U.S. Appeals Court: Procter & Gamble wasn't defamed by Satanism rumors
Amway Corp. is pleased that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit claiming the company spread rumors linking rival Procter & Gamble to Satanism. Still, Amway can't be happy with the headline in the Detroit Free Press: "Amway wins a big round on Satanism."
Procter & Gamble said Amway representatives told thousands of customers that the company gives a part of its revenues to satanic cults. After several court battles, a federal district court dismissed Amway Corp. as a defendant in the case back in 2001, and this week Judge Robert Henry attacked Procter & Gamble for beating a dead horse. The company, he said, "unremittingly sought to relitigate and reassert previously adjudicated issues. … Throughout this and its related protracted and duplicative litigation, P&G has tried to evade the law of the case doctrine, and has squandered scarce judicial resources."
Even now Procter & Gamble isn't giving up, and is suing Amway and several distributors in Texas for the same reason. "Since these lawsuits were filed, the rumors have essentially stopped," spokeswoman Gretchen Muchnick told the Free Press.
That's utterly ludicrous, says Amway's lawyer. "We are proud but not surprised that Amway has been completely vindicated in this ridiculous case. We never spread the rumor—in fact, we spent years helping P&G fight it."
Gospel Music Association head announces surprise resignation
Frank Breeden says he has resigned as president of the Gospel Music Association and the Christian Music Trade Association effective January 31—a move that the Nashville Tennessean says took "Christian music industry colleagues by surprise."
"'It is a time for change," he said. "This is going to be a difficult music industry in the next five years." Breeden told the Tennessean that he didn't know if he wanted to face the challenges facing the industry, especially youth who "are going to consume entertainment differently." "It's time to reconfigure our thinking about how we do business," he said.
He'll be replaced, at least temporarily, by GMA Board Chairman John W. Styll, head of CCM Communications until it was bought out by Christian radio behemoth Salem Communications.
More on Christian music:
- Contemporary Christian and gospel music sustains sales in 2002 | Strong Q1 release schedule shows promise for growth in 2003 (Press release)
- A wealth | Sixpence None The Richer puts C. S. Lewis to music (Mark Joseph, National Review Online)
Cartoon: Pat Robertson is funding Al Qaeda
Is Pat Robertson more connected to Osama than Saddam Hussein is? That's the argument made by cartoonist Tom Tomorrow in his strip "This Modern World." He draws the line between Robertson's deals with Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and Taylor's support of the terrorist organization. He's not the first to do so. U.S. News & World Report columnist Michael Barone made the same case in November 2001, for example. And Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King loves talking about Robertson's Liberia deals and their horrific consequences.
In fact, Robertson has responded to such claims, saying The Washington Post and others connect Taylor to Al Qaeda to try to discredit the murderous dictator (not his words). Robertson says he supports Taylor because "a government collapse would lead to another bloodbath in Christian Liberia."
Conversion laws and controversies in India:
- High Court notice on anti-conversion law | The Madras High Court today issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition challenging the state's anti-conversion law and seeking to declare it as "unjust and unconstitutional" (ChennaiOnline, India)
- BJP to make conversion election issue: Rajnath (PTI)
- Minority groups appeal against anti-conversion law | Stung by the recently enacted controversial Anti Conversion law in Tamil Nadu, Christian leaders appealed for intervention from the National Commission For Minorities (NDTV, India)
- Bihar denies any forced conversions | Government says Hindu claims that 1,500 Dalits were coerced into Christianity are false (AFP)
- Conversions fuelled mob: Cops | For the first time since a pastor and several Christians were attacked in Bhiwandi, the police have said that conversions were taking place at the municipal school hall at Padma Nagar (Express News Service)
- Converts deny saffron activists attacked them | The victims themselves say that they were beaten up by their own brethren, who were angered by the conversions (The Times of India)
Persecution and violence:
- Attack on church condemned | The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, Sindh and Balochistan chapters, has condemned the attack on a church in Chianawali, Daska, on Christmas day, terming it a conspiracy against minorities (Dawn, Karachi, Pakistan)
- Christians, Muslims clash in Iganga | Another dispute over slaughtering animals (The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)
- Twenty-five Catholics killed for faith in 2002 | 10 in Colombia alone (Religion News Service)
- Religious tolerance imperative | The two separate but concurrent incidents that had unfolded themselves in recent weeks in Makalle and Addis Ababa are causes for concern with regard to religious tolerance and the meddling by the security forces in spritual affairs (Editorial, Addis Tribune, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
- Beijing authorities take hard line on Christian activist Hua Huiqi | Human Rights in China has learned that Beijing officials have retaliated against Christian activist Hua Huiqi and his family following their protests against forced removal for redevelopment of their neighborhood (HRIC)
- Metal detectors sent to Jibla Baptist hospital | Security patrols have also been increased at the Jibla Hospital following the Dec. 30 attack (Associated Press)
Religious freedom and interfaith relations:
- State dept. of confusion | Recently, the State Department released its annual International Religious Freedom Report condemning Israel's "discrimination" and lauding the Palestinian Authority for its "tolerance." (Gary Bauer, UPI)
- Vandals hit controversial billboard | A "Jews for Jesus" billboard in the Pico-Robertson area, whose very existence angered many members of the orthodox Jewish neighborhood, was defaced last week by vandals invoking the name of a controversial rabbi accused of terrorist acts (Los Angeles Independent)
- Everyone's religion is better than yours | Why you stayed home on Christmas morning (Aubrey Henretty, Michigan Daily)
- Speech down the Pipes | Daniel Pipes gets blackballed (Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online)
- How about a little respect for Tallahassee's faith community? | The Tallahassee Democrat missed the point of Christmas (Jim Nash, Tallahassee Democrat)
Politics and law:
- N. Koreans' dire plight described | Activists who work with refugees are touring U.S. churches, urging congregants to work toward toppling the Communist regime (Los Angeles Times)
- Preaching to the converted | With Bush in the White House, God is as much as ever at the heart of the American political project (Financial Times)
- Dioceses fight N.Y. over contraceptive law | Lawsuit related to 'faith-based' initiative debate (USA Today)
- Faith-based initiative not a big threat to civil liberties | It makes it easier for givers to do what they do best. (Christian County [Missouri] Headliner News)
- Biblical verse will be set in stone | Officials have selected a quotation from the Lorimer edition of the New Testament as a contrast to the ultra-modernist design of the Parliament (The Scotsman)
- Section 28 amendment may split Tories | Proposal to lift ban on promotion of homosexuality in schools threatens to reopen the Tory split on social issues (The Independent, London)
Church of England leadership:
- Evangelical groups eye new leadership | Evangelical groups in the Church of England, angered by the new archbishop of Canterbury's views on homosexuality, said Friday they would consider looking abroad for alternative spiritual leadership (Associated Press)
- British flock may defect to wild colonial cleric (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Issue of homosexuality looks certain to tear Anglican Church apart (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
- UK groups consider Sydney clergyman | Evangelical groups in the Church of England angered by the new archbishop of Canterbury's view on homosexuality said that they would consider looking abroad for alternative spiritual leadership (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
- Christianity on the rise, some say | It's a popular notion that Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion, and Christianity is on the decline. But it's not true. (Fox News)
- Religion sweeps by nationalism | Tidal wave of Christianity rolls around the world (William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News)
Other stories of interest:
- Demanding payment from 8th century saint | Germany's television license fee agency apologized Monday for sending an angry letter demanding payment from an eighth century saint. (Reuters)
- Canadian activist dies in crash in Iraq | Two American members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams were hospitalized (Associated Press)
- Jesus 'healed using cannabis' | So says an article in High Times magazine (The Guardian, London)
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