Apologetics Index
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Religion Items In The News

April 14, 1999 (Vol. 3, Issue 79)

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=== Main
1. One member leaves group (Concerned Christians)
2. Cult families see sliver of hope (Concerned Christians)
3. French investigators to meet cult members (Solar Temple)
4. Davidians appealing arms sentences
5. High court won't revive reporter's libel suit over Waco coverage
6. Communities petition govt over Aum cult
7. CUT, children settle Prophet guardianship
8. Cult slayings still haunting 10 years later (Lundgren)
9. Ten years later, Kirtland cult members break their silence
10. Matamoros slaying still fuels parents' anti-drug effort
11. Moonies giving up the farm
12. Province Urged to Apologize to Sect (Doukhobor)
13. Parade organizers deny Klan permit
14. Farrakhan Recuperating After Release From Hospital
15. Is there a future without Farrakhan for Nation of Islam?
16 Sect corporations advance in the computer industry (Scientology)
17. A Stronghold of Smiles (Scientology)
18. "Aggressive Sect Recruiters" (Scientology)
19. "Pinch Test" to Paradise (Scientology)
20. Trial for Espionage (Scientology)
21. European Union Under Fire For Religious Restrictions
22. In the diplomatic hot seat - religion
23. Medjugorje still lures faithful
24. Uniting different religions for a common good
25. Clinton's spiritual adviser feeling fallout from scandal (Campolo)
26. Mormon Church To Rebuild Temple
27. Court Won't OK Bible-Based Town
28. Spiritual Healing Advert Falls Foul Of Watchdog
29. Guided imagery tapes help put heart patients at ease
30. Movement calls on God the Mother

=== Noted

31. Death penalty faulted
32. Death penalty foes go to Huntsville
33. Health-food fundamentalists

=== Books

34. From dads to students, there's a Bible for you

=== Online

35. Online religious services booming, but is that a net gain?
36. American Family Online enjoys success with pornography filter

1. One member leaves group
Denver Post, Apr. 5, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
John Bayles, now in his early 20s, left the group [Concerned Christians] more than a month
ago, said Mark Roggeman, a Denver police officer who tracks the group
headed by Monte "Kim" Miller.

"At the request of the family we kept it a complete secret," Roggeman
said. "He showed up and they were surprised. That's the word we got,
extremely surprised."

Just why - or how - Bayles left the cult is unknown, Roggeman said.

Bayles is undergoing counseling, although Roggeman didn't know what
kind nor the name of his counselor.

"Exit counseling" is the current term for what was referred to as
"deprogramming" in the 1960s. That word described when cult members
were sometimes literally snatched by worried relatives and forcibly
exposed to intensive psychological conditioning to counteract the
cult's influence.

* Note: Voluntary exit counseling was meant to replace involuntary
deprogramming (voluntary deprogrammings also took place).
However, since some organizations claimed exit counseling could also
be either voluntary or involuntary, a number of exit counselors have
formed an organization of Thought Reform Consultants. Members
agree to abide by a set of Ethical Standards. See:

From Deprogramming to Thought Reform Consultation

2. Cult families see sliver of hope
Denver Post, Apr. 6, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Relatives of Concerned Christians, followers of self-proclaimed prophet
Monte Kim Miller, see a sliver of hope in the news that one member
apparently has left the group.

"It could be the beginning of the whole group being disbanded,'' Cooper
said, "but I don't see that as being the case. I've heard nothing from
my father - no e-mails, nothing. I feel as if Miller's still pretty
strong over there.

3. French investigators to meet cult members
Ottawa Citizen, Apr. 12, 1999

(Story no longer online? Read this)
French investigators are expected to arrive in Quebec next month to
question cult members of the Order of the Solar Temple, Montreal La
Presse reports.

An examining judge from Grenoble, France, and a police chief plan to
come in May because the controversial cult is still active here, says
the Quebec provincial police officer responsible for the investigation.

The doomsday cult has been blamed for the suicide deaths of about 75
members in Quebec, France and Switzerland since 1994.

4. Davidians appealing arms sentences
Access Waco, Apr. 8, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Lawyers for five Branch Davidians serving prison time for weapons
convictions related to the 1993 federal raid on their Waco compound
went back to court Tuesday in an attempt to win shorter sentences.

The lawyers argued in San Antonio before a panel of the 5th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals that the five Branch Davidians neither used
nor carried automatic weapons during the deadly shootout with federal

Four of the five Davidians are serving 40-year sentences - 10 years for
man- slaughter and another 30 years tacked on by federal Judge Walter
Smith when he ruled that the Davidians used machine guns. Smith gave
the fifth defendant a 10-year sentence on the use of an automatic

5. High court won't revive reporter's libel suit over Waco coverage
Nando Times, Apr. 5, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
The Supreme Court Monday rejected an attempt to revive a Waco
television reporter's libel lawsuit over coverage of a federal raid on
the Branch Davidian compound in 1993.

The justices, without comment, let stand a Texas Supreme Court ruling
that threw out John McLemore's lawsuit against Dallas-Forth Worth
station WFAA-TV. The lawsuit accused the station of airing reports
implying McLemore had tipped the religious sect about the raid.

6. Communities petition govt over Aum cult
Daily Yomiuri, Apr. 8, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
The heads of two municipal governments that have been struggling to
prevent the Aum Supreme Truth cult from establishing a presence in
their communities submitted written objections on Wednesday to Chief
Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka and Justice Minister Takao Jinnouchi.

Residents in both areas have been resisting the cult's efforts to
engage in activities in the communities.

Meanwhile, the Tokigawamura statement acknowledged that, under current
laws, a municipal government finds it immensely difficult to prevent
the cult from engaging in activities. The municipal government called
for the establishment of a new law to limit activities by a cult,
"something like the Antisubversive Activities Law."

7. CUT, children settle Prophet guardianship
Billings Gazette, Apr. 14, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
A six-month battle over who should serve as guardian of the ailing
spiritual leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant has ended in a
settlement calling for shared responsibility.

8. Cult slayings still haunting 10 years later
Cleveland Live/AP, April 11, 1999

(Story no longer online? Read this)
Ron Luff says he had become so brainwashed that he never considered
helping five people who were massacred by a preacher who thought he was
making a sacrifice to his Lord.

On April 17, 1989, Dennis and Cheryl Avery and their three teen-age
daughters were killed execution-style in a barn in Kirtland by cult
leader Jeffrey Lundgren.

Previously, none of the cult members would talk about what became known
as the Kirtland cult slayings. But as the 10th anniversary of the
slayings approaches, some are speaking for the first time about how
religious fervor and power could lead to cold-blooded murder.

Lundgren is currently on Ohio's death row. Nine of his followers in the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an offshoot of
Mormonism, are in prisons scattered across the state.

9. Ten years later, Kirtland cult members break their silence
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) Their reflections, along with those of police, prosecutors and
others wrapped up in Lundgren's convoluted quest for Zion, reveal an
often tragic tale that continues long after the murders. While intense
and prolonged publicity surrounding the case made several political,
clerical and church careers, the Kirtland cult broke many more lives.

Out of the ruin, some have found ways to forgive both themselves and
cult members for what happened. Others have tried to move on, realizing
there may be no answers to the questions that linger.

Lundgren fed his group a hybrid mix of biblical and Mormon Scriptures,
all dissected and interpreted to meet his whims. According to cult
members, nearly anything could be a sin: from adding too much garlic to
a meal to, as Dennis Avery did, keeping money for yourself.

From the beginning, Lundgren promised his followers he would take them
to see God. To make the journey, he said, the cult first had to seize
the Kirtland temple and kill anyone who tried to stop them.

Looking back on that time, Luff now blames the Reorganized church's
[Story no longer online? Read this]
faith, and its parent, Mormonism, saying its teaching left him and
others susceptible to someone like Lundgren who claimed to have divine
visions, including one in which he became Christ hanging from the cross
on Calvary.

The Reorganized church faith "is contingent upon revelation," Luff
explained. "People are constantly having visions and hearing voices of
some form, some type of revelatory experience, seeing angels. If they
don't have this, according to the Book of Mormon, it's as though there
had been no redemption made."

10. Matamoros slaying still fuels parents' anti-drug effort
Dallas Morning News, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) "Before we knew it, we were digging up another one and another
one and another one," Mr. Gavito said of his recollections of April 11,

By the end of the day, Mexican federal police had recovered 12 bodies
on Rancho Santa Elena, later known as Devil Ranch. Some, like Mr.
Kilroy, had been killed by a cult of drug traffickers who believed that
ritual sacrifices conducted in a smelly, blood-splattered shack would
shield them from police.

He returned to the ranch to show police the burial sites - some
belonging to enemies of the drug cult later dubbed the narcosatanicos.

11. Moonies giving up the farm
San Antonio Express-News, Apr. 9, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
One of Texas' more opulent ranches Crawford Farms is on the auction
block again. The seller this time is the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the
Unification Church.

"The Rev. Moon has no concern over price," said Bone, who also was the
auctioneer for the 1992 event. He said he doesn't know whether Moon
will attend the auction, but does expect Park and his wife, Moon's
daughter, to attend.

The relationship between Park and Moon's Han Corp. and the Unification
Church wasn't revealed for several months after the 1992 auction.

12. Province Urged to Apologize to Sect
Fox News, Apr. 9, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
British Columbia's ombudsman said Thursday the Canadian province should
apologize to and compensate the children of a controversial religious
sect who were locked up in an internment camp during the 1950s.

Ombudsman Dulcie McCallum said an investigation found the 170 Doukhobor
children were subjected to abuse and suffered "loss of love, nurturing
guidance and childhood" while they were detained from 1953 to 1959.

Children and their parents were members of the Sons of Freedom sect of
the Doukhobor faith. The sect strongly condemned private property and
government control. They refused to send children to public schools.

13. Parade organizers deny Klan permit
The Star-News, Apr. 9, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Private organizers of the annual Memorial Day Parade here have denied
the Ku Klux Klan a permit to march in the festivities, relying on a
Supreme Court decision that allowed a Boston group to ban gays from a
St. Patrick's Day parade.

14. Farrakhan Recuperating After Release From Hospital
Excite/Reuters, Apr. 8, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was recuperating at an
undisclosed location Thursday after his release from a Washington
hospital, aides said.

The 65-year-old Farrakhan "is continuing his sabbatical as previously
announced," a statement from the group's headquarters in Chicago said.

15. Is there a future without Farrakhan for Nation of Islam?
Star-Telegram, Apr. 9, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
With Louis Farrakhan's health in question, the Nation of Islam is being
forced to confront the possibility of carrying on without the
charismatic leader who built the organization into a powerful voice of
black pride and alienation.

But observers also say the Nation of Islam's next leader probably would
not invite controversy the way Farrakhan has by targeting Jews and
whites. Farrakhan lost the support of many blacks who might otherwise
have found the Nation's message attractive because of the group's
anti-Semitic and racist statements, they say.

Farrakhan has not established a clear hierarchy of succession,
observers say, and his absence could trigger a power struggle between
moderates who want to move the organization toward mainstream Islam and
hard-liners who brook no dissent.

Among those who have emerged as potential successors are Mustapha
Farrakhan, the leader's son, who oversees the Fruit of Islam, the
Nation's security force; Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, one of Farrakhan's
personal physicians and a trusted adviser; and Benjamin F. Muhammad,
the former Benjamin Chavis, who was forced to resign from the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People for improper use of

Starting with 5,000 members in 1979, the Nation of Islam now says it
has as many as 200,000 members.

Also, at a meeting of Nation of Islamic leaders this year, Farrakhan
said the only texts now valid for his followers were the Koran and the
collected accounts of the prophet Muhammad's words and deeds.

It's still unclear, however, if this means Farrakhan is supplanting or
changing the beliefs he inherited from Elijah Muhammad.

"Farrakhan is at the end of his life," Nyang said. "He would like to go

through the same transition that Malcolm did when he moved from being
Malcolm X to being El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz" -- a reference to
Malcolm's 1964 hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and his subsequent renouncing
of Nation of Islam beliefs in favor of orthodox Islam.

16. Sect corporations advance in the computer industry and gain reputable clients
Focus (Germany), Apr. 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) Laserplus, now incorporated under the same registered trade
number as Eurozerty, is a member of the WISE (World Institute of
Scientology Enterprises) business association, the most important
money-making machine of the psycho-sect. The corporation (30 employees,
20 million marks in annual sales) also avails itself of an internet
access which brings the visitor, after two mouseclicks, to Fort
Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida - the most important Scientology
center in the USA next to Los Angeles.

Yet another Scientology company is presently attempting to obtain a
market share in the expanding computer field. Picco Computer Services
[Picco Computerdienstleistungen] (Reinhard Jankowsky, proprietor)
maintains a post office box in Hamburg-Altona and resides in an
inconspicuous single family dwelling in the Pinneberg suburb.

17. A Stronghold of Smiles
Wien Journal (Austria), Apr. 7, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
(Story no longer online? Read this)
"What is Scientology?" An exhibition, which can be seen up to Friday,
is dedicated to this question.

Scientologists are charitable and warm-hearted. They wish "not to
indoctrinate," said Klaus Buechele, of his designation as "European
Secretary of the Church of Scientology International."

18. "Aggressive Sect Recruiters"
Die Presse (Austria), Apr. 8, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
(Story no longer online? Read this)
City council member Karin Landauer (FP) expressed outrage on Wednesday
after a local inspection of the "Sky High Travel" Scientology
[Story no longer online? Read this]
exhibition, which was taking place at the time in the Viennese Hotel
Intercontinental. "Unprotected children and young adults are being
handed over to the aggressive sect recruiters." Dangerous sect gurus
from Scientology use subtle recruitment methods to lure children and
young adults into their clutches, Landauer criticized.

"Entrance for people under the age of 18 years is to be prohibited
effective immediately," demanded the council member. Naturally "it may
require a strong interpretation of the event and youth protection law,
but it is worth it for our children and youth. A dangerous sect like
Scientology cannot go on seducing children and youth unimpeded in
Austria." Grete Laska, Vienna's Youth council member was to be pressed
to put this spectacle to an end, said Landauer.

19. "Pinch Test" to Paradise
Kurier Online (Austria), Apr. 11, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Scientology has started its offensive: with "informational events" such
as that which was held in Vienna this past week; the association, which
is suspected of being a sect, wants to recruit new members.

We have to answer 200 questions a la "Do you tend to hide your
feelings?" At least the evaluation goes quickly. After two minutes the
friendly man in the dark gray suit knows that we are susceptible to
depression and that there must be things which bother us.

It is "quite normal" for us to not know what those things are because
they are only there in our subconscious. But we can find out what they
are if we acquaint ourselves with the teachings of Mr. Hubbard (that
means buy his books) and if we take an "Introductory Dianetics Course"
(for 2,400 Austrian shillings).

20. Trial for Espionage
Basler Zeiting (Switzerland), Apr. 8, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
(Story no longer online? Read this)
The German Constitutional Security agent who was scouting for
information on Scientology a year ago in Switzerland has to answer
before the Basel criminal court on 1 July. The charges against the
member of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Constitutional Security agency are
illicit actions for a foreign country, political intelligence and
counterfeit identification papers. He could receive up to six months
confinement. The woman from Zurich who was cooperating with him has to
answer on charges of political intelligence activity. In addition
Scientology, pursuant to an appeal judgment, managed to see to it that
the woman is also charged with violating data security.
[...entire item...]

21. European Union Under Fire For Religious Restrictions
Deseret News, Apr. 10, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
A leading human rights group has reported increasing violations of
religious freedom in European Union countries. The International
Helsinki Federation has criticized the tendency of West European
governments to impose legal restrictions on the activities of new
religious organizations, labeled by some as "sects."

"There appear to be clear attempts on the part of European Union and
national governments in Western Europe to adopt new legal provisions to
'protect' individuals from 'new religions'," the federation said in a
recent report which examined religious freedoms in 18 countries in
Western and Eastern Europe. "While Western governments and human rights
groups have typically focused their attention on increasing
restrictions [on religious organizations] in the East, little or no
attention has been paid to similar developments in Western Europe."
[...entire item...]

22. In the diplomatic hot seat - religion
Christian Science Monitor, Apr. 8, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
How do you get off being the morality cop on issues that are internal,
domestic issues?" That's the question he's heard from almost everyone
in one form or another on his first visits to other countries, says
Robert A. Seiple, the new United States ambassador at large for
international religious freedom.

It's more controversial abroad, where some see it as a bid to "make
sure the mission fields are kept open." Others see it as an
infringement on their sovereignty, and others as another manifestation
of US cultural imperialism.

"This is an area the American people feel strongly about," Seiple says,
"so strongly that it's now a mandate of our foreign policy" (see box).
But it is not directed at particular countries or solely for the
benefit of certain religions. His State Department office, for
instance, has launched a dialogue with the US Muslim community on
issues of concern.

"Many worry that the bill includes sanctions," he adds. "But it's a
menu approach, from private conversation to restricting international
aid. The president has a great deal of flexibility."

"There are reasons to do business with America that are compelling
enough for countries to say, 'We better look at this [relationship]
comprehensively,' " he says. "I found it very hopeful that no matter
how they feel about this legislation," he adds, "they are already
working to accommodate it. In that sense, my feeling is that the act is
already working."

23. Medjugorje still lures faithful
Dallas Morning News, Apr. 10, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) More than 25 million pilgrims have traveled to Medjugorje
(pronounced med-ju-GOR-ya) since 1981, when the Virgin Mary is said to
have appeared and given messages to six children. Believers say she
continues to give them secret prophecies and messages for the world.

Reports of the life-changing impact of the place are part of its lure.
Some contend that they are called to go and that the Virgin Mary will
keep them safe despite trouble in the Balkans.

There is a sense of urgency among Medjugorje's visionaries these days,
because they say the Virgin Mary has told them she will no longer
appear after she reveals all 10 secrets to each of them. Two of the
visionaries have received 10, and the other four have received nine,
according to the official Medjugorje news service. (The official Web
site is www.medjugorje.org.)

24. Uniting different religions for a common good
Wichita Eagle, Apr. 10, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Interfaith is a growth industry: From ambitious international
multifaith conferences to a neighborhood synagogue class for
intermarried couples, people are reaching across traditional barriers.

The more ambitious international efforts may yet bear more obvious
fruit, said Bishop William Swing, the California Episcopal bishop who
is heading the United Religions Initiative, an attempt to create a sort
of United Nations for religions.

Last year, Cardinal Francis Arinze gave a speech in Rome that both
identified the need for interfaith activities and a reason that some
are reluctant to join.

A little later in the same speech, he suggested that interfaith
discussions are a good way to demonstrate the superiority of
Christianity in some areas. "Christianity has helped some religions to
shed some of their unworthy beliefs or practices."

"One of our most important principles is convergence, not consensus,"
said Dirk Ficca, executive director of the Chicago-based Council for a
Parliament of the World's Religions.

25. Clinton's spiritual adviser feeling fallout from scandal
Philadelphia Daily News, Apr. 9, 1999
http://www.phillynews.com/daily_news/99/Apr/09/local/CAMP09.htm<br> A Christian music fair in central Pennsylvania has been fertile ground
for the Rev. Tony Campolo to recruit volunteers for his
Philadelphia-based urban youth ministries.

But the dynamic Baptist preacher has been disinvited by organizers of
this June's Creation Festival - part of the fallout from Campolo's life
in a fishbowl as spiritual adviser to President Clinton. That fallout
includes dried-up donations, Internet scorn, and an offer to resign as
professor at Eastern College in St. Davids on the Main Line.

"A lot of people on the religious right have called in to the Creation
Festival and let it be known if I was going to be there, they weren't
going to be supporting the festival," Campolo said in an exclusive
Daily News interview. "So I was asked to step aside."

A New York Times description of Campolo as "a liberal Baptist who
advocates that Christians accept homosexuality" - two labels he
vigorously disputes - drew a firestorm.

Campolo, in an article in the current Brookings Review, revealed his
offer to resign from Eastern, where he is an alumnus and the senior
faculty member. President David Black said he rejected the offer.

The "liberal" and homosexual-acceptance labels of Campolo circled the
globe and a subsequent correction didn't stop the damage. Campolo said
he considers himself "politically moderate" and he opposes homosexual
marriage while supporting civil rights for gays.

"The Internet, too, had become my enemy," he wrote. "At least 3,000
articles, most derogatory and many declaring me to be an enemy of true
Christianity, were readily available."

26. Mormon Church To Rebuild Temple
Infobeat, Apr. 4, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley chose Easter Sunday to
announce the church will rebuild its historic Nauvoo Temple in
Illinois, destroyed by arson and tornado after the Mormons moved West.

27. Court Won't OK Bible-Based Town
Access Waco, Apr. 14, 1999

(Story no longer online? Read this)
Residents seeking to form a town whose only law would be the Ten
Commandments and the teachings of Jesus were thwarted by conventional
legal channels.

Probate Judge Bobby Day ruled Tuesday that those who supported forming
the new community of Brooksville had failed to lay the groundwork
required by state law for an incorporation vote.

Evangelist James R. Henderson and others wanted to form a new town that
would use the Ten Commandments and Jesus' teachings as laws, with
citizens providing their own protection through a community watch.

28. Spiritual Healing Advert Falls Foul Of Watchdog
Yahoo UK, Apr. 12, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
An advertisement claiming that a man who was "half-dragged" into a
church in pain and distress had walked out two hours later healed by
the power of Jesus has fallen foul of advertising watchdogs.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the advertisement,
placed in regional newspapers, for the Peniel Pentecostal Church in
Brentwood, Essex, breached its guidelines as the church could not
substantiate its claim that the man's miraculous recovery could be
attributed to spiritual healing.

The church maintained that its evidence showed that Mr Gregg himself
attributed his recovery to attending the church and it provided
testimonials from him and a chronology of his illnesses from his

However, a spokesman for the ASA said that the complaint against the
church had been upheld. He explained: "The Authority considered that
the medical evidence from Mr Gregg's doctor did not corroborate this

29. Guided imagery tapes help put heart patients at ease
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
Guided imagery tapes -- a mix of New Age music, meditative exercises
and positive thinking -- are being used to calm pre-surgery jitters and
post-surgery discomfort among heart surgery patients at St. Luke's
Medical Center.

30. Movement calls on God the Mother
Charlotte Observer, Apr. 10, 1999
She calls herself a "thea-logian,'' rather than the more familiar
"theologian,'' to reflect her fascination with "thea,'' the divine
feminine, the Goddess. And that's only the thin, leading edge that
signals what lies beyond in the work of feminist scholar Carol Christ.

A Yale-trained professor of religious studies who bolted university
life, Christ is one of the major theoreticians of the emerging Goddess
, a 25-year-old enterprise contributing to the changing shape
of religious practice in the United States.

The author of the just-reissued "Rebirth of the Goddess'' (Routledge,
$17.99), Christ is considered a pioneer. "Carol Christ was one of the
first scholars in religious studies asking why women were missing in
the history of religion, in theology,'' said Catherine Wessinger of
Loyola University's Department of Religious Studies.

In 1978, Christ produced an influential essay, "Why Women Need the
Goddess,'' and now lives in Athens, where she runs the Ariadne
Institute for the Study of Myth and Ritual. The institute helps women
explore feminist spirituality and leads tours to archaeological sites
on the Greek Island of Crete where, Christ believes, female divinities
once ruled.

=== Noted

31. Death penalty faulted
San Antonio Express-News, Apr. 9, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) Prejean, a Catholic nun in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille,
is in San Antonio as the keynote speaker for a four-day conference on
ending the death penalty.

Prejean, who spends most of her time these days traveling the country
speaking against capital punishment, said church leaders should take a
more active role in stopping executions.

"There have to be moral leaders bringing this to the pews," she said.
"Look at Jesus and who he was with the guilty people. Even under the
great horrendousness of the crime, we have to see the human there."

32. Death penalty foes go to Huntsville
San Antonio Express-News, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
After three days of discussing state executions and calling for an end
to the death penalty, a group of people left San Antonio on Sunday for
state prison in Huntsville to meet with Texas' death row inmates.

The entourage which included Sister Helen Prejean, author of
best-seller "Dead Man Walking" hoped to provide spiritual guidance to
the condemned prisoners.

Stowe-Johns was one of 300 people attending the San Antonio conference
called, "Living Our Faith, organizing the religious community against
the death penalty."

Pat Clark, spokeswoman for Living Our Faith, said the group's goal to
increase the role of church leaders in ending capital punishment was
accomplished at the conference.

33. Health-food fundamentalists
News & Observer, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) More than 30 years after the hippie generation discovered organic
foods and herbs, evangelical Christians are turning on to a healthier,
natural way of life. Unlike the hippies, they're looking to the Bible
for guidance on how to lead a healthy life -- and they say it's working
miracles. Across the South, evangelicals are juicing carrots and eating
raw fruits and vegetables as God's way to prevent or treat heart
attacks, cancer, diabetes and a host of other illnesses.

They call it the Hallelujah Diet.

Malkmus says it's his mission to bring the diet to the church, and he
has found plenty of converts. His book "Why Christians Get Sick" has
sold 200,000 copies. He was invited to speak at 75 churches last year.
And he has trained 1,042 people in his radical philosophy that the
body, properly nourished, can heal itself.

"The church has been deceived by the devil," Strong said. "It has
been led into a way of being inept physically. If we sit down and feel
tired and overwhelmed, we can't go out and do evangelistic crusades. We
run at 50 percent of our potential when we could run at 90 or 100
percent of our potential."

* Hallelujah Diet web site: http://www.hacres.com

=== Books

34. From dads to students, there's a Bible for you
Boston Globe, Apr. 10, 1999

(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) While the Bible has always been the world's best-selling book,
the number of different Bibles jamming bookstores has exploded in
recent years, driven by a phenomenal boom in Bibles catering to special
interest groups ranging from mothers to recovering alcoholics.

There are more than 3,000 different versions of the Bible on the market
today, with more coming. Whittemore's in Needham, New England's largest
Christian bookstore, stocks 1,000 different Bibles.

=== Online

35. Online religious services booming, but is that a net gain?
Star-Telegram, Apr. 9, 1999
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(...) God has arrived on the Internet. The medium that is transforming
shopping, pornography and research is now dramatically changing the way
some people worship.

Indeed, almost anything you do at church or synagogue, you can now do
at your computer terminal -- from taking part in discussions of
Scripture to singing along with an online cantor.

But as it expands, the world of virtual worship has sparked a
controversy that goes to the heart of what the word "religion" means.
Is authentic faith possible without real people gathered together in a
real place? Is clicking on matzo the same as chewing it?

Proponents of online worship say religion puts its future at risk by
not offering ritual on the Internet.

To support their argument, technology advocates often invoke Martin
Luther, who 500 years ago understood that a radical new innovation --
the printing press -- could be used to change the face of religion

Even advocates of online religion worry that fringe groups will use the
Web to prey on vulnerable surfers. "There are an awful lot of lonely
hearts in cyberspace," says Quentin Schultze, professor of
communication at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

36. American Family Online enjoys success with pornography filter
Sun Herald, Apr. 11, 1999
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(Story no longer online? Read this)
(...) Tupelo-based American Family Online, which began in October,
passed the 1,500 subscriber milestone two weeks ago, AFO President
Steve Ensley said.

Ensley said the 13-employee company is a wholly owned, for-profit
ministry of the American Family Association. He said American Family
Online is already ahead of subscriber projections. Its filter is one of
few in heavy use throughout the country, Ensley said.

He said the filter is virtually impossible to override. It blocks about
1.7 million Internet sites, while the filter's pattern-catching feature
blocks another 8 million sites.

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