room one night, and I said: 'What, no call? You just pop in?' "....... Mr. Lieberman did not object to the joke, saying later he found it both offensive and funny. Last night, Mr. Lieberman said he found the joke "very distasteful," and unacceptable. "Any offense that was done, I apologize for it." Mr. Lieberman insisted: "I have not changed a single position" since Mr. Gore named him to be his running mate......."

AFR News 10/5/00 Fred Jackson "...... The Bible talks about wickedness in high places, and many Christians are observing that was the case yesterday at a city council meeting in Dallas. The Dallas City Council invited a Wiccan priest to give the opening prayer at yesterday's session. Wicca is a neo-pagan faith that practices a form of witchcraft. Bryan Lankford, who had been uninvited from delivering the invocation at last week's session, delivered the two-minute prayer. Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk had to squelch an unidentified man who tried to protest from the gallery......... According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Lankford--who is first officer for the Texas Council of the Covenant of the Goddess--read a brief prayer that began with him invoking, "Mother Goddess, Father God."......... The Star-Telegram reports that some in the audience and on the council did not bow their heads. Among those was Councilwoman Donna Blumer, who stood, looked straight ahead, and folded her arms during Lankford's invocation. She said she wanted to make it clear that she did not endorse Lankford's words........Four speakers then took turns criticizing the invitation that had been restored to Lankford. Among those speakers was Texas Eagle Forum president Cathie Adams, who told the Council that the Bible condemns witchcraft. She quoted from Deuteronomy 18......."God said to the Jewish nation, 'Let no one be found among you...who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist, or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.' "......... "

Conservative News Service 10/5/00 Cheryl K Chumley "…..Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman has been denounced by members of the Jewish community for his views on homosexuality and abortion just hours before he is due to debate his Republican counterpart in front of a national audience. ….. "We want the Christian community to know how Lieberman is viewed, and that's as a scandal and an embarrassment," said Rabbi Yehunda Levin with Jews for Morality, during a Thursday news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. …….Levin's criticism also comes at a time when the Republican Jewish Coalition has expressed "disappointment" with Lieberman's stated "respect" for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a man criticized by many for his alleged anti-semitism, but whom Lieberman has said he would like to meet……….. The RJC has asked that Lieberman reconsider his plans to meet with Farrakhan, because of the minister's past statements concerning Jews and Judaism, which he called a "dirty religion."………. "Orthodox Jews are waking up to his tremendous mountain of inconsistencies. Tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews ... are reacting in shock and disbelief," Levin said, adding that Lieberman was "now claiming [to be] an observant Jew. That means you basically observe what's good for you politically and you observe what's not good for you politically." ……."

Macon Telegraph 10/5/00 Rodney Manley "…… DUBLIN …. The Marching Raiders are causing a stir with their halftime show that opens with a flurry of Southern gospel songs and cross-carrying dancers. The routine has drawn cheers from most fans but a fistful of anonymous phone calls from people who say they're offended by the program. ……Despite the complaints, band leaders and administrators say they have no plans to change their tune. ……… "We're entertainers," said band director Michael Dukes. "We want to put on a show that keeps people from leaving their seats and going to buy a hot dog. We want them to listen to what these kids are playing." …… The show opens with the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" as members of the dance line wind their way through the 170-member band, each carrying a wooden cross. At the song's end, the girls kneel and clasp their hands as if in prayer. …… A rapid-fire medley of hymns and spirituals follows before the band shifts gears into big band and jazz favorites such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo." ………Principal Larry Daniel said the school has had four complaints about the band's routine from callers who refused to give their names. Daniel fielded one of the calls and said the caller threatened to sue if the band does not remove the gospel tunes and crosses from its routine. …..Daniel said he is confident the show is lawful and violates no one's constitutional rights. "The music they're playing doesn't have any words to it," said Daniel. "And there are no messages written on the crosses." ……….Midway through the show, dancers throw on Mardi Gras-style masks, beads and boas as the band plays "Down by the River Side" and "When the Saints go Marching in." ……. The show, however, has had revival-like effects on some in the crowd. At each of the school's four games this year, large numbers of fans in both stands have jumped to their feet at the first chords of "Rugged Cross" and remained standing. Some clapped along with the music, while others have lifted their hands and even shed tears. ….."

Yahoo News 10/4/00 "……``It is tragic,'' said the Rev. Todd H. Wetzel, Executive Director of Episcopalians United, ``that traditional parishes in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., (ECUSA) have no recourse but to leave.'' On Sunday, October 1, 2000, Christ Episcopal Church, Mobile, Alabama -- the oldest Protestant church in Alabama -- voted 251 to 29 to leave ECUSA because of ``a steady erosion of traditional values.'' ….. ``The recalcitrant stance of many ECUSA bishops can only be viewed with alarm and suspicion,'' Wetzel continued. ``What possesses the leadership of a denomination to bid a harsh farewell to some of its oldest and largest congregations rather than reach an agreement that would enable them to remain in ECUSA? ………. ``There is a strong correlation between this and the necessity of an historic church such as Christ, Mobile, to leave ECUSA. Christ Church represents two centuries of the faithful, who will no longer tolerate priests and bishops pursuing their own radical theological agenda rather than the authority of Scripture. ``When these bishops gave their hearts to the spirit of the age, they set themselves -- and their dioceses -- on a path that can only lead to destruction. We pray for their repentance and a return to sanity,'' Wetzel concluded. ……. Christ Church, Mobile, the second largest in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, follows four priests and two churches from Denver, Colorado who departed in early September, four priests and two churches from the Florida panhandle who left in August; a large church in Roanoke, Virginia and a large church in Morehead City, North Carolina which left in March. ……Wetzel concluded, ``What do these bishops hope to gain by encouraging the departure of churches whose only fault is believing what the Episcopal Church has taught since its inception?'' ……"

U.S. Newswire 10/4/00 National Right to Work Foundation "…….Responding to federal charges filed by a schoolteacher, the federal government will prosecute the National Education Association (NEA) labor union for harassing teachers nationwide whose sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from supporting a union they believe to be immoral, the National Right to Work Foundation said today. Persuaded by arguments by National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that the nation's largest teacher union has been systematically violating teachers' civil rights by forcing them to endure annually a burdensome and invasive process before respecting their religious objections. ……….. The national prosecution resulted from EEOC charges filed by Dennis Robey, an Ohio teacher whose specific objections were to the labor union's pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality positions and the union's constant attempts to interfere with parental rights. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support a union if doing so violates the employee's sincerely held religious beliefs. In order to accommodate the conflict between an employee's faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he believes to be immoral, the law allows employees instead to donate that money to charity. ……Robey began exercising his rights in 1995. Early this year, union officials rebuffed his longstanding objection and demanded that every year he must describe, in detail, his deeply held religious views, fill out a lengthy and invasive form, and file it with the union. On the form, union officials asked probing personal questions about his relationship with God, his "religious affiliation," and required him to obtain a signature from a "religious official" attesting to the validity of his beliefs. ……..Foundation attorneys argued that this nationwide union policy places an undue burden on teachers, and the EEOC agreed that teachers need only file a one-time objection to paying forced union dues. The union's illegal scheme is employed nationally against thousands of teachers whose sincerely held religious beliefs prevent them from supporting a union. In addition to prosecuting the NEA union, the EEOC will prosecute the Huber Heights Education Association union and the Ohio Education Association (OEA) union. ……"

Msnbc.com 10/11/00 "…….Rabbi Steven Foster of Temple Emanuel in Denver says he's returning the Boy Scout awards he earned as a youth to protest the national group's ban on homosexuals in leadership positions. "I DON'T FEEL good about this," he said Tuesday as he prepared to mail in his four badges, including one for Eagle Scout. "I have always respected the Scouts, but they have made a terrible mistake." Foster, 57, said he made the announcement during his Yom Kippur sermon because he wanted to generate as much publicity as possible. ………."

Washington Times 10/11/00 August Gribbin "…….The Supreme Court yesterday announced it would hear the appeal of children in a Christian club who have been forbidden to hold after-school meetings in their local public school. ……….. The case involves important church-state and free-speech issues and is considered particularly important, as are two other cases the court has chosen to settle. ….."

Wall Street Journal 10/10/00 "…… Until a last-minute rebellion from Democrats who'd previously supported the bill, the New Jersey state assembly looked set to pass a measure that would have called for the state's schoolchildren to follow their Pledge of Allegiance with the opening passage from the Declaration of Independence: ……… "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." ………New Jersey's Democrats couldn't choke that down. In the end, none would vote for the measure, the result of a slightly surreal debate in which the Declaration was found to be anti-black, anti-women and too pro-God. ……."

Jerusalem Post 10/10/00 "……. The Palestinians have begun constructing a mosque at Joseph's Tomb near Nablus where a yeshiva existed until last weekend, IDF sources told Israel Radio. After the IDF withdrew from the tomb because of danger to the lives of those defending it, the tomb was desecrated. ……"

EWTN 10/10/00 "……..A group of Maine Catholics protested in the chancery offices of the Diocese of Portland last Thursday over the diocese's support of a gay rights referendum going before voters on November 7. …… The group calling itself the Grass Roots Coalition knelt in the chancery office and chanted: "We're here. We're Catholic. We are faithful. Get used to it." They then presented a petition requesting a reconsideration of the diocese's support for the gay rights legislation, which they said was the first step toward same-sex marriage laws such as the one recently passed in Vermont. ……. The petition was accepted by diocesan officials and received a blessing from a priest in the chancery. Several speakers were outraged that the diocese dropped its previous opposition to gay rights legislation after "secret negotiations" developed a compromise bill that exempted the Church from its provisions. ……."

NewsMax.com 10/10/00 "……. In a clear slap at Bill Clinton's behavior during the Lewinsky scandal, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush told a Christian magazine that the scandal underscored "how important it is to keep a check on carnal desires and to be responsible for the decisions we make in life." Asked during an interview with Charisma magazine about the spiritual effect the Monica Lewinsky scandal had on the country, Bush said the implications were unclear, but not positive so far. "In the short run, it had a very negative effect because mothers and dads were so disillusioned trying to explain to their children what [the Lewinsky scandal] was all about. I know we did in our household. It was hard." ……Bush said the scandal reflected underlying cultural problems in America. ……"We've got a culture that has sent a signal that says, 'If it feels good, just go ahead and do it. And if you have a problem in society, then blame somebody else.' We need to change the culture of America, but cultures don't change instantaneously." ……. In a veiled criticism of Clinton, Bush added, "What's needed in a president is a consistent message." ……."

JewishWorldReview 10/10/00 Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder "……...Senator Lieberman, who wraps his religious beliefs around him like a flag, apparently subscribes to a new form of Judaism. There is Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. Senator Lieberman belongs to a new sect: Selective Observant Judaism. Lieberman found a Rabbi of the Selective Observant persuasion who gives him special dispensations. The Senator can work on the Sabbath or Holy days only if it is a life or death emergency. Therefore his Rabbi told Lieberman he could work, since it would kill him if he loses the election. Similarly, he cannot answer the telephone... unless it rings. He cannot handle money during holy days, unless of course it is a contribution to his campaign, because then he would not be handling it, but only taking it. Lieberman said he would be open to sitting down and chatting with Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. "I have respect for him [Farrakhan]... I admire what Minister Farrakhan is doing." Between Lieberman admiring Farrakhan and Mrs. Clinton kissing Mrs. Arafat, maybe he is now thinking of moving Jerusalem brick by brick to Mecca. Say it isn't so Joe. ……"

Christian Broadcasting Network 10/10/00 Bill Fancher "…..Democrat Vice President candidate Joseph Lieberman is still under fire following his activities during the holiest weekend of the year for Orthodox Jews. ……..Lieberman, who claims to be an Orthodox Jew, was the keynote speaker at Saturday night's national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign--the largest pro-homosexual organization in the country. ……. However, in the recent Vice Presidential debate and on Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, Lieberman again stipulated that he would fight for the rights of homosexuals to have protected legal status and full benefits that married couples enjoy. Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin is shocked by the Senator's actions during this holiest of Jewish weekends. "It's just a tragedy that in the middle of the holiest days of the Jewish year, Joe Lieberman would sink and do something that's so crazy and so against this posturing of his as a moral, religious person," Levin says. ……"

Detroit News 10/9/00 "…….. Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most solemn day in the Jewish religious calendar . It is the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, in which everyone of the Jewish faith is urged to examine their lives and repent their sins. Because at the sunset, their fate will be sealed for the coming year. The clear call of the shofar, the ram's horn, will sound in every synagogue and temple as a bracing reminder of this obligation. But the prayers in the Yom Kippur liturgy say even forgotten sins are remembered by God and that those, too, will now be weighed. ……. How remarkably this warning comprehends the way the human mind works, in its readiness to block out and then forget transgressions. ……… And how well it anticipated the particular age in which we live. Because the Age of Victimhood tells us that we indeed are not responsible for our own misdeeds. That when we do something wrong, it is because of someone else's failings. Maybe a parent, or a teacher. Or perhaps it is all the fault of political leaders or the cops or the Supreme Court. But surely not ourselves. We supposedly are the victims, not the sinners. ……."

Charisma News 10/9/00 "…….. In this exclusive interview with Charisma, George W. Bush talks about how he rededicated his life to Christ and how he applies his Christian faith to moral and political issues. Charisma: How would you describe the change that occurred in your life as a result of your conversion experience? …….. Bush: A Bible verse that is important to me is the one that says I shouldn't try to take a speck out of someone else's eye if I have a log in my own. I like that verse because it reminds me that we're all sinners. When you admit you're a sinner, it is recognition that there is a need. And that need, for me, was met through Christ. ……… You can be a sinner and live under a bridge. Or you can be a sinner and be the governor of Texas. To me it is an understanding that the human condition requires a power greater than self. In 1986 I came to that realization. I had been raised a Christian, but my faith was reconfirmed in a much more powerful, personal way--because I sought, and I found. …….Regarding my encounter with Billy Graham: He was a messenger. I can't really think of the words he said, but I know he lit a spark inside me that kindled into a flame over time. Billy Graham planted a seed, and then I went back to Midland [Texas] and got involved in Community Bible Study--which is a very active national program. That's when I began to read the Bible every day. Now I seek God's guidance. But of course, as a politician, I am mindful of the fact that my faith doesn't make me better than anyone else. ……….How has my faith manifested itself? I am more mindful of the needs of others. I also have a certain confidence about my life. It is not dependent upon material success, or electoral success for that matter. I am going to fight like heck and give this campaign my best shot, and I hope I will be the president. But should it not work out, I understand that there is a force greater than myself--and it gives me great comfort. ……."

Charisma News 10/9/00 "…….. Charisma: Many Christians believe the death penalty is supported by Scripture, while others believe it isn't. How have you applied your faith to this issue? …….. Bush: It's a very difficult issue for a lot of people. And it's not easy being the governor in a death penalty state. But nevertheless my job is to uphold the laws of our land. When I swore on the Bible at my inauguration as governor of Texas, I swore to uphold the laws. ……. I also believe that it is important to focus on the innocent victim when it comes to crime. If the death penalty is administered surely, swiftly and justly, it will save lives because people will know that there is going to be a consequence to crime. ……"

Charisma News 10/9/00 "……..Charisma: You mentioned how much it means that Christians pray for you. What are your biggest personal concerns? ……… Bush: You could pray that God will protect my children. My biggest worry about running for president is not about me; it's about my family. We've got two 18-year-old daughters who mean a lot to us, and their daddy is running for president. People are going to say ugly and hurtful things. ……. Secondly, I pray for peace of mind and wisdom. The power of prayer is real. It's comforting. And it keeps life in perspective. I want to win, and I'm a tough competitor, but I also understand that winning this election may not be in the larger plan of things. I think it will be, but it may not be. ……Prayer helps me keep perspective. I'm not so anxious to be the president that I will say whatever it takes to win. I think that has to do with my faith and how I was raised. To me, faith is a long walk. It's not a moment. It's a walk. * ……"

Newsday 10/4/00 Errol Cockfield Jr. "…….. In another episode highlighting the oil-and-water relationship between religion and politics, a Catholic human services group has canceled three candidate forums because of orders from Bishop James McHugh prohibiting abortion-rights candidates from speaking in church facilities. The move by McHugh, who in 1998 took the helm of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and became the steward of 1.4 million Long Island Catholics, establishes the way his flock should mingle with political candidates in church-run facilities. ………. Before McHugh sent a letter spelling out the policy to parishes, schools, colleges and other Catholic agencies, Catholic Charities had organized three candidate forums at churches in Syosset, Bohemia and Wyandanch this month. In the letter McHugh said, "The policy...means that no pro-abortion public official or candidate is to be invited to address Catholic agencies or organizations, school or parish groups, even if he/she does not intend to express their pro-abortion views." McHugh said he had not been aware of the forums and Catholic Charities officials did not clear the events through his office. ……."

America's First Freedom 10/00 L Brent Bozell III "…….. Ever since Al and Tipper prepared for his first presidential run in 1988 by pleading to Hollywood that the rock-parental-guidance thing was all a bad dream, Gore has pandered to this major Democratic constituency. Look no further than the Democrats' massive softmoney fundraiser on May 24. Comedian Robin Williams flooded his routine with profanity that would have had the old Tipper running for a parental-guidance label. Words that the major networks still won't allow on television were repeatedly used. In the midst of this torrent, Williams spotted a kid in the audience, prompting him to joke about his language: "Hello. There's a child in the front row. We've learned some new words haven't we?" Reportedly, Clinton and Gore were doubled over laughing……….. Then comedian Gore took the stage. Joking about Charlton Heston and another National Rifle Association official who boasted of great access to a Bush White House, Gore quipped: "I would caution him, though, because the last time Moses took advice from a bush, his people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years." This giggling audience naturally didn't grasp what an observant Christian or Jew would infer, that listening to God would lead to exile in the wilderness. This is the same Al Gore who told religion writers a year ago that "the purpose of life is to glorify God." So much for that empty talk………."

America's First Freedom 10/00 L Brent Bozell III "……..Three days before the soft-money sleazefest, Gore took his appreciation for family-unfriendly entertainment to a new level by making a guest voiceover appearance as himself on the Fox cartoon show Futurama. This show's idea of glorifying God comes only when characters spout exclamations like "sweet zombie Jesus" and "holy zombie Jesus" ......... Gore has embraced this seamy side of Hollywood in a major way - so much so that one of his daughters, Kristin, is a new writer for Futurama. What a politician will do for cold, hard cash when China's no longer an option...."

New York Times 9/30/00 James Dao "......After some prominent Christian conservatives grumbled about Gov. George W. Bush's decision to skip the Christian Coalition's annual conference this weekend, the Bush campaign reversed itself today and announced that the governor would address the convention by videotape on Saturday. The announcement of Mr. Bush's change of heart came after Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition chairman and founder, had complained earlier this week, and again today, that Mr. Bush was "taking a risk" by not speaking before the group. ...... "

ABCNEWS 9/24/00 Claire Moore "……In one of the most religious countries in the world, more and more people are seeking spiritual enlightenment in the same manner monks, rabbis and priests have done for centuries: by reading. Attendance at religious services in the United States has remained the highest of any developed country, according to the Gallup Organization and other surveyors of popular opinion and habits. And the personal-quest side of that religiosity has pushed a once-niche book category into best-seller status, boosting the sales of religious books to all-time highs………. "In the late '80s religion started coming on strong. It looked as though it would become one of the fastest and dynamic categories and it has been. So far it doesn't seem to be losing any of its momentum," says Garrett. …….. Just 50 years ago, when the country was supposed to be in a state of religious rejuvenation following World War II, the religious section of a bookstore typically had one Episcopal book, one Catholic book, one Jewish book and two or three titles that today would probably be classified as self-help or inspirational, Garrett says. Today, religious book sections in mainstream bookstores have ballooned to encompass entire floors, or at least a few hundred feet of shelf space, and are divided into several subcategories……."

Macon Telegraph 9/23/00 Ellen Lord "……Bibb County schools officials are investigating who is responsible for distributing Bible New Testaments this week at Morgan Magnet School, in violation of school system policy. "It's my understanding that (Wednesday) afternoon, he (Principal Chip Messer) provided a neutral site at the cafeteria that fifth-grade students could go by after school and pick one up," said Brenda Latham, director of elementary services, after she talked to Messer on Friday. ……. But one Morgan student said his teacher distributed the New Testaments in class. ……… School system policy does not allow the distribution of religious materials on campuses, Superintendent Sharon Patterson said. "You could not distribute Bibles at school," she said. ……"

The Times (London) 8/21/00 Dalya Alberge "…A ROYAL Academician accused the academy yesterday of filling its galleries with "art" that belongs in a seaside waxworks horror show rather than a great institution. ……… This time, the exhibition is called Apocalypse, with exhibits including children's toys made out of excrement and the image of a dead Pope, the offerings are no less disturbing. Mike Kelley, from Los Angeles, will be bringing over the toys made of excrement. The academy said that it would show "sexual ambiguity and employ childish humour". Maurizio Cattelan, from Italy will be showing an image of Pope John Paul II being struck dead by a meteorite. ……. Wolfgang Tillmans, whose hallmark is homoerotic photographs, is producing works which, the academy has admitted, some people might find "unacceptable and horrific". Luc Tuymans, from Belgium, whose paintings have included a body with gashes, is making an installation about child abuse. Tim Noble and Sue Webster, from London, specialise in detritus of all varieties. Precisely what they have in mind for Burlington House remains to be seen. ……."

Augusta Chronicle 9/24/00 Trevor Johnson "….. I have heard much about the Democrats' vice presidential candidate's firm faith these past several days and I cannot help but see a glaring inconsistency. …… How true is this pious Jew to the words of the Torah, in Exodus 21:22,23, which reads, ``If man strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: He shall be severely punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him ... if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.'' The above minimum example of the case law contained in the Torah calls for the death penalty to be enacted when men fighting accidentally cause a woman to miscarry. This Torah, that Mr. Lieberman claims to follow as an Orthodox Jew, treats the unborn as fully human, with protected rights. If causing a woman to miscarry deserved the death penalty in the Torah, how much more awful abortion should be to this Orthodox Jew, who calls upon God at nearly every public spectacle. ……"

Richardson (TX) News 9/24/00 Bill Ames "…. This week, I visited the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Richardson Square Mall. ……. At the mall side entrance there is a large display which promotes their new "Close the Book on Hate" program.......recommended books for parents and children to read and discuss. ……… However, a look at the Barnes & Noble website reveals that at least five of the thirteen recommended "children's" books on the program's list openly promote homosexuality:
1. "Daddy's Roommate" (ages 4-7)
2. "Heather Has Two Mommies" (ages 5-8)
3. "Losing Uncle Tim" (ages 7-11)
4. "Love Makes a Family" (no age listed)
5. "My Two Uncles" (ages 6-9)
There are no Christian or other religious books to balance the homosexual content of this program. ……."Close the Book on Hate" is a national program covering 500 B & N stores, and is jointly sponsored by B & N and the Anti-Defamation League. The program's national chairman is Bill Bradley. The list of 24 "National Allies" of the program include no less than four gay/lesbian advocacy groups: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network; The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and the Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians & Gays. There are no Christian or other religious-based organizations on the list. ……"

CNS Commentary from BreakPoint 9/22/00 Charles Colson "…… There's a poignant scene in the movie, Casablanca, when the Nazis occupied North Africa. At one tense moment as a group of German officers begin singing their national anthem, something snaps in the crowd of Frenchmen. In spontaneous defiance, they begin singing "La Marseillaise." Even facing armed tyrants, the people wouldn't give in. I thought about this dramatic scene recently as I read how thousands of football fans across the country are reacting to the Supreme Court's ban on student-led prayer at football games. What has happened? Spontaneous prayer has broken out all over America -- something I advocated in a late June commentary on BreakPoint……..In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a few students held hands in the bleachers, and they began the Lord's Prayer. But by the time they got to "deliver us from evil," 4,500 people had joined them………Like the scene in Casablanca, the moral convictions of the people refused to be broken. Unlike the movie, however, these are real people who pay their taxes, obey the laws, and mind their own business -- quiet people in ordinary places doing an extraordinary thing: expressing their resistance to a Supreme Court that has gone too far……."

Druge Report 9/7/00 Joseph Sobran "..... At times you get the feeling that liberals regard prayer as a threat to the First Amendment........ The U.S. Supreme Court has led the way, moving from the position that public school prayers are unconstitutional to its latest refinement, the view that student-led prayers at public high-school football games are also, by extension, unconstitutional. After all, the loudspeakers are paid for with public money and the prayers are uttered with the implicit approval of the school........ This new addition to the liberal Deposit of Faith has provoked a reaction, especially in the South, where folks tend to feel that separation of church and state must not be construed to mean separation of church and football. Now the people in the stands are praying aloud together in defiance........ Needless to say, the New York Times is in an editorial lather about it, seeing these prayers as the seeds of another Spanish Inquisition. The Paper of Record admits that voluntary prayer is probably constitutional, but feels that that doesn't make it less menacing. Or less unmannerly: just think of the hurt feelings of non-Christians in the stands who feel excluded when the Christian hordes launch into the Lord's Prayer!......"It's not a legal issue, but a sensitivity issue," says Jay Kaiman of the Anti-Defamation League in Atlanta. So the Lord's Prayer is now insensitive? Interesting. Lots of people take the Lord's name in vain without worrying about Christian sensitivities; Christians seem to be the only minority Hollywood doesn't mind offending - or positively delights in offending. What does the Anti-Defamation League have to say about that? Or would swearing and blaspheming be "free speech" issues? ......."

Christian Broadcasting Network 9/21/00 David Waters "……Christianity.com-- There was a message on the back of a buck that I pulled out of my wallet the other day. I don't usually read my money before I spend it. I can't read that fast. But this message, boldly stamped in red ink, was hard to miss. "ATHEIST MONEY" it said, just below "In God We Trust." ….. An X was stamped over the word "God" and the word "REASON" was stamped just above that. …… The stamp was neatly done and perfectly placed. Whoever did it obviously went to some trouble to cross out a tiny word few notice. ….. In April, a federal appeals court struck down Ohio's state motto: "With God, all things are possible." The case may wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, which begins each proceeding with the word "God." Actually, the word "God" can be found in three other state mottos, as well as in the U.S. motto. In Arizona, "God enriches." South Dakota declares that "Under God the People Rule." And like the United States, Florida says, "In God We Trust." …… The court, so far anyway, doesn't have a problem with any of those. But it ruled that Ohio's motto, apparently inspired by a New Testament verse, amounted to state endorsement of Christianity. ……"

Christian Broadcasting Network 9/21/00 Chris Carpenter "…..CBN has learned the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) will represent Shawnee County, Kan., and its county treasurer, who has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Topeka, stems from the county treasurer displaying a sign in county offices that bears the nation's motto "In God We Trust". …….. "This is one of the most important Establishment Clause cases defending the use of a phrase that has been at the heart of our national heritage for decades," says Frank Manion, senior regional counsel of the ACLJ, who is representing the county treasurer. "The use of the motto 'In God We Trust' is not only permissible, but constitutional as well. It is clear that the ACLU will do all it can to remove any vestige of religious expression from the marketplace, even if it means banning the motto of the United States of America."……."

San Jose Mercury News 9/21/00 Mark McDonald "….HANOI -- They show up twice a week, Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, 15 or 20 of them quietly arriving in twos and threes, all of them crowding into Mai's apartment in a shabby housing block in Hanoi. Mai tells the neighborhood snoops that the people stop by to learn English, but they actually come to pray together, study gospel lessons and share their photocopied Bibles. ……. This is a house church in Vietnam -- small, secret and dangerous. ……. House churches have proliferated throughout Vietnam in recent years, although the security police restrict such gatherings and there are any number of vague laws and decrees that prohibit them. ……"

Christian Broadcasting Network 9/20/00 Pamela Newby "……OAK GROVE, Miss.-- Two, four, six, eight, who do high school students appreciate? This football season, at more and more games across the country, Christian public school students are letting it be known that they value the right to pray as a form of free speech....... "I think it's wonderful, and I just hope it will come into play, spread throughout the nation, so that people won't think about it. I hope it will just become a reaction after the National Anthem, [that] as soon as the Star Spangled Banner is sung, people will start praying," says high school senior Lauren Chancellor. ….. "It was interesting in the Santa Fe case, where the court said a particular school policy that allowed for a prayer at a football game was unconstitutional, that same court in that same opinion said students had the right to pray anytime before or after or during the school day," notes American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Director Jay Sekulow. "So we've taken that couple of sentences out of that opinion and have taken the legal opinion that would include members of the community praying at a football game." ……"

Charisma News 9/20/00 "…… The National Day of Prayer (NDP) was back in court Tuesday. Officials in Hamilton County, Ohio, who allowed a local rally at the courthouse were sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which said that the gathering violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state. ……. County Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus said he had participated in the event for the last two years and would do so again, reported the Associated Press. "The idea that prayer in a public place is somehow wrong is a notion we need to dispel." ACLU lawyer Scott Greenwood, who filed the suit, said that the ceremony--which was broadcast over the courthouse's public address system--was "a textbook violation of the First Amendment." ……"

The Jerusalem Post 9/20/00 Binyamin L. Jolkovsky "…….Lieberman, who recently changed his long-time self-description from "Orthodox" to "observant" after cyber columnist Matt Drudge reported he was caught eating on Tisha Be'av, made the declaration Friday on Don Imus's syndicated radio talk show. ……… Lieberman was asked whether Judaism places a ban on "interracial or interreligious marriage or dating or that sort of thing." Lieberman answered, "No, there is no ban whatsoever. Certainly not on interracial. And not on interreligious." ….. The fact that Jews marry among themselves, he went on to say, stems from a "natural tendency among a lot of Jews, as there is among a lot of Christians and a lot of ethnic groups" to "marry within, to keep the faith going." As could be imagined, the reaction was swift in coming. There is a "clear and irrevocable Torah prohibition" against a Jew intermarrying, Rabbi Avi Shafran, spokesman for the Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America, told JewishWorldReview.com. "It has nothing to do with race, as anyone from any ethnicity can become a Jew if he or she is sincerely motivated and willing to undergo halachic conversion." ……. ….. More flustered, was Dr. Mandell Ganchrow, of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, of which Lieberman is a board member, who said, "We are not to be held responsible for our board members' beliefs or actions." Similarly surprised was Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the (Conservative) United Synagogue of America. "I do believe our tradition is quite clear that Jews are expected to marry Jews," he said. "I'm really not sure of the context or prism [Lieberman] may been have been thinking his answer through. From my understanding of Halacha, and even in our movement, intermarriage is certainly not permitted." Lieberman's position, he said, is "perplexing." ….."

Washington Times 9/19/00 Wes Pruden "....... The God talk of Joe Lieberman - or G-d talk as a good Orthodox Jew might put it in righteous fear of speaking the name of God - is a scandal in church and synagogue from sea to shining sea. The villain, of course, is Al Gore, the pious Southern Baptist who insists he goes about his own work wondering "what would Jesus do?" One thing we can be sure that Jesus would not do is to convert religious faith to partisan passion, but since we're almost to October it's time to brace for an "October surprise" of more noisy hymn-singing, loud praying and Scripture-quoting in the name of getting elected to office. ........ We're getting the stench of secular hypocrisy, too. Al and Joe are hiding behind the First Amendment, the holy writ of secular faith, as well as behind the Old and New Testaments. They're threatening to censor movies and music by government fiat, knowing that even if they tried to do that (and of course they never would) the courts would never allow it. Al and Joe are making this promise to the rubes in the boonies with a nudge and a wink, and Hollywood knows it. Indeed, some of their friends in Hollywood suggested this approach in the first place. ........What you do, as Lynne Cheney, the wife of Dick Cheney and the chairman of the Endowment for the Humanities in the Reagan administration, explained on the Sunday political-talk shows, is to "say a few tepid things about how awful it is to market violence and sexually explicit materials to our kids." Then you take an arm load of suitcases to a fund-raiser to collect as much swag from the pornographers as you can carry to the bank. ......"

Asheville Citizens Times 9/19/00 WorldNetDaily Dale Neal "......Pagans from around the country will attend Wednesday's public rally at Reynolds High School, urging equal time for all religions in the schools, according to a local organizer. "You can have no religion in the schools. You can have all religions in the schools, but you can't have only the Christian religion in the schools," said Ginger Strivelli, high priestess of the Appalachian Pagan Alliance. ....... The rally will offer Wiccan prayers and blessings. Speakers will include Dara Kaye Wynne, assistant national director of Witches Against Religious Discrimination, and Diotima Mantineia, associate editor of Witches Voice, a popular Internet Web site for pagans. Stivelli will speak, along with Beth Langley, the co-founder of the Appalachian Pagan Alliance, and an Alliance member, Thomas Pendragon Brice. Strivelli said funds also have been contributed by the Alternative Religion Education Network. ......"

AP 9/18/00 Justine Pope "......When it comes to charity, relatively poor Mississippi and other Bible Belt states are mighty generous, while New England ranks at the bottom in spite of its new economy, "dot-com" money. Massachusetts finished dead last for the fourth time in six years in the Generosity Index released Monday. "Some people think it's Yankee thrift in action," said George McCully, a member of the Committee to Encourage Charitable Giving, one of the groups that released

The Washington Times 10/18/00 John Mallon "…… Catholics were amused by allegations against George W. Bush suggesting he is anti-Catholic because of his appearance at Bob Jones University. Space doesn't permit comment on the house theology and policies of that school, but suffice it to say that in today's social climate of hostility toward religion, if a believer - let alone a Christian - doesn't know that other believers are not the enemy, he is simply not awake. Most Catholics agreed the charge against Mr. Bush was nonsense, and laughed it off. ……What is offensively anti-Catholic is the sniveling and pandering by Al Gore to the genuine, sworn enemies of the Catholic Church like Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). ….."

The Washington Times 10/18/00 John Mallon "…… During the final battle at the United Nations Cairo+5 Conference on Population and Development in June 1999, there was a heated confrontation between the U.S. delegation and the Holy See (the official title of the Vatican U.N. delegation). …….At issue was the Holy See's dogged insistence that some mention of parental rights be made in the final document. It was going late into the night when John Klink, lead negotiator for the Holy See, addressed the chair, saying, "Mr. Chairman, in a document which makes explicit reference to 'sexual and reproductive rights' in practically every paragraph I fail to see why it should be so difficult to have the phrase, 'respecting the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents' appear in even one paragraph of this document." In U.N. language "sexual and reproductive rights" includes access to all contraceptive chemicals and devices, as well as abortion, and applies to adolescents, defined by the United Nations to include children as young as 10. The Clinton-Gore delegation was fighting to prevent any language allowing for parental involvement in the lives of their adolescents regarding these "rights." ………. Finally, Mr. Klink played his trump card. Pro-family lobbyists had compiled several quotations precisely on the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents made by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy. Mr. Klink read them out to the assembly, and only afterwards said they were statements by Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore. The entire assembly erupted in laughter, except for Margaret Pollack who did a slow burn. Selective principles are something we've come to expect from the Clinton-Gore administration. There was unconfirmed speculation that the U.S. delegation was taking direct orders from Mr. Gore. True or not, it is certain that Mr. Gore is one of the key leaders of this anti-family and anti-life apparatus that has been the true face of the Clinton-Gore administration that few Americans ever get to see. ……"

CNS News 10/18/00 Julie Stahl "…..Christians around the world told Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert this week that they stand behind Israel's sovereignty over an undivided Jerusalem. A petition signed by more than 100,000 individuals as well as leaders representing more than 14 million Christians from 117 countries was presented to Olmert this week during an annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. …….. "We the undersigned, support Israel's exclusive claim to sovereignty over united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the petition's statement reads. "We commend Israel for its exemplary record in guaranteeing access to the biblical sites in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, and support the continuation of Israel in this role." ……… Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has demanded that he be given control over eastern Jerusalem as part of any permanent settlement with Israel, including the Muslim, Armenian and Christian quarters of the ancient Old City and the Temple Mount. That would also place in PA hands the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus' burial and resurrection. Arafat has declared himself the guardian of Christian holy places, a claim rejected by the Vatican. ......"

The Washington Times 10/18/00 Azizur Rahman "…….The head of a Hindu nationalist party that embraces the prime minister among its members is calling for the banning of foreign churches and the creation of a national Christian church such as exists in China. At a huge rally this week in Agra, the city where the Taj Majal is located, RSS leader Kuppahalli Sitharamaiya Sudarshan appealed to patriotic Indian Christians to "free themselves from the stranglehold of foreign countries by setting up Indian nationalistic churches." India should follow the example of China by establishing a national church and ban foreign churches, continued Mr. Sudarshan ..."

WorldNetDaily 10/22/00 Mary Jo Anderson "……Scientific debate over the authenticity of the Shroud continues amid new reports of the carbon-14 confirmation on the relics of St. Luke the Evangelist in Padua, Italy. ... At the heart of the Shroud controversy is the validity of the carbon dating performed on three samples snipped from the Shroud in April 1988. ….. Three international laboratories were selected to run the newly refined accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS) method of carbon dating: Oxford University's Research Laboratory for Archeology and the History of Art, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona at Tucson. On Oct. 13,1988, the long-awaited press conference revealed that all three labs concurred: The Shroud was dated 1260-1390 AD. ...... Many in the academic and scientific community were stunned. Earlier scientific examinations, medical and historical studies had placed the Shroud in the first century. Some called into question the integrity of the samples -- had they been cut from an area charred during a fire in 1532, thus compromising the carbon testing? ...... A fascinating finding comes from Dr. Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes of the University of Texas. The author of "The DNA of God," Garza-Valdes notes that a biopolymer coating manufactured by bacteria and fungus is notoriously difficult to clean. This calcium carbonate varnish-like substance compromises any accurate dating of the linen fibers that are coated with the material. Garza-Valdes claims the coating continues to be produced on the surface of the Shroud. Some scientists have objected to his findings, although the inventor of AMS, Dr. Harry Gove, concurs. …….An example comes from the Swiss lab that participated in the carbon-14 dating on the Shroud. Dr. Wolfli, head of the lab, ran a C-14 test on his mother-in-law's 50-year-old tablecloth. The results of the C-14 test set the age of the textile at 350 years old! ……"

WorldNetDaily 10/22/00 Mary Jo Anderson "……Dating debates aside, some that would debunk the Shroud as a medieval fraud claim that it is a painted image -- a claim that is quickly dispatched by simple investigations. The mystery of how the Shroud image was created lies elsewhere. The reddish oxide found on the Shroud is not paint, according to x-ray fluorescent analysis. Famous artists have attempted to paint in a manner that re-creates the 3-D effect seen on the Shroud, all to no avail. The linen has no brush strokes, no pigments. Furthermore, forensic evidence confirms that the red stains are blood, type AB, and that this blood has elevated levels of bilirubin, presumably caused by the trauma of scourging. Drs. John Heller of the New England Institute and Alan Adler of Western Connecticut State ran a series of blood studies. Pathologists employing immunochemistry confirmed their work. Another historical cloth, the Sudarium of Oviedo, known from the first century as being the face cloth of the entombed Christ also contains bloodstains -- type AB. ......"

WorldNetDaily 10/22/00 Mary Jo Anderson "……Modern medical investigations yield a vast amount of physiological information that was unknown in the Middle Ages. The medical studies on the image of the "Man of the Shroud" reveal a bloody and brutal death. Careful review of the angles of the flow of blood from certain wounds indicates an impossible accuracy for a painted, flat image. Clearly, the image is derived from a real body. Enhanced magnifications of the wounds on the back uncover dumb-bell shaped pellet marks, consistent with the scourging whips used by Roman soldiers, wounds that fall in precise relationship to the contours of the body, over the shoulders and around the sides. ......"

WorldNetDaily 10/22/00 Mary Jo Anderson "…… Most startling for a layman is the anatomical accuracy of the "disappearing thumbs." On the Shroud image, the victim lies with his hands crossed over the lower abdomen. The natural position would expose at least one thumb. However, when a spike is driven through median nerve of the wrist the thumb jerks back into the palm. French surgeon Pierre Barbet, an early researcher, asks, "Could a forger have imagined this?" ……."

Family News in Focus 9/17/00 Dave Clark "…… A Baptist church in California is ground zero in the battle among Christians over homosexuality. The battle for control of Immanuel Baptist Church in Long Beach, Calif., angers the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "The fact that any gays and lesbians are in leadership in a Bible-believing church is unthinkable," he said. ….. Falwell is livid that, since January, the faithful of Immanuel Baptist Church have had no place to call home. Church secretary Jeff Griffith said a faction of homosexual activists has taken over. "Basically, they snuck their way into the church and locked us out," Griffith said. ……. The lockout came, he said, after a majority of the church voted to affirm orthodox requirements for membership, which effectively disqualified practicing homosexuals. The homosexual leadership, which owns the title to the church and its property, then took action. "We didn't know how this could happen," Griffith said. ……Richard Rossi, pastor of the now-scattered church, expressed similar frustration. "There were people that got in power that didn't know the Lord and should never have been in power with a gay agenda," Rossi said. ……"

Associated press 10/17/00 "…….Two modern-day witches who say a Halloween production in a city park violates their constitutional rights have asked the American Civil Liberties Union to help stop the holiday display. ……. ACLU volunteer attorney Deborah Reed was to file a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston on the witches' behalf, said Hilary Chiz, state executive director. The lawsuit seeks to halt the First Baptist Church of Dunbar's "Haunted Hollow" presentation at Wine Cellar Park. The production violates the U.S. Constitution by validating the establishment of particular religion, Chiz said. …….. For $5 and a can of food thrill seekers are taken on a 45-minute tour of the "Haunted Hollow," which ends with a six-station presentation on the perils of sin, said associate minister Mark Jarrell. The scenes include a laughing, taunting Satan in hell; a drunken teen-ager regaining consciousness at the at the scene of an auto accident that he caused; and a teen overdosing at a party, Jarrell said. ……. "My concern is that they're using government property as a vehicle to propagate for their religion and against mine," said Dave McCormick, 46, of Dunbar, a co-plaintiff in the suit. McCormick is joined by Elise Adkins of Dunbar. ……"

NY Post 10/15/00 Carl Campanile "….. A mural at Brooklyn's Shallow Intermediate School memorializing students who died will be painted over because of its religious content, school officials say. …… A playground mural that serves as a touching tribute to Brooklyn youths who died before their time has to come down because it features Jesus Christ. The artwork of religious icons - dedicated to 27 young people in the Bensonhurst neighborhood who died - adorns a wall used for handball at the end of Shallow Intermediate School's playground. Neighborhood resident John DiDamo, 26, said he was heartbroken when the public school's principal, Thomas Leahy, notified him that the mural has to be covered up because it's too religious. …….He paid $3,500 for the mural, which was painted by Lower East Side artist Chico over the summer. ….."

Augusta Chronicle 10/17/00 "…… Presidential candidate Al Gore and his new Democrats call themselves ``the family values'' party. Congressional voting records confirm that this party is comprised of leftist and nihilist liberals who are destroying America's culture. The abolition of America's families is almost complete. We have seen decades of rewarding out-of-wedlock mothers through welfare ... while slaughtering millions by glamorizing abortion rights………. More than 75 percent of America's black families and 65 percent of the white families are broken and dysfunctional. This has created a massive dependency on Washington among women, and a macho ``another notch on my belt'' irresponsibility among men. …… The National Education Association and affiliated labor unions have made our schools a shell of what they once were. They do not want school vouchers where the children could be taught self-reliance and independence. Mr. Gore will pack the Supreme Court with liberal intellectuals who are steeped in nihilism and full of politically correct nonsense. ……..The assault on marriage, family, property, morality and Bible-believing institutions (i.e., Boy Scouts and fundamental churches) will escalate. ``Project Megiddo'' conducted against ``radical'' Christian organizations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation came to the conclusion that anyone who believes in the Rapture and second coming of Christ should be considered terrorists. Janet Reno agreed.......,,We live in a world full of nuclear bombs 50 to 100 times more powerful than Nagasaki. We have improved our neutron weapons. With no God, will we put our faith in the multiple personalities of Mr. Gore? ... We already worship the ``beautiful people'' of Hollywood and liberal, upscale Washington. Marx and Lenin must be ecstatic. The anti-Christ is standing at a wide open door. ….. Gene Boles, Augusta, GA ….."

The Lsakeland (FL) Ledger 10/21/00 Cary McMullen "..... Depending on who you ask, Bishops John Rodgers and Charles Murphy are either knights errant, on a quest to right wrongs, or they are vagabonds up to no good. The leaders of the Episcopal Church USA, and of the worldwide Anglican communion generally, tend to take the latter view. .... That mission is to establish a parallel "province," a body of churches governed by an archbishop, alongside the Episcopal Church, which Murphy and Rodgers and their followers say is "apostate." If they succeed, it might be the first time within the Anglican communion that a competing province, based on theological principles rather than geography or racial identity, is established inside the bounds of an existing province. ....... Murphy and Rodgers belong to the Anglican Mission in America, an initiative in part to persuade Episcopal priests and congregations that the Episcopal Church has abandoned traditional Christian teachings, especially with regard to sexual morality. They see themselves riding to the rescue of churches trapped under bishops who are forcing them to accept unorthodox practices, such as the ordination of gay priests and deacons. ....... "There is a crisis of faith, a crisis of leadership and a crisis of mission in the Episcopal Church. It's been going on a long time. We're bringing an Anglican alternative," said Harry Griffith, an Episcopal layman who is the executive officer of Anglican Mission in America, based at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island, S.C., where Murphy was formerly rector......"

Washington Post 10/19/00 Victor L Simpson ".....An influential European cardinal has added his voice to speculation swirling for months - that Pope John Paul II, burdened by age and illness, may resign. Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium suggested John Paul might step aside next year, now that he has achieved his dream of leading the church into the new millennium. ...... Mere mention of the issue has angered the Vatican, which sees such talk as seeking to weaken the papacy........Danneels, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to John Paul, is the highest-ranking churchman to go public with the thought, which has been on the minds of many given the pope's frail condition. ......."

Wall Street Journal 10/19/00 Barbara Carton "…… FEARFUL THAT YEARS of ecumenism and church switching among baby boomers have chewed away at what makes them unique, many Protestant groups are moving to reassert their religious identities…….. Some congregations are casting off generic texts and hymns. Others are requiring denominational training for children for the first time in years. Adult-education classes such as "How To Spell 'Presbyterian' " are sprouting up to explain dogma-and those who don't agree are sometimes advised to worship elsewhere……… The reassertion of sectarian beliefs began in the early 1990s, many ministers say, but has lately grown much stronger. Some clerics say that years of smorgasbord services have left their members feeling disconnected. "There's a limit to how far you can go with the ecumenical approach and not end up feeling scattered," says the Rev. Brian C. Taylor, an Episcopal priest in Albuquerque, N.M……."

Christian Broadcasting Network 10/20/00 Ken Hulme "……. -- Montgomery, Alabama -- The American Center for Law and Justice said today a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholding student prayer in DeKalb County, Alabama is a monumental victory for free speech…… "We believed all along that the case in Alabama involving a federal court order restricting student prayer was unconstitutional," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ who argued the Chandler v. James case before the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of the state of Alabama. "This decision by the Eleventh Circuit puts to rest this issue and safeguards the First Amendment rights of students. The decision also sends a strong signal that student-led, student-initiated prayer is still constitutionally protected in this country." …….. In a ruling issued late Thursday, the Eleventh Circuit said it relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Santa Fe Independent School District case to affirmatively protect students' rights to engage in voluntary prayer at school events in the Chandler case…….."

AFA.net 10/18/00 Rusty Pugh Jim Brown "…… A Christian lawyer says a Massachusetts public school violated the Constitution by teaming with a church to present a pro-homosexual program. Public schools in Lexington, Massachusetts, joined with the Unitarian Church this past weekend to present "Respecting Differences," a program aimed at teaching small children that homosexuality is acceptable. AFA Center for Law & Policy attorney Steve Crampton says the school supported the event, which included speakers like Congressman Barney Frank. The law center, representing five Lexington residents, attempted to have a federal judge stop the event...."

WorldNetDaily.com 10/21/00 "……..For several months, I have been seeing a remarkable energy within the evangelical community as the November elections draw near. I truly have not seen such a vigorous groundswell of anticipation regarding the elections since Ronald Reagan first claimed the White House in 1980. I believe this unified spirit is the result of eight tumultuous years of a Clinton administration that has dishonored and disrespected the history of honor within the Oval Office. A USA Today cover story on Thursday, Oct. 19, noted that Republicans are "more fired-up than Democrats" regarding the election on Nov. 7th. I believe this is largely the result of the influence of evangelical voters……… In my own People of Faith 2000 effort, we sincerely believe that we have enrolled and energized several million evangelical voters who would not have voted on Nov. 7th without this effort. However, in the USA Today article, Republican pollster Bill McInturff warned, "I've seen a lot of elections where the Democrats mobilize their base in the last 10 days, and the Republican advantage in intensity evaporates." That is a legitimate caution, especially when one considers the devious tactics the White House team is willing to utilize to secure a win for their candidate. They will do virtually anything to stir Democrats to action in the days prior to the election. President Clinton actually went into a black church in 1998 and warned black voters that Republicans were manning the polls to prevent African Americans from casting their votes. And he got away with it. ......"

Kansas City Star 10/19/00 Tom Perrin Kate Beem "….. Olathe library removes labels that designated books for Christians Under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Olathe Public Library has agreed to remove labels it had placed on some books designating them as suitable for Christians. "The issue here is purely one of whether it's appropriate for a library to make such a designation, and in our view it clearly is not," said Dick Kurtenbach, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. Kurtenbach, whose group had threatened legal action, saw the labels as a violation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment...."

Washington Times 10/20/00 Andrew Cain "……In Chicago on Aug. 28, Mr. Lieberman linked the Gore-Lieberman prescription drug plan to the Fifth Commandment - to "honor thy father and mother." While the comment got no play in the media, syndicated columnist Tony Blankley wrote: "It ought to justify some media attention when a vice presidential candidate attempts to turn a programmatic dispute over how best to deliver prescription drugs into a battle between those who obey God's commandments and those who don't." The Connecticut senator unabashedly promotes the virtues of religious faith on the stump, ignoring admonishments by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Civil Liberties Union, People for the American Way, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State……."

Washington Times 10/20/00 Wesley Pruden "…… Religion frightens a lot of people. Fundamentalist Christians frighten Jews. Jews frighten Arabs. Roman Catholics scare fundamentalists. In some small towns of the rural South, Baptists sometimes irritate Methodists….Fundamentalist Muslims frighten everybody, even other Muslims. The Chinese are so provoked by the Falun Gong that they throw them in prison if they catch them breathing or doing push-ups…….But nobody says much about what governments do to believers. Yesterday the United Nations, having just completed a survey of religious practices in 25 nations, reported that religious extremism is an "ever-growing scourge." ………The worst example, the U.N. investigators say, is Afghanistan, where the Taleban Islamist militia, "using religion as a political tool in the interests of power, have taken an entire society hostage." They found that this religious extremism is manifest with varying degrees of intensity in Egypt, Georgia (theirs, not ours), India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka." "No single religion has a monopoly on religious extremism," Abdelfattah Amor, "special rapporteur" of the Commission on Human Rights, said in a 30-page report. Perhaps not, but Mr. Amor's report, with the exception of Israel, cites only Muslim countries. It's not clear why Israel is on the list. …….Nor is the aim of the United Nations necessarily to preserve religious freedom. Mr. Amor's report urges the General Assembly "to devote the fullest attention to religious extremism" and urges governments to "condemn the phenomenon unequivocally and combat it relentlessly in order to preserve the human right to peace." The tone of his report seems to suggest that it's the religious folk who are the chief offenders, not squalid governments that oppress inconvenient belief. Bureaucrats usually get these things wrong. …..".

Miami Herald 10/20/00 Steve Rothaus Andrea Elliott "…… A recent $8.35 million gift from America Online CEO Steve Case and his wife, Jean, to her high school alma mater in Fort Lauderdale has raised the hackles of gay activists across the nation. The reason: Jean Case's alma mater is Westminster Academy--the Christian school founded by "ex-gay movement' leader D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries. …… It turned my stomach when I heard that," said Dean Trantalis, president of the gay-oriented Dolphin Democratic Club in Broward County. "It says to me that people need to consider the impact of their gifts when it involves an organizaiton that is on the forefront of hate and discrimination." ...... "

The Associated Press 10/20/00 "……Former President Carter - a Sunday school teacher since he was 18 years old - said he is cutting ties with the Southern Baptist Convention because he finds it increasingly rigid in its views on the role of women. "My grandfather, my father and I have always been Southern Baptists, and for 21 years since the first political division took place in the Southern Baptist Convention, I have maintained that relationship. I feel I can no longer in good conscience do that," Carter said in Friday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution..."

Washington Times 10/20/00 Rowan Scarborough "……. The U.S. Army in Europe will not allow traditional Catholics to use a base chapel, although the military has opened similar facilities around the world for witchcraft and pagan rituals. ……. The officer seeking to use the chapel blames the denial on a "politically correct Army." …….. But an Army spokesman says the branch's European command does not want to pay the cost of hiring a priest when personnel can go off base to churches where Mass is conducted in Latin. Catholics have the option of attending Mass that is celebrated in the vernacular, meaning the local language, or in Latin. The vernacular is the most common choice. ...... Lt. Col. David L. Sonnier, an information management officer, said in an interview that his request was turned down by Lt. Gen. Larry R. Jordan, deputy Army European commander. Col. Sonnier serves at the NATO Support Activity, a small Army base in Brussels that provides logistics and personnel support for the U.S. delegation to NATO headquarters in Brussels. The colonel says the chapel hosts two Protestant services weekly. He said he was told that Gen. Jordan refused the Catholics' request because he feared a multitude of other religious groups then would want chapel time. …… "Just let us have access to it," said Col. Sonnier, estimating that 20 Catholics want the service. "All we want is the Army to allow us to use chapels like the Wiccans and pagans. . . . This is politically correct to an extreme when pagans and Wiccans are allowed into a chapel and traditional Catholics are blocked entry." ……. The Army says it's not a question of access, but of cost. The pagan sects supply their own ministers. "In order to [have a Catholic priest say a Latin Mass], the Army would have to contract out to a private priest," said Col. Carl Kropf, a spokesman in Heidelberg, Germany. No Catholic Army chaplain was available. ……"

CNS News 10/25/00 Alex Wolf "…… Joe Lieberman has been excommunicated by a rabbinical court in New York. But excommunication in Jewish Law has a different meaning than the term as used in the Catholic Church. It does not mean that the individual is cut off from the 'Communion' and condemned to eternal damnation. It means that he is cut off from contact with the community. It is meant to be a state in which the sinner is socially isolated and bereft of collegial support so that he can reflect on his deeds and repent……..There are two levels of excommunication. The lower level is referred to in Hebrew as Nidooy, the more stringent level is called Herem. In both modalities of excommunication the individual is banned from direct contact with most individuals, he must follow the laws of a mourner and he cannot actively participate in synagogue services. …….He is allowed to earn a livelihood, to have contact with his immediate family and if he is a teacher or a student, he may participate in classes. However, others in his presence must remain four cubits distant from him. The standard period for Nidooy excommunication is thirty days. ……. If he remains unrepentant, the rabbinical court may now excommunicate him with Herem. Under this level of ban, he is not allowed to participate in classes and the community doesn't do any business with him. He is only allowed a subsistence level livelihood…….."

WorldNetDaily.conm 10/27/00 Tom Ambrose ".....A week following the excommunication of Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman by a rabbinical court in New York, one thing is becoming clear: Reaction to Lieberman's views among Orthodox Jews is volatile and controversial. ...... The excommunication is the strongest statement yet in a series of criticisms of Lieberman by Orthodox rabbis and others. The decision by the New York Torah Court -- also known as a "beth din" -- was handed down by three rabbis who listened to evidence concerning Lieberman's recent statements regarding his faith. ...... According to a statement on the website of Jews For Morality -- a grass-roots organization which claims to represent the views of "tens of thousands" of Orthodox Jews in New York and elsewhere -- the reason for the excommunication was that Lieberman had caused a "grave scandal" by desecrating God's name since, "... while claiming to be an observant Jew, Lieberman has been misrepresenting and falsifying to the American people the teachings of the Torah against partial-birth infanticide, against special privileges and preferential treatment for flaunting homosexuals, and against religious intermarriage of Jews." ......"

News Max 10/30/00 Diane Alden "…… Don't kid yourself - political correctness is a movement, a system of thought, a religion. It is every bit as powerful as the once well-respected Western tradition that came out of Greece, Rome, the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and the Judeo-Christian tradition including the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. Political correctness, however, is more totalitarian and associated directly with utopian socialism. Add the New Age worship of the environment, utopian psychology, the goddess movement, gender wars, sexual orientation battles, ageism, disability, ethnicity, and race. All these groupings and tribal affiliations are identity politics. …….. The PC movement uses these "movements" and causes. In reality it is the parent of most of them. At its core, PC desires the destruction of Western civilization as we once knew it. Political correctness has become the standard by which everything that affects society is judged. …….."

Toogood Reports 10/28/00 Nicholas Sanchez "…… The United States of America is, without a doubt, one of the most religious nations in the world. Poll after poll shows that most Americans believe in G-d. Most Americans believe in angels. Most Americans believe in a place called "Heaven". And - surprise, surprise - most Americans believe that they will, after they close their eyes for the last time, go to Heaven. ......This is a religious nation . . . sure. But as our culture quickly sinks into the abyss, the question becomes what kind of religion is it that the masses are imbibing? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is that, across all denominational lines, our churches are becoming increasingly milquetoast and susceptible to Political Correctness………. Case in point: Earlier this month, New York´s archbishop, Edward Egan, was giving a speech at a Catholic seminary in Yonkers. This speech happened to fall on the annual "Respect Life Leadership Day." During the course of the speech, His Excellency took objection to a nasty letter he had recently received from a well-known [self-professed] Catholic politician, who just happens to be wildly in favor of abortion rights. Archbishop Egan was quick to say that this politician was a bad example for young people, but very little else. At no time did he mention that the author of the letter was Mario Cuomo, the former New York Governor. At no time did the archbishop offer Cuomo a public rebuke for his inane letter. In fact, he had to be pressed into saying (through a representative) that he was indeed speaking about Mario Cuomo. Unfortunately, it seems that the new ruling hierarch of New York is fearful of "naming names." ………….. Other churches are in the same boat and are suffering from so-called church leaders who are refusing to lead. An increasing number of Baptist pastors are severing their congregations´ ties with the Southern Baptist Convention because of its traditional views on the role of women in ministry. And so-called "mainline" Protestant denominations have been in the pockets of the Politically Correct crowd for awhile now, peddling "social justice" over the Gospel………"

NewsMax 10/26/00 Carl Limbacher "....... If Senate candidate Hillary Clinton is hoping to win New York's Catholic vote, it was hard to tell by the guest list at her birthday-bash fund raiser at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom Wednesday night. The Catholic League reports that no fewer than eight Hollywood headliners who helped Hillary celebrate are notorious Catholic bashers. The list includes: Ben Affleck, who played in the anti-Catholic movie "Dogma" and admitted that the film is "definitely meant to push buttons." ...... Molly Shannon, who is best known for her crude portrayal of a Catholic schoolgirl on "Saturday Night Live." ......Jon Stewart, who made offensive remarks about the pope on the Feb. 22, 1999, edition of the "Daily Show." .....And Harvey Weinstein, whose Miramax Films distributed the anti-Catholic movie "Priest" and produced the Catholic-bashing movie "Dogma." ......In a press release Thursday, Catholic League president William Donohue slammed the first lady for her religious insensitivity. ....."

Traditional Values Coalition 10/25/00 Rev. Louis P. Sheldon ".... On college campuses all over America, Christians and conservative students are finding themselves the targets of homosexual intolerance and even violence. ......... This ominous trend is evidence of a growing anti-Christian bigotry and an effort to stifle freedom of speech and freedom of association. Homosexuals are already attempting to destroy the Boy Scouts for its effort to protect young boys from possible sexual exploitation from individuals with same-sex attractions. ..... This same intolerance of private organizations to set their own membership standards is now being extended to religious groups on college campuses. ......... Regrettably, not only is religious freedom being violated by universities and homosexuals, but violence against Christians is also becoming a reality. Homosexual-inspired anti-Christian bigotry is alive and well at Michigan State University. Jason Van Dyke, a Southern Baptist, was kicked off the student paper for writing an article critical of homosexual activism. He then started an alternative newspaper on campus called the "Spartan Spectator" and an Internet paper called "The Potatoe." Van Dyke has received death threats and his dorm room was recently trashed by vandals who urinated on his bed and wrote "die" on the wall. Clearly, the Christians at Tufts and vocal students like Van Dyke are being targeted by pro-homosexual and anti-Christian bigots who want to punish and silence any opposing viewpoints. ...... Universities were once viewed as places where students were exposed to alternative viewpoints in a civil environment. No more. Today's Politically Correct Homosexual Brown Shirts use violence and intimidation to silence any criticism of their behavior. ......"

US News and World Report 10/23/00 "....... Religious novels, once relegated to the backwaters of the publishing industry, have broken into the mainstream. Madonna and Roseanne Barr talk openly about their study of Kabbalah. Sen. Joe Lieberman ties his political philosophy to his religious convictions, and it has become de rigueur, it seems, for political candidates to name the Bible as their favorite book. No fewer than 96 percent of Americans tell surveyors they believe in God. ........ Is America, then, in the midst of a spiritual awakening? Maybe. But there are signs pointing in the other direction, as well. In churches across the country, rolls of parishioners are declining. Catholic priests and Jewish rabbis lament the rise in interfaith marriages. And while so many believe in God, 58 percent of Americans say religion's influence on society is diminishing. As Yale legal scholar Stephen Carter has argued in his most recent book, God's Name in Vain, a secular government has trivialized religion and, in its effort to separate church and state, has placed serious obstacles in the way of passing religious traditions from parents down to children. ....... So which is it? Is religion in America on the rise or the decline? ......."

US News and World Report 10/23/00 "....... Add to the mix the plurality of religions in America, and it becomes even more difficult to chart the current course of this country's faith. Although 85 percent of Americans say they are Christians, more than three decades of shifting immigration patterns has helped Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu communities take root, making the United States the most religiously diverse country in the world. With all these forces at work, is the apparent spiritual revival to be taken seriously? Where does religion fit into today's American culture? What role will it play in years ahead?......"

FrontPageMagazine.Com 10/25/00 Lowell Ponte "......A rush of films starring the Prince of Darkness is hitting theaters this Halloween. Unlike the horrific Satan of old, Hollywood's new Lucifer has an appealing, pleasing nature. Perhaps that is because he is identified with Leftist values - unrestrained sexual pleasure, cynical smartness, non-conformity, ridicule of bourgeois morality. Not incidentally, Halloween is now increasingly recognized as the one religious holiday permitted in public schools.... "

Family News in Focus 10/23/00 Dave Clark ".....Catholic faithful in Maine are hopping mad over diocesan support of homosexual marriage. About 50 parishioners recently protested in front of the diocesan offices of the bishop of Portland, Maine, over his support of homosexual marriage. A spokesman for the bishop said homosexual rights should be protected. "He wasn't speaking for me nor for many other Catholics here in Maine," said Pat Truman, a Catholic protestor. Truman feels betrayed by the affirmation her Catholic leaders want to give to homosexual marriage in an upcoming referendum. ..."

Denver Post 10/23/00 Virginia Culver ".....Almost 3,000 Catholics have signed a New York Times advertisement proclaiming that contraceptives should be easily available and gays and lesbians should have full civil rights. At least 35 Colorado Catholics are among the signers of the ad, which says signers disagree with the church that abortion is a sin. The ad, expected to run before Saturday, says signers don't agree with everything their bishops say and that abortion isn't the only issue Catholics care about....."

Newsmax 10/24/00 "..... The New York Torah Court, Beth Din, has excommunicated Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrat vice presidential nominee, it announced Monday. The court stated that Lieberman caused grave scandal for the Jewish religion because "while claiming to be an observant Jew, Lieberman has been misrepresenting and falsifying to the American people the teachings of the Torah against partial birth infanticide, against special privileges and preferential treatment for flaunting homosexuals, and against religious intermarriage of Jews." Rabbi Joseph Friedman, a spokesman for the rabbinical court, said that Lieberman has "flagrantly violated our sacred Torah..."

Boston Globe 10/22/00 Glen Johnson and Yvonne Abraham "……A black minister laid hands on Al Gore yesterday, as supporters prayed for help and ominously warned of the consequences should the vice president lose to George W. Bush. Everyone addressing the group of about 75 religious and social leaders agreed the outcome could hinge on voter turnout, particularly among African-Americans, so speaker after speaker urged the audience to inspire their followers to vote……"

nypost.com 10/22/00 "……… Primus St. Croix clearly has a problem with the Catholic Church. But Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Anne Feldman appears very much not to have a problem with Primus St. Croix. And that is, in itself, a problem. ……….. A big one. St. Croix pleaded guilty this month to desecrating statues at five Catholic churches and buildings in Brooklyn. But Feldman last week gave St. Croix a slap on the wrist - a feather-light sentence of five years probation in exchange for a guilty plea. ……. St. Croix, an illegal immigrant from St. Lucia, happens to be a Rastafarian. He considered the statues to be heretical "idols." So he went about smashing and vandalizing St. Jerome's Church, Our Lady of Refuge, St. Francis of Assisi Church, a Knights of Columbus hall in Canarsie and a convent in East Flatbush. …….. "

New York Times 10/23/00 Gustav Niebuhr "…… he National Council of Churches, a venerable but financially straitened organization that represents 35 Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches, plans to seek an unusual meeting next year. The meeting, which would bring Christian leaders together across historical dividing lines, might even eventually lead the council into a broader, more diverse coalition if other Christian groups agreed…….. The proposed meeting - to which Roman Catholics, evangelical Protestants and Pentecostals are to be invited - has been discussed among the council's leaders, the Rev. Robert W. Edgar, its general secretary, said in an interview……… Still, the challenge lies in trying to bring together people who disagree, often strongly, on issues of ecclesiastical structure and biblical interpretation and how the church should interact with society. "How do you have common ground?" Mr. Edgar asked. "And our feeling is, we ought to have a simple agenda."……."

10/30/00 FoxNews ".....A Virginia federal court has upheld a law requiring the state's 1 million public school students to observe a daily "moment of silence" at the start of the school day, Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley said Monday. Rejecting arguments that the law blurred constitutional lines separating church and state, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton said Virginia legislators stopped short of mandating that students pray during the moment of silence. "Students may think as they wish - and this thinking can be purely religious in nature or purely secular in nature. All that is required is that they sit silently. Nothing and no one is favored under the act," Hilton said in a ruling released by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria. ......"

Chuck Baldwin Live 10/31/00 "..... Today is Halloween, and schools all over America adorn their classroom walls with the symbols of this pagan observance. How can this be? What happened to the "separation of church and state?" I thought religion was outlawed from our public schools. It appears that only certain religions are unwelcome in America s public square. Others are embraced enthusiastically and with little debate. ......... Compare the ubiquitous symbols of pagan erudition at Halloween with the treatment Christian holidays receive. No longer are they called Christmas or Easter Vacation. Now it s called "Semester Break" and "Spring Break." Calvary s cross is replaced with snowflakes, and the empty tomb is replaced with Easter bunnies. School choirs may not sing songs containing references to Jesus Christ and neither may school property host Nativity Scenes. All of this is done, of course, under the rubric of "church-state separation." Yet, when it comes to pagan faith and practice, these otherwise secular institutions are suddenly transformed into images of Wiccan temples. ......."

EWTN 10/30/00 "......The archbishop of Canterbury declared that Britain had become an atheist society in which people looked to medicine to provide them with eternal life rather than religion, The Telegraph newspaper reported. In his gloomiest spiritual portrait of the country since taking office, Dr. George Carey was quoting as saying: "A tacit atheism prevails. Death is assumed to be the end of life, bleak though that thought is. ......... He said "modern assumptions" had abandoned the Christian teaching that "death is not the end but the door through which life in all its fullness comes to us," the newspaper reported Saturday. .....Addressing a congregation at St. German's Cathedral on the Isle of Man, Carey said Friday night that most people no longer believed in eternal life and desperately sought to postpone death by medical means. ........ Since taking office in 1991, Carey has often warned of the loss of a common morality in society but has never described it as atheist, the newspaper said. ......."

WSJ 10/30/00 Cynthia Ozick "...... Ariel Sharon's walk across the Temple Mount plaza, within sight of the seventh-century shrine known as the Dome of the Rock, has been nearly universally condemned as a "provocation," an indisputably hostile act responsible for setting off furious weeks of unstoppable Palestinian rioting.......Muslims as far away as Indonesia and Morocco (and France and New York) joined in the rage against this declared affront to Islam. But it was not only Muslims who spoke of provocation; Western opinion widely and emphatically agreed. As a consequence, what was only recently looked on as a clash of nationalities susceptible of rational border negotiations -- "two nations, one land" was the liberal formula -- has been turned into an ugly assault on Judaism itself..........The reason is plain. That Mr. Sharon is consistently described as a hardliner, that he is scorned by the Israeli left, that he is accused of bad faith and narrow party motives, that he is reviled and demonized by Arabs -- none of this is to the point. What has enraged Muslims worldwide is the idea of a Jewish presence, any Jewish presence, on the Temple Mount -- and by "presence" is meant not simply a visit by a party official of the Jewish state, but the claim of an immemorial, authentic Jewish connection to Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is called by that name because it was the site of the Second Temple before its destruction by Roman occupiers in the year 70, an event recorded nearly six centuries before the advent of Islam. The issue, then, is not the character or intent of Mr. Sharon; it is the willed erasure not only of Jewish history, but also of Jewish faith......."

WSJ 10/30/00 Cynthia Ozick "......So far, no mainstream Christian voices have been raised against these moral and historical depredations, and one wonders why. Why has there been no Christian protest over Muslim rioting when a Jew walks upon a historic Jewish site? The government and Jewish population of Israel have fully respected and protected the integrity of the mosques on the plaza, which have always been administered by the Muslim Waqf. Why has there been no audible Christian protest over the burning of a synagogue in Palestinian-ruled Jericho, or a mob's razing of Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish shrine supposedly under the protection of the Palestinian Authority? (Its surviving dome has now been painted Islamic green.) ........ Half a century ago, when the Jews of Europe were besieged and defenseless, Christian silence was infamous. Since then, some Jews are no longer defenseless, and Christian understanding, conscience and remorse have expiated that unforgotten and dire omission. ........."

WSJ 10/30/00 Cynthia Ozick "...... In view of the origin and spread of intransigent Palestinian turbulence -- Hamas and Hezbollah and Mr. Arafat's negations all preceded Mr. Sharon's walk -- one can be certain that if Shimon Peres or the late Yitzhak Rabin, the architects of compromise and accommodation, had visited the Temple Mount, the result would be no different. The rocks maliciously stockpiled near the Dome of the Rock would go crashing down on Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall just the same......... "

WSJ 10/30/00 Cynthia Ozick "......When Jewish history and faith are pronounced barren of any bond with Jerusalem, then Palestinians can justify their exclusionary ideology by means of unrestrained rioting, the closing of schools, the use and abuse of the young. "The stones are our jewels," Mr. Arafat announced at the start of the Intifada in 1987, and in the summer of 2000 Professor Edward Said of Columbia University, also a Christian, was photographed hurling one of those jewels from Lebanon into Israel, caught up, he explained, in the jubilation of the stone-throwers. Today, however, firebombs, guns, a lynching, and a Palestinian militia 40,000 strong have been added to Mr. Arafat's jewel box............ Perhaps Jews ought not to expect, or hope for, vocal Christian empathy. To speak up for the venerable Jewish kinship to Jerusalem during a stormy time of pervasive defamation might require going the extra mile. But should not Christians speak up for the history and central claims of Christianity? If Judaism has no roots in Jerusalem, then Christianity was never born. And yet no Christian theological objection has been lodged against the denial of the Temple's historicity........"

Religion Today 10/31/00 "…… A Republican strategy to win Catholic voters appears to be working. Vice President Al Gore's lead over Texas Gov. George W. Bush among white Catholics has dropped from 11 points to 3 nationally, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. A poll in Michigan shows Bush doing better among Catholics than Gore, a major reversal of past voting patterns if it holds true on Election Day, Nov. 7 ...Bush's improved status among Catholics, a key swing constituency, is due to his stress on moral and religious themes, political analysts say, according to the Post. …"

Last Vegas Sun 10/30/00 Stacy J. Willis "……. Behind closed doors at Canyon Ridge Christian Church, a group of men and women try to reconcile their same-sex attraction with their religious convictions. "They don't identify themselves as homosexuals. They identify themselves as Christians," said Don Miller, licensed therapist and the administrator of the nondenominational church's Homosexual and Lesbian Outreach (HALO) program. ……. By studying the Bible and talking about their feelings, Miller said, dozens of Las Vegans who had struggled with homosexuality have learned that they can "suppress those desires and move on and have a healthy, productive life. ….."Some people have had a substantial change in their orientation, are dating the opposite sex, and enjoying the opposite sex. ... And some are maintaining celibacy, and they are satisfied with that," Miller said. ……But many argue that Canyon Ridge's program, like others affiliated with the national Exodus "gay recovery" organization, are psychologically harmful and -- to some -- un-Christian. ……Christians, as well as members of other faiths, are vastly divided on the issue of homosexuality -- divided over whether homosexuality is a sinful choice or a God-given trait, whether homosexuals are worthy of being ordained, and whether gay and lesbian relationships should get the blessing of the church. ……"

www.news.excite.com 10/30/00 Reuters Ben Fenwick "….OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma high school suspended a 15-year-old student after accusing her of casting a magic spell that caused a teacher to become sick, lawyers for the student said on Friday. ...... The American Civil Liberties Union said it had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on behalf of student Brandi Blackbear, charging that the assistant principal of Union Intermediate High School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, suspended her for 15 days last December for supposedly casting a spell. The suit also charged the Tulsa-area Union Public Schools with repeatedly violating Blackbear's civil rights by seizing notebooks she used to write horror stories and barring her from drawing or wearing signs of the pagan religion Wicca. ….."

Washington Times 10/31/00 Wesley Pruden "…… This campaign has not been kind to God. Joe Lieberman continues to give Jews, or at least Orthodox Jews, a bad name. Bill Clinton, the sorcerer in chief, and his apprentice Al Gore have brought more shame to the Baptist persuasion than any deep-water believer since Lizzie Borden, and all the returns aren't even in yet……. Al's contempt for Buddhists, using their temples as places to scarf up loose C-notes from unsuspecting nuns, is well known, but Democratic contempt for religious faith isn't restricted to the exotic minority denominations……..Worst of all, perhaps, the Democrats, who long ago wrote off white evangelical Christians as beyond hope and grace, treat black congregations as both convenient and quaint, something out of Mississippi Delta blackface minstrelsy (" . . . it's Silas Green from New Orleeens . . . "). Just give Ol' Black Joe a pat on his old white head and send him out to vote early and often……..The double standard Democrats use to judge the religious faith of others is well known, of course, but The Washington Post's celebrated put-down of white evangelical Christians ("poor, uneducated and easy to command") is invoked as well by liberal Democratic politicians trolling for votes among black Christians……."

 

Washington Times 10/31/00 Larry Witham "…… The Baptist General Convention of Texas yesterday cut funding to the top Southern Baptist seminaries over their "doctrinaire fundamentalism" and invited Baptist churches nationwide to join its approach to missions The annual meeting of 6,400 "messengers," or delegates, voted by a 3-to-1 margin to cut $4.3 million of next year's funding for six national seminaries and amended its constitution so churches outside Texas could be affiliates of the nation's largest Baptist state convention…….. The Texas Baptist Convention —known to be a "moderate" stronghold, along with Virginia — makes up 17 percent of all SBC members and provides 13 percent of the SBC annual Cooperative Program budget. The terms "moderate" and "conservative" are relative, however, and even "moderate" Baptists hold strongly conservative theological views as compared to most mainstream denominations.
Texas voted to spend the funds withheld from the SBC on its three theology schools, established as a result of the conservative-moderate split in the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination…….. Delegates from the Texas convention visited the six seminaries and concluded that the trustees "almost exclusively reflect the narrow attitude of doctrinaire fundamentalism." That narrowness, the report said, led to the firing and departure of some faculty and a rigid approach to theology, especially after the SBC national assembly in June adopted a new doctrinal statement, the 2000 "Baptist Faith and Message," not changed since 1963. The Texas report said the 2000 statement adopted "creedalism" and conservative views, such as a ban on female pastors, that downplayed "the priesthood of believers" and "soul competency" —Baptist ideas that promote freedom in Bible belief…….. Mr. Mohler, in his rebuttal of the Texas report on the seminaries, said what it derided as creedalism was no more than the kind of confession of faith that seminary professors had been required to sign "without hesitation or mental reservation" since 1859. "Without a confession of faith, there is no legal or disciplinary procedure for accountability," the Mohler rebuttal said. "This was a point frustratingly lost on the [Texas] committee in our discussions." He said "doctrinaire fundamentalism" was "a reckless charge" and shows the Texas panel "has demonstrated that it will not identify with the conservative convictions held precious" by Southern Baptists……… "It kind of represents a historic new breakthrough," said Mr. Dilday, the former president of Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. "Texas won't try to be an alternative to the SBC, but instead a full-service convention." Despite such overtures, Mr. Mohler said conservatives will stay the course. "Southern Seminary and the SBC will not and cannot compromise on matters of biblical conviction, and this is just what Southern Baptists have every right to expect," he said….."

Jewish World Review 11/3/00 "……. On Oct. 7, Arabs set fire to the Tomb of Joseph, among Judaism's holiest shrines. An American-born rabbi who rushed into the flames to save the Torah scrolls was abducted and murdered…….. The rioters destroyed the structure brick by brick. Now, they're building a mosque on the site. Throughout the Middle East, thousands of churches have been demolished and replaced by mosques over the centuries. When Jordan controlled the old city of Jerusalem, 58 synagogues were razed and Jewish cemeteries desecrated. A psychic victory is achieved when a minaret rises where Christians or Jews once prayed……… For a thousand years, from Mohammed to the decline of the Ottoman Empire, Islam was an expansionist force, spreading -- as much by the sword as by conversion -- from the Pyrenees to the Philippines. After three centuries -- and fueled by a population explosion in the Arab world, oil wealth, the end of communism and fundamentalist fervor -- it is resurgent again. Throughout the Third World, Moslem minorities employ violence in their quest for statehood. Where Islam dominates, non-Moslems exist precariously at best……… Sudan's Islamicist government continues to enslave women and children from Christian tribes. Seven states in northern Nigeria recently voted to implement Islamic law, exciting well-founded fears of persecution among the nation's Christians. Hindus and Moslems fight for the Kashmir. In Kosovo, after NATO gave them the province, Albanians "spiritually cleansed" 80 percent of the Serb population and have destroyed over 100 Orthodox churches. ……"

Worldnet Daily 11/4/00 Dr. Alan Keyes "…… With Election Day upon us, I would like to address some questions I am frequently asked by Christian supporters of the political agenda I advocate. What should be uppermost in the minds of Christian voters as they go to the polls on Tuesday? What is the real meaning of patriotic responsibility for Christians in the often very worldly business of American politics? Our first call is not an allegiance of party; it is not an allegiance of personal interest; it is not an allegiance to social good. Our first call is our allegiance to God Almighty...."

EWTN 11/1/00 "…… According to the Catholic League's website, last Friday night's episode of ABC's "Politically Incorrect" triggered a record number of complaints to the Catholic League. The discussion was Halloween and how it relates to paganism. The show's host, Bill Maher, commented how "Christianity is grafted on paganism"; media critic Holly McClure agreed. Actor Guy Torry then remarked, "Halloween was started in the Catholic Church," a quip denied by McClure. The most important exchange occurred next. ….
McClure: "We are so ignorant on the whole reason why we do it [celebrate Halloween]. We just go along like sheep to the slaughter."
Maher: "Which is the perfect description of religion itself. I mean, what is scarier than drinking the man's blood every Sunday? That's not a spooky ritual? Here kids, drink his blood and eat his body. Like that's not pagan? What can be more pagan than that?" ……
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued the following statement today about this episode of "Politically Incorrect": …… "The relentless assault on Catholicism that emanates from 'Politically Incorrect' suggests an animus against Roman Catholicism that is deep-seated. We will ask our members to flood the offices of ABC with phone calls, faxes and letters. ….."

World News Daily 11/1/00 Joseph Farah "…….Christian leaders in Israel are launching a worldwide campaign to protest Israel's role in the construction of a large Islamic mosque in Jesus' boyhood town of Nazareth. That's right. Israel is backing an Islamic plan to encroach on one of the holiest sites in Christianity. ……. Church officials are so upset by the Israeli government's decision to appease Muslims, they are threatening to close holy shrines to the public as a protest. They say Israel, so eager to make concessions to Muslims, has ignored commitments the Jewish state made to Christians, including Pope John Paul II. …..The mosque in question is set for construction next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, where tradition says the Angel Gabriel foretold Jesus' birth. Christians wanted a nearby plot of land for a piazza to accommodate pilgrims. Muslims, meanwhile, contended that a Crusader-era Islamic leader is buried at the site and demanded it for the construction of a large mosque that would overshadow the basilica. …."

L.A. Times 10/31/00 Teresa Watanabe "….. Bob Larson, an evangelical minister who has honed the art of exorcism into astonishing public performance, was facing down the demon of witchcraft in Karen Ward, a 42-year-old medical administrator. Or so the guttural voice that emanated from the woman identified itself. …….. Before a standing-room-only crowd in a Hilton hotel here, the voice growled that it had gained a foothold in Ward by cursing her bloodline 10 generations ago, had pushed her into evil sex and intended to keep her in its grasp. ……. The ancient ritual of exorcism, which fell out of favor in the Age of Reason, is once again flourishing in the Age of the Internet. End-of-the-world fears? A desire stoked by Hollywood occult films? Ministers looking for new lines of work? …… Whatever the cause, hundreds of exorcism ministries now exist--some with names like Demon Stompers that offer personal deliverance testimonies and toll-free lines for convenient counseling. ……"

FindLaw/AP 11/1/00 Chelsea Carter ".....The National Park Service announced Tuesday that it had agreed under threat of a lawsuit to remove an 8-foot iron cross used for Easter gatherings and as a World War I memorial in Mojave National Preserve. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California threatened to sue the park service if it did not voluntarily take down the cross, which stands in the desert about 85 miles northeast of Barstow. "It's a cross on federal property. The case law is pretty clear. We had no choice," said preserve superintendent Mary Martin. .......Martin said the cross would be removed within the next few weeks. A specific date was not set. The ACLU, without giving a name, said the complaint was brought on behalf of a former park service employee who claimed to be Catholic. ....."

Catholicleague.org 11/1/00 William Donohoe "..... On November 8, recording star Cher will release a new CD called "Not Commercial." She describes her songs, all of which she wrote, as "dark" and has authorized a warning label on the cover because of the subject matter and colorful language. There is one song that caught the attention of the Catholic League, "Sisters of Mercy." Allegedly written on the basis of tales told to Cher by her mother (Cher spent a brief time in a Catholic orphanage as an infant), "Sisters of Mercy" blasts the Catholic order of nuns from beginning to end. The Sisters are called "daughters of hell"; "master of pain"; "mothers of shame"; "twisters of truth"; and "daughters of war." ....... Other lines in the song that refer to the Sisters of Mercy are as follows: "They always weave their web of lies and wrap you in their wicked spell"; "They try to crucify your inner sense and do it in God's name"; "They use God like he's a weapon but only for a chosen few, then hide behind pious faces like the guilty always do"; "These chicks administer your penance while the devil guards their door," etc. ....."

WorldNetDaily.com 11/2/00 "......It has taken me many years to understand that the world is in its present condition not because of the overt power of evil -- but because of the neglect of Christians and the Church. This effect has divided the Church into two camps. One preaches that "God is in control," and meets weekly to offer absolution from action. The other camp believes that God has been overrun by the complexity of modern life, and has passed the mantle on to us to finish His work. What the world sees is a schizophrenic Church that is confused and fragmented inside. ....... I was visiting a church in Portland, Ore., the weekend that the nation's newspapers splashed headlines across America of President Clinton's impeachment in the House of Representatives. I remember sitting in a pew, waiting for the pastor to say something -- anything. But there was nothing. People around me were hurting and confused, yet not a single prayer was offered from the pulpit for wisdom and strength for our leaders in a time of crisis; not a word of comfort spoken for those in the congregation who were in shock from the indictment's plain language. ......I am frequently asked if I really believe that politics is the business of the Church. I do. So is education, science, technology, transportation, health care, welfare, marriage, family, children, birth, death, the environment and any other activity impacting humanity. The business of the Church is to be salt and light in the world. It is not to hide our light under a bushel. ....."

Globe 10/31/00 David Abel "..... By the flickering light of jack-o'-lanterns and beneath a swirling plume of incense spreading throughout a dungeon-like chapel, the mainly black-clothed congregants kneel before an altar somberly chanting, ''Dark mother take us in. ... Let us be reborn.'' ...... A signal comes from the high priestess and the group of mainly MIT, Boston University and University of Connecticut students slowly gathers beneath a black veil. Swallowing pomegranate seeds, they file down a dimly lit corridor to the ''underworld.'' As they approach a strong flame burning at the end of the journey, a mix of fear and humor pervades the weighty moment: ''I feel like I'm going to the incinerator'' one quips. Another jokes, ''I'm just waiting for the paddles.'' ........ For the more than 50 students, alumni, and friends gathered on this recent evening at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology chapel, this is the most holy time of year. While others don pointed black hats or pretend to ride broomsticks this Halloween, a growing number of students on college campuses here and throughout the country believe they're witches. .... A spiritual offshoot of the emerging counterculture of greens and antiglobalists, students are flocking to paganism - an ancient and polytheistic creed that culls a variety of beliefs from pre-Christian cultures and worships nature. ........The popularity of paganism among students is reflected by more than a hundred groups that have formed on college campuses in nearly every state and at schools from Australia to the United Kingdom. In Massachusetts, according to Harvard's Pluralism Project, at least seven schools have student pagan groups, including the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Wellesley and Smith colleges, and Westfield and Bridgewater state colleges. ....... The lure of paganism, students and scholars say, ranges from a dissatisfaction with the main monotheistic religions to the rise of the Internet. It's also a source of spirituality for agnostics and political activists who subscribe more to earth-based movements like environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism than inherited religions like Catholicism and Judaism. Falsely associated with satanic worship and animal sacrifice, paganism, or ''neopaganism'' as it's called today, is an individualistic and historically female-dominated tradition that blends the airy beatitude of the New Age movement with the ever-popular occult of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. ..... On Halloween, a day more for masked merrymaking on most college campuses, pagans gather in circular ceremonies like the one this weekend at MIT to communicate with the dead. They believe it's when there's the ''thinnest division between the worlds of the living and the dead.'' Inside the cylindrical chapel, students in medieval garb, pentagram-badged black capes, and some in combat boots while others are barefoot, dance around in a circle holding hands and hypnotically chanting. .........They bless the wine for ''the rich blood of the great harvest,'' and the bread for ''man's toil and the gods' sacrifice.'' Then they bid farewell to the gods and goddess, extinguish the candles - and hug. ....."

CNS News 10/31/00 Scott Hogenson ".......California Governor Gray Davis Monday defended Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman following the candidate's October 18 excommunication by a rabbinical court, saying the "judgment of the American people" matters more than the decision of the Orthodox Jewish court. ......... "I'm proud that he is a man of faith and I think Americans of all faiths respect someone who worships God," said Davis in response to a question during a Monday afternoon conference call with reporters featuring himself and Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew. ......... He was not available to personally comment on the excommunication, which was determined by a special rabbinical court of Talmudic scholars in Brooklyn, New York. ...... In handing down its decision, the court determined that Lieberman caused a "grave scandal" for Orthodox Judaism "by the fact that, while claiming to be an observant Jew, Lieberman has been misrepresenting and falsifying to the American people the teachings of the Torah against partial birth infanticide, against special privileges and preferential treatment for flaunting homosexuals, and against religious intermarriage of Jews." ......."

WorldNetDaily 12/1/00 Scott Maben "….. Fully aware that he may be upstaging the Grinch this holiday season, Eugene City Manager Jim Johnson is sticking to his unpopular ban on Christmas trees in most city work places. Scores of city workers and residents have complained the past few days about Johnson's decision that Christmas trees are symbolic of a religious holiday and so should not be displayed in public lobbies, break rooms, community centers and other work spaces shared by city employees. Johnson said Thursday he will listen to those who disagree with his view but won't waver from the new policy, which comes in response to a few employees who objected to decorated trees in the buildings where they work. ……. "This is the policy for this year, but we hope there will continue to be a dialogue among employees on the role of religious symbols in the work place," he said. ….."

Detroit Free Press 12/3/00 Niraj Warikoo "…… For Nicolette Pearce, religion is everything. So when her high school decided to ban the club Connect for Christ, the 17-year-old senior at Northville High says she became so distraught that she lost 18 pounds and was hospitalized for emotional stress. ….. On Monday, Pearce and her 15-year-old brother, also a Northville student, filed a federal suit against Northville Public Schools and several administrators, claiming they violated their constitutional rights by not allowing the Christian club to meet during school time. ……. "Without any warning or reason, besides separation of church and state, the school prohibited the club from meeting," said Richard Thompson, one of Pearce's attorneys. "They were violating Nicolette's rights under the First Amendment." Thompson said the school's decision also was at odds with state and federal equal access laws. ….."

Times of London 12/3/00 "….. The Vatican stepped yesterday into the controversy over the Charter of Fundamental Rights to be adopted at the European Union summit in Nice next week, saying that it was a "godless" document. It emphasised that among other concerns the charter would cause "moral and social harm" by sanctioning homosexual unions and making it easier for homosexual couples to adopt children. ….. "We find ourselves faced with the destruction of the image which man has always had of himself." He added it was regrettable that "God and our responsibility before God" had not been "anchored in the European constitution". ….."

BUSINESS WIRE 12/1/00 "….The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Riverside, Calif., on behalf of a health care worker charging that she was fired from her job as a nurse for Riverside County, Calif., after she refused to dispense medication known as a "morning-after" pill designed to end pregnancies. …… "This case centers on the rights of our client to hold religious beliefs and have those beliefs accommodated by her employer," said Frank Manion, senior regional counsel of the ACLJ who is representing the nurse. "Our client did not want to dispense medication that she believes places her in a position to participate in an abortion. It is our position that her deeply held religious beliefs were ignored by her employer and it is our belief that she was wrongly fired because of those beliefs." ……The ACLJ filed suit today in U.S. District Court in Riverside on behalf of Michelle Diaz, who worked as a clinic health nurse at the Riverside Neighborhood Health Center. The complaint contends that in March 1999, Diaz and other health professionals expressed their concerns to management about dispensing the so-called "morning-after" pill -- medication designed to end pregnancies. The lawsuit states that Diaz told her supervisor that her deeply held religious beliefs prevented her from distributing the medication because she believed she would be participating in an abortion. ……"

BUSINESS WIRE 11/30/00 "……The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a New York church-state case urging the U.S. Supreme Court to end discrimination aimed at religious organizations. …… "This case will determine whether `equal treatment' really does mean `equal treatment' for religious organizations," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "The Supreme Court has an important opportunity to end discrimination and protect the First Amendment rights of religious organizations by assuring equal treatment in public forums." …..The ACLJ filed a friend-of-the-court brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Good News Club v. Milford Central School on behalf of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based ministry. It was a 1993 decision in the Lamb's Chapel case that the Supreme Court agreed that a school district in New York was wrong when it refused to allow a church to use its facilities after-hours to show a religious film - a film produced by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.

Macon Telegraph 11/30/00 Sharon E. Crawford "……Cordele Pastor Lamar Thomas can't understand what would make a woman stab her child three times on the doorsteps of his church. But he knows it wasn't God who told her to do it. Thomas is the pastor of Unity Faith Church in Cordele, where police say Sharon Cross Gray, 38, stabbed her daughter, Elexsia, 2, three times Monday night. …."

ajc.com 11/22/00 Henry Farber "….. Bowing to pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Newton County school system will erase the word "Christmas" from its school calendars next year. The county school board Tuesday night voted 4-1 to change the reference to the winter holidays on its Web site and school literature from "Holidays-Christmas" to "Semester Break." ….. The ACLU's Georgia chapter notified the board this week that it considered the reference to Christmas "an endorsement of a particular religion." ….."

Denver Post 11/18/00 Virginia Culver "…..United Methodist youth in the Rocky Mountains have urged their church to include gays and lesbians at all levels of the church. About 700 youth and their sponsors, meeting in Estes Park, voted overwhelmingly for a statement titled "We Will Not Be Silent." They say the church should also work for full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons. "…."

ALESSANDRA RIZZO 10/12/00 Associated Press "….VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Hawaiians and Caribbean Indians lit candles and sang in St. Peter's Square on Thursday, appealing to Pope John Paul II to repeal a 500-year-old edict they claim justified colonialism. The men and women -- no more than a dozen -- ended their protest by presenting a copy of the 1493 papal edict, ''Inter Caetera,'' to the Vatican's Swiss Guards. ''Take this back. We have no use of it. We never did,''' Steve Newcomb, director of the Eugene, Ore.-based Indigenous Law Institute, said, recounting his words to the doublet-uniformed guards. ''And I told them to make sure it gets to the pope,'' Newcomb added. …….."

UPI 10/12/00 "……BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Administrators at Samford University in Alabama said Thursday they would take disciplinary action against a student who put a mosaic of tiny naked women on the cover of the Southern Baptist school's student directory. The cover of the 100-page directory, called "Faces," features a mosaic of the smiling face of model Christy Turlington. After it was distributed, students told school officials that the picture was composed of more than 100 images of nude women and sex acts. …."

UPI 10/11/00 "…..A Southern Baptist boycott of the Walt Disney Co. has affected the entertainment company's merchandise sales, a top official of the nation's largest Protestant denomination claimed Wednesday. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said Disney's recent announcement that it is closing 140 retail stores clearly shows it is feeling the impact of the Baptists' economic action……… "I read this news as a sign that the boycott Southern Baptists called in 1997 against the Disney Company is working," Land said…….."

CBN.com 11/6/00 "……It was Election Day 1994, the culmination of George W. Bush's first uphill campaign for Texas governor. The candidate had invited his Dallas pastor, the Rev. Leighton Farrell, to join the family and a dozen top aides to watch the returns in an Austin hotel suite. ……. ``The twins and Laura were there, standing around eating grapes off the table, and (then-Gov.) Ann Richards came on with her concession speech,'' Farrell recalls. ``George listened just enough to know what she was doing and that he was going to be governor. He said, `O.K., everybody join hands and Leighton's going to lead us in prayer.' That just came to him. Those things aren't planned.'' ……"

Bush - Cheney 2000! 11/5/00 "……Statement by Reverend Billy Graham citing his support for Governor Bush after the prayer service in Jacksonville, Florida, this morning: "Well, it's a privilege for me to be here with Governor and Mrs. Bush. We've known them since almost [when they were] children and spent a great deal of time with him both in Maine and in Washington when they were there. I've seen them many times in other places. I had the privilege of leading the inaugural prayer when he was inaugurated Governor of Texas. And I have been praying for this crucial election. And I think it's a crucial election, a critical election in the history of America. And I think that, uh, I've been praying that God's will shall be done. I don't endorse candidates. But I've come as close to it, I guess, now as any time in my life, because I think it's extremely important. ……….. "We have in our state absentee voting. I've already voted. I'll just let you guess who I voted for. And my family the same way. And we believe that there's going to be a tremendous victory and change by Tuesday night in the direction of the country. Putting it in good hands. I believe in the integrity of this man. I've known him as a boy, I've known him as a young man, I've known him now still as a young man. And we're very proud of him. I'm very thankful for the privilege of calling him friend, and his wife. It's worth getting him the White House to get her in the White House.... Laura is a special person, I can tell you. The things that she can dream of and do.... When we were in Puerto Rico holding meetings, the governors were having their governors convention down there. I suppose it was the Southern Governors. And she brought some of the governors' wives to our meeting. And just little things that I can remember many times that has bonded my heart and life to them. And if they, by God's will, win, I'm going to do everything in my power to help them make it a successful presidency. God bless all of you."

NewsMax.com 11/3/00 Carl Limbcher "…… Former Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn, who is one of the nation's most prominent Catholic Democrats and who served four years as Clinton administration ambassador to the Vatican, endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush for president on Friday. "I decided it is better to be a good American and a good Catholic than to be a good Democrat," Ambassador Flynn told NewsMax.com in an exclusive interview Friday. "I am placing principle above party," he added, "and that's the reason why I'm voting for George W. Bush." Flynn said he had never voted for a Republican before in his life……."

CBN 12/14/00 "......The American Center for Law and Justice announced today it has filed a federal lawsuit in Hartford, Connecticut against the Town of New Milford, Connecticut charging that the Zoning Commission has issued an order prohibiting a family from holding prayer meetings inside their private residence......This is clearly a case where the zoning authorities have overstepped their authority by determining that our clients cannot use their private residence for weekly prayer meetings, said Vincent McCarthy, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ who is representing the family. To issue an order prohibiting a family from using their private residence for prayer is not only one of the worst forms of religious discrimination, it represents a direct assault on our client's constitutional rights. We are asking the court to declare the actions of the zoning authorities unconstitutional and to issue an injunction to clear the way for the family to resume the prayer meetings in their home......"

AP Top News 12/14/00 Victor Simpson ".....Pope John Paul II on Thursday urged other cultures to reject a Western lifestyle that he accused of worsening ''spiritual and moral impoverishment.'' In a message released Thursday, John Paul renewed his concerns over ''slavish conformity'' to Western culture, its power in communications technology and scientific advances that have led to cloning and the use of human embryos for research -- research opposed by the Roman Catholic Church. ...... ''Detached from their Christian origins, these models are often inspired by an approach to life marked by secularism and practical atheism, and by patterns of radical individualism,'' John Paul said. He called it a ''phenomenon of vast proportions, sustained by powerful media campaigns'' designed to propagate Western viewpoints that damage other cultures. ......"

Friends of Liberty, International 12/12/00 "..... "Clearly, 60 Minutes relishes every false statement made about Catholic moral teaching and Catholic medical ethics, but the facts do not change, even when Morley Safer distorts them for his viewers," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. Brown was responding to a report on CBS's 60 Minutes, titled "God, Women and Medicine," which aired December 10, 2000. The report sought to defame Catholic teaching and medical practice regarding the Church's opposition to abortion, sterilization, abortion- inducing chemicals and so-called family planning. "The segment was loaded with nuanced hatred for Christ, the Truth and His Church," Brown said....... The report featured ex-Catholic, Francis Kissling, head of Catholic dissident group, Catholics for a Free Choice, parading as a practicing Catholic when in fact she is a heretic. ....."

Friends of Liberty, International 12/12/00 "..... The Ohio Education Association is praising today's U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding last year's ruling by Federal District Judge Solomon Oliver that the Cleveland Voucher Program is unconstitutional. In today's ruling, the court held that "the voucher program has the primary effect of advancing religion, and that it constitutes an endorsement of religion and sectarian education in violation of the Establishment Clause." ...."

Daily Telegraph 12/13/00 Patrick Bishop "......ISRAELI soldiers shot dead a Palestinian activist yesterday as Israel indicated that it was following a policy of selective targeting in its campaign to quell the Palestinian uprising. Yousef Ahmed Abu Sway, 28, was hit 17 times by heavy calibre bullets outside his home near Bethlehem, said Palestinian sources. They added that he was a local commander of the Fatah organisation, which is leading the revolt in the occupied territories, and had been sought by the Israelis for several years for alleged gun-running activities. ...."

AP 12/11/00 John Nolan "...... In a 2-1 ruling, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said legislation that created the program appears designed to favor religious schools for public funding. .... "To approve this program would approve the actual diversion of government aid to religious institutions in endorsement of religious education, something 'in tension' with the precedents of the Supreme Court," the panel said. ....... Both sides predicted the dispute will go to the high court, which has passed up opportunities to consider challenges to the constitutionality of providing public aid to families whose children attend religious or other private schools. ......"

Washington Times 12/11/00 Larry Witham "……Most Americans believe the Bible is more factual than newspapers - not necessarily much of an endorsement - but find their daily newspapers far easier to read This ambivalence toward the ancient Scripture, confirmed in a recent survey, suggests Americans are more willing to enter the complex Bible world if they find it packaged palatably and easy to grasp, scholars and publishers say………. Most adults trust that the Bible got "its facts straight" more than newspapers or even history books. But two-thirds find a supermarket tabloid easier reading. The survey also found:
• The hardest part of the Bible "to read and understand" is the creation account in Genesis.
• Adults most often say the Bible's great value is in teaching children right and wrong, with David and Goliath the most memorable story and the Good Samaritan the best for moral instruction.
• Eighty percent agree that Bible language can be "confusing," and welcome modern translation. Most say that different parts of the Bible speak to different people and needs - and thus approve of specialty Bible materials.
For the past decade, the story in Bible publishing has been customized versions aimed at different ages, sexes, ethnic groups, professions and theological persuasions……."

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review 12/8/00 David Brown "……Allegheny County officials said Thursday they will fight a Washington, D.C., group's attempt to force removal of a marker bearing the Ten Commandments from the exterior of the courthouse. Officials contend the nearly century-old plaque is a significant fixture on the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown, a National Historic Landmark. The structure, designed by architect H.H. Richardson, was constructed in the mid-1880s. Americans United for Separation of Church and State has demanded removal of the bronze plaque mounted about 12 feet from the Fifth Avenue entrance of the courthouse. ….."

The (Australian) Age. 12/7/00 "…..Male circumcision was a criminal sexual assault that should be banned in Australia in the same way as female genital mutilation, an international conference at Sydney University heard today……A Queensland psychology professor told the Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity that the surgical removal of the foreskin, performed on 12 per cent of Australian infant boys today, could result in a range of psychological and sexual problems in adulthood, including post-traumatic stress disorder. "Studies now demonstrate quite clearly that circumcision has long-term adverse consequences, not only physically but also sexually and psychologically," Professor Greg Boyle, of Bond University, said after addressing the conference. ……."

UPI 12/7/00 "……Like most states in the United States, North Carolina does not give legal status to same-sex partnerships…… But since Wednesday, one of its most popular wedding sites may be used for the blessing of homosexual unions……. This is the Duke University Chapel, a huge structure that looks like a Gothic cathedral. "I was against this," the Rev. William Willimon, dean of the chapel, told United Press International. He said he has had to agree to these ceremonies after a committee of students, faculty, staff and university trustees had recommended it……. "

UPI 12/7/00 "…..A federal judge upheld a decision by Lexington, Mass., officials to ban the "unattended" display of the nativity scene on historic Battle Green....... A lawyer for the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic Church group that wants to sponsor the crèche, vowed to appeal the ruling by U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner that the new town ordinance banning the nativity scene featuring figurines portraying Mary, Joseph and a baby Jesus did not violate anyone's constitutional rights……"

NY Post 12/1/00 Carl Campanile "….. Who says students can't pray in public school? The Board of Education allows Muslim students to worship in school buildings during the holy month of Ramadan, The Post has learned. One Brooklyn high school gives Islamic students special privileges to be 15 minutes late for class and to turn the auditorium into a makeshift mosque for their daily prayer vigil - a practice one noted civil libertarian said might be illegal. …… The accommodation for Muslim students comes only weeks after Brooklyn Shallow Intermediate School in the Bensonhurst section painted over a playground mural dedicated to neighborhood youths who died because it featured Jesus Christ. …..The U.S. Supreme Court bars officially sponsored prayer in public schools. ….."

EWTN 12/4/00 ZENIT "……John Paul II, meeting with an interdenominational group of bishops, appealed for increased effort and prayer to promote the gift of reconciliation among Christian Churches and communities. …….. The Pontiff warmly received 47 bishops who support the Focolare Movement. Among them were Orthodox, Syrian-Orthodox, Anglican and evangelical Lutherans. ……."

EWTN NEWS 12/22/00 ".....A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday the Christmas may remain a federal holiday and does not violate the Supreme Court-mandated separation of church and state. Ohio attorney Richard Ganulin had filed the lawsuit in 1998, asking that Christmas be removed from a list of federal holidays because it constitutes a government sanction of a particular religion. Last December, federal district Judge Susan Dlott dismissed Ganulin's suit and the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that court's decision. ....."

Ether Zone 12/24/00 William Kaliher "..... I don't care what your religion is, or if your calendar has a different year from mine. To demonstrate, how little I care, I'll take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I don't give a rip if you're a Jew, Buddhist, Animist, Hindu, Moslem or a Druid. I just hope there are more smiles, good will and warm feelings from people with my beliefs this time of year that in some way they lift even the spirits of the politically correct. ....... I've examined this politically correct movement to kill the Christmas spirit. The idea is on the level of the scholastically retarded who claim religion, especially Christianity, is responsible for more deaths and wars than anything else. It is difficult to imagine how miserable someone must be to resent being wished a Merry Christmas. One has to wonder how these people function in society. What is the order of their priorities? How can they can ignore crime rates, crooked politicians, a bankrupt governmental bureaucracy, corporate misconduct or tax rates, to mention a few societal concerns, and mentally manufacture the feeling they are insulted by a good wish? How can their thought process possibly be, "Great goodness! I have relatives in the hospital that need better medicine, but my worry in life better be someone wishing me a 'Merry Christmas.'" ......"

The Houston Chronicle 12/16/00 Norman Kempster ".....Despite giving lip service to the cause of religious freedom, the Clinton administration has been extremely timid in its enforcement of a 2-year-old law imposing sanctions on governments that practice or condone faith-based persecution, a federal watchdog commission said last week. ... The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan and multireligious panel, complained that the administration imposed only trivial penalties on seven regimes considered to be the worst offenders and refused to add countries to the list despite well-documented atrocities. ...... The administration rejected the commission's call for sanctions against Saudi Arabia, Laos, North Korea and Turkmenistan. Four other governments - India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam - are guilty of religious persecution that could warrant sanctions if it gets much worse, the commission said......"

NewsMax.com 12/17/00 Carl Limbacher "..... UPI reports that European manufacturers eager to be politically correct are retelling the story of Nativity to attract single-parent customers, published surveys of shops decked out for Christmas showed Sunday. Gone are Joseph and dark-skinned kings from some Nativity sets, while in other examples Joseph appears as a rose-complexioned female. ....."

Washington Times 12/16/00 Don Feder ".....I'm dreaming of a white holiday. I'll be home for holiday; you can count on me. How the Grinch stole holiday. ......If you're over a certain age (say 40), you can't help but notice how Christmas is fading from our culture. .......I don't mean the banishment of creches from the courthouse steps or the prohibition on Christmas carols in public schools, due to a liberal misinterpretation of the First Amendment. But beyond the public square, Christmas is being rapidly replaced with a generic holiday that, by coincidence, comes around Dec. 25. ......."Merry Christmas" has been generally discarded in favor of "happy holiday." Stores have holiday sales. Schools have a winter recess. There's a holiday party at the office. Can holiday trees be far behind?...."

Newsmax 12/19/00 "....The left-wing college town of Eugene, Ore., is taking the government's war on religion one step further by banning even nonreligious Christmas symbols. Christmas trees, of course, have nothing to do with the birth of Christ, but the intolerant city manager of Eugene has barred them from public sites, Fox News Channel noted tonight. Radio host Lars Larson blasted the action by "the People's Republic of Eugene" and wondered if the nutty town hates religion so much, why does it accept currency emblazoned with "In God We Trust"? ....."

Austin American Statesman 12/15/00 Ken Herman "....To hear the preacher and the president-elect tell the tale, their relationship is the place where church met state and left a profound impact on each other and world history. George W. Bush, who likely will be the most spiritual man in the White House since Jimmy Carter, says Pastor Mark Craig of Dallas helped to persuade him to seek the presidency. And Craig, in Austin on Thursday for a morning prayer service for the president-elect, said Bush helped convince him that there are politicians worth believing in....."

NewsMax 12/15/00 Carl Limbacher "...... Mario Cuomo, New York's former Democratic governor, took to the air waves after the Supreme Court ruling suggesting that Al Gore should have taken his battle to the Electoral College. .....Cuomo's statement has drawn the ire of New York's powerful Catholic Church. ....In a letter dated this past Wednesday, and obtained by NewsMax.com, Msgr. Michael J. Wrenn, pastor at Cuomo's East Side parish, St. John the Evangelist Church in New York City, counseled Cuomo: "I believe that as your pastor, I should write to you regarding your recent statements with reference to the Electoral College .... "If the word conscience is used in the traditional sense to refer to one's best judgement about what one ought to do," then Cuomo is right about what electors might be able to do, Wrenn advised. "But if conscience is used in the popular contemporary sense to refer to one's preferences, which may well be incompatable with moral truth, then of course, the answer is no," warned the New York priest......"

UPI 12/15/00 "..... [Hillary] She compounded her missteps Wednesday amid the ornate, Victorian Gothic décor of Belfast's Grand Opera House. She filled her speech there with arguments and images from the Bible to convince her listeners to embrace the peace "process" and look forward - and not back - with it. Long excursions into biblical exegesis have never been the first lady's style, to put it mildly. Her labored parallels between the peace "process" and the travails of Moses in the wilderness, therefore, could only arouse the suspicion that she and her speechwriters thought the way to appeal to the Bible-reading fundamentalist Protestants of Northern Ireland was to argue her case from the Good Book. .......But if that was the case, the least she could have done was to get her reference right. ...."

Independent/U.K. 12/15/00 Andrew Gumbel "...... On day one as America's president-elect, George W Bush chose to play it cool: he did not rush to Washington to oversee his own transition team; he didn't even resign as Governor of Texas. Instead, with a boyish grin on his face and his right hand firmly in the grasp of his wife, Laura, he went to church. ......"The governor decided that he wants to start this on a message of prayer and healing," said Karen Hughes, his communications director. .......The president-elect played no part in the ceremony and sat immobile in a front-row pew for the hour-long service, but the script could have come straight from campaign headquarters. Heal the nation, implored Kirby Jon Caldwell, an African-American minister from Houston, imported to give a sense of Mr Bush' much-vaunted commitment to "diversity". "Heal the great divide; let your reconciliation flow with your peace," the minister continued. ......"

Associated Press 12/14/00 Brigitte Greenberg ".....As he so often does, Joseph Lieberman drew on his religion Thursday, this time to console those Americans who may be feeling angry, upset or cheated by the presidential election. In a concession-style speech given on the Senate floor, Lieberman, the first Jew to run for vice president on a major party ticket, quoted the Bible's Psalm 30 that ``weeping may linger for the night, but in the morning, there are shouts of joy.'' ....... ``Today, as some of us weep for what could have been, we look to the future with faith that on another morning, joy will surely come,'' said Lieberman, the Democratic senator from Connecticut. .....``Whether you're happy or sad at the results of the 2000 election, I do think that every one of us should be grateful this morning that here in America, we work out our differences not with civil wars but with spirited elections,'' Lieberman said. ....."

TownHall 12/14/00 "...... In the culture, Christmas morphs into holiday I'm dreaming of a white holiday. I'll be home for holiday; you can count on me. How the Grinch stole holiday. If you're over a certain age (say 40), you can't help but notice how Christmas is fading from our culture. ....... I don't mean the banishment of creches from the courthouse steps or the prohibition on Christmas carols in public schools, due to a liberal misinterpretation of the First Amendment. But beyond the public square, Christmas is being rapidly replaced with a generic holiday that, by coincidence, comes around Dec. 25. ....... "Merry Christmas" has been generally discarded in favor of "happy holiday." Stores have holiday sales. Schools have a winter recess. There's a holiday party at the office. Can holiday trees be far behind? ........... A paper coffee cup from my favorite overpriced caffeine emporium uses words like "wishes," "merriment" and "joyful" to convey a sense of the season. The "C" word is conspicuous by its absence. If they used it, would non-Christian patrons choke on their lattes? .......Nostalgia aside, I don't have a personal stake in this. I'm Jewish, so it ain't my holiday that's being stiffed. But it is curious. After all, Christianity is the religion of 86 percent of the American people. In a demographic sense, America is more Christian than Israel is Jewish. ....."

Atlantic Monthly 1/01 Charlotte Allen "...... Historically speaking, the "ancient" rituals of the Goddess movement are almost certainly bunk. WICCA, sometimes known as the Goddess movement, Goddess spirituality, or the Craft, appears to be the fastest-growing religion in America. Thirty years ago only a handful of Wiccans existed. One scholar has estimated that there are now more than 200,000 adherents of Wicca and related "neopagan" faiths in the United States, the country where neopaganism, like many formal religions, is most flourishing. Wiccans -- who may also call themselves Witches (the capital W is meant to distance them from the word's negative connotations, because Wiccans neither worship Satan nor practice the sort of malicious magic traditionally associated with witches) or just plain pagans (often with a capital P) -- tend to be white, middle-class, highly educated, and politically involved in liberal and environmental causes. About a third of them are men. Wiccan services have been held on at least fifteen U.S. military bases and ships. ......"

UPI 12/20/00 Kathy Gambrell ".....President-elect George W. Bush plans to meet with religious leaders Wednesday to explore possible implementation of faith-based social service initiatives, part of the "compassionate conservatism" he touted during his campaign......... The meeting will involve a multi-denominational group of about 20 leaders to get feedback on how to tackle a variety of social ills using the religious community, Bush advisers said......... Among the religious leaders slated to attend the meeting are Rev. Tony Evans of the Oakcliff Baptist Church in Dallas Texas and Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas......... The Bush transition team denied press reports Tuesday that Bush planned to evade talks with black leaders of the civil rights movement, opting instead to appeal directly to black ministers to garner support. Sources pointed to the multi-denominational and multi-racial character of the group the president-elect will meet with in Austin.......... Jackson said that while he supported Bush meeting with religious leaders, he found it "interesting" that Bush traveled to Capitol Hill last week and met with congressional leaders but failed to talk with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. ..... Other Bush supporters suggested that he did not need to make any kind of end run around black leaders. ...... "His record [on race issues] speaks for itself, said Caldwell, adding that Vice President Al Gore had only one black manager out of 200 people on his vice presidency staff. Conversely, he added, 18 percent of Bush's gubernatorial middle managers were black.......:

CNS News 12/20/00 Scott Hogenson ".....With the beginning of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah just around the corner, a New Jersey synagogue is suing some of its members for payment of dues. The White Meadow Temple in Rockaway this week settled out of court with one defendant in a civil suit over synagogue dues from 1996 and at least a second temple family is also facing a lawsuit. ...... In the case of White Meadow Temple v. David and Dian Slossberg of Rockaway, "I am happy to report the matter with the Slossberg's (sic) was amicably settled before trial," read a statement by attorney Robert D. Rosen, who represented the temple in its lawsuit against the Slossbergs. ......"

New York Times 12/21/00 Richard Oppel Jr Gustac Niebuhr "..... President-elect George W. Bush took another step today toward easing strains from the presidential race, meeting with about 30 ministers and other religious leaders, many of them black, to discuss his plans to expand greatly the role of churches and charities in federal welfare programs. At a closed meeting that lasted for more than an hour at the First Baptist Church here, Mr. Bush asked the ministers how his administration should proceed with what he calls "faith-based" initiatives, a catchall term for financing churches and private charities to take over government welfare functions and using tax breaks and other incentives to spur charitable donations......"

Omaha World Herald 12/21/00 Todd Von Kampen "..... The American Civil Liberties Union's Nebraska chapter will sue early next year to force removal of a Ten Commandments monument from a Plattsmouth city park, Executive Director Tim Butz said Wednesday. His comments followed a 7-0 City Council vote Monday to keep the Fraternal Order of Eagles marker in Memorial Park. Butz in July presented city officials with a complaint from an unidentified Plattsmouth resident about the marker, which was paid for by Eagles Aerie No. 365 and placed in 1965. ..."

American Center for Law and Justice 12/21/00 "...... (Bridgeport, CT) - The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, said a federal judge today issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Town of New Milford, authorities overstepped their authority by ordering our clients to stop using their private residence for weekly prayer meetings. This is not a case about zoning or parking problems - it's about a bold move by a local government body to censor the religious expression of a family who only want to use their own private residence for prayer in a legal and lawful manner." U.S. District Court Judge Warren Eginton issued the emergency court order today following a hearing in Bridgeport, CT...... The TRO restrains zoning officials in the town from prohibiting the family from engaging in lawful prayer in their home with family and friends......"

WorldNetDaily.com 12/22/00 "....... Two-thousand years ago, a baby was born in a manger in Bethlehem -- and the world has not been the same since. Thank God. This year we mark the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth -- an event prophesied long before and celebrated ever since. ....... Surprisingly, it's been a quiet anniversary in the making. You might expect more fanfare, more pomp -- more notice. Where are the television specials? Where are the magazine cover stories? Where are the documentaries commemorating this momentous historical and spiritual event? ....... I haven't seen them. Have you? ....... No other man in history turned the world upside-down as did Jesus. No one. His life reshaped our values. His teachings inspired his disciples to greatness. Even the way we measure time is based on his life and death. The bumper sticker is right: "Wise men still seek Him" -- 2000 years later. ...... But why? It wasn't his unique birth. It wasn't even his unique life of ministry nor his grotesque death. It was the fact that he defied the tomb -- that he lives today so that we might live. And, what's more, that he promises to come again and reign supreme over this world. ........."

CharismaNews 12/22/00 "..... A Navy chaplain has claimed he was forced to resign from the service because superiors did not like his preaching. Lt. Cmdr. Philip Veitch, who is suing to be reinstated, says the Navy systematically discriminates against conservative and evangelical chaplains. ....... Ordained with the theologically conservative Reformed Episcopal Church, Veitch took action after being forced to leave the service in September. Veitch had enjoyed a successful career until he complained of being unfairly excluded from preaching in the Protestant services held aboard the USS Enterprise in Norfolk, Va. ..... At his next station in Italy, his supervising chaplain, a Roman Catholic, began to "retaliate" by refusing to assign him career-enhancing duties and giving him poor performance reviews. The senior chaplain then told him to stop preaching "intolerant" traditional Protestant doctrine. Veitch complained again, and the investigator concluded that Veitch's sermons were "non-inclusive" and "non-pluralistic". He was also accused of being insubordinate and forced to resign his commission under threat of court martial. ....."

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture 12/22/00 Dr Thomas Fleming "..... A Christ-free Christmas, which has been the goal of the American ruling elite since before World War II, has finally, at the dawn of the new millennium, been reached. At corporate "holiday parties," references to Christmas are declared "in poor taste," because they might offend the 5-10 percent of the local population who are something other than self-described Christians, and in Eugene, Oregon, even the "pagan" Christmas tree, the subject of annual abuse from the same fanatic sectarians who want to eliminate Halloween, has been banned from public property on the grounds that the tree has been contaminated by too many years of association with angels, shepherds, and the Madonna with Bambino. In England, a feminist academic that only the English know how to produce has protested against the sexual and racial stereotyping produced by all those white male snowmen put up by bigoted children. Here in Rockford, the "Festival of Lights" display, except for a handful of displays put up by churches, has almost entirely eliminated Christian symbols and replaced them with crude knock-offs of the Keebler elf. ......"

The Telegraph (India) 12/24/00 "......After the controversy over racial discrimination, Coca-Cola is facing another public storm for an offence it may not even be aware of. Muslim religious leaders and clerics in Lucknow have issued a fatwa against Coke, asking Muslims in the country and across the world to boycott the fizzy drink as they are "certain" that the words Coca-Cola when held against a mirror reads "No Muhammad No Mecca" in Arabic. An enraged Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, religious head of the Shias, said: "It is blasphemy. ....."

World Net Daily 1/5/01 Jon Dougherty "….A junior at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., is suing university officials for allegedly having him involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward following a dispute over a play depicting Jesus Christ as a homosexual. According to Brian Fahling, an attorney with the AFA Law Center in Tupelo, Miss., which is handling the case, Michael A. Marcavage was detained after he "initiated a Christian response" to the university theater department's decision to stage "Corpus Christi," a play that made its debut on Broadway in 1998 and depicts Jesus as a homosexual who has sex with his disciples. In the play, Jesus was eventually crucified for being "king of the queers." When it broke on Broadway, the play received national criticism. ……"

EWTN 1/5/01 "……Temple University and some of its officials are facing a lawsuit after a student was involuntarily committed to a state mental hospital after he initiated a Christian response to a blasphemous play performed on campus. …….. Marcavage met numerous times with Vice President of Campus Safety William Bergman and Director of Campus Safety Carl Bittenbender to discuss his options in protesting the play. After one meeting Marcavage relates that he was forcibly detained by Bergman and Bittenbender and then handcuffed by a Temple University police officer and taken by police car to the Emergency Crisis Center at Temple University Hospital. ...... Although released hours later after a doctor who examined him found that he was "not in need of involuntary treatment," Bittenbender allegedly signed a statement at the emergency center claiming Marcavage was "severely mentally disabled" and that he represented a "clear and present danger to others." ......,, Senior Trial Attorney Brian Fahling of the American Family Association's Center for Law & Policy, who is handling the case, said, "This kid is as solid as a rock. Besides being a college student on the Dean's List, Michael was a White House intern with security clearance, is founder and president of a ministry called Protect the Children, president of his own business, and a volunteer who has worked with Campus Crusade for Christ and gone oversees with Feed the Children." Fahling added, "This is a good Christian kid who wanted to stand up for Jesus, and instead was handcuffed and dragged to a mental hospital as if he'd been seeing pink elephants." ……"

Reuters 1/5/01 "…..A convicted Brazilian rapist sliced off his own penis and flushed it down the toilet, saying the amputation would bring him closer to God. Prison guards said they found Flavio dos Santos Cruz, 23, screaming and profusely bleeding in his jail cell early Thursday after he cut off his penis with a shaving razor. ``He's alive. But since the penis was missing, he now will have to urinate through a tube,'' said urologist Aerton Barbosa Neves, who operated on Santos Cruz in the town of Andradina, about 410 miles from South America's biggest city……"

St. Paul Pioneer Press 1/6/01 Clark Morphew "….. A wild thing happened here a week ago when an entire day passed and there was no news worth reporting. …… At least that was the conclusion of a premier television station, owned by CBS, that decided to cancel its 6 p.m. news so a fundamentalist Christian organization could broadcast a special about Jesus. Here in the Twin Cities, news has always been a treasured part of our day. But on the day after Christmas, WCCO-TV sold out a half-hour of news to a fundamentalist Christian group for a sum of money with ``enormous value.'' That fundamentalist group, the Coral Ridge Ministries in Florida, then spent an hour trying to sell Jesus to the masses. …… Of course, the ratings for WCCO-TV fell dramatically, and the Jesus special was viewed by only 9 percent of households -- a fairly meager rating when one considers the amount of money the fundamentalists must have spent. …."

The Associated Press 1/4/01 ".....A suspect in the disappearance of atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair was convicted Wednesday of using a false Social Security number to lease a storage unit where investigators believe O'Hair and her family were dismembered. Gerald Lee Osborne, 50, faces up to five years in prison at sentencing March 9. ...."

UPI 12/28/00 Uwe Siemon-Netto "....C. Alan Tyson is a man of growing importance at Tyson Foods Inc. He's not the owner of this poultry giant employing 68,000 people and packaging 45,000 chickens per week, nor is he related to him. C. Alan Tyson's job is to look after the souls of some 1,600 employees at Tyson's corporate headquarters at Springdale, Ark. He is the chaplain there. ....."

ajc.com 12/29/00 James Salzer ".....Promoting "respect for the creator" in schools as part of a character education program does not violate constitutional principles separating church and state, according to state Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Baker's official opinion, received Thursday by the Georgia Department of Education, also said it's not unconstitutional for schools to display posters with the motto "In God We Trust." The opinion comes five months after People for the American Way, a national civil liberties group, warned it might sue Lumpkin County over the issue. ...."

The Washington Times 12/29/00 Larry Witham "..... Many American Jews lit the eighth menorah candle of Hanukkah last night, ending their most-observed holiday more influential than ever in America but facing new religious and demographic challenges. .....The byword for several decades has been Jewish "continuity," or retention of Jewish identity. Yet many Jews worry that the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey - to be reported in the next few months -will show the battle being lost. The 1990 survey, the best source of Jewish data, reported that 53 percent of new Jewish marriages were to non-Jews. Few of those intermarried households reared their children with a strong Jewish identity, the survey found. ...."