College of William and Mary Returns Cross to Chapel; Baptist Leader: North Korea Talks Should Include Religious Rights - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AP Religion Roundup - March 07, 2007

College of William and Mary Returns Cross to Chapel; Baptist Leader: North Korea Talks Should Include Religious Rights

COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY RETURNS CROSS TO CHAPEL

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (AP) _ A decision has been announced to
permanently return a cross to the chapel at the College of William
and Mary.

College President Gene Nichol says he ``didn't fully
anticipate'' the outcry that would result from his decision to
remove the cross so that Wren Chapel would be more welcoming to
other faiths.

The brass cross will be displayed prominently in a glass case,
based on a recommendation made by a committee of alumni, students
and others that Nichol appointed to study the issue.

The cross had been on the altar since about 1940 at the publicly
funded college.

Critics argued that removing it was an attack on Christianity
and dishonored William and Mary's Anglican heritage.

BAPTIST LEADER: NORTH KOREA TALKS SHOULD INCLUDE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The head of the Southern Baptist Convention's
public policy arm says talks aimed at shutting down North Korea's
nuclear program must also address the communist nation's violations
of religious rights.

The Reverend Richard Land, who also serves on the U-S Commission
on International Religious Freedom, says North Korean Christians
are being locked up and murdered.

The State Department says North Korea also tortures prisoners
and forces them to have abortions.

Land says if the United States overlooks such atrocities to
achieve a nuclear deal, ``We would do so at our peril and moral
culpability.''

The State Department also faults China for worsening religious
oppression and for its forced repatriation of North Korean
refugees.

Sound:
Steve Coleman, A-P Religion Editor, with the Reverend Richard Land,
President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
The head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy arm
says talks aimed at shutting down North Korea's nuclear program
must also address the communist nation's violations of religious
rights. A-P Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports.

<<CUT 396 (03/06/07)>> :30

Reverend Richard Land, president of Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission, in A-P interview
The Reverend Richard Land says religious liberty should be on the
agenda at the U-S nuclear talks with North Korea.

<<CUT 397 (03/06/07)>> :01 ``should be''

Reverend Richard Land, president of Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission, in A-P interview
The Reverend Richard Land says the U-S must not overlook North
Korean atrocities to achieve a nuclear deal. (cut used in wrap)

<<CUT 398 (03/06/07)>> :03 ``moral culpability''

Reverend Richard Land, president of Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission, in A-P interview
The Reverend Richard Land says North Korea is guilty of human
rights atrocities. (longer version of cut used in wrap)

<<CUT 399 (03/06/07)>> :12 ``being shot''

Reverend Richard Land, president of Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission, in A-P interview
The Reverend Richard Land says it would be wrong to give North
Korea a pass on its human rights violations. (cut used in wrap)

<<CUT 400 (03/06/07)>> :04 ``strategic negotiations''

CHURCH GROUP LEADER: LIBBY CONVICTION SENDS MORAL MESSAGE

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The general secretary of the National Council
of Churches says Lewis Libby's conviction for obstruction of
justice and lying under oath sends an important moral message.

The Reverend Bob Edgar says America's young people should see
that ``telling the truth is the right thing to do, regardless of
where that truth takes us.''

Edgar, a former Democratic congressman, says Libby's behavior
was characteristic of the Bush administration, which Edgar says has
told ``lie after lie after lie.''

Libby's lawyer says he's seeking a new trial and believes Libby
will be vindicated.

In a statement, Vice President Cheney said he's saddened for his
former aide and his family.

Sound:
Reverend Bob Edgar, general secretary of National Council of
Churches, in A-P interview
The Reverend Bob Edgar says Lewis Libby's conviction sends an
important message.

<<CUT 401 (03/06/07)>> :09 ``the truth''

Reverend Bob Edgar, general secretary of National Council of
Churches, in A-P interview
The Reverend Bob Edgar says Lewis Libby's offense was one among
many.

<<CUT 402 (03/06/07)>> :07 ``after lie''

Reverend Bob Edgar, general secretary of National Council of
Churches, in A-P interview
The Reverend Bob Edgar says there's a moral message in Libby's
conviction.

<<CUT 403 (03/06/07)>> :10 ``takes us''

INTERFAITH GROUP URGES CONGRESS TO INSURE ALL U-S CHILDREN

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders are
urging Congress to extend health insurance coverage to all of
America's children.

At a news conference, the clerics said nine (m) million American
children are uninsured.

Rabbi David Saperstein (SAP'-ur-steen) said the nation's health
care system ``needs healing.''

The Reverend Richard Land said health coverage for children is
``a pro-life issue'' for Southern Baptists because, ``We're not be
pro-life just from conception to birth, but after birth as well.''

Bishop George McKinney, a leader of the Church of God in Christ,
said God's blessings are conditioned on how the nation cares for
``the least of these.''

The leader of the Islamic Society of North America said the
Quran teaches that caring for children is the responsibility of the
entire community, not just the parents.

Sound:
Bishop George McKinney, general board member of Church of God in
Christ, speaking at news conference
Bishop George McKinney says Congress should pass legislation
extending medical insurance to all of America's children.

<<CUT 404 (03/06/07)>> :15 ``our children''

Reverend Richard Land, president of Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission, speaking at news conference
The Reverend Richard Land says some conservative Christians would
prefer that he focus instead on opposing abortion.

<<CUT 405 (03/06/07)>> :14 ``as well''

Rabbi David Sapertein, (SAP'-ur-steen), director of Religious
Action Center of Reform Judaism, speaking at news conference
Rabbi David Saperstein says it's Scriptural to pray for healing.

<<CUT 406 (03/06/07)>> :16 ``needs healing''

Sayyid Sayeed, secretary general of Islamic Society of North
America, speaking at news conference
Sayyid Sayeed says Muslims believe that a community must care for
all of its children.

<<CUT 407 (03/06/07)>> :19 ``entire community''

EXPERTS: PUBLIC SCHOOLS COULD DO BETTER AT TEACHING RELIGION

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Educational and religious leaders say public
school teachers could do better at promoting understanding of
religion without violating the First Amendment.

About 50 people attended a conference this week on the future of
religion in public schools at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

They discussed how to avoid constitutional conflicts and
lawsuits while including religion in literature, history, art and
music classes.

Participants said fear of litigation and a misunderstanding of
what's allowed under the First Amendment has led some schools to
improperly restrict religious expression.

Charles Haynes, a senior scholar for the First Amendment Center,
said ``it's generally understood now that it's protected speech in
schools.''

OREGON COURT WEIGHS RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION FOR SCHOOL PLAYOFFS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ When Portland Adventist Academy appeared
in Oregon's state basketball playoffs in 2002, it lost its final
game by a score of two-to-nothing.

But rather than a lack of offense, the team fell because of its
religious beliefs. Seventh-day Adventists observe the Sabbath from
sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The game was scheduled for 3
p-m Saturday, so the Cougars forfeited.

The Oregon Supreme Court has questioned lawyers representing the
Oregon School Activities Association about what standards should be
established to accommodate students' beliefs and why the
Association hasn't made a greater effort to satisfy those needs
during the basketball playoffs.

A ruling in the case is expected later this year.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASKING POLICE TO HELP HIM BREAK INTO CHURCH

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) _ Police in Stevens Point, Wisconsin,
say a 24-year-old man called to tell them he was trying to break
into a church to get married, and asked if they would help.

When officers arrived at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, the man
said he had been trying to use a metal shovel to break through the
doors.

Police searched him and found marijuana. He then invited them to
his home, where he told them they would find more drugs.

They did: He showed them his stash of marijuana and stolen
prescription drugs.

The man was arrested pending charges of drug possession and
criminal damage to property.

PENNSYLVANIA MAYOR RESIGNS OVER ACCUSATION SHE STOLE FROM CHURCH

BATH, Pa. (AP) _ The longtime mayor of Bath, Pennsylvania, has
resigned over charges that she stole money for months from her
church's collection plate.

Elizabeth Fields, Bath's mayor for 21 of the past 25 years,
allegedly stole more than nine-thousand dollars from Sacred Heart
Roman Catholic Church, where she was a secretary.

Prosecutors say the 65-year-old Fields was arrested in November
after a video camera in the church rectory caught her taking a roll
of bills and stuffing it in her pocket. She's accused of falsifying
records in an attempt to cover collection plate shortfalls.

MAN SENTENCED FOR PLOWING VEHICLE INTO CHURCH CARNIVAL

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ A man convicted of plowing a minivan into
an inflatable ``Moon Walk'' at a church carnival in suburban
Detroit has been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Nine children and four adults were injured when 35-year-old
Timothy Buss's vehicle crashed into the church carnival in
Southfield, Michigan, last May.

Buss was found guilty last month of assault with intent to
commit great bodily harm.

A prosecutor noted that Buss ``could have stopped at any time to
help the injured victims but instead chose to drive away.''

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR APPROVAL OF EPISCOPAL BISHOP

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Time is running out for the Episcopal
Church to approve the election of the Reverend Mark Lawrence, a
conservative chosen locally by a landslide to be the new bishop of
the Diocese of South Carolina.

If not approved by Monday, church law requires the diocese to
hold a new election.

The Diocese of South Carolina is among several nationwide that
have voted to reject the authority of the Episcopal Church's
presiding bishop over Biblical and gay rights issues.

Lawrence has said that he has no plans to take the diocese out
of the Episcopal Church, but his election needs approval from a
majority of Episcopal bishops and standing committees nationwide.

A majority of bishops have agreed, but only 46 of the needed 56
committees have approved.

ANGLICAN LEADER APPEALS FOR UNITY AHEAD OF ANTI-POVERTY CONFERENCE

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ The Archbishop of Canterbury
is urging Anglicans to put aside their differences ahead of an
international church conference to address poverty and combat AIDS.

Archbishop Rowan Williams, the Anglican's spiritual leader,
acknowledged tensions in the church but said addressing poverty is
``a basic Christian imperative.''

Williams will be the keynote speaker at the Anglican conference
in South Africa.

The Anglican Communion is threatened by deep disagreements over
homosexuality, the ordaining of gay priests and the blessing of
same-sex unions. Conservative clerics from Africa, Asia and
elsewhere have condemned the U-S Episcopal Church's consecration of
an openly gay bishop.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-03-07-07 0240CST

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