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News of religious/ethical change, conflict and/or intolerance

2008-December

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We also have a list of religious tolerance & information news for this month.
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

Events:

bullet2008-DEC-02: USA: Evangelical leader, Richard Cizik, supports same-sec civil unions: Rev. Cizik was the vice-president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). When interviewed t PBS' program Fresh Air on 2008-DEC-02, he said that he supported civil unions for same-sex couples. This contradicts the NAE's position which is to have governments recognize such couples only as roommates. Nine days later, Cizik resigned from the NAE. More details
 
bullet2008-DEC-08: North America: Newsweek publishes positive article on same-sex marriage: Lisa Miller, Newsweek's religion editor, published a article supportive of same-sex marriage. Her article was based mainly on the Bible's support for a diversity of marriage and on biblical themes on love. More info.
 
bullet2008-DEC-09: Iowa: State supreme court heard arguments on same-sex marriage case: Same-sex marriage was legal in Iowa back in 2007-AUG for about nine business hours. Only one same-sex couple, two university undergraduates, were able to obtain a license and get married before a stay in a District Court ruling was enacted. The case was appealed to the state supreme court. More info.
 
bullet2008-DEC-12: Turkey: A group of about 200 Turkish academics, journalists, writers and artists issued an apology via the Internet for the genocide of Armenians in Turkey early in the 20th century during World War I. This event ha s been generally acknowledged by historians outside of Turkey but has been, and continues to be, absolutely denied by the Turkish government. The intellectuals used the less incendiary term "Great Catastrophe" rather than the contentious term "genocide." More info.
 
bullet2008-DEC-15: Hungary: The parliament passed legislation in 2007 that would allow unmarried opposite-sex or same-sex couples register their union beginning on 2009-JAN-01. This would have given the registering couples almost the same rights and protections as have been enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

The Constitutional Court annulled the law, stating that it "downgraded" the institution of marriage.
 
bullet2008-DEC-29: CO: Focus on the Family removes interview from its web site: Focus had included an interview with former CNN host Glenn Beck on its ChitizenLLink web site on DEC-19. It concerning his best-seller book "The Christmas Sweater." WorldNetDaily stated:

"Beck's 'The Christmas Sweater' is the story of 12-year-old Eddie, who desperately wished for a bicycle for Christmas but received only 'a stupid, handmade, ugly sweater.' Eddie carries his bitterness with him as he grows into an adult, until the day he learns to see the real significance of his mother's gift."

" 'The Christmas sweater is the metaphor for me of the atonement for Christ,' Beck says in the now-nixed interview about the book that he confesses is partially autobiographical. 'I realized that the real gift -- the one we really need to appreciate -- is the one that took so much to give. In my mother's case, it's the sweater. But in all our cases, it's redemption and atonement'."

Unfortunately, Focus did not mention that Beck is a Mormon. They were severely criticized by several individuals and groups for allowing a person that they regard as non-Christian to have a book promoted on the CitizenLink web site. Focus has since deleted the interview. 2 A copy of the interview is available on the Mormon Times web site 3 It is well worth reading.
 

bullet2008-DEC-21: North America: Anonymous posting believed to be at a Canadian blog: "Barack Obama puts a Nobel laureate physicist in his cabinet as energy secretary. Stephen Harper appoints a chiropractor as science minister. Draw your own conclusions." Stephen Harper is head of the Conservative Party of Canada and is the current Prime Minister of Canada. 

References used:

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

  1. "Top evangelical leader resigns over gay unions remarks," ReligionNewsBlog, 2008-DEC-12, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/
  2. Drew Zahn, "Focus on the Family website yanks Glenn Beck interview
    Christian ministry cites its failure to alert readers author is Mormon," WorldNetDaily, 2008-DEC-27, at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/
  3. Joel Campbell, "Focus on Family pulls Glenn Beck article," Mormon Times, 2008-DEC-27, at: http://www.mormontimes.com/

How you got here:

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Copyright © 2008 & 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2008-DEC-09
Latest update: 2009-FEB-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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