RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Survey Finds Prevalence of Hazing Among High School Students (RNS) Hazing is prevalent among high school students, whether they are joining a church group or a sports team, a new survey finds. The Alfred University study found that 48 percent of students who join any high school group are subjected to hazing. “We found that every high school student who joins any group _ from gangs to church groups, from the football team to the band _ is at risk of being hazed,” said Nadine Hoover, the principal investigator of the survey by the private, nonsectarian university in Alfred, N.Y. Hoover also conducted the university’s 1999 study of hazing among collegiate athletic teams. “We anticipated that we would find some level of hazing among high school groups,” she said in a statement. “What we found distressing was the prevalence.” Hazing was defined as “any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of you to join a group, regardless of your willingness to participate.” Examples included being yelled, cursed or sworn at; being forced to eat disgusting things; and being told to skip school or not associate with others.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Survey Finds Prevalence of Hazing Among High School Students (RNS) Hazing is prevalent among high school students, whether they are joining a church group or a sports team, a new survey finds. The Alfred University study found that 48 percent of students who join any high school group are subjected to hazing. “We found that every high school student who joins any group _ from gangs to church groups, from the football team to the band _ is at risk of being hazed,” said Nadine Hoover, the principal investigator of the survey by the private, nonsectarian university in Alfred, N.Y. Hoover also conducted the university’s 1999 study of hazing among collegiate athletic teams. “We anticipated that we would find some level of hazing among high school groups,” she said in a statement. “What we found distressing was the prevalence.” Hazing was defined as “any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of you to join a group, regardless of your willingness to participate.” Examples included being yelled, cursed or sworn at; being forced to eat disgusting things; and being told to skip school or not associate with others.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Annan Defends Exclusion of Dalai Lama at UN Religion Summit (RNS) UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is defending the decision to not invite the Dalai Lama to next week’s historic summit of religious leaders, saying the United Nations is “a house for the member states, and their sensitivities matter.” More than 1,000 religious leaders from around the world will gather in New York Aug. 28-31 for a historic peace conference. The summit is largely independent of the U.N., but the summit’s first session will be held at the United Natons and U.N. supporter Ted Turner is funding much of the summit. The summit has come under fire for not inviting the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of 15 million Tibetan Buddhists and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Annan Defends Exclusion of Dalai Lama at UN Religion Summit (RNS) UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is defending the decision to not invite the Dalai Lama to next week’s historic summit of religious leaders, saying the United Nations is “a house for the member states, and their sensitivities matter.” More than 1,000 religious leaders from around the world will gather in New York Aug. 28-31 for a historic peace conference. The summit is largely independent of the U.N., but the summit’s first session will be held at the United Natons and U.N. supporter Ted Turner is funding much of the summit. The summit has come under fire for not inviting the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of 15 million Tibetan Buddhists and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

COMMENTARY: Science and Religion _ Again

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin Press.) (UNDATED) Some observers claim science and religion are necessarily opposed to each other. Since no deep thinker in either science or faith believes that, why, except to fill newspaper columns in midsummer, does the argument continue? Perhaps because this very summer, almost in the same week, science acted as if it were religion and religion behaved as if it were science.

COMMENTARY: Science and Religion _ Again

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin Press.) (UNDATED) Some observers claim science and religion are necessarily opposed to each other. Since no deep thinker in either science or faith believes that, why, except to fill newspaper columns in midsummer, does the argument continue? Perhaps because this very summer, almost in the same week, science acted as if it were religion and religion behaved as if it were science.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service `Survivor’ Non-survivor Says His Faith Was Too Much for Other Castaways (RNS) A former castaway on the CBS reality program “Survivor” said he believes the strength he has gained from his Christian beliefs was too much for his fellow castaways, who voted him off the island on which all 16 were stranded for 39 days earlier this year. “There’s no doubt,” Dirk Been, 24, said during an appearance on religious broadcaster Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” talk show on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Been said the other castaways realized “there’s real power in this guy, we don’t know what it is, but if we want to win the game, we have to get rid of him.” Been’s CBN appearance is scheduled to air Tuesday (Aug. 22), one night before CBS broadcasts a two-hour series finale in which the winner of the program’s $1 million jackpot will be identified.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service `Survivor’ Non-survivor Says His Faith Was Too Much for Other Castaways (RNS) A former castaway on the CBS reality program “Survivor” said he believes the strength he has gained from his Christian beliefs was too much for his fellow castaways, who voted him off the island on which all 16 were stranded for 39 days earlier this year. “There’s no doubt,” Dirk Been, 24, said during an appearance on religious broadcaster Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” talk show on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Been said the other castaways realized “there’s real power in this guy, we don’t know what it is, but if we want to win the game, we have to get rid of him.” Been’s CBN appearance is scheduled to air Tuesday (Aug. 22), one night before CBS broadcasts a two-hour series finale in which the winner of the program’s $1 million jackpot will be identified.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Presbyterians Try to Dampen Criticism of Peacemaking Conference (RNS) Remarks by a Presbyterian minister at a recent peace conference that Christian proselytizing is sometimes akin to religious “ethnic cleansing” have conference organizers scurrying to finesse his remarks in order to dampen growing criticism of the conference. The Rev. Dirk Ficca, a Chicago minister and executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, spoke at the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Orange, Calif., July 26-29. In his remarks, Ficca told the 600 participants that Christianity is only one of the world’s religions and does not necessarily hold the corner on truth. “Imagine that you’re in a church and that light is streaming through a number of stained-glass windows,” Ficca told the crowd.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Presbyterians Try to Dampen Criticism of Peacemaking Conference (RNS) Remarks by a Presbyterian minister at a recent peace conference that Christian proselytizing is sometimes akin to religious “ethnic cleansing” have conference organizers scurrying to finesse his remarks in order to dampen growing criticism of the conference. The Rev. Dirk Ficca, a Chicago minister and executive director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, spoke at the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Orange, Calif., July 26-29. In his remarks, Ficca told the 600 participants that Christianity is only one of the world’s religions and does not necessarily hold the corner on truth. “Imagine that you’re in a church and that light is streaming through a number of stained-glass windows,” Ficca told the crowd.

NEWS FEATURE: Retiring Dan Weiss Led American Baptist To Embrace Inclusive Vision

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) American Baptist leader Daniel E. Weiss still remembers the turning point in his life, when his worldview expanded from an “extremely monocultural” background to a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom. He was a visiting professor at a seminary in Costa Rica in 1968 when the news came of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “People would come up to me on the street and say, `Why do they kill black people in your country?”’ Weiss recalled. “It was just awful. You were, in a way, ashamed of being an American, although not all Americans shot him.

NEWS FEATURE: Retiring Dan Weiss Led American Baptist To Embrace Inclusive Vision

c. 2000 Religion News Service (UNDATED) American Baptist leader Daniel E. Weiss still remembers the turning point in his life, when his worldview expanded from an “extremely monocultural” background to a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom. He was a visiting professor at a seminary in Costa Rica in 1968 when the news came of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “People would come up to me on the street and say, `Why do they kill black people in your country?”’ Weiss recalled. “It was just awful. You were, in a way, ashamed of being an American, although not all Americans shot him.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Who You Gonna Call? Research Finds at Many Churches, No One (RNS) No one’s picking up the phone at 40 percent of the nation’s Protestant churches, a survey by the Barna Research Group has found. The Ventura, Calif.-based marketing research firm found that researchers could never contact a person at 40 percent of churches called even when multiple callbacks _ as many as 12 per church _ were placed. And at 44 percent of the churches where there was no human contact, there also was no answering machine to take a message.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Who You Gonna Call? Research Finds at Many Churches, No One (RNS) No one’s picking up the phone at 40 percent of the nation’s Protestant churches, a survey by the Barna Research Group has found. The Ventura, Calif.-based marketing research firm found that researchers could never contact a person at 40 percent of churches called even when multiple callbacks _ as many as 12 per church _ were placed. And at 44 percent of the churches where there was no human contact, there also was no answering machine to take a message.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Tired and Frail Tutu Returns to South Africa for Rest (RNS) Archbishop Desmond Tutu has returned to South Africa to fight his battle with prostate cancer and resume private life after a two-year teaching stint in the United States. The 68-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was the public voice of opposition to apartheid during the 1980s, returned to Cape Town Thursday (Aug. 17) “to sleep” and recover from his November cancer surgery. “As you can see, I am a great deal more decrepit than I was two years ago,” Tutu told reporters, according to the Reuters news agency.