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Religion Briefs


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POSTED: Saturday, November 14, 2009

Challenges of interfaith marriage will be explored

A seminar exploring the challenges of interfaith marriage will be presented in two locations next week by the Counseling & Spiritual Care Center of Hawaii in its “;Matters of the Heart”; series.

The workshop will be given at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Temple Emanu-El, 2550 Pali Highway, and at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mililani Hongwanji, 95-257 Kaloapau St., Mililani.

Leaders of different religious organizations will share what their faith traditions expect of marriage, particularly interfaith unions. Speakers will be Rabbi Peter Schaktman; the Rev. Richard Tennes, a Buddhist minister; Hakim Ouansafi, president of the Muslim Association of Hawaii; the Rev. Steve Nguyen, a Catholic priest; and the Rev. Gary Augustin with a Christian perspective.

Also speaking will be couples in interfaith marriages.

For reservations, call the Counseling & Spiritual Care Center, 545-2740, or write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Memorial for 9/11 victim halted over religious spat

HARTFORD, Conn. » A memorial to honor a Sept. 11, 2001, victim from this small town has been halted by the unexpected conflict arising from his father's insistence that it say his son was murdered by “;Muslim terrorists.”;

Town officials in Kent are balking, saying it would be inappropriate to single out a religious group in a project on town property and paid for with taxpayers' money. The plaque to be erected outside the town hall is on indefinite hold.

Peter Gadiel says he is frustrated about what he calls a growing trend across the country to soften the reality of the 9/11 attacks by not mentioning a word about terrorism on victims' memorials. “;Ordinarily I would not want a reference to his murder on his memorial, but there seems to be an effort to whitewash what happened that day,”; said Gadiel, 61, a retired real estate investor.

Gadiel's son, James Gadiel, 23, was working for the Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage firm in the World Trade Center when he was killed. Town leaders acknowledge that Muslim terrorists were responsible for the attacks, but they insist that saying it on a public memorial plaque would be wrong.

Federal magistrate blocks prayer to begin meeting

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. » A federal magistrate recently concluded that opening a board of commissioners meeting with sectarian prayer violates the First Amendment.

Magistrate Trevor Sharp issued the recommendation in the case of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners' meetings. The magistrate's recommendation carries no legal weight, other than offering guidance to the federal judge who will make a final ruling.

Sharp noted that the invocations frequently referred to Jesus or Jesus Christ, and said such prayers “;display a preference for Christianity over other religions by the government.”;

Zoning prohibits Phoenix church from feeding poor

PHOENIX » The kitchen is closed at a North Phoenix church that fed the homeless.

CrossRoads United Methodist Church lost an appeal of a city ordinance banning charity dining halls in residential neighborhoods.

The hearing officer, retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Corcoran, ruled Monday that feeding the homeless at a place of worship can be banned by city ordinance. The decision affects all Phoenix churches with underlying residential zoning and is effective immediately.

City officials maintained that CrossRoads violated Phoenix zoning code by feeding the poor and homeless on its property, a use that can only occur in commercial or industrial zones. The church appealed and maintained it is a church and is not operating as a charity dining hall.