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With Friends of Israel Like These… Oy Vey!

The Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America recently presented its State of Israel Friendship Award to Pat Robertson, who has declared America is a “Christian nation” and believes in the conversion of the Jews after the Second Coming. He is less friendly to Muslims. Recently, he criticized President Bush’s assertion that Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam, he told CNN, is “anything but peaceful,” since it advocates jihad–“either to force conversion or death.”


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Where the Religion Meets the Road

The Evangelical Environmental Network launched an ad campaign urging car-owning Christians concerned about global warming to ask, “What Would Jesus Drive?” Not a gas-guzzling SUV, answers the EEN. The Rev. Jerry Falwell disagreed, stating on CNN that global warming was scientifically untrue–a concept created “to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.” So WWJD? Falwell didn’t say. Probably a Hummer.


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Faith-Based Initiative–In God We Trust?

President Eases Limits on U.S. Aid to Religious Groups–New York Times. “Government can write checks, but it can’t put hope in people’s hearts”–George W. Bush. Item. The State of Illinois has charged Bishop James Wilkowski, an evangelical Catholic, with diverting to his personal use $468,000 in state grants for care of AIDS patients. Item. Indiana State Senator Sam Smith Jr. has been accused of channeling a $445,000 federal grant for a Baptist Women’s Shelter to the Rev. Lee Gilliam, who used the money to buy rental properties from which he profited. Item. A Housing and Urban Development Department program in Washington, once touted as a model of Bush’s faith-based initiative, has been suspended because the group administering it was reselling abandoned houses purchased cheaply from HUD for “excessive prices.” Item. HUD says San Francisco owes it $400,000 because money from a federal grant was given to a supporter of Mayor Willie Brown who used it to buy a building that was sold to the Nation of Islam, which used it as a mosque. HUD said the sale violated the separation of church and state.