Supreme Court turns away Kentucky's Ten Commandments case
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected without comment Kentucky's appeal of a ruling forbidding a large granite display of the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds.
In 2001 and 2002, the Supreme Court rejected similar appeals from Indiana, where lower courts prohibited Ten Commandments monuments on the statehouse lawn and outside a city hall. That state, along with nine others, filed briefs supporting Kentucky's appeal. Since federal courts have given mixed rulings on Ten Commandments displays, many are eager for the Supreme Court to clear up the confusion. But it won't be with this case.
"I'm not entirely surprised that they didn't take this case," State Rep. Tom Riner (D-Louisville), told The Courier-Journal of Louisville. Riner, who wrote the legislation to place the monument on the Kentucky Capitol grounds in Frankfort, said the court probably passed because it's waiting for a case about posting the Ten Commandments in schools.
Or it may be that the Kentucky case would have to involve issues beyond simply whether the Ten Commandments can be posted on government property. After all, this monument gave special attention to the words "I AM the LORD thy God," and contained religious symbols, including two Stars of David and "a symbol representing Christ" (Reuters doesn't say what symbol).
Or the Supreme Court might just figure that it's made its decision already. In 1980, it voted 5-to-4 to throw out a Kentucky law that mandated posting the Ten Commandments in public schools.
The other possibility is that the Court is waiting for the most public of the debates: that launched by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering his display now. At a seminar Saturday, Moore defended the display. "Liberty is not the freedom to act like a whatever out on the street. It's a freedom to do whatever you want within the laws of God," he said.
"It's the devil. It's the devil," she told the 6,500 attendees when she regained consciousness. "I went out cold. I've been preaching for 27 years. Never has anything like that happened to me before." Then she used her fainting to illustrate the future's uncertainty. "The very next moment may be the moment we step into eternity and see him face to face," she said.
"A check-up by an on-site physician gave her every reason to believe the incident was an isolated incident," says Lotz's website.
- He follows in famous father's footsteps | Franklin Graham comes to Roanoke Valley for 3-day evangelistic rally (The Roanoke Times)
- Also: Graham's route to Roanoke Valley mapped by a 4-year pilgrimage | A casual question between friends in late 1998 led to an arduous path of building support for the festival (The Roanoke Times)
- Also: Volunteers for Graham festival join to pray | More than 500 people met for Prayer at Salem Stadium, a kind of warm-up to the festival itself, which will be held Friday through Sunday (The Roanoke Times)
- Also: Christians gather in prayer for Graham's mission (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- Praise the evangelist? | Bush administration lauds Franklin Graham, but sends intolerant message to Muslims. (Editorial, York Daily Record, Penn.)
Missions and ministries:
- Far from converting the developing world, today's missionaries hail from it | At the Missionary Institute London, there is no talk of chalking up converts, and the missionaries are more likely to be from developing countries than Europe (The Times, London)
- Before throttle, a quick prayer | Racing ministry aids drivers, crews, fans. Sudden death can be a part of pastors' work (Los Angeles Times)
- Keeping the faith | Hundreds visit Rodeo Grounds to see evangelist Wayman Mitchell; 'Miracle healing' sustains them (Arizona Daily Star)
- Family mission | Local family sells possessions, heads for Cambodia to start orphanage (Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.)
- Sermon on the mount: Cowgirl preacher is spurred on by her faith | Crystal Lyons' intimate preaching style has made her one of the more dynamic speakers in American rodeo circles (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
- Former atheist tells why he believes now | Lee Strobel, a former investigative and legal reporter for the Chicago Tribune who wrote "The Case for Christ" and "The Case for Faith," spoke to about 1,200 people Saturday afternoon at University United Methodist Church (San Antonio Express-News)
- Creationists planning to open six new schools | The organization behind a state-funded secondary school that has been criticized for promoting biblical creationism is to open two inner-city academies and is in talks that would bring seven schools under its control (The Times, London)
- Also: Dawkins attacks 'educational debauchery' of creationist schools | The organization criticized for promoting creationism in state education has admitted that anti-evolutionary theories will be taught in its new schools (The Guardian, London)
- James Island high school wants class about Bible | Curriculum would 'teach, not preach' (The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC)
Church and state:
- VMI prayer violates Constitution, panel rules | An appellate court ruled yesterday that the Virginia Military Institute's 50-year tradition of praying before dinner is unconstitutional, saying that the "coercive atmosphere" surrounding the event violates the First Amendment rights of cadets (The Washington Post)
- Also: Appeals court upholds ban on VMI prayer (The Washington Times)
- Also: VMI dinner prayer ruled unconstitutional (Associated Press)
- To worship freely, Americans need a little elbow room | Most religious organizations recognize that religious freedom depends entirely on maintaining the constitutional separation between church and state. (Brent Staples, The New York Times)
- Abortion clinic appeal denied | Ruling lets stand S.C. regulations requiring centers to turn over patient files (The State, Columbia, S.C.)
- Court turns away challenge to S. Carolina abortion law (The Washington Times)
- Catholic politicians feel church heat on abortion | With several recent messages taking to task prominent politicians, Catholic Church leaders are showing signs of more aggressively challenging Catholic officeholders who support abortion rights (Chicago Tribune)
- Anti-abortion protests end in Adventist church member's ouster | Church says it disagrees with his methods, not his position (Seattle Times)
Persecution and religious freedom:
- Kerala: VHP calls for ban on mass conversions | Hindu group says they're being promoted to create "separate homelands" (PTI)
- Also: VHP to press for conversion ban in India | More (baseless) allegations of bribes for conversions (UNI)
- Laos evicts three families for not renouncing Christianity | The families, from Muang Phine district in Savannakhet province, are now in the care of a Christian church after being forced out of their homes in late March, says Radio Free Asia (AFP)
- Bible ban lifted | Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi banning the holy book would spark the anger of the Iban Christian community as it had been published and used for decades (New Straits Times)
- Pakistani Christian gets life imprisonment for blasphemy | Ranjha Masih was accused of tearing down a billboard carrying verses from the Koran in Faisalabad during a Christian demonstration after the city's bishop committed suicide over the 1985 blasphemy law (AFP)
- Expert: Christian leaders defused Muslim tension | Opposition from Christian leaders failed to prevent the U.S.-led war on Iraq, but it may have stopped Muslim retaliation against Christians in the Middle East, says Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Vatican's Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Day of prayer turning into day of discord | Non-Christians are told they can attend prayer services, but they can't pray to their own God (Chicago Tribune)
- Progressive Conservative party official censured for 'Islamophobic' e-mail | Stephen Leach angrily responded to Council on American-Islamic Relations' criticism of evangelism plans (CBC)
- For Muslims, a mixture of White House signals | When President Bush travels to Michigan to speak to Arab-Americans, he will trail behind him considerable uncertainty about his administration's intentions toward Islam (The New York Times)
- Arab Christians at a crossroads | Christian minorities in the Arab world in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon had played an influential role in shaping Arab nationalism (Atul Aneja, The Hindu, India)
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