Religion Today Summaries, October 22, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, October 22, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • Police Chaplain's Stand on Homosexuality Jeopardizes His Job
  • Most Recent Bombing in Israel Claims at least 13 Lives
  • As Elections Draw Near Efforts are Doubled to Get Christians to the Polls
  • Montreal Couple Sees Arts Community as Underserved Mission Field

>>  Police Chaplain's Stand on Homosexuality Jeopardizes His Job
 Allie Martin – Agape Press

A Michigan city is facing a possible lawsuit if a volunteer chaplain -- who believes homosexuality is a sin -- is removed from his duties.  Several members of the Ferndale City Council said they supported removing Pastor Tom Hansen as the city's volunteer police chaplain.  Hansen was blasted by members of the homosexual activist group Soulforce for having publicly expressed his religious view on homosexuality being a sin.  Soulforce complained to the Council that Hansen's views represent "spiritual violence" against those who are homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered.  Apparently the Council is now divided over whether it should have Hansen relieved of his duties.  "If they, in fact, take action to try and discriminate against and fire Pastor Hansen from this volunteer position, they will be facing a civil rights lawsuit alleging what is clearly a black-and-white case of content or viewpoint discrimination," said Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.  Glenn explained that Hansen's role as chaplain does not mean he forfeits his constitutional rights.

>>  Most Recent Bombing in Israel Claims at least 13 Lives
Stefan J. Bos - ASSIST News Service

 At least 13 people died and dozens were wounded when a car exploded alongside a bus in what police said was a suicide attack in northern Israel on Monday, October 21.  "The explosion occurred near Pardes Hannah, which is close to the coastal city of Hadera but also close to Palestinian territory toward the east," said the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).   Police officials told reporters that up to two bombers were among the dead. In a letter faxed to The Associated Press (AP) in Beirut, Lebanon, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing saying it was in "retaliation for the series of massacres committed by the criminal enemy against our people."  The latest suicide attack was expected to lead to a fresh response from the Israeli army, which is also battling with defiant Israeli settlers. Earlier on Monday, October 21, the setters tried to rebuild an illegal West Bank outpost called Havat Gilad that security forces had torn down a day earlier.

>>  As Elections Draw Near Efforts are Doubled to Get Christians to the Polls

Four million Christians did not vote in the last election, which could have changed some results since election margins were as little as 90 votes. In an effort to mobilize Christian voters, a not for profit, non-partisan Christian group is launching a campaign to swing elections to conservatives. America21 recently launched the Margin of Victory Project to encourage Christians to vote through the use of various media outlets and its website,  To accomplish these goals, America21’s website is offering resources such as voter guides, candidate information, and voter registration information.  The organization, chaired by former Congresswomen Helen Chenoweth-Hage, says its mission is to educate, engage and motivate Christian conservatives and mobilize them to influence national policy at every level.

>>  Montreal Couple Sees Arts Community as Underserved Mission Field
Harold Campbell  - Baptist Press

David and Sanan Brazzeal have a vision for a church aimed at the arts community in Montreal, Canada.  "The arts community is ... a group that evangelical Christians haven't understood and which all too often has had trouble fitting into the average church," said Brazzeal.  "We want to create a venue where artists can express themselves," Brazzeal said. "Worship is very self-expressive, and we want to allow artists to communicate what God is teaching them through their experiences. There normally isn't such a venue in a church for a painter, poet or songwriter to express themselves."  In addition, the Brazzeals see the arts as a way to reach post-moderns in general since they typically are more responsive to images, dialogue and relationships than to mere presentations of facts or principles.  The Brazzeals intend to allow the Holy Spirit to shape the church's identity and vision as he works through the creative people who participate together in its formation.