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USA: Human Rights Violations

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About The Information On This Page


The pages in the ''Countries'' section of Apologetics Index focus primarily on the way individual countries deal with religious cults, sects, alternative religions, and related issues.

This page on the United States of America also pays much attention to America's human rights record. After all, the U.S. government frequently speaks out on what it considers to be human rights violations throughout the world - and often does so when commenting on the treatment of certain religious cults and sects, as well as movements it views as ''religions.''

But while a concern for human rights is to be commended, America's approach is seen by many as ill-advised at best (such as when Washington defends religious cults like the Scientology organization), and hypocritical at worst (notably because America consistenly fails to acknowledge - let alone address - its own human rights violations).

Occasionally, we - the publishers of Apologetics Index - receive some flak from people who
  1. refuse to seriously examine and address the information posted here,
  2. begrudge the fact that, as citizens of The Netherlands, we enjoy and use our right to freedom of opinion and freedom of speech, and
  3. accuse us of having hidden motives or secret agendas.
Often, these people somehow want us to believe that it is not right to examine, question, or (gasp!) disagree with America's policies and actions.

We believe that kind of attitude is unhealthy at best. Unquestioning devotion is a key element of cultic behavior - something we help people to break free of.

With that in mind, we'd like to share the reasons why we address these issues:


Why Apologetics Index Addresses U.S. Human Rights Issues

Information about U.S. human rights violations and related issues is included in Apologetics Index for the following reasons:
  • Apologetics Index deals with cults, sects, and related issues - including religious freedom and other human rights.
  • America's goverment frequently accuses countries (including, for example, France and Germany) that protect their citizens against destructive and/or fraudulent cults of violating 'human rights.' In addition, the USA even threathens those countries with economic boycotts should they not accept America's views on these issues.
  • This makes the USA the only country in the world that attempts to strong-arm other countries into accepting its views on the cults it supports - a primary reason why this issue is addressed by the publishers of Apologetics Index.
  • Ironically, while America chides other countries for alleged human righs violations, Washington consistently and deliberately refuses to acknowledge - let alone address - America's own dismal record of human rights violations. Christians who believe that America is uniquely blessed, protected and used by God should remember that the Bible condemns the use of such differing measures.
  • As Christians, the publishers of Apologetic Index believe that they (and other Christians) should address human rights issues.
  • The publishers of Apologetics Index agree with those who believe that America's attitude toward international law - including its fight against the International Criminal Court, its use of torture, and its inconsistent application of the Geneva Conventions - presents a serious threat to the international community.
  • As members of Amnesty International, the publishers of Apologetics Index are outspoken critics of America's manifold human rights violations. They encourage their fellow Christians to address these issues, keeping in mind the Bible's two great commandments.


"When it suited the U.S. government's aims in its buildup to the invasion of Iraq, the administration cited Amnesty International's reports on torture in that country. When the alleged abuse involved U.S. agents, its response was denial and disregard for the organization's concerns," the report said.
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[D]ouble standards have greatly undermined the credibility of the USA’s global discourse on human rights.
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Special relationship with God?


It should also be noted that America as a nation tends to have a peculiar view of religion. It often claims to have a special relationship with God (Christianity's Diety), apparently convinced that He has personally chosen and blessed the USA over and above all other nations. Fortunately, even many Americans do not support this notion.

I thought it was in bad taste for Lieberman to go on and on about religion. But I thought it downright smug of him to suggest that God somehow favors America above all nations. The United States is a fortunate and exceptional nation, which I love dearly, but it is no more divine than any other.

''Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world,'' Lieberman told the annual convention of B'nai B'rith late last month.

Is that so? Did God choose slavery, which persisted in this country long after it was outlawed elsewhere? Did God choose to nearly eradicate the American Indian? Did God choose to incarcerate the Japanese during World War II? Where was God when blacks were being lynched and bigots planted bombs in southern churches, killing innocent little girls? Are these the models God wanted for the rest of the world?

Lieberman's statement is preposterously false and lacks humility. In these and other statements, he and like-minded politicians not only have had God virtually raising a hand at a naturalization ceremony, but they have imbued religion with a power it does not have. They suggest that if only more people were religious and allowed to pray before football games or whatever, we would be a far better nation--and, surely, all games would end in a tie.
(...)

Yet can we say that these Northern Europeans are less moral than we are? The Swedes may skip church and not pray before soccer games or before entering the sauna, but they take better care of their poor and their elderly and provide a higher percentage of the national budget to humanitarian efforts than we do. In fact, when it comes to foreign aid of all kinds, Americans are shamefully stingy. I would be remiss in not mentioning that America is the last Western nation to practice capital punishment--in part, probably, because we adhere to Old Testament notions of justice.

And what about crime? In non-church-going England, the homicide rate is about one-seventh of what it is in the United States. Of course, it could be argued that the rate here would be much lower if that other 60 percent went to church regularly, but that does not account for why the Brits are not murdering each other with abandon.
[...more...]
Source: God's Country?, Washington Post, Sep. 6, 2000 (Richard Cohen - Opinion)


America's Human Rights Record


The United States has long regarded itself as a beacon of human rights, as evidenced by an enlightened constitution, judicial independence, and a civil society grounded in strong traditions of free speech and press freedom. But the reality is more complex; for decades, civil rights and civil liberties groups have exposed constitutional violations and challenged abusive policies and practices. In recent years, as well, international human rights monitors have documented serious gaps in U.S. protections of the human rights of vulnerable groups. Both federal and state governments have nonetheless resisted applying to the U.S. the standards that, rightly, the U.S. applies elsewhere.
[...more...]
Human Rights Developments in USAoffsite, Human Rights Watch, 1999



The United States was the fifth-largest user of capital punishment in 2000, carrying out 85 executions, the non-profit group Hands off Cain [English version]- a Rome-based league of citizens and MPs for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide - said in late June.

The U.S. government frequently speaks out on what it considers to be human rights violations throughout the world - and often does so when commenting on the treatment of certain religious cults and sects, as well as movements it views as ''religions.'' But while a concern for human rights is to be commended, America's approach is seen by many as ill-advised at best, and hypocritical at worst.

For one thing, the U.S. government generally fails to acknowledge, let alone address, America's own human rights violationsoffsite (e.g. use and promotion of the death penalty, a faulty "justice" system, multiple violations of international treaties, export of torture equipment, continuing trade war on Cuba, failing to curb hate groups, support of extremist groups such as the Church of Scientology, and so on).

Nevertheless, for some reason America feels qualified to present itself as the world's judge and jury when it comes to human rights issues. For example, in 1998, the U.S. government establed the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. It was set up to advise the State Department and the White House on protection of religious freedom around the world. It's yearly reports are seen by many as unacceptable attempts to interfere with the internal business of sovereign nations which may face ''possible punitive actions'' if they do not measure up:

The report will be used by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a basis for possible punitive actions against countries deemed the most serious violators of religious freedom rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The penalties can range from a diplomatic note at one extreme to economic sanctions on the other.

It is no surprise that those same countries are among those who wonder why a double standard is used. After all, America's own documented human rights abuses are serious and ongoing.

But ironically, while America judges the rest of the world, outside criticism of the USA is generally met with a ''who-are-you-to-judge-us?" attitude.

Like others who dare to criticize any aspect of American society, politics, or behavior, those who point out such inconsistencies tend to be labelled as ''America bashers." Even American citizens and permanent residents who speak out are dismissed with thoughtless sentiments like, ''Love it or leave it.''

Nevertheless, many Americans do address these issues. In recent years, American media outlets, along with U.S.-based human rights organizations, have started to pay attention:

China. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Congo. What do these four countries have in common? According to Amnesty International, they are the only four countries in the world that execute more people than the United States.
On Native Ground: Jamming The Texas Death Machine, Vol. 6, No. 1355 - The American Reporter - June 16, 2000 (Editorial)



...the US incarceration rate [is] the highest in the world (1 in every 150 residents)...
Evangelicals reach out to prison population, Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 2000



The Clinton administration has prided itself on promoting what it calls ''international rules of the road'' - agreements on issues from arms control to environmental protection.

But lately, the United States is having trouble staying on the pavement.

In its flurry to adjourn last week, Congress passed legislation that could hamper implementation of a treaty to ban chemical weapons. The Senate refused to consider a broad nuclear test ban treaty, which the administration has lobbied India and Pakistan to join.

The United States has opted out of a convention to ban land mines and, alone among NATO allies, refused to participate in a permanent international court for war crimes.

Apart from Iceland, the United States is the only industrial power that has not signed an agreement reached last year in Japan to reduce global warming, although the USA may do so at a meeting in Argentina starting Nov. 2.

Americans' distrust of international dictates and belief in their exceptionalism is nothing new. In 1954, after an earlier spate of new multilateral organizations, such as the World Bank, Sen. John Bricker, R-Ohio, failed by one vote to gain passage of a constitutional amendment to block treaties from overriding U.S. laws.
But rarely has the tension between global rhetoric and actions been greater.
[...]

The reasons reflect opposition within the administration - in particular, the Pentagon - to treaties that could constrain unilateral U.S. action. This is compounded by a strong bias in the Republican-led Congress against intrusions on U.S. sovereignty.

Skeptics about the value of international laws say the United States can still be counted on to do what is right while many countries sign treaties only to flout them.
[...]

But others say the United States is undermining its leadership role and setting a bad precedent for less responsible actors on the world stage.
[...]

Both Republican and Democratic administrations have favored economic treaties, such as the World Trade Organization, over conventions regulating human rights.

Despite a growing movement to enforce international laws on crimes against humanity - such as the recent arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in Britain - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C., has made it clear that he would never accept an international criminal court with potential jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers. The Senate also has never ratified a U.N. treaty on discrimination against women or another on the rights of children.

Shestak, a U.S. delegate to the United Nations under President Carter, says he used to argue to foreign delegates that the United States would defend human rights quite adequately without signing any treaties. ''It's better to have love without marriage than marriage without love,'' he says.

''But we would be a better leader if we signed and implemented these treaties.''
U.S. more talk than action on treaties, USA Today, Oct. 27, 1998 (Nov. 2, 1998 in international edition)



The United States has long regarded itself as a beacon of human rights, as evidenced by an enlightened constitution, judicial independence, and a civil society grounded in strong traditions of free speech and press freedom. But the reality is more complex; for decades, civil rights and civil liberties groups have exposed constitutional violations and challenged abusive policies and practices. In recent years, as well, international human rights monitors have documented serious gaps in U.S. protections of the human rights of vulnerable groups. Both federal and state governments have nonetheless resisted applying to the U.S. the standards that, rightly, the U.S. applies elsewhere.

In the Clinton administration Americans have a leadership willing to recognize some core inequities-racial, gender and other types of discrimination, for example-but nonetheless unwilling to incorporate key international human rights principles fully into U.S. domestic policies and practices, as described below. At the same time, senior figures of the congressionally dominant Republican Party and many state-level governments-which are bound by U.S. obligations under human rights treaties-have denounced international standards as intrusive while advocating policies that effectively infringe upon the human rights of citizens and new arrivals.

In 1998, as in previous years, the U.S. failed to address human rights criticism absent sustained national and international attention-and sometimes even then. Conservative politicians and their allies, often using ugly rhetoric, led successful efforts to craft or maintain policies that excluded unpopular or controversial groups-convicted criminals, immigrants, and members of certain minorities, among others-from full protection of their human rights, despite the protests of U.S.-based rights groups and liberal members of Congress.
[...]

Three visits by special U.N. rapporteurs on various aspects of human rights took place during 1997 and 1998. The U.S. government's poor treatment of the first visiting rapporteur-an expert on the death penalty and arbitrary killings by police, who issued a critical report in 1998-led to an outcry by human rights groups and others, prompting greater cooperation with the two rapporteurs who came subsequently to study religious intolerance and women's rights, respectively. Among the problems highlighted by the rapporteurs' visits was a pervasive official ignorance of the U.S.'s international human rights obligations.
[...]

In 1998, the United States continued to exempt itself from its international human rights obligations, particularly where international human rights law grants protections or redress not available under U.S. law. In ratifying international human rights treaties it has typically carved away added protections for those in the United States by adding reservations, declarations, and understandings. Even years after ratifying key human rights treaties, the U.S. still fails to acknowledge human rights law as U.S. law. Moreover, the U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world in failing to ratify the key international instrument on women's rights and virtually alone in the world in failing to ratify the international children's rights convention.

The United States's disregard for international human rights standards has not been limited to domestic matters. During the year, it has also opposed human rights initiatives on issues of broad international interest, including landmines, child soldiers, and the creation of the International Criminal Court.
[...]

In many jails, prisons, immigration detention centers and juvenile detention facilities, confined individuals suffered from physical mistreatment, excessive disciplinary sanctions, barely tolerable physical conditions, and inadequate medical and mental health care. Unfortunately, there was little support from politicians or the public for reform.

Fifty-three percent of all state inmates were incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, while criminal justice policies increased the length of prison sentences and diminished the availability of parole. The U.S. incarcerated a greater proportion of its population than any country except Russia: more than 1.7 million people were either in prison or in jail in 1998, reflecting an incarceration rate of more than 645 per 100,000 residents, double the rate of a decade before. Approximately one in every 117 adult males was in prison.
[...]

Implementation of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) continued to violate international human rights standards that apply specifically to asylum seekers, as well as the human rights of other immigrants, through detention in often inhumane conditions.
[...]

During an eighteen-month investigation into conditions and treatment at the jails used by the INS, Human Rights Watch found that INS detainees in jails were subjected to physical mistreatment, were not provided with basic medical care, were often unable to communicate with jail staff due to language barriers, and were subjected to severe restrictions on contact with families, friends, and legal representatives-when, in the minority of cases, detainees were able to obtain legal counsel.
[...]

The mistreatment of migrant workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory in the North Pacific Ocean, received heightened scrutiny by Congress, the administration, and human rights organizations.
[...]

The United States continued to rely on the death penalty despite the international trend away from its use. Forty-five individuals were executed in 1998 as of September; the U.S. had broken its previous record in 1997, by executing a total of seventy-four persons. Among those executed were two women (the first women executed since 1984), individuals who may have been mentally ill or retarded, juvenile offenders, and foreign nationals.

In April 1998, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions released his report on the death penalty in the U.S. The special rapporteur found that the death penalty was applied in an unfair, arbitrary, and discriminatory manner. The report called for a suspension of executions until significant reforms were implemented to bring the U.S. into compliance with international human rights standards. The special rapporteur's plea for a moratorium echoed the American Bar Association's similar call in 1997. The special rapporteur criticized the U.S. practice of imposing the death penalty on juvenile offenders and on mentally retarded or mentally ill persons as ''a step backwards in the promotion and protection of the right to life'' and in contravention of international human rights standards. From 1976 to 1997, seventy-four people were released from death row due to evidence of their innocence, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).
[...]

The U.S. continued to be one of only six countries to execute persons who were younger than eighteen when they committed their crime. The imposition of the death penalty on persons who were under eighteen years of age at the time of their offense violates the provisions of several international and regional human rights instruments. Despite nearly unanimous international condemnation of the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders, six countries in the world-Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Yemen-were known to have executed juvenile offenders in the 1990s. The United States led the list with nine executions between 1990 and 1998, one-half of the known worldwide total for the period.
[...]

The U.S. continued to ignore its obligations under the Vienna Convention to notify non-national defendants of their right to contact their embassies. In April 1998, the International Court of Justice called on the U.S. to delay the execution in Virginia of a Paraguayan national, Angel Francisco Breard, until it could examine his case and decide whether the U.S.'s failure to notify the defendant of his consular rights had made a difference in his case. The U.S. decided that, with or without consular notification, Breard would have been convicted of a capital crime; the execution went ahead.
[...]

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which the U.S. has ratified under the Clinton Administration, defines discrimination more broadly than under U.S. law as any practice or policy that is discriminatory in ''purpose or effect.'' Under this standard, policies that are race-neutral on their face but have a persistently adverse impact on a racial group may rise to the level of discrimination. In the U.S., areas of concern in this regard include, among others, the impact of criminal justice policies, such as the ''war on drugs,'' application of the death penalty, and the widespread disenfranchisement of felons.

The onus of harsh criminal justice policies continued to fall disproportionately on black Americans, fueling persistent complaints of racial discrimination.
[...]

The low priority that the U.S. government gives to international human rights treaty compliance became increasingly apparent duringthe year. For example, the U.S. became a party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and CERD in 1994. Both treaties require reports to the United Nations, describing the nation's treaty compliance. The U.S. compliance reports on both treaties were due in November 1995, but as of October 1998, neither had been submitted. Other important human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, remained unratified. (Only two countries in the world have not ratified the children's rights convention: Somalia, which has no internationally recognized government, and the United States.) In addition, the administration did not move toward signing or ratifying core International Labour Organisation conventions intended to protect basic labor rights.
[...]

After Special Rapporteur Ndiaye released a report in April 1998 that was highly critical of the application of the death penalty in the U.S.-and called for a moratorium on its use, echoing a similar call by the American Bar Association-U.S. officials dismissed the report as unnecessary and inaccurate. U.S. officials were forced to defend the use of the death penalty before the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. At that time, U.S. officials argued that the nation had such strict due process standards that the rights of all capital defendants were being protected. Meanwhile, the U.S. acknowledged it had not adhered to the Vienna Convention's consular notification procedures in the case of a Paraguayan national, but the man was executed anyway, despite international and World Court protests.
[...more...]
Human Rights Developments in USAoffsite, Human Rights Watch, 1999

In light of these facts, why should any nation, any government, or any indidual put up with human rights lectures from the U.S. government?

Too, U.S. government opinion on what constitutes a human rights violation often is puzzling - to say the least. Take, for example, America's badgering of Germany on behalf of the Church of Scientology - an extremist organization that masquerades as a religion, acts like a hate group, and has been involved in criminal behavior.

Germany, pointing to the cult's record, teachings and practices, considers the organization to be a threat to society - a view shared by the publisher of Apologetics Index:

The German government considers the Scientology organization a commercial enterprise with a history of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals and an extreme dislike of any criticism. The government is also concerned that the organization's totalitarian structure and methods may pose a risk to Germany's democratic society. Several kinds of evidence have influenced this view of Scientology, including the organization's activities in the United States.
[...more...]
Scientology and GermanyOff-site Link, Germany Online



A German Embassy statement on Scientology said that ''because of its experiences during the Nazi regime, Germany has a special responsibility to monitor the development of any extreme group within its borders.''
U.S. Challenges Germany on Scientology, Washington Post, May 4, 2000

America, however, attempts to pressure Germany into accepting the cult as a legitimate religion.

An editiorial in a U.S. newspapers shows how indefensible the U.S. approach is:

As the Germans continually explain, because of their historical experience inthe 20th century, they are peculiarly sensitive to the presence of cults andextremist groups in their midst. This may seem shocking to Americans, for whomtolerance is a kind of religious doctrine, but it makes sense to Germans, whohave suffered greatly for past sins.For their part, the Scientologists have deployed all manner of crude propagandain recent years, threatening critics and drawing parallels between the Hitlerregime and legal restrictions on their cult. But the truth is that Germanregulations - which allow Scientologists to follow their leader, but bar themfrom government service - are designed to preserve German democracy, which cultslike Scientology are likely to weaken.Americans understand the value of freedom in the world, but they do notnecessarily appreciate cultural distinctions. The Germans are probably betterequipped to judge how best to nurture their free society than bureaucrats at theOffice of the U.S. Trade Representative. Everyone in the world wants to be free,but not everybody yearns to be American.
U.S., the Germans - and Scientology, San Francisco Examiner, May 13, 2000 (Editorial)

The U.S. government take a similar approach to France. But like Germany, France refuses to be bullied:

President Jacques Chirac has told Mr Clinton that religious freedom will no longer be a subject for bilateral presidential talks, in the light of what has been officially described as ''shocking'' White House' support for Scientologists and Moonies.
France to crack down on sects, The Guardian (England), June 14, 2000

Meanwhile, the USA is home to a huge and growing collection of hate groups who use America's irresponsible approach to ''free speech'' to spread hatred an intolerance around the world:

''The United States has developed into a safe haven for racists spreading their word worldwide by using the Internet,'' Swiss-based information technology law expert David Rosenthal said in a paper submitted to the conference, which started Wednesday.
Source: Internet Racism Spurs Concern at UN, Excite/AP, Feb. 16, 2000

Thus far, America has failed to take appropriate action against these dangerous groups.

See also:
» A collection of news reports on American and human rights
» Death Penalty
» It's Hard To Justify Cuban Embargo The Hartford Courant, Jan. 19, 2001 (Column, Bessy Reyna)
Secular Human Rights USAoffsite
When Americans think ''human rights,'' they assume the term applies to somewhere else. Something to worry about in Africa, or Bosnia, or Colombia. Yet human rights battles are fought on American soil every day, right in front of our faces -- in our neighborhoods, our schools, our city halls, our homes, our jails. In these places, and in many others, people struggle continually against assualts on their most basic rights. Sometimes they win triumphant victories. Sometimes they suffer crushing defeats. AlterNet's Human Rights USA page is devoted to exposing both the victories and defeats, with an eye to providing positive models and information.
Source: Human Rights USA Overviewoffsite, Accessed, Nov. 10, 2001

» Rights For AlloffsitePDF file Amnesty International's Campaign on the United States of America. Read the report. Check the facts on America's continuing use and promotion (at home and abroad) of torture. Don't go here on a full stomach.
» U.S. Bashing : It's All the Rage in Europe This opinion piece from the Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2001 goes a long way toward capturing European sentiments regarding America's policies and practices.


- Articles -
» One rule for them..., An editorial by George Monbiot, published in The Guardian (England), Mar. 25, 2003.
Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them".

He is, of course, quite right. Article 13 of the third convention, concerning the treatment of prisoners, insists that they "must at all times be protected... against insults and public curiosity". This may number among the less heinous of the possible infringements of the laws of war, but the conventions, ratified by Iraq in 1956, are non-negotiable. If you break them, you should expect to be prosecuted for war crimes.

This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defence department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.

His prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third convention.
[...]

It is not hard, therefore, to see why the US government fought first to prevent the establishment of the international criminal court, and then to ensure that its own citizens are not subject to its jurisdiction.
Source: One rule for them..., The Guardian, Mar. 25, 2003
Secular U.S. Bashing : It's All the Rage in Europe This opinion piece from the Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2001 goes a long way toward capturing European sentiments regarding America's policies and practices.
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- News : Current -
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- News Database -
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

» Religion News Blog

Older Items:
(Sep. 9, 1999) USA condemns German Scientology politics
(Sep. 9, 1999) USA: "Sect filter" violates Scientology Rights
(Sep 9, 1999) U.S. Criticizes Countries For Religious Intolerance
(May 21, 1999) Religion in the workplace: a growing legal issue
(May 18, 1999) Cult awareness conference courts protest, debate
(May 10, 1999) Church membership on the rise
(May 8, 1999) Echelon Eavesdrops Around the World Without Warrant or Court Order
(May 7, 1999) Wholly L.A.
(May 6, 1999) More college students seek religion
(May 2, 1999) Cult figures (Cult awareness conference, Canada)
(Apr. 22, 1999) Religion Becoming A Big Deal On Campus
(Apr. 17, 1999) Campus Bible studies are booming
(Apr. 20, 1999) White House Statement on Imprisonment of Baha'is in Iran
(Apr. 21, 1999) Mayor proclaims Alabama town as `City of Prayer'
(Apr. 8, 1999) In the diplomatic hot seat - religion
(Mar. 4, 1999) Germans knock U.S. justice
(Mar. 3, 1999) FBI plans to leave 'doomsday' cults alone
(Mar. 1, 1999) Beckstein criticizes Washington
(Mar. 1, 1999) US Administration supports Scientology position
(Feb. 23, 1999) Families accuse N.Y. school district of double standard in teaching religion
(Oct. 8, 1998) No Bible stories - Son silenced in school, family fights court ruling
(Sep. 29, 1998) School upheld on barring boy's Bible story reading
(Oct. 13, 1998) Congressional passage of religious freedom abroad act hailed
(Oct. 8, 1998) Man plans suit over "So help me God" phrase on assessment form
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- Organizations -
Christian Apologia Publishers of Apologia Report and host of the AR-talk mailing list (apologetics research resource information)
Christian Watchman Fellowship Christian apologetics and countercult ministry
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- Reports/Views - Governmental -
Secular Feb. 26, 2001 2000 Country Reports on Human Rights Practicesoffsite Published by America's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Annual report criticized around the world for its tendency to ignore America's human rights abuses in favor of reporting what it considers to be human rights abuses elsewhere. As always, the report favors various cults and extremist groups (e.g. Scientology) that are considered ''religions'' by the U.S. government.
Secular Sep. 5, 2000 2000 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom offsite As in the first of its annual reports, this year 2000 version - released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor U.S. Department of State - again chides various nations for their position on dangerous cults (e.g. the report attacks Germany and France). As we have come to expect of the US government, the report again fails to address human rights abuses in America itself. Few, if any, sovereign nations will bother to take America's views seriously. For example:

President Jacques Chirac has told Mr Clinton that religious freedom will no longer be a subject for bilateral presidential talks, in the light of what has been officially described as ''shocking'' White House' support for Scientologists and Moonies.
France to crack down on sects, The Guardian (England), June 14, 2000

And Germany has made its views regarding Scientology - a extremist cult defended by the United States government - very clear:

The German government considers the Scientology organization a commercial enterprise with a history of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals and an extreme dislike of any criticism. The government is also concerned that the organization's totalitarian structure and methods may pose a risk to Germany's democratic society. Several kinds of evidence have influenced this view of Scientology, including the organization's activities in the United States.
Scientology and Germanyoffsite, German Embassy in the USA

Secular Oct 31, 1999 FBI Report: Project Megiddo An FBI strategic assessment of the potential for domestic terrorism in the United States undertaken in anticipation of or response to the arrival of the new millennium. (See FBI Warns Of Millennial Violence Risk)
Secular Sep 9, 1999 U.S. State Department Report on Religious Freedomoffsite The first annual report on what the U.S. considers to be religious freedom and/or religious persecution abroad. Seen by many as an acceptable attempt to interfere with the internal business of sovereign nations. Many also consider the U.S. report to be hypocritical, seeing that it fails to address human rights abuses in America.
The report will be used by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a basis for possible punitive actions against countries deemed the most serious violators of religious freedom rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The penalties can range from a diplomatic note at one extreme to economic sanctions on the other.

- Sites -
Non-Christian Rights For AlloffsitePDF file Amnesty's Campaign against US human rights abuses
Secular Amnesty International Reports on the USAoffsite
Non-Christian HRW - United States of Americaoffsite Human Rights Watch reports on the USA
Non-Christian HRW World Report 2002 - United Statesoffsite Human Rights Watch
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USA : United States of America
First posted: Oct. 9, 1998
Last Updated: May 6, 2004
Copyright: Apologetics Index
Link to: http://www.apologeticsindex.org/usa-00.html
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