Gay marriage:

  • AG suggests bill: same-sex benefits without marriage | Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly yesterday said he believes the Supreme Judicial Court's decision on gay marriage does not require the state to issue traditional marriage licenses to gay couples, and suggested the Legislature should test the ruling with a bill that offers same-sex couples full protections and benefits without allowing them to marry. (The Boston Globe)

  • A common missed conception | Why religious people are against gay marriage. (Steven Waldman, Slate)

  • A question of civil rights | Sodom and Gomorrah will not spring forth fully formed along the streets of America should this nation develop legal recognition for gay couples who want the same civil rights as straight couples. Our churches will not evaporate into the ether. (J.R. Labbe, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

  • Amid acceptance of gays, a split on marriage issue | As friends, work colleagues and lunch buddies, Niema Faulkner and Helene Hall never knew how differently they viewed gay marriages until a Massachusetts court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the state's Constitution. (The New York Times)

  • Court decision unites foes of many stripes | The state Supreme Judicial Court's support for gay marriage in Massachusetts has thrust together Christians who normally can't even agree on what books belong in the Bible. (Boston Herald)

  • Gay marriage issue dominates U.S. Sunday news interview shows | Congressional opponents of same-sex marriages say a constitutional amendment will be needed to safeguard the institution of matrimony in the United States, following a recent controversial state supreme court decision. (Voice of America)

  • Gay marriage ruling draws derision, praise | Some denounced same-sex marriage as "an abomination," an affront to every message spelled out in the word of God. Others said, however, that times have changed, that the old notions of relationships and families no longer hold. And still others drew a sharp distinction, saying that a same-sex union may be permissible at city hall but certainly not within their own congregations. (The Washington Post)

  • Gay marriage: an issue that divides the faithful | America's deeply rooted religious convictions are coming to the fore on the most contentious issue to face the country since abortion. (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Gays have powerful case in spite of Bush | The decision provoked the greatest outcry here since June when the Supreme Court struck down Texan anti-sodomy laws, a ruling which effectively overturned similar bans which existed in 12 other U.S. states. (South Australia Advertiser, Australia)

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  • Hill action on gay unions seen as unlikely this year | A pending amendment in the House has not been given a hearing this year, let alone considered for committee or full floor votes, and no legislation has been introduced in the Senate. (The Washington Times)

  • Poll: Voters favor gay benefits and marriage | Bay State voters overwhelmingly back granting expansive benefits to gay couples and narrowly approve of legalizing gay marriage, a new Boston Sunday Herald poll shows. (Milford Daily News, Mass.)

  • Polls find Mass. gay marriage ruling OK | Two new polls released Sunday show Massachusetts lawmakers could be bucking public opinion if they try to thwart the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling last week that found the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. (Associated Press)

  • The binary nature of marriage: The point of two | A simple majority of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ripped marriage from its historical, cultural and common law foundation and reconstructed it as "an evolving paradigm." (Grove City College Opinion Editorial Syndicate)

  • The judge on the front lines of culture war | Massachusetts' top justice made history, and drew fury, with Tuesday's ruling on gay marriage (The Christian Science Monitor)


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  • Gay storm bishop to go on leave | A bishop who caused a storm after suggesting that gay people should seek medical help is to take sabbatical leave next year. (Manchester Online)

  • Is Christianity relevant or not? | Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral will tonight provide the setting for a debate which asks: Is Christianity still relevant? (Liverpool Echo, UK)

  • Jensen offers 'refuge' to unhappy faithful | Disgruntled Uniting Church conservatives have welcomed an offer of refuge from Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen. Dr Jensen has offered the resources of his wealthy Sydney diocese — believed to have assets worth $3 billion — to Uniting Church members opposed to their church's August decision to allow gay and lesbian clergy. (, Australia)

  • Jensen threatens to switch allegiances | Sydney's moderate Anglicans are outraged at Archbishop Peter Jensen's threat to transfer his flock's moral allegiance from the Archbishop of Canterbury to a Nigerian cleric who says homosexuality is an abomination. (Sydney Morning Herald)

  • New bishop welcomed with open arms in Portsmouth | After five months in the spotlight of worldwide controversy, Bishop V. Gene Robinson was with friends Sunday, appearing in Portsmouth to preach, share how he deals with adversity and hear the praises of those welcomed back to the Episcopal Church by his message. (Portsmouth Herald, N.H.)

  • Oriental Orthodox dialogue on hold | The Anglican Communion said Monday that the Oriental Orthodox churches have suspended ecumenical talks until the Anglicans settle their internal disputes over homosexuality. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Our services are dire, says CofE's head of worship | The Church of England bishop in charge of worship says services are dire, incompetent and owe more to entertainment than spirituality. (Telegraph, U.K.)

  • Role of women in church varies | When people began leaving their Episcopal churches in 2000 for the new Anglican Mission in America, they were united by frustration. (Fayetteville Observer, N.C.)

  • Same-sex pacts backed | The former Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday said there could be a case for same-sex civil partnerships as long as they were not called marriages. (icWales, U.K.)

  • The Anglicans' fast track to oblivion | G.K. Chesterton once remarked: "He who marries the spirit of the age soon finds himself a widower." The Anglican Church of Canada is the best example I know of the wisdom of Chesterton's remark. (Ian Hunter, National Post)

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  • West Indian Anglican Church rejects gay bishop | The Anglican Church in the West Indies says it will not break away from the Episcopal Church in the United States at this time, opting instead to await the findings of a commission set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury to examine the legal and theological implications of a controversial embrace of homosexuality by two of the church's districts in North America. (The Jamaica Observer)

  • Uganda cut ties with Episcopalians | The Anglican Church of Uganda is the second national church to server ties with the Episcopal Church over the election of a gay bishop. (Rainbow Network, U.K.)

  • 'United Church' bitterly divided over property | A conflict over property from the days of British India, worth millions of pounds, has increased in vehemence after a forged claim that the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan supports gay clergy, and a further claim that he supports the drinking of alcohol. The Church's one million members are now split into two factions. (Church Times, U.K.)


  • Christian right looks toward supreme court races | The debate over public display of the Ten Commandments, and Moore's defiance of a federal court order to move the monument, could be a key issue in next year's races for three Supreme Court seats. (WTVM, Ga.)

  • Conservatives aim to curb power of federal courts | coalition of conservative groups, angered by last week's ouster of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, vowed yesterday to mobilize "millions" of Americans to pressure Congress to pass laws restricting federal courts' powers. (The Washington Times)

  • Religious leaders start anti-Bush push | Mixing preaching with politics, several liberal and moderate religious leaders have started a political group to oppose President Bush's re-election and policies. (Associated Press)

  • Leadership Network demands new group drop name | Dallas-based Leadership Network Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works with churches to develop more effective ministries, demanded Thursday that the newly formed Clergy Leadership Network in Washington stop all uses of that name. (Associated Press)

  • Talk radio host Patrick puts off run | Dan Patrick has decided to keep talking on the radio a little longer before he decides whether to talk on the campaign stump. (Houston Chronicle)

Church and state:

  • 'Civic' God disturbs more than atheists | While the personal expression of religious freedom was an appropriate rebuttal to the suppression of religious liberty in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the violation of such liberty by congressional fiat here at home was not. (Frank Pasquale, The Oregonian)

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  • Debunking The Great Lie Of Separation | Article I of the Constitution states, in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." (The Chattanoogan, Tenn.)

  • DMV puts no-photo driver's licenses to the test | The agency is challenging a court decision that has allowed some to avoid being photographed for religious reasons. (Los Angeles Times)

  • Ed Schempp dies; plaintiff in landmark '63 prayer suit | Because the high court joined the Schempp case with one brought by militant atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, O'Hair achieved the media attention and Mr. Schempp became a largely forgotten figure. (The Washington Post)

  • Edward Schempp, Who Fought School Bible Readings, Dies at 95 | Edward L. Schempp, a parent whose lawsuit against the required reading of Bible verses in school led to a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1963 restricting such practices, died on Nov. 8 at a nursing home in Hayward, Calif. He was 95. (The New York Times)

  • Finnish Church supports reference to Christianity | The Finnish archbishop Jukka Paarma would like his country to support a clear reference to Christianity in the future European Constitution. (, Belgium)

  • God resolution passes | After the speakers had their say, county commissioners passed the resolution by a 14-6 vote, with one commissioner abstaining. The vote did not come easily or quickly, as some commissioners were torn between their religious beliefs and their duties on the commission. (Maryville Daily Times, Tenn.)

  • GOP speaker defends Christianity | David Limbaugh gave the keynote address at the area Republican dinner. (Gainesville Sun, Fla.)

  • Illinois school in church-state fight | So few paid much attention when school officials took a Texas-based evangelist up on his offer to hold secular assemblies next week on the dangers of drugs and alcohol — until now. (Associated Press)

  • Japan's holy wildcard | A small party based on Buddhism is emerging as the new kingmaker in Japanese politics. (Time)

  • Judge: Church can show cross | A church can display a cross and a sign reading "Jesus is the reason for the season" in a holiday lights attraction at a Broward County park, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. (Orlando Sentinel)

  • Lawsuit: Sculpture violates separation of church, state | A lawsuit over a work of art at a Las Cruces school is stirring strong emotions, and has opened a new debate over the separation of church and state. (KOB-TV, N.M.)

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Ten Commandments:

  • Baptists Endorse 10 Commandments Monument | Alabama Baptists endorsed the public display of a Ten Commandments monument but distanced themselves from the ousted state Supreme Court chief justice who disobeyed a federal court order in his fight to keep the monument in view. (Associated Press)

  • Exclusive photo essay: God in the temples of government | These pictures are a small sampling of the many religious images scattered throughout government buildings in D.C. and around the country. (Human Events Online)

  • Fla. House moves to protect commandments | Conservative state lawmakers are joining a campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution so the Ten Commandments can be posted in public places such as schools and courts. (Associated Press)

  • Georgia county ordered to remove commandments displays | Federal judge says commissioners left no question about the religious purpose behind postings at county courthouse, public swimming pool (Associated Press)

  • Groups seek Ten Commandments protections | Conservative religious groups began a petition drive Monday to demand that Congress legislate to protect displays of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. (Associated Press)

  • It's ironic how America drifted from Commandments | As you walk up the steps to the Supreme Court building you can see near the top a row of the world's lawgivers each facing toward the middle where Moses and the Ten Commandments face forward. (Larry M. Carda, Sioux City Journal, Iowa)

  • Legislators to push for amendment | Group wants to allow posting of Ten Commandments. (Associated Press)

  • Ten Commandments scatter Florida politicians | A national campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow prayer and the Ten Commandments in public places gets mixed reviews from local lawmakers and religious leaders. (Florida Today)

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Roy Moore:

  • 75 rally in Columbia to limit federal sway over religious issues | Conservative Christians held rallies across the nation Saturday to support Moore, who was removed as Alabama's chief justice 10 days ago. Moore refused to obey a court order to move a Ten Commandments monument he had placed in the rotunda of that state's highest court. (Knight Ridder)

  • Federal Lawsuit Alleges Moore Illegally Ousted | Plaintiff Contends Power To Remove Judge Rests With State Legislature. (, Ala.)

  • Former Alabama Chief Justice Speaks To Local Church Group | Moore Says He Has No Regrets (Associated Press)

  • No more Justice Moore | When the federal courts say what the Constitution means, the duty of every state court judge in the nation is to obey. (The Washington Post)

  • Rallies back judge in monument fight | At S.C. State House and across nation, protesters dub Ten Commandments justice a hero. (The State, S.C.)

  • Roy's resurrection | The removal from office of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore would seem to bring to a close the saga of conflict over his decision to install — and refusal to remove — a 5,000-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the state's Judicial Building. But while Moore is off the bench, he isn't out of the spotlight — and his battle and his political career are far from over. (Mother Jones)

  • Survey: Moore wrongly removed | Respondents to a new statewide poll said they don't think Roy Moore's Ten Commandments crusade should have cost him his job. Many also said they would vote for the former state Supreme Court chief justice if he ran for U.S. senator or even president next year. (, Ala.)

  • Voter suits aim at helping ex-Ala. judge | Federal lawsuits filed by voters Thursday claim an ethics panel lacked the authority to remove Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for defying a judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument. (Associated Press)

  • Uprooting our Biblical foundation | Given the public outcry about the federal court's order for the removal of Judge Roy Moore's Ten Commandments display, I'm surprised there isn't as much alarm about the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to sanctify gay marriage. (David Limbaugh,

Bush—Christians, Muslims worship same God:

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  • A soldier's faith | His months deployed as chaplain of the 877th Engineer Battalion, a Hamilton, Ala.-based National Guard unit now in Iraq have given him "a broader view of God's creation and work in the world." (, Ala.)

  • Aid agencies pulling out of Iraq as violence rises | Bush asks the groups not to leave but, as in Afghanistan, many find that insurgents are targeting their staff and hindering relief efforts (Los Angeles Times)

  • Critic discusses liberals, Iraq | "This is a religious war, not against Islam but for Christianity, for a Christian nation," Ann Coulter said in a debate. (The Daily Northwestern, Evanston, Ill.)

  • Not an inch | The departure of George W. Bush from his state visit to Britain last week is a salutary moment to consider the worth of his invasion of Iraq — aided by Tony Blair — earlier this year. And what one can say without a shadow of doubt is that the fall of Saddam Hussein has benefited more Muslims than Christians. (, U.K.)


  • Alleged bombing plotter claims a set-up | A federal magistrate says alleged bombing-plotter Stephen Jordi is a danger to the community and must remain in custody. (The Miami Herald)

  • Chaplain comforts Istanbul bereaved | Among victims of the bombings in Istanbul yesterday (Thursday 20 November) was the British Consul-General, Roger Short, a regular member of the English-speaking Church of England congregation of Christ Church, Istanbul. (Church Times, U.K.)

  • Chaplain gives comfort at disaster scenes from 9/11 to San Diego | Disasters have been a part of Chaplain Ray Giunta's life since 1987, which is when he began reaching out to people in crisis. School shootings. Hurricanes. The Oklahoma City bombing. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Giunta has been there with his national, nondenominational outreach called We Care Ministries. (San Diego Union Tribune, CA)

  • Culture clash in bomb-hit city | The wave of suicide bombings in Istanbul has focused fresh attention on the country's unique position — where East meets West, Europe meets Asia and Christianity meets Islam. (BBC)

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  • FBI probing taping of Md. Jewish school | The FBI is investigating a Saudi college student and his American wife who recently videotaped a Jewish school in Baltimore and said they sent the footage to Saudi Arabia, according to law enforcement officials and community leaders who know about the case. (The Boston Globe)

  • For jury, question is close to home | Moving the sniper trial to a devoutly Christian part of Virginia with a strong military presence plays into the strategy of both sides, the Tribune's Frank James writes. (Chicago Tribune)

  • From village boy to soldier, martyr and, many say, saint | Russia's new unofficial saint, a casualty of the war in Chechnya, has been canonized not by the church but by a groundswell of popular adoration. (The New York Times)

  • Terrorism is nothing more than murder | The attack on two Turkish synagogues is not just an instance of terrorism. It is the deliberate targeting of civilians that reflects the virulent anti-Semitism that has despoiled our world for centuries. (Doug Bandow,

  • The Pigeonholing of Religious Combatants | You can't analyze religion with categories like 'liberal' and 'conservative' that ultimately stem from politics." Everyone who regularly writes about religion has heard that complaint, and felt some sympathy with it. (The New York Times)

  • US will be expelled from Afghanistan: Mullah Omar | In a hard-hitting statement faxed Sunday to The News by Taliban Islamic Movement spokesman Hamid Agha, Omar alleged the Jews and Christians were focusing on issues like the constitution and elections as an excuse to prolong the stay of foreign military forces in Afghanistan. (Hindustan Times, India)


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  • Sudanese bishop to visit the Bay Area | It is hard to believe, at a time when Muslims worldwide are looking at the atrocities in Iraq and Palestine, that there are no Muslim-led investigations into the longest civil war in world history between the Islamic led Sudanese government in the north and the Christian, Animist, and yes, even Muslim population, in the south. (San Francisco Bay View)

Religious freedom:

  • Block on Christian converts in Indonesia | Christian organisations may face curbs on preaching and people of different religions could be banned from marrying under controversial new laws being considered by Indonesia. (Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia)

  • Belarus: Religious freedom survey, November 2003 | In its survey analysis of the religious freedom situation in Belarus, Forum 18 News Service notes the various ways in which the Belarusian state limits religious freedom. (Forum 18 News Service)

  • Indonesia could ban inter-religious marriages | With an eye on next year's elections, where Islamic-affiliated parties are expected to drain support from President Megawati Sukarnoputri's bid to retain office, hardline Muslim groups are drafting laws to combat Christianity's spread in the world's largest Muslim country. (New Zealand Herald)

  • Iranian man wins U.S. reprieve | Convert to Christianity gets new asylum hearing after saying that he and his family face execution if they are sent back home. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Missionaries rouse Sri Lankan Buddhists' wrath | 'Unethical' fundamentalist Christian sects, backed by copious American funding, have been targeting the poorer sections of Sri Lankan society. (The Observer, London)

  • Narrow views long past their sell-by dates | Religious extremists in Northern Ireland must face up to the reality that the preconceived notions they have of others are long past their sell-by date, a leading cleric said yesterday. (icNorthern Ireland, UK)

  • NI extremists 'must face reality' | Religious extremists in Northern Ireland must face up to the reality that the preconceived notions they have of others are long past their sell by date, a leading cleric said today. (UTV, Ireland)

  • Saudi enforcers of religious rules feared, endured | The muttawas, backed by the Saudi government, say they are simply working for Islam. (Associated Press)

Nigeria attacks:

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  • 13 churches, houses torched in fresh crisis | No fewer than 13 Churches and many houses have been torched in Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa State, following the outbreak of religious crisis in the ancient town. (This Day, Nigeria)

  • Muslim rioters burn 13 churches in north Nigeria | Islamic militants burned to the ground thirteen churches and several houses in a remote northern Nigerian town after a Christian student was accused of blasphemy, police said on Thursday. (Reuters)

China persecution:

  • China sends Bible owners to labour camps | Villagers in southern China's Guangxi province accused local police on Tuesday of arresting Bible owners and sentencing them to labour camps as part as a campaign to weed out "illegal religious organizations." (AFP)

Vietnam persecution:

India persecution:

  • Bandra refuses to lower its crosses | More than 36 old crosses here are threatened by bulldozers, so it's not surprising that their stories dominated a heritage walk through the area on Saturday. (Times of India, India)

  • Christian body flays attack on missionaries | The National Congress of Indian Christians (NCIC) youth wing has appealed to the Election Commission to derecognise the Bharatiya Janata Party as a political party as it had violated the oath of 'allegiance to secularism and is seeking votes in the name of religion.' (The Times of India)

  • India leader calls Christianity an AIDS virus | According to Jeff King, President, International Christian Concern, there are leaders in India who consider Christianity a "virus". They parallel it to AIDS — spreading to destroy. (

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  • India News: Bajrang Dal burns effigy of Christ | Tension has gripped an Orissa district after members of the Hindu radical group Bajrang Dal burnt an effigy of Christ to protest religious conversions. (New Kerala, India)

  • Hindus urged to curb 'Muslim threat' by having big families | A radical Hindu political party in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, which is a key ally of the country's ruling party, is encouraging Hindus to have more children because of fears of a Muslim population explosion. (The Guardian, U.K.)

  • Naxals beat pastor, son to death in AP | Naxalites of the outlawed People's War (PW) have beaten to death a pastor and his son at Jamparala, a tribal village in the interior forest area, in this district last night, suspecting them to be police informers. (The Hindu)