religious freedom

Obama administration: asleep on issue of religious coercion in the military?

One thing I don't get about the Obama administration: why isn't it using its authority to clean out the religious fanatics who have made big inroads in using the U.S. military as a coercive mission field for evangelical Christians?

RLUIPA, religious freedom and the New York Islamic center

It's pretty interesting how some of the Jewish groups that have been so hot over the years to prevent local governments from impinging on the right of Jews to build synagogues without government interference are now silent in the face of the effort to block the “ground zero” mosque in lower Manhattan.

Mets Claim Foul on Reports of Shabbat Ruling

08/16/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Reports saying that a judge ruled that the New York Mets' ballpark must allow a kosher-food vendor to sell its products on the Jewish Sabbath "mischaracterize the court's verbal ruling," the team said.

According to a report in The New York Daily News, as well as the New York Post, a Brooklyn federal judge ruled that Kosher Sports Inc. should be allowed to sell its products on Friday nights and Saturdays at Citi Field in Queens.

Minarets in the Sand, the "Ground Zero" mosque and religious freedom

I've stayed out of the ugly debate over the “ground zero mosque” that's not really at Ground Zero and not exactly a mosque, in part because I don't understand all the vast complexity of issue, in part because it's summer and I'm at the beach and not in the mood for all this indignation.

But one of the comments I keep hearing from opponents is driving me crazy.

There are actually several variants, but they all come down to the same thing:

Islam can "build the mosque when Saudi Arabia allows a shul in Mecca," they say.

Iran Tries To Convert Jewish Students

08/13/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

School days can be stressful enough. In Iran it is a challenging experience in more ways than usual for a Jewish teenager.

At a recent ISEF luncheon at Sotheby’s in New York, to raise scholarship funds for needy students in Israel, Roya Hakakian recounted growing up in Iran after the 1979 revolution.

For a Christian, Jew or Zoroastrian there was constant pressure at school to convert. Roya could not evade such pressure, even though she went to a Hebrew day school.

One day her class was called to assemble in the basement near the cafeteria.

Dr. Shemtov Cohen, Yemenite-born, and Roya Hakakian, Iranian-born, both now in U.S., meet at ISEF luncheon. Photo by Tim Boxer

Split Over Religion Bill

A strange thing happened on the way to House passage of the Religious Liberty Protection Act (RLPA) last week:

07/23/1999
Washington Correspondent

A strange thing happened on the way to House passage of the Religious Liberty Protection Act (RLPA) last week:
Most Jewish members — once among RLPA’s strongest supporters — voted no, although every major Jewish group, along with representatives of numerous other religious faiths, supported the measure.
The list of opponents included Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), one of the original authors of the measure, which seeks to make it harder for state and local governments to infringe on religious practices, even inadvertently.

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