California’s Jewish and Muslim communities celebrated Monday after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new state law the day before affirming the legality of male circumcision.
The practice, which dates back to time of Abraham, according to the Bible, was under attack by such California cities as San Francisco and Santa Monica, which sought to ban circumcisions for males younger than 18 years of age.
Both Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Golden State said that the proposed bans on circumcision were a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee that neither the federal government, nor state or local governments could impose laws restricting the free exercise of religion. more >>
President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York Wednesday morning, saying that there is no short cut to peace in the Middle East.
"I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades," said Obama. "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.
"Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.” more >>
The organizers of Park51, an Islamic community center and mosque that is being constructed near New York City's ground zero, announced that its first public event will be held on Wednesday.
The NYChildren photo exhibition will serve as an “inaugural event” in their newly remodeled community space on Park Place. The rest of the Park51 building, dubbed the "ground zero mosque" by those critical of the property, is still undergoing renovations.
Park51, which will include a mosque, health club, and theater, is still years away from being completed. more >>
In the 10 years since the 9/11 tragedy, Americans and churches across the United States are more prone to consider partnering with faiths and denominations other than their own for social outreach events, said a Hartford Seminary professor, who is leading a religious study program on interfaith cooperation.
David A. Roozen, director of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership and professor of religion and society, remarked, “Americans' awareness of our country's religious diversity has increased dramatically in the last decade.”
Although the study he helped conduct does not show a dramatic increase in congregations partnering together in the context of a worship service, it does show an increase in interfaith activities such as public ceremonies and panel discussions, Roozen told The Christian Post. more >>
On September 11, 2001, two things became evident first to many of the Brooklyn, N.Y., clergy shortly after the hour-long dust cloud that formed from the World Trade Center Twin Towers collapse vanished, the former president of an interfaith group said.
First, members of the Brooklyn Heights Clergy Association realized they needed to help account for missing people for their loved ones. Secondly, they needed to facilitate prayer services as soon as possible, the Rev. Fred Wooden told The Christian Post.
Wooden, who is a Unitarian, was the president of the association and leader of the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn at the time of the terrorist attacks on the United States. Unitarianism takes its name after the understanding of God as one person, rejecting the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and belief that Jesus is fully man and God. more >>
Religious leaders will be excluded from the 10th anniversary memorial service of New York City's 9/11 tragedy. Critics of the decision argue that religious leaders played an important role during and after the tragedy and should be included.
Former New York Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, who was serving in office at the time of the September 11, 2001 attack, expressed outrage at the exclusion in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me. I feel like America has lost its way,” Washington said. more >>