New York City mayor Michael
Bloomberg is planning ceremonies for the 9/11 anniversary without the
participation of clergy. Jay Sekulow et
al. think this is an attack on religion. Jim Wallis et al. are criticizing both sides of
this debate and also calling for less criticism of others, or something like that.
The People's Republic of China marked its 50th anniversary on October 1, and in preparation for the occasion China's Communist Party did more than spruce up the streets of Beijing. It reasserted the authority of the party and made clear in old-style communist fashion that it intends to remain the sole actor in the political realm.
Earlier this year, a group of English bishops charged that the nation's Christians faced systematic discrimination that endangered their right to hold public office. Some even warned that anti-Christian hostility amounted to open persecution, which could provoke civil unrest. Pope Benedict, meanwhile, charged that new British statutes clearly violated natural law.
London, 17 September (ENI)--Pope Benedict XVI, on a visit to Britain, has reached out to leaders of other faiths, saying the Roman Catholic Church wants to build bridges of friendship but also insists on the freedom for converts to practise their new religion.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll,
54 percent of New York State voters agree "that because of American
freedom of religion, Muslims have the right to build the mosque near
Ground Zero." That strikes me as a shockingly small majority—almost
half don’t feel that “religious freedom” by definition applies to all
religions, even when the question’s put that way?—but hey, glad to hear of majority support for basic American principles, right?
World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, can fire employees who disagree with its theological tenets, a federal appeals court has ruled. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on August 23 that World Vision is a "religious corporation" and therefore exempt from a federal law that bars faith-based discrimination.
The First Amendment protection of religious freedom is designed not just to protect the religious traditions that the majority of us like or feel comfortable with. It is meant to protect religious traditions that the majority may find strange or objectionable.
Barely visible among the high-rise apartment buildings and cocktail lounges, a battered steel door in Manhattan's trendy Tribeca neighborhood leads to a basement jammed with barefoot men praying on their lunch break.