Yielding to pressure from religious leaders and members of Congress, the federal Bureau of Prisons has ended a purge at prison libraries of “nonapproved” religious books and materials. The purge was undertaken because of terrorism concerns. Books taken off shelves will be returned, the bureau announced September 26, except for material “that could be radicalizing or incite violence.”
Disaster capitalism: Blackwater USA, which the Iraqi government now wants to throw out of Iraq for killing innocent civilians, was hired to protect FEMA operations at the cost of $950 a day per guard. Blackwater has used revenue from these government contracts to build up its own paramilitary infrastructure.
Rex Humbard, an early and successful televangelist, whose Cathedral of Tomorrow services were carried by as many as 2,000 stations in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, died September 21 in a South Florida hospital near his home in Lantana. He was 88.
One of the most powerful leaders in conservative evangelical Christianity has discouraged his colleagues from supporting Fred Thompson as a presidential candidate.
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, sent a private e-mail to many of his fellow religious right leaders criticizing some of the Republican contender’s stances and statements, according to the Associated Press.
Maryland’s highest court has delivered the latest blow to supporters of same-sex marriage rights, narrowly ruling that the Maryland Constitution does not confer upon gays the right to marry each other.
A sharply divided Maryland Court of Appeals ruled September 18 that a 1973 state law that bans gay marriage does not violate the Maryland Constitution’s equal-rights provisions.