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Religious Intolerance

  1. -10-16-07 Moderate Muslims Speak to Christians (Christian Science Monitor)
      "The open letter from 138 prominent Muslims – including imams, ayatollahs, grand muftis, sheikhs, and scholars – said 'the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians,' urgent language indicating a concern that tensions between the two faiths are in danger of spiraling out of control."

      "The Muslim signatories are authoritative, representing all major schools of Islamic thought, as well as influential at the grass-roots level, say scholars of Islam."

      "With its call for finding common ground in the foundational principles shared by the two faiths, the letter presents a significant counterweight to the voices of radical Islam on the global stage and is being heralded by Christian clergy and scholars as of historic import." 10-07

  2. -Editorial: A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation (New York Times - Meacham)
      "In an interview with last weekend, Mr. McCain repeated what is an article of faith among many American evangelicals: 'the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.' "

      However, "the only acknowledgment of God in the original Constitution is a utilitarian one: the document is dated 'in the year of our Lord 1787.' Even the religion clause of the First Amendment is framed dryly and without reference to any particular faith. The Connecticut ratifying convention debated rewriting the preamble to take note of God’s authority, but the effort failed."

      "Thomas Jefferson said that his bill for religious liberty in Virginia was 'meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination.' When George Washington was inaugurated in New York in April 1789, Gershom Seixas, the hazan of Shearith Israel, was listed among the city’s clergymen (there were 14 in New York at the time) — a sign of acceptance and respect. The next year, Washington wrote the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I., saying, 'happily the government of the United States ... gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. ... Everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.' " 10-07

  1. -Editorial: Terrorist Attacks Are Not About the Religion of Islam (
      "When the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross in a black family’s yard, prominent Christians aren’t required to explain how these aren’t really Christian acts. Most people already realize that the KKK doesn’t represent Christian teachings. That’s what I and other Muslims long for—the day when these terrorists praising the Prophet Muhammad or Allah’s name as they debase their actual teachings are instantly recognized as thugs disguising themselves as Muslims. It’s like bank robbers wearing masks of presidents; we don’t really think Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush hit the Bank of America during their down time."

      "We can’t end terrorism any more than we can end crime in general. Ironically, terrorism is actually an act against the very religion they claim to believe in."

      "I look forward to the day when an act of terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims will be universally dismissed as nothing more than a criminal attack of a thuggish political organization wearing an ill-fitting Muslim mask. To get to that point, we will need to teach our communities what the real beliefs of Islam are." 01-15

  2. -Former British Prime Minister Focuses on Faith (
      "In two long conversations with Blair recently, I explored his conviction that religion matters—that it shapes what people believe and how they behave, that it is vital to understanding our world, that it can be used to improve the lot of humankind. But if not engaged seriously, Blair thinks, faith can be used to induce ignorance, fear and a withdrawal of communities into mutually antagonistic spheres at just the time that globalization is breaking down barriers between peoples and nations. 'Faith is part of our future,' Blair says, 'and faith and the values it brings with it are an essential part of making globalization work.' For Blair, the goal is to rescue faith from the twin challenges of irrelevance—the idea that religion is no more than an interesting aspect of history—and extremism. Blair and those working with him think religion is key to the global agenda. 'You can't hope to understand what's happening in the world if you don't know that religion is a very important force in people's lives,' says Ruth Turner, 37, formerly a top aide to Blair in 10 Downing Street, who will head the foundation. 'You can't make the world work properly unless you understand that, while not everyone will believe in God or have a spiritual life, a lot of people will.' Blair, she says, has been thinking about these issues 'for decades and decades and decades.' Over time, says Blair of the foundation's work, 'this is how I want to spend the rest of my life.' " 05-08

  3. Camps for Youths Training to "Fight for Jesus" (ABC News)
      " 'I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places,' Fisher said. Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

      " 'A lot of people die for God,' one camper said, 'and they're not afraid.' "

      "This camp is, by many accounts, a small — and perhaps extreme — slice of what some say is a growing, intensifying evangelical youth movement." 09-06


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