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Religious change, conflict and/or intolerance

News items during 2007-December

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Events:

bullet2007-DEC-10: WI: Weekend convention of Freedom from Religion Foundation reported: The foundation held its annual meeting in Madison, WI. It is the nation's largest group of Agnostics, Atheists, and Freethinkers with a total membership of 11,300. They held "non-prayer" breakfasts. Raffles rewarded winners with currency printed before 1957 which did not include the nation's motto "In God we Trust." The group has had some major achievements in 2007: They have added thousands of members. They have a national radio talk show. They achieved two legal victories in court cases against states:
bulletThey forced the state of Indiana to fire a chaplain who had been employed to encourage state employees to show their faith.
bulletThey forced the state of Wisconsin to eliminate a prayer and a religious hymn from a ceremony planned to commemorate murder victims.

They had two billboards installed in Madison with the words "Beware of Dogma" superimposed on a picture of a church stained-glass window. The year also included several books being published from an Atheistic perspective. 1,2

bullet2007-DEC-20: Venezuela:  This country became the second one in Latin America to pass a law banning all forms of physical and humiliating punishment of children. Uruguay passed a similar law in November. More details.
bullet2007-DEC-17: NH: New Jersey abolishes death penalty: New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a bill that replaced the state's death penalty with life in prison and no possibility of parole. New Jersey became the first U.S. state to abolish the death penalty in 40 years. The bill had passed the legislature with the vast majority of Democrats voting in favor, and Republicans voting against. 3 More details
bullet2007-DEC-18: World: The UN General assembly calls for a moratorium on the death penalty: The United Nations passed a non-binding resolution promoting a worldwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The vote was 104 to 54, with 29 abstentions. The U.S. joined with a number of dictatorships including Syria, Iran and China to vote against the resolution. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the vote as "a bold step by the international community." Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain, both of which oppose the death penalty, were also pleased. 4

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Links to religious news sources:

bulletLinks to general religious, conservative Christian, other Christian, and non-Christian news sources is available elsewhere on this web site.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Ryan Foley, "Religion separation - Group notes successes changing state laws as they prepare for weekend convention," Missoulian.com, 2007-DEC-10, at: http://www.missoulian.com/
  2. Freedom from Religion Foundation's website is at: http://ffrf.org/
  3. Tom Hester, Jr., "Some Decry N.J. Death Penalty Abolition," Associated Press, 2007-DEC-18, at: http://ap.google.com/
  4. "UN General Assembly passes worldwide death penalty moratorium," Jurist Legal News & Research, 2007-DEC-18, at: http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/

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Copyright © 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-NOV-07
Latest update: 2007-DEC-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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