RELIGIOUS CHANGE, CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE
|2006-MAR-03: Conservative Jewish committee
to vote on homosexuality: The Committee on Jewish Law and
Standards consists of 25 U.S. rabbis and lay
leaders from the Conservative tradition of Judaism. The three largest
traditions are Reform, Conservative and Orthodox; the conservative wing is
comparable to mainline denominations in Christianity. They have been under
pressure from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, from some
rabbis and from rabbinical students to revisit their 1992 anti-homosexual
decision, discussed above. During the spring of 2005,
the committee received nine separate suggestions on a new position on
homosexuality. These were whittled down to four options:|
|Two options continue the status quo --
prohibiting homosexual sex, same-sex relationships, and ordination of
gays and lesbians.|
Leviticus 18:22 narrowly as a prohibition only of gay anal sex.
Homosexual affections, same-sex relationships in general, same-sex
unions and ordinations of gays and lesbians would be permitted.|
|The final decision would follow the lead
of the Jewish Reform tradition, by overturning all historical
prohibitions related to homosexual orientation.|
Multiple affirmations by the committee are possible, and even probably in
this case. Such a result would probably trigger debates within various
seminaries about which option to follow. The
committee is scheduled to convene in Maryland during the week of
2006-MAR-05. 1 They decided to defer any action until a
meeting in 2006-DEC. More
|2006-MAR-09: USA: Poll shows increasingly
unfavorable views of Islam: A Washington Post - ABC News Poll released
on MAR-09 revealed that a growing minority of Americans are expressing
unfavorable views about Islam. A negative view of Islam has increased from
39% shortly after the attacks on 2001-SEP-11 to 46% now. The percentage of
American adults who believe that Islam helps to stoke violence against
non-Muslims has increased from 14% in 2002-JAN to 33% now. About 25%
admitted to being prejudiced against Muslims; the same number admitted to
prejudice against Arabs. This is in spite of the fact that most Muslims are
not Arabs. Some commentators have speculated that these beliefs are partly
fueled by media accounts and political statements that focus on Muslim
extremists. One thousand American adults were interviewed between MAR 02 and
05. The margin of error is ±3.2
percentage points. More info.|
|2006-MAR-12: Australia: TV ad campaign restricted: "This is
True" reported that Tourism Australia created a new ad campaign which
features the tag line: "Where the bloody hell
are you?" "This is True" wrote:|
Minister for Tourism Fran Bailey, who called the slogan "plain
speaking and friendly," says the ad was briefly banned in the U.K.
because of the word 'bloody'. Now, it's banned in Canada for an entirely
different reason: the line 'I've bought you a beer.' Bailey says the
'Canadian regulator says that this implies consumption of unbranded
alcohol,' which is 'some sort of quirky Canadian regulation.' She says
the line will be changed for Canuck audiences, and she'll invite the
Canadian regulator to 'come out here and I'll buy him a beer.'
|2006-MAR-14: North America: Isaac Hayes
quits role in South Park: Isaac Hayes, 63, has supplied the voice
of the school cook in the animated TV comedy South Park since 1997. He is an
outspoken Scientologist and quit the program over
his religious objections. He said: |
"There is a place in this world for satire,
but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards
religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to
people, and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil
rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that
disrespects those beliefs and practices."
Matt Stone, co-creator of "South Park,
"This is 100 percent having to do with his
faith of Scientology... He has no problem - and he's cashed plenty of
checks - with our show making fun of Christians." He added that he and
co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until
we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other
than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."
A South Park episode in 2005-NOV featured
sarcastic attacks on well known Scientology members Tom Cruise, John
Travolta and others. 3
|2006-MAR-17: IA: "This is True" comments on religious prohibition:
This is True is maintains a web site and a newsletter containing
stories of unusual events. Their newsletter of 2006-MAR-17, contained the
"Scott Smith, 36, of Davis City, Iowa, was a leader
of the Brotherhood of Christ religious community when he was convicted
of sexual abuse and indecent contact with two teenaged girls. The
Brotherhood is against modern conveniences, including anything
electrical. Smith was ordered to wear an electronic monitor as part of
his probation, but that violates his faith, he says, and would set a
bad example for his children. The sect's current leader, Ron
Livingston, says the ban on electricity is absolute, because it can
cause people to 'disobey God and religion.' The judge in the case is
reconsidering the monitor requirement. (Des Moines Register)"
|2006-MAR-20: Afghanistan: Christian being
tried on a capital charge: Abdul Rahman was born a Muslim but converted
to Christianity about 16 years ago. He is now on trial for the crime of
leaving Islam for another religion. This carries the death penalty in
Afghanistan and a number of other predominately Muslim countries. The
prosecutor offered Rahman his freedom if he would only renounce Christianity
and return to Islam, but he has refused. 6|
World: Global Love Day: We received an Email from The Love Foundation
concerning Global Love Day that they sponsor every year. They
"...nonprofit corporation based in Tampa, FL with the
mission of 'inspiring people to love unconditionally.' Their purpose
and vision is to further the understanding and application of
unconditional love through education, research and charitable
They are celebrating their third Global Love Day on MAY-01, and ask
that everyone be a part of it and to spread the word. We have chosen to
include this notice in a list of religious conflicts because so many
people teach hatred of others on the basis of gender, race, national
origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc. So, unconditional love is a
highly controversial topic. 7
|2006-MAR-24: TX: Baylor University denies tenure to professor: "Chartered
in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and affiliated with the Baptist General
Convention of Texas, Baylor is the oldest institution of higher learning in
the state and the largest Baptist university in the world."
11 It has an
enrollment of almost 14,000 students at its campus in Waco, TX. One of their
leading professors, Francis Beckwith, holds Ph.D.
and M.A. degrees in philosophy from Fordham University and a master
of Juridical Studies degree from the Washington University School of Law.
He is an associate professor of church-state studies, the associate director
of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies,
associate editor of the Journal of Church & State, president-elect
of the 4,000-member Evangelical Theological Society, and the author
of many books, including one about to be published by Oxford University
Press. He was denied tenure. This decision has generated a firestorm of
opposition among many conservative Christians who attribute the decision to
the university's embarrassment at Beckwith's pro-life beliefs and his
support for Intelligent Design.
|2006-MAR-27: USA: United Church of Christ's TV ad censored by
networks: The United Church has prepared a new, rather humorous,
television commercial that features people that some denominations consider
to be undesirables (a single mother, a gay couple, a disabled woman, a
homeless youth). These are literally ejected from the pews.
ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and WB networks have all refused
to carry the ads. It can only be shown on cable TV. To view the ad, and
perhaps send an Email to NBC, go to:
http://www.accessibleairwaves.org/ The UCC has prepared the following graphic:
Mainline churches should be silent while Religious Right political leaders get to speak their mind?
Do you care?
|2006-MAR-30: Netherlands: Working replica of Noah's Ark being built:
Johan Huibers is building a 1/5 model of Noah's Ark north of Amsterdam,
Holland. He hopes to load it with far animals and sail it through
Netherland's interior waters. It is intended to be an educational exhibit to
counteract what school children are taught about evolution. He says that God
instructed him to build the ark in a dream. He had a vision of a flood
covering all of the Netherlands at some time in the future. If it is
successful, he hopes to eventually build a full-size replica of Noah's Ark.
|2006-MAR24: CA: Conservative Christian youth rally gets cold
shoulder: FRANCISCO Twenty five thousand youths attended an evangelical
Christian youth rally in San Francisco. It was organized by Teen Mania, and
called "Battle Cry for a Generation" and a "reverse rebellion tour."
San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno, apparently unhappy with the anti-gay
beliefs of the group, said, "... they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're
disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco." |
|2006-MAR-29: Nigeria: Government holds campaign concerning eclipse:
The government of Nigeria mounted a campaign to educate its citizens about
the eclipses of the sun which occurred on this day. In 2001, many Muslims
rioted because they interpreted the eclipse as a sign that God was angry
with them for their sinful activities. Government ads say there is no
religious significance to the eclipse; they are merely natural phemomena.
Darkness fell in 14 of the country's 36 states between 0915-0945 local time.
The eclipse was also be visible from much of Asia, Libia, Turkey, and
Links to religious news sources:
|Links to general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and
non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on
this web site. |
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Jennifer Siegel, "Conservative
Rabbis To Vote On Gay Issues," The Forward weekly publication,
- Claudia Deane and Darryl Fears, "Negative
Perception Of Islam Increasing" Washington Post.
- Erin Carlson, "Isaac Hayes Quits
'South Park'," Associated Press, 2006-MAR-14, at:
- Randy Cassingham, "This is True"
newsletter #613, 2006-MAR-17.
- The "This is True" web site, from
which you can subscribe to the newsletter is at:
http://www.thisistrue.com/ It is
well worth the visit.
- "Christian convert could be executed,"
Toronto Star, 2006-MAR-21.
- "The Ark of Johan," Visie, 2006-JAN-05, at:
http://www.eo.nl This is an interview in Dutch, with photographs of the partially
- "Christian Youth Rally," San Francisco Chronicle, 2006-MAR-24.
- "This is True #615," 2006-MAR-31. Their home page is at:
distribute one version of their newsletter for free.
- "Nigeria religious eclipse warning," IRPP, 2006-APR-29.
- "Excellence in Christian Higher Education," Baylor University, at:
- Erin Roach, "Baylor denies tenure to highly regarded Beckwith,"
Baptist Press, 2006-MAR-31, at:
How you got here:
Copyright © 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2006-MAR-03
Latest update: 2006-APR-09
Author: B.A. Robinson