Attack remembrances marked by prayer
Before attending the myriad ceremonies today marking the one-year anniversary of terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists, President Bush went to St. John's Episcopal Church to attend services and to pray privately. Reuters notes that the church, across the street from the White House, "was ringed with extra security guards in a reminder that the United States is on high alert for terrorism."
Elsewhere, says the Associated Press, religious leaders across the world and nation are preparing to lead memorial services. Others are issuing statements. Pope John Paul II called terrorism "a manifestation of ferocious inhumanity" and prayed that God would "show mercy and forgiveness for the authors of this horrible terror attack."
Overall, however, there's very little breaking news on the memory front. There are stories on how church attendance spiked after last year's attacks, on relations between Christians and Muslims, religious survivor stories, and religious debates over extending the war on terrorism to Iraq. But there's nothing new here.
Senate may move on faith-based initiative bill by end of the week
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) told Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) that "the next two or three days were critical" for moving on the faith-based initiatives bill. "If we couldn't work out an agreement … time [is] going to pass it by."
Santorum promised that he's working on it, but The Washington Times reports that almost everything about it is still controversial, from "language clarifying that a charity cannot be rejected for a federal grant simply because it has religious icons on its premises, religious language in its chartering documents, or religious qualifications for its governing board members" to the number of amendments that would be allowed on the Senate floor.
And all this controversy is over a bill that is watered down beyond recognition from what President Bush proposed. No wonder Bush is moving forward without the Senate.
Miami gay rights amendment (probably) stays
"In a referendum battle closely monitored by national groups on both sides of the issue, Miami-Dade County voters on Tuesday upheld a county law intended to shield gay and lesbian residents from discrimination," The Miami Herald reports today.
At least that's what some of the election returns indicate. Miamians didn't have better luck figuring out how to vote yesterday than they did two years ago, and many races are still unclear.
Faith after 9/11
- After terrorist attacks, people turn to church for answers (The Courier News, suburban Chicago)
- Faith once again focus of Sept. 11 (The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
- Love among the ruins | When major disasters occur, it's no surprise where people turn. (Lorna Dueck, The Globe & Mail, Toronto)
- Church attendance rose, fell quickly after attacks (The Muskegon [Mich.] Chronicle)
- Church near WTC open to public | St. Paul's Chapel provided physical comfort, spiritual solace and even gourmet food to thousands of workers and volunteers from ground zero (Associated Press)
- Many expected at WTC remains site | Volunteer chaplains maintain vigil at refrigerated trailers (Associated Press)
- Phila. priest tends a second flock - 9/11 victims | As chaplain for the N.Y. Medical Examiner's Office, he must comfort those with faith and without (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
- End of the Vietnam divide | To insist upon the dignity of members of other religious communities—and those who have no faith at all—is to insist upon freedom. (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)
Persecution and violence:
- MP warns of campaign to target Christian institutions | Pierre Gemayel says closing of Christian TV station, other acts aimed at making the "struggling people kneel," particularly the Christian community (The Daily Star, Lebanon)
- Martin obsessed with faith healing, jurors told | Kenneth L. Martin killed believing he could bring man back to life, says public defender (Rapid City [S.D] Journal)
- Mother's sentence unsettles a Nigerian village | Three years after Shariah's installation, disillusionment has spread among these northerners, as corruption has flourished and harsh punishments have been meted out only to the poor and powerless (The New York Times)
- NIH funds local theologian's research | In what may be the first NIH grant to a theological seminary, Gordon-Conwell's John Jefferson Davis was awarded $32,000 to find out what evangelical Christians think about genetic engineering (Salem News)
- Abortion, death rate linked in study | The August issue of the British Medical Journal, published this week, reports that women who have abortions are more likely to die in the years following the procedure than women who give birth (The Washington Times)
- Baby brainwaves measured in womb | Fetuses can even respond to a bright light shining through their mothers' abdomen (BBC)
- Menace lurking in the bankruptcy bill | Tucked away in the text of this otherwise good bill is a provision designed specifically to single out and intimidate peaceful pro-life protestors (Joseph R. Pitts, The Washington Times)
- Church group wants to buy Gobbler's Knob | A group of Southern Baptists is trying to raise $530,000 to buy the Punxsutawney Sportsman's Club, a 93-acre property that includes Punxsutawney Phil's home (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Religion very much alive on dead end | At the end of Charlotte's City View Drive you can sample two faiths, in 10 or 12 variations, spoken in at least four languages (The Charlotte Observer)
- Church tests county restrictions | Worshippers gather on Maui farmland where zoning rules prohibit a chapel (The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
- Also: Hawaii church holds service despite legal battle over land use (Associated Press)
- Evangelical church leaders hope merger opens doors | Members applaud uniting English, Spanish speakers (The Morning Call, Allentown, Penn.)
- 'Christians are forming churches to make ends meet' | Prosperity gospel supplants actual gospel as entrepreneurs start congregations (African Church Information Service)
- New Russian cathedral stymied by interfaith rift | Tensions between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches halted the construction of a new Roman Catholic cathedral in Pskov (The New York Times)
- Cathedral reflects a new vision of church | Roman Catholic cathedral joins other churches in trying to bridge sectarian divides and unite sprawling cities (The Christian Science Monitor)
- Suspended priest returns to his flock in the U.S. | A rift between traditionalist and liberals has shaken Anglicans (The Times, London)
- Also: Despite defrocking, priest returns to church | The Rev. David L. Moyer said he had wide support and that his Episcopal bishop should be the one to resign (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Aspen man objects to yoga as religion | Baptist pastor says planned classes violate Constitution (The Rocky Mountain News, Denver)
- Yoga religious? 'No way!' says program backer | Debate over a children's yoga program at Aspen Elementary School could be resolved with a simple reading of the program's curriculum, the program's founder claims (The Aspen [Colo.] Times)
- School board gives yoga a go | 3-1 decision was made pending approval from the school district's attorney (The Aspen [Colo.] Daily News)
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