Hunting ethics have become a ballot issue

c. 1996 Religion News Service (UNDATED) On Nov. 5, voters in seven states will consider measures that would affect the way hunters pursue their prey. Here’s a state-by-state rundown: ALASKA: A ballot initiative seeks to prohibit so-called”land and shoot”practices, in which hunters in airplanes chase wolves until the animals are exhausted and then shoot them upon landing. The measure, which applies to hunting wolves, fox, lynx and wolverines, would impose a 24-hour waiting period between the time a plane lands and a hunter is allowed to shoot.

High-tech weapons raise ethical questions for hunters

c. 1996 Religion News Service PORTLAND, Ore. _ America’s hunters and the industry that feeds them are buying into technology lock, stock and gun barrel. A hunter’s main advantage has always been a superior reasoning power than their prey. But evolving hunting techniques have bestowed upon humans more of the prey’s sensory powers, the wildlife defense systems that for eons allowed the best and strongest animals to escape the cooking pot.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 1996 Religion News Service Poll: Dole leads among `committed’ Protestants, Clinton gains with Catholics (RNS) Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole holds a comfortable lead over President Clinton among”highly committed”evangelical and mainline Protestants, but Clinton has made significant inroads among that voting bloc since the 1992 election, according to a new poll released Friday (Oct. 25). The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points, reveals that Dole leads Clinton among highly committed evangelical Protestants by a 25 percent margin, 58 percent to 33 percent. Among highly committed mainline Protestants, Dole leads Clinton by 9 percent, 51 percent to 42 percent.

TOP STORY: JESUS SEMINAR SHIFTS FOCUS: Jesus seminar changes focus, taking aim at Paul and Nicene Cr

c. 1996 Religion News Service SANTA ROSA, Calif. _ Having completed an ambitious and controversial decade of work on the identity and sayings of”the historical Jesus,”the maverick scholars of the Jesus Seminar have changed course, with a plan to write their own version of the New Testament. They also plan to focus on the history of the Apostle Paul and to scrutinize the way the early Christian church developed its statements of belief, beginning with the Nicene Creed. That’s the upshot of the latest meeting of the Westar Institute, the Santa Rosa-based sponsor of the Jesus Seminar, whose semi-annual meeting ended here Sunday (Oct.

MEDITATION: OUR FELLOW PASSENGERS: The real mystery of TWA Flight 800

c. 1996 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy is a writer living in Chicago.) (UNDATED) Old railroad stations, John Cheever observed, were built like cathedrals: Their vast spaces invited meditation, the sun fell through great windows on marble floors and pew-like benches. Here were celebrated the mysteries of ordinary time: waiting and expectation, separation and reunion, dangerous leave-taking and safe return. This sense of the sacramentality of everyday life hardly survives in airports but our comings and goings, each seeded with mystery, are celebrated every day within them. Religious mystery is more commonplace than exotic and is hidden, as all spiritual things are, in plain sight in everyday life.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 1996 Religion News Service Anglicans pledge aid to help renovate Bethlehem’s Manger Square (RNS) The Anglican Consultative Council, made up of leaders of the worldwide communion’s 36 provinces, has pledged its aid for a plan to renovate Bethlehem’s Manger Square, traditionally believed to be the site of Jesus’ birth. The restoration is being undertaken by the Palestinian National Authority. According to the Anglican Communion News Service, the London-based news agency of the Anglican Church, the first part of the project will study the costs of renovating the square. The church will approach potential donors in the coming months to support the project that the Palestinian Authority hopes to complete by the year 2000, the news agency said.

TOP STORY: WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD: Once regarded as cult, a quirky church embraces evangelical beli

c. 1996 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When Dennis Girouard joined the Worldwide Church of God 10 years ago, he accepted many of the doctrines that had caused evangelicals and others to label the denomination a cult. The church taught that the United States and Britain were heirs to God’s covenant with Israel. It taught that salvation depended on observing a Saturday sabbath, following Old Testament dietary laws and giving up to 30 percent of one’s income to church and charity. It rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and proclaimed itself the only true Christian fellowship. Then came the revolution.

NEWS STORY: THE WORKPLACE: Church leaders drafted in fight to make sweatshops unfashionable

c. 1996 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ Leaders from the nation’s Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish denominations and agencies Tuesday (Oct. 22) pledged to step up their efforts to eradicate sweatshops, and the exploitation of women and child labor at home and abroad.”We’ve been at this struggle for 80 years,”said Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, noting that it was often immigrant Jewish women and children who worked in the sweatshops of the garment industry at the turn of the century and formed some of the most militant unions aimed at ending that exploitation.”We must sadly continue that struggle today,”Saperstein said.”Sweatshops steal childhood and steal mothers from their children. They are an affront to God.” Saperstein made his comments at a news conference at the U.S. Department of Labor, where he was joined by some three dozen religious leaders and grassroots activists involved in the fight against sweatshops, and by Secretary of Labor Robert Reich who has led a year-long government effort to enforce labor laws aimed at eradicating sweatshops.

TOP STORY: GENESIS, RETOLD: In Moyers series, Genesis resonates with meaning for all faiths

c. 1996 Religion News Service (UNDATED) By all accounts, it was a marvelous conversation. Once a month, some two dozen biblical scholars, novelists, poets, theologians and others gathered in a private dining room at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York to discuss over a leisurely dinner the biblical Book of Genesis. The conversations _ which ran from 1987 through 1992 _ were animated, informed, challenging and witty.”What goes on in this room is more exciting to me than anything that ever happened. It’s as if the text really mattered,”writer and participant Cynthia Ozick said at the time.

BODY & SOUL: Religious leaders abuse power, followers unwisely surrender it

c. 1996 Religion News Service (Body & Soul is a regular column exploring the interplay between spirituality and psychology. Pythia Peay is the author of the forthcoming”Putting America on the Couch,”to be published by Riverhead Books.) (UNDATED) There is a deep wound in the soul of American religious communities: the sexual misconduct of Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, Jewish rabbis and Buddhist lamas. Increasingly, it seems, tawdry stories of priests who run off with women, ministers who molest youths and gurus who seduce devotees are splashed regularly across the news. Yet while the consequences for victims and perpetrators are grave _ loss of dignity, position and even faith itself _ the circumstances that lead to abused are rarely examined.

Where to go for help

c. 1996 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Here’s a list of organizations that provide help to victims and perpetrators of clergy sexual abuse: Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, 936 North 34th St., Suite 200, Seattle, WA, 98103; 206-634-1903. Provides educational materials, resources, and workshop leaders for individuals, clergy, and communities interested in preventing and recovering from clergy sexual abuse. Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute (ISTI), St. John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, MN, 56321-2000; 612-363-3931.

Blessed are the peacemakers, but who will win the prize?

c. 1996 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Norway’s Nobel committee chose the winner of the 1996 Peace Prize Wednesday (Oct. 2), but won’t announce until Oct. 11 which of the 120 candidates won. The committee does not divulge the names of nominees, but several have been made public by those making the nominations.

TOP STORY: CHURCH AND STATE: In Colorado, `Murphy’s law’ would end church tax exemptions

c. 1996 Religion News Service COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. _ Colorado voters are no strangers to touchy church-state battles. And in November they’ll vote on the nation’s first state referendum on the complex and emotional issue of whether states should tax the property of churches, charities and nonprofit organizations. Amendment 11 would change the state constitution by eliminating state property tax exemptions for some 7,500 properties, including churches, temples, mosques, YMCA camps, New Age retreat centers, Catholic hospitals, city zoos, Moose lodges and urban soup kitchens.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 1996 Religion News Service United Church of Christ to enter the hotel business (RNS) The United Church of Christ has unveiled plans to build a seven-story, 93-room commercial hotel in downtown Cleveland that it hopes will help the 1.5 million-member denomination not only save but make money. “Having our own hotel could produce an annual savings of up to $130,000,” said the Rev. Thomas Dipko, executive vice president of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. “At the same time, the return on the investment of constructing and leasing the hotel would at least equal the 5 percent return required by board policy from our investments in stocks and bonds,” he added. The hotel plans were presented to a committee of Cleveland’s planning commission, which was scheduled to consider the proposal Friday (Oct.