Religion Roundup - Air Force Squadron's 'Crusader' Name and Emblem Challenged - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

September 2, 2006

Religion Roundup - Air Force Squadron's 'Crusader' Name and Emblem Challenged

AIR FORCE SQUADRON'S 'CRUSADER' NAME AND EMBLEM CHALLENGED

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) _ Mikey Weinstein (WYN'-steen), who sued the
Air Force over allegations that Air Force Academy cadets were
subjected to Christian evangelization, now wants New Mexico's
Cannon Air Force Base to end the 523rd Fighter Squadron's use of
``Crusaders'' as the unit's nickname.

He also objects to the squadron's emblem, which features a
cross, a sword and an armored helmet.

Weinstein, who's Jewish, says having warplanes named after
medieval Christians who fought Muslims in the Holy Land is crazy
when the United States is at war with radical Islam.

He believes the religious emblem also is unconstitutional.

A Cannon Air Force Base spokesman says he knows of no plans to
change the Crusaders nickname or the 523rd unit emblem.

SCHOOL BOARD TO SEEK DISMISSAL OF SUIT OVER JESUS PORTRAIT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ West Virginia's Harrison County Board
of Education says it will seek dismissal of a lawsuit over a
portrait of Jesus that hung in Bridgeport High School for decades.

The board, which had planned to fight for the right to keep a
religious display, will now argue that the theft of the painting
two weeks ago renders the case moot.

But school board member Mike Queen says, ``that doesn't mean the
issue is resolved.'' He says students plan to present ``something
that is to be hung there'' to Bridgeport High's principal after
school today.

Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and
State, which sued to have the Jesus painting removed, says a new
religious display will be challenged even if the effort is
student-led.

PREACHER FINED ON NOISE CHARGE AT REVIVAL

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) _ A preacher has received a fine and
suspended sentence after pleading guilty to violating an Alabama
town's noise ordinance at a tent revival.

Dwayne Blue insists he was only guilty of praying, but Fort
Payne police arrested him at the revival behind a hotel about 10:30
p.m. Sunday. Officers said hotel guests complained about the noise
and officers went to the revival three times, making the arrest on
the final visit.

Blue, who insists it wasn't a loud prayer, told the Fort Payne
Times-Journal, ``I thought handcuffs and things of that nature were
for criminals.''

He and other ministers from across the country are attending a
revival meeting all this week.

CHURCH ORDERED TO TURN OVER ASSETS TO FORMER DENOMINATION

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) _ A Maryland judge has ordered a pastor
and his congregation to return up to 50 (m) million dollars in
assets to the denomination they split with seven years ago.

Judge Sheila Tillerson-Adams ruled that the Reverend John Cherry
has no right to buildings and land he kept after splitting with the
A-M-E Zion Church to form From the Heart Church Ministries.

Cherry founded the Full Gospel A-M-E Zion Church in Marlow
Heights in 1981 and built it into one of the richest congregations
in the Washington area. But in 1999, he said a vision led him to
take his church out of the denomination, which owns the property of
its local congregations.

A hearing for the parties to discuss the judge's ruling is
scheduled today.

CONGREGATION VOTES TO LEAVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH USA

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An Oklahoma congregation has voted
overwhelmingly to withdraw from the Presbyterian Church U-S-A.

Members of Tulsa's Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church voted
967-to-36 to affirm a vote by church elders to leave and seek
affiliation with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

The decision comes after the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church U-S-A adopted a policy that opponents say will
allow gay pastors in the church.

AMY GRANT RECALLS ADVICE TO BETHANY DILLON, OTHER YOUNG ARTISTS

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Amy Grant remembers the advice she gave
Bethany Dillon and other young women getting their start in
Christian music.

At a Nashville gathering several years ago, Grant warned them
that the freedom and excitement of going out on tour when you're
young can be overwhelming. In her words, ``I did my best sinning
after I was out telling people about Jesus through music.''

Amy Grant says Bethany Dillon listened quietly, but wrote a
letter later that established their friendship. Grant says she was
``thrilled'' when her song ``Lead Me On'' was re-recorded by
Dillon.

MUSLIM PROTESTS PARTY TO HONOR QUEEN FRONTMAN FREDDIE MERCURY

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) _ A Muslim leader on the African island
of Zanzibar, where rock singer Freddie Mercury was born, is
criticizing plans to honor him with a huge beach party this
weekend.

Mercury, who was gay and died of AIDS in 1991, gained fame as
the lead singer for Queen, whose 1970s hits included ``Bohemian
Rhapsody'' and ``We Are the Champions.''

Azan Khalid of Zanzibar's Association for Islamic Mobilization
and Propagation says Mercury violated Islam with his flamboyant
lifestyle, so anything linking him with the island's Muslim
majority would be offensive.

Mercury would have been 60 next Tuesday.

INJUNCTION ISSUED AGAINST MAN ACCUSED OF MOSQUE DESECRATION

AUBURN, Maine (AP) _ A judge in Maine has ordered a Lewiston man
accused of rolling a severed pig's head into a mosque to stay away
from the mosque and its members.

Thirty-three-year-old Brent Matthews is accused of violating the
Maine Civil Rights Act.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin says at yesterday's
hearing, Matthews ``admitted that he put the pig's head there, but
he said it was just a joke.''

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork, so the act was viewed
by many as an insult to Muslims.

Matthews was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of desecrating a
house of worship after the pig's head was rolled into the mosque
July Third as about 40 men were bowed in prayer.

POLYGAMIST CHURCH LEADER AGREES TO EXTRADITION

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs has
agreed to be extradited from Nevada to Utah to face rape charges
that he arranged marriages of older men with girls as young as 13.

In an affidavit, one accuser says Jeffs made her wed over her
repeated objections. The girl says she resisted for a month, but
Jeffs ordered her to ``give your mind, body and soul to your
husband like you're supposed to.''

Jeffs heads the ten-thousand-member Fundamentalist Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which broke away when the Mormon
church renounced polygamy more than a century ago.

He is said to have at least 40 wives and nearly 60 children.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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