Apologetics Index
News about religious cults, sects, and alternative religions
An Apologetics Index research resource

 

Religion News Report

January 10, 2001 (Vol. 5, Issue 308) - 2/3

See Religion News Blog for the Latest news about cults,
religious sects, world religions, and related issues
Rainbow

» Continued from Part 1

=== Mormonism
16. Mormon Temple Opponents Lose Appeal
17. Religious groups back legal victory for Mormons
18. Tribune Files To Block JOA Changes

=== Hate Groups
19. Before rally, an interview with a Klan member

=== Other News
20. Tampa trial of church officials accused of fraud gets under way
21. Disasters Killed 17,000 in 2000 (includes MRTCG murders)
22. Religious group awaits resurrection
23. Bail for Man in NY Handcuff Attempt
24. Disinformation campaign on against Christians: Bishop
25. Catholics, Pentecostals in new body
25a. Protests over 'gay' Jesus play

» Part 3

=== Alternative Healing
26. US panel examines alternative medicines
27. Its medicine, not glitz
28. Centre mulls introducing Ayurveda science in US
29. Deepak Chopra's daughter puts new age healing on Net
30. No Real Way to Put Prayers to the Test
31. Hospital dedicated center to lift spirits

=== Science
32. Kan. Board To OK Science Standards
33. Sideshows of Science (CSICOP)

=== Noted
34. Poll: Politics, Religion Don't Mix
35. Britain's growing band of religious hermits



=== Mormonism

16. Mormon Temple Opponents Lose Appeal
The Associated Press, Jan. 8, 2001
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link

WASHINGTON (AP) - Opponents of a large new Mormon temple near Boston lost a Supreme Court challenge Monday to a Massachusetts zoning law they said gives unconstitutional advantages to religious groups.

The court, without comment, turned down the opponents' argument that the zoning law violates the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.

The 1950 state law says zoning ordinances cannot ban the construction of buildings for religious uses in any zoning area, although they can set requirements for size, height, parking and open space on a lot.

The law was challenged in 1998 after the Mormon church started construction on a new $30 million temple in Belmont, a suburb of Boston. The 69,000-square-foot structure, on a hilltop surrounded by private homes, has been completed and was dedicated on Oct. 1.

The opponents said the state law violates the Constitution's First Amendment ban on government establishment of religion. A separate lawsuit over the height of the temple's planned 139-foot steeple is ongoing.
[...more...]


17. Religious groups back legal victory for Mormons
Boston Globe, Jan. 9, 2001
http://www.boston.com/Off-site Link

Catholics, Protestants, and Jews yesterday welcomed a Supreme Court decision upholding the right of Mormons to build a giant temple in Belmont, saying the decision guarantees continued freedom for religious groups in Massachusetts.

A wide variety of religious groups had been closely watching the case in which three neighbors were seeking to have the temple, which opened last October, bulldozed. The neighbors argued unsuccessfully that the state law allowing the Mormons to build the giant temple in a residential neighborhood, despite zoning rules that would have prohibited other buildings of similar size, violated a constitutional prohibition against the government establishment of religion.

''Many religious bodies have had a deep concern about this case, and we're pleased with the outcome,'' said the Rev. Diane C. Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. ''The longstanding respect for free exercise of religion has been affirmed by this decision, and we're grateful for the consistent sensitivity of the court.''
[...more...]


18. Tribune Files To Block JOA Changes
AP, Jan. 9, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/Off-site Link

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Tribune has taken its new owner, MediaNews Group Inc., to federal court again, this time over suggested changes to the newspaper's joint operating agreement with the Mormon church-owned Deseret News.

The Tribune on Monday asked U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell to block the amendments, claiming they would violate the Tribune managers' contractual right to buy back the newspaper in 2002 and run it in the interim. The paper also asked permission to revise its previous lawsuit and include the Deseret News, its first legal attack on its longtime rival.

The Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co. already sued MediaNews, which owns the Denver Post and 46 other daily newspapers, to block its purchase of the paper from AT&T for $200 million, but Judge Campbell allowed the sale to proceed.

Upon completing the sale last week, MediaNews rewrote the JOA to let the Deseret News switch to morning publication - a move the 135,000-circulation Tribune has opposed - and to give the afternoon paper veto power over any future Tribune sale.

MediaNews also removed Tribune publisher Dominic Welch from his post as president of the Newspaper Agency Corp., which runs the papers' shared printing, advertising and circulation departments. And MediaNews chief executive officer W. Dean Singleton and chief financial officer Jody Lodovic replaced Welch and Tribune chief operating officer Randy Frisch on the NAC board.

But the Tribune claims it has the right to represent the paper on the board and appoint its president.
[...more...]


=== Hate Groups

19. Before rally, an interview with a Klan member
Daily Northwestern/U-Wire, Jan. 9, 2001
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link

(U-WIRE) EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Grand Dragon of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Michael McQueeney, staged a rally of approximately 20 Klan members Dec. 16 in Skokie. The 400 protesters included many members of the Jewish Defense League. Twenty people were arrested, mostly protesters. McQueeney's car was bashed. He warns Irv Rubin, chairman of the JDL, that what goes around comes around.

McQueeney, also a major in the Aryan Nation, has recently applied for a permit to hold a Klan rally Jan. 20 in Gary, Ind. The rally is intended to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, only a few days after Northwestern and the rest of the country celebrate his birth. McQueeney has handpicked Gary because it is 99 percent black. He will find out from Gary if he has permission to rally Wednesday.

What follows are excerpts from a conversation between ''you Oriental'' reporter and the second most-powerful Klansman in the country.

CHOI: What is your single greatest message?

MCQUEENEY: Not to race mix. I suggest that blacks should not race mix, I say that Orientals shouldn't race mix, and whites should stay with their own breed, and go to bed at night, and breed, breed and breed. And that's what I say to every white person out there. And we're gonna keep that white thing going.
(...)

C: How important are young people to the KKK? Do you recruit them?

M: I personally tell everybody, don't even talk to me until you're at least 19, 20. I would never teach a child about hatred or white supremacy. If you're 20, come to me and I'll teach you how to hate. I'll teach you about the (blacks) and the Jews. But don't talk to me when you're children.

C: Do you think people develop hatred, then?

M: I hope so. I did.
[...more...]


=== Other News

20. Tampa trial of church officials accused of fraud gets under way
AP, Jan. 9, 2001
http://www.miamiherald.com/Off-site Link

TAMPA -- (AP) -- Prosecutors say they intend to use videotapes seized during a raid to help prove that five former church officials bilked investors out of $1 million in a pyramid scheme.

Jury selection was set to begin Monday in the trial of Gerald Payne, his wife, Betty, pastor Haywood ``Don'' Hall, David Whitfield and Patrick H. Talbert.

They were allegedly among seven members of the Greater Ministries International Church who spearheaded the lucrative scheme, in which money from later investors was used to pay off earlier investors.

From 1993 to 1998, parishioners of the Tampa-based church were told they could double investments of $250 or more in 17 months, authorities allege.

Investigators estimate as many as 18,000 people from across the country invested as much as $500 million, money the church said came from shrewd deals in gold and platinum mines and generous interest from overseas banks.
(...)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Mosakowski said church elders pocketed 5 percent commissions -- amounting to more than $1.3 million -- for recruiting people into the scheme.
(...)

``This was no scheme,'' Payne said in court papers, ``but a true Christian program of the church, which, through divine guidance, was able to bless people who donated funds approximately twice the amount.''
[...more...]


21. Disasters Killed 17,000 in 2000
The Associated Press, Jan. 10, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/Off-site Link

GENEVA -- Major catastrophes, including widespread flooding and the mass killing of members of a doomsday cult, claimed 17,000 lives in 2000 and caused losses totaling $38 billion, a company that monitors world disasters said Wednesday.
(...)

''The number of fatalities from man-made disasters - almost 9,000 - was significantly above the average for the past decade,'' the company, widely known as SwissRe, said.
(...)

The deaths in Uganda of some 780 people belonging to the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments was the fourth most deadly catastrophe of the year, said the company, known as SwissRe. Police are treating the deaths as murders.
(...)

On the Net:
SwissRe site: http://www.swissre.comOff-site Link
[...more...]

* Sidebar:

Swiss Re's Deadly Disaster List
The Associated Press, Jan. 10, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/Off-site Link

Catastrophes with the highest number of fatalities:
1. End of August: Floods in India and Bangladesh - 1,200.
2. Feb. 6: Floods in Mozambique, South Africa - 920.
3. July 4: Floods in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos - 880.
4. March: The killing of doomsday cult members in Uganda - 780.
5. Aug. 2: Floods in India, Nepal and Bhutan - 621.
[...more...]


22. Religious group awaits resurrection
Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand), Jan. 7, 2001
http://beta.yellowbrix.com/Off-site Link

Dressed in white with a silver whistle draped around his neck, Luke Lee purses his lips, excuses himself and blows abruptly into his whistle.

Demons are in the air, he announces. He flashes a quick grin before answering questions.

From inside his modest Mt Roskill home, dull chanting rings out from members of his Lord Of All religious group. Lee stands outside and explains to the Star-Times - often through an interpreter - why the death of a woman after an exorcism in the house was a ''miracle''.

Lee said God told him after she died that dying was the woman's plan and she would come back to life. God was going to show her ''all about heaven'' and bring her back to life to prove it existed.

Lee said many people in New Zealand did not believe in Jesus Christ. The woman's death - and eventual re-birth - would prove to them God was alive. He said it was a sign, a ''miracle''.

Lord Of All had about 20 members, said Lee. Most were Korean, but there were also Maori and Burmese members.
(...)

Exactly how the woman died is being investigated by police but Lee shed some light on how members performed the exorcism.
(...)

If deliverance was being performed on a man, explained Lee, a man's hand would be placed on the chest. If it was a woman, a woman's hand would be used.

In the victim's case, the interpreter explained, they put a woman's hand on her and then a man's.
(...)

''At first they thought she wasn't dead,'' he said through the interpreter, ''but her body start getting cold and stiff and that's when they tried to resuscitate her.''
(...)

Lee said the group did not want to raise a ''false alarm'' by contacting authorities. They were praying and expected the woman would come back to life any moment.
(...)

Lee suggested the Star-Times keep a close eye on the house to witness the woman's return.
[...more...]


23. Bail for Man in NY Handcuff Attempt
AP, Jan. 10, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/Off-site Link

NEW YORK -- A Manhattan judge on Tuesday set bail at $15,000 for a man who tried to handcuff himself to Roman Catholic Archbishop Edward Egan during a New Year's Mass.

Timothy Byrne remained in custody and was found mentally fit to stand trial. Criminal Court Judge Patricia Nunez said she set bail based on Byrne's show of contempt for authority and his family's apparent inability to control him.
(...)

Byrne is charged with disruption of a religious service, resisting arrest, and unlawful imprisonment, all misdemeanors. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
[...more...]


24. Disinformation campaign on against Christians: Bishop
The Times of India/PTI (India), Jan. 10, 2001
http://www.timesofindia.com/Off-site Link

BHUBANESWAR: The Christian leaders here have strongly decried the allegation that the church was converting people either forcibly or through allurement and inducement.

``A disinformation campaign has been continuing in this regard falsely accusing the minority community,'' archbishop of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar Diocese, Raphael Cheenath said Tuesday night.

Releasing a book Jibanta Dagdha, Oriya version of the book Burnt Alive - the Staines and the God, Cheenath said the Christians in the country were living in ``fear'' though the Constitution guaranteed them the freedom to profess, practice and propagate their faith.
(...)

The book, written on the life and work of the slain Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons, was translated into Oriya by Pradip Kumar Das.

Das, a prominent church leader, claimed that 26 million Christians had been killed in the world during the 20th century alone for their faith in Christ, particularly in China, the Soviet Bloc, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia and Uganda.
[...more...]


25. Catholics, Pentecostals in new body
UPI, Jan. 5, 2001
http://www.vny.com/Off-site Link

PRINCETON, NJ, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Only hours after the Right Rev. Richard Grein resigned as Episcopal bishop of New York Friday, he was elected Moderator of a new and unique ecumenical body.

The Foundation for a Conference on Faith and Order in North America, which constituted itself in Princeton that same day, encompasses not only mainline Protestant denominations but also the Roman Catholic Church, English-speaking and Hispanic Pentecostals, and Evangelicals.

Unlike other ecumenical organizations in the U.S., it also includes Canadian churches.
(...)

Among the board's 16 members are church leaders of national and world renown: William Cardinal Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore, Md.; Archbishop Dimitrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Diocese in America; professor Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary (evangelical); and Cheryl Bridges Johns, associated professor at the Church of God Theological Seminary (Pentecostal); Thomas Gillespie, President of Princeton Theological Seminary (Presbyterian).

The call for a two-week Faith and Order Conference to be convened in 2004 was the brainchild of veteran Lutheran ecumenist William G. Rusch. He headed this appeal with Christ's last prayer for his disciples ''that they may all be one'' (John 17:20-21).

This ''Call to the Churches'' acknowledged that ''the church's unity is deeply wounded, and its evangelism and holiness of life both suffer. If we are saved from disobedience, it will be the gift of the Father by the Spirit, in response to the Son's petition.''

During its inaugural meeting Friday in Princeton's Center of Theological
Inquiry, the new foundation's executive board clarified its goals.

One is to ''re-energize'' the churches. ``This requires enhanced unity
between them,'' the board stated. At the same time, the churches' respective
identities would have to be furthered.

The board's statement is carefully worded. But in conversations with
United Press International, several members pointed to the difference in
emphasis between its goals and those of some other ecumenical endeavors.
[...more...]

25a. Protests over 'gay' Jesus play
Ananova, Jan. 9, 2001
http://www.ananova.com/Off-site Link

Outraged Christians in Australia have condemned a play which shows a gay Jesus kissing Judas.
(...)
Protesters have jammed the venue's switchboard and vowed to picket performances, which are part of the gay and lesbian Midsumma arts festival.

Churches have condemned the play which was almost axed when it ran in New York because religious fanatics threatened to burn down the theatre and douse audiences in acid.
(...)

Melbourne's Anglican Archbishop Peter Watson said the church was against censorship, but the play was historically inaccurate. ''There is no evidence to suggest that Jesus Christ or his apostles were homosexual,'' he said.

''Indeed, many Christians will find it offensive to subject the historical Jesus and the object of their faith to this exploration of a controversial issue. ''
[...more...]


» Part 3

Home | How To Use | About | Contact
Look, "feel" and original content are Copyright 1996-2024+ Apologetics Index
Copyright and Linking information