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

2010-April

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Events:

  • 2010-APR-04: NV: Terrorists prevent Harry Reid from speaking: Senator Harry Reid (D), the Senate Majority Leader, was prevented from giving his Christian testimony at a Tule Springs Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the Mormon church -- because of angry telephone calls, e-mails and threats by outsiders to disrupt the speech. He was to give a fireside talk on the topic "Why I believe." One more indication of mob rule taking over the U.S. 1

  • 2010-APR-05: US & Mexico: Deepak Chopra claims responsibility for Mexico earthquake: Deepak Chopra, well known religious author, alternative-medicine practitioner and transcendenatal meditation guru, posted a comment on Twitter about the 7.2 earthquake on the border of the U.S. and Mexico: "Had a powerful meditation just now -- caused an earthquake in Southern California. ... Was meditating on Shiva mantra & earth began to shake. Sorry about that." Some commentators are reporting this without comment. Certainly some of his 182,000 followers will believe that he was serious.

    Two people died as a result of the quake; hundreds were injured, and thousands are still without power almost a week later. The U.S. Geological Survey attributes the earthquake to day-to-day seismological changes. 2

  • 2010-APR-06: MI: Graduate student dismissed for refusing to counsel a client: Julea Ward was near the conclusion of her Master's program in counseling at Eastern Michigan University when she refused to counsel a client assigned to her. The client is gay and in a same-sex relationship. She says that to counsel a gay person would violate her religious beliefs. After a hearing, she was dismissed from the course. She has launched a lawsuit. 3 More details

  • 2010-APR-08: FL: Muslim group asks that hate group be investigated: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) discussed a letter that a Florida member filed with the FBI alleging that the group ACT! for America is an anti-Islam hate group. The letter said in part:

    "I am concerned for my family's safety as well as for my community's because of the actions and the threats of Alan Kornman and J. Mark Campbell. I was once threatened by Alan Kornman verbally; my family and I have been stalked and harassed by him and other individuals from his group..."

    "I urge the FBI to investigate Mr. Kornman and Mr. Campbell, to admonish them and to restrain them or any member of their group from being in the vicinity of any mosque or private gathering of any Muslim community members."

    The CAIR Email aso said:

    "Earlier this week, CAIR urged GOP leaders to insist that Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) withdraw her support for ACT! for America after one of its Florida representatives was exposed bragging in a YouTube video that he desecrated the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer. 4

  • 2010-APR-09: Yemen: Jews granted safe haven in UK: Most of the 60 thousand Jews in Yemen were evacuated to Israel in the late 1940s and late 1980's. However, about 500 remained behind. In 2004, a civil war broke out in Northern Yemen between the government and Shiite Muslim rebels. The security of minority groups, including Jews, became precarious.

    UK Foreign Minister Ivan Lewis said that a group of 40 Jewish families in Raidah, Yemen are at serious risk of violence from Islamic tribal groups. He confirmed that those with family or historical connections to Britain will be allowed to move to Britain. 5

  • 2010-APR-16: USA: National Day of Prayer is constitutional; government declarations not: Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that the federal U.S. statute authorizing a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. She enjoined the President from issuing the customary executive order declaring the NDP. However, she immediately stayed the ruling until the inevitable appeal(s) are ruled upon by higher courts. The media seems to be universally misreporting this event by saying that the NDP itself is unconstitutional. It isn't. More info.

  • 2010-APR-21: South Park episode heavily censored: The episode of APR-14 -- their 200th -- mocked the Prophet Muhammad. This generated a warning by a U.S. website www.revolutionMuslim.com who warned South Park creators Parker and Stone that they could end up like Theo Van Gogh. He was the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by Muslim extremists. The website posted the address of the show's production office. The website is currently off line.

    In reaction, Comedy Central bleeped out every mention of the words "Prophet Muhammad." making the episode very difficult to follow unless the viewer knew what was being bleeped out. 6

    Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone commented:

    In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it. 7

    The actions by Comedy Central will encourage

  • 2010-APR-22: USA: NDP Appeal: Justice Department announced that it is appealing the National Day of Prayer ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. BTW, in spite of what all the secular and religious media is stating, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) is not unconstitutional. It is only the sponsorship of the NDP by the Federal Government that has been declared unconstititional; and that Judge's decison has been suspended pending appeal. More info

  • 2010-APR-30: HI: Civil unions bill passes legislature: Bill HB 444 to legalize civil unions in Hawaii passed the House and Senate with comfortable majorities (72% and 61%). It is currently on the desk of Governor Linda Lingle (R). She has until JUN-22 to indicate whether she will veto it. If it becomes law, Hawaii will be the sixth state who will have made civil unions available to loving, committed same-sex couples. This bill is unusual in that it also extends civil unions to opposite-sex couples as well. More info.

  • 2010-APR-30: North America: Final episode of Bill Moyers Journal: After almost four decades, Bill Moyers is retiring. The last episode of Bill Moyers Journal -- a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. and a national presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York over PBS was broadcast on 2010-APR-30. We miss you, Bill. 8

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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. "Harry Reid REID Cancels Speech At Mormon Church After Protesters Threaten to Show Up," Gateway Pundit, 2010-AOPR-04, at: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/
  2. "Chopra blames own meditation for Baja quake," AOL News, 2010-APR-05, at: http://www.aolnews.com/
  3. Letter from Eastern Michigan University to Julea Ward, 2009-MAR-12, at: http://blog.mlive.com/ This is a PDF file.
  4. "CAIR: Fla Muslim asks FBI to probe harassment by hate group, CAIR, 2010-APR-08, at: http://campaign.constantcontact.com/
  5. "UK to offer safe haven to group of oppressed Yemeni Jews," Religion News Blog, 2010-APR-09, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/
  6. " 'Muhammad' now a dirty word on 'South Park'," Live Feed, 2010-APR-22, at: http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/
  7. " 'South Park' creators respond to network censorship," Live Feed, 2010-APR-22, at: http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/
  8. "Bill Moyers Journal, PBS, at: http://www.pbs.org/

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Copyright © 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2010-APR-05
Latest update: 2010-APR-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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