Weekly Religion News with items on "All American Muslim," "Christmas Jars" and more.
More than 32,000 Americans expressed outrage in a petition in response to Lowe’s Home Improvement pulling their sponsorship from TLC's "All-American Muslim."
The Florida Family Association, a Christian conservative group whose president is publicly criticizing the show, claims other companies have pulled their ad support of the show, too.
"We are disappointed to see religion used as a tool to create division and foster fear. Efforts by hard-line religious organizations to scare American national companies from advertising on ‘All-American Muslim' are fueled by fear and bigotry," said the Rev. Katharine Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary, www.auburnseminary.org, a Christian-based school with “multi-faith commitments” based in New York.
The TV series airs on TLC on Sundays. It explores the lives of five American-Muslim families from Dearborn, Mich. According to its website, “each episode offers an intimate look at the customs and celebration, misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, said, "Lowe's has chosen to uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of the First Amendment, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. This is disappointing since the success of 'All-American Muslim' shows how ready the country is to learn about Muslims as Americans, which probably makes hate mongers uncomfortable — as they should be.”
Valarie Kaur, director of Groundswell, a multifaith effort lead by Auburn to stand up for religious freedom, said, "It's troubling that some seek to use anti-Muslim bias as a tool of oppression or to score political points. What gives me hope is knowing that there is a groundswell of Americans who are tired of the politics of fear. We are hungry to see ourselves in one another … This is the moment we ought to stand up for the kind of storytelling that can transform the social imagination."
-- Religion News Service/ Auburn Seminary
Week in Religion
Dec. 14, 1981, the modern nation of Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights, which had been captured from Syria during the 1967 War.
Dec. 15, 1990, more than 400 American Roman Catholic theologians charged that the Vatican had been throttling church reforms and imposing "an excessive Roman centralization."
Dec. 16, 1870, the Colored Methodist Church of America was established at Jackson, Tenn. Its name was changed in 1954 to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church
More than 8-in-10 (82 percent) of the 212 religious advocacy groups in Washington, D.C., that participated in a Pew Research Center study operate as nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This means they are not allowed to devote a substantial part of their activities to lobbying as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
Page 2 of 2 - -- Pew Research Center
"Christmas Jars" by Jason Wright
Newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the remarkable secret behind the "Christmas Jars", glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. But along the way, Hope discovers much more than the origin of the jars. When some unexpected news sets off a chain reaction of kindness, Hope's greatest Christmas Eve wish comes true.
Quote of the week
"May it please the Lord that...faith unimpaired may strengthen us, contrition soften us and peace make us joyful." -- C.S. Lewis, British apologist
Trinity: This key doctrine in Christianity says that God, the Son and the Holy Spirit together make up the one Godhead. The exact nature and definition of the Trinity were central in the split between the Eastern and Western Christian churches.
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of British Virgin Islands (1991)
Protestant: 84 percent
Roman Catholic: 10 percent
Jehovah's Witnesses: 2 percent
Other: 2 percent
None: 2 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service