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.

COMMENTARY: Catholic Schools: More Catholic than Ever

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’s Press.) (UNDATED) Criticizing Roman Catholic schools has been very popular among certain strongly conservative observers in recent years. They certainly will dread the news that Catholic schools may not only be better schools, but more Catholic than they have ever been. In a recent special Education Life section of The New York Times (Aug.

COMMENTARY: Catholic Schools: More Catholic than Ever

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’s Press.) (UNDATED) Criticizing Roman Catholic schools has been very popular among certain strongly conservative observers in recent years. They certainly will dread the news that Catholic schools may not only be better schools, but more Catholic than they have ever been. In a recent special Education Life section of The New York Times (Aug.

NEWS FEATURE: Unification Church Takes Its Place Among Americana

c. 2000 Religion News Service BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. _ Beneath the live oaks that shadow the streets of Bayou La Batre, it’s hard to remember that 23 years ago, this sleepy town was a religious battleground aswirl with talk of cults and messiahs and the devil himself. The nation watched on television as the tough, sea-going families of the Bayou rose up against a couple dozen clean-cut young men who worshipped at the feet of a short Korean man named Moon. “I see in Reverend Moon the devil,” former state Rep. Bob Glass told a cheering crowd at a 1977 Bayou rally.

NEWS FEATURE: Billionaire Shares Wisdom Gleaned From Faith and Business

c. 2000 Religion News Service GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. _ Rich DeVos knows the odds are stacked against his getting into heaven. He is well aware of Jesus’ teaching that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom. He learned this and other biblical lessons growing up in an ultra-conservative Calvinist church, long before he cofounded the Amway Corp.

NEWS FEATURE: Billionaire Shares Wisdom Gleaned From Faith and Business

c. 2000 Religion News Service GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. _ Rich DeVos knows the odds are stacked against his getting into heaven. He is well aware of Jesus’ teaching that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom. He learned this and other biblical lessons growing up in an ultra-conservative Calvinist church, long before he cofounded the Amway Corp.

COMMENTARY: For GOP, Pro-Life Is No-Win

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Paul Mulshine is a columnist for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.) (UNDATED) If you’ve been watching the conventions, you probably noticed a pattern emerging on the issue of abortion. The Republicans barely mentioned it. The Democrats can’t shut up about it. Take that fact and add to it the observation that conventions are totally scripted these days and no word is uttered that is not designed to increase the party’s chances in November.

COMMENTARY: For GOP, Pro-Life Is No-Win

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Paul Mulshine is a columnist for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.) (UNDATED) If you’ve been watching the conventions, you probably noticed a pattern emerging on the issue of abortion. The Republicans barely mentioned it. The Democrats can’t shut up about it. Take that fact and add to it the observation that conventions are totally scripted these days and no word is uttered that is not designed to increase the party’s chances in November.

NEWS STORY: Veep Choice May Test Black Voters’ Loyalty to Democrats

c. 2000 Newhouse News Service LOS ANGELES _ Democrats are dealing with an undercurrent of concern that vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman might cool African-American enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket, for which overwhelming support from black voters is a prerequisite of victory. Lieberman got a warm reception from the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus on Tuesday (Aug. 15), but potential problems in the black community arise from his past flirtation with efforts to end affirmative action, and his history-making place as the first Jewish candidate on a national ticket. The campaign cannot help but touch occasionally on tender matters of black-Jewish relations.

COMMENTARY: Curiouser and Curiouser

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Rabbi Rudin is the senior interreligious adviser of the American Jewish Committee.) (UNDATED) Lewis Carroll who wrote “Alice in Wonderland” would love this year’s race for the White House. It’s only August, but the campaign is already becoming “curiouser and curiouser” with no end of surprises in sight. For openers, the Republicans filled their convention with black inner city kids doing break dancing, Anglo pols trying to speak Spanish, a professional wrestler (or is it rassler?) and ponderous sermonizing about inclusiveness and “leaving no child behind” during these prosperous times. Despite the unending rhetoric about embracing all Americans, the GOP safely nominated two 50-something white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males.

NEWS STORY: American Muslims Seek Reassurance on Lieberman’s Mideast Approach

c. 2000 Religion News Service LOS ANGELES _ Uneasy American Muslim leaders say vice presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., must move quickly to reassure them he will be fair on the Mideast or risk losing millions of votes in crucial states to Republican George W. Bush. The ambivalence toward Lieberman is evident even among strongly Democratic Muslims, and among Arab-American delegates of other faiths, who are attending the Democratic National Convention in record numbers. Muslim leaders are urging Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate named to a major party’s national ticket, to meet with them to discuss a wide range of issues, but said they have received no response yet. “He needs to engage with the Muslim community in a public setting,” said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

NEWS STORY: American Muslims Seek Reassurance on Lieberman’s Mideast Approach

c. 2000 Religion News Service LOS ANGELES _ Uneasy American Muslim leaders say vice presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., must move quickly to reassure them he will be fair on the Mideast or risk losing millions of votes in crucial states to Republican George W. Bush. The ambivalence toward Lieberman is evident even among strongly Democratic Muslims, and among Arab-American delegates of other faiths, who are attending the Democratic National Convention in record numbers. Muslim leaders are urging Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate named to a major party’s national ticket, to meet with them to discuss a wide range of issues, but said they have received no response yet. “He needs to engage with the Muslim community in a public setting,” said Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service L.A. Cardinal Offers Pro-life Prayer at Democratic Convention (RNS) Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony drew criticism from both the pro-choice and pro-life camps for opening the Democratic National Convention with a prayer asking God’s protection “especially on unborn children.” Mahony, who has led the country’s largest and most diverse Catholic diocese since 1985, offered the invocation on Monday (Aug. 14) during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Mahony kept to a fairly benign script in his prayer but reaffirmed his anti-abortion stance by praying for “unborn children, the sick and the elderly, those on skid row and those on death row.” Pro-life activists said it was hypocritical for Mahony to pray at the convention since the Democrats support abortion rights. “If the Catholic church believes abortion is the murder of children, then how can Cardinal Mahony as a representative of the Catholic church give the Democratic Party his blessing?” asked Jeff White, a spokesman for Operation Rescue, according to The Washington Times.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service L.A. Cardinal Offers Pro-life Prayer at Democratic Convention (RNS) Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony drew criticism from both the pro-choice and pro-life camps for opening the Democratic National Convention with a prayer asking God’s protection “especially on unborn children.” Mahony, who has led the country’s largest and most diverse Catholic diocese since 1985, offered the invocation on Monday (Aug. 14) during the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Mahony kept to a fairly benign script in his prayer but reaffirmed his anti-abortion stance by praying for “unborn children, the sick and the elderly, those on skid row and those on death row.” Pro-life activists said it was hypocritical for Mahony to pray at the convention since the Democrats support abortion rights. “If the Catholic church believes abortion is the murder of children, then how can Cardinal Mahony as a representative of the Catholic church give the Democratic Party his blessing?” asked Jeff White, a spokesman for Operation Rescue, according to The Washington Times.