One hundred church pastors across the U.S. participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's third annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an overt campaign in which pastors deliberately break the law by endorsing candidates for public office from the pulpit. Federal tax law prohibits tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, including churches, from endorsing candidates for political office.
Journalists working for Utah's oldest continuously-published daily newspaper, the Deseret News, are leaving the paper in a dispute over the new direction in the paper's journalism.
A year-old, anti-Muslim email has resurfaced and is curculating once again, riding the latest wave of U.S. anti-Muslim bigotry. The email urges people to boycott a U.S. postage stamp that recognizes the Islamic holiday of Eid. The stamp, which rumor-mongers mistakenly refer to as a "Muslim Christmas Stamp," was first issued about ten years ago, and is one of six seasonal postage stamps the United States Postal Service sells that commemorate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Eid, snowmen and music makers. The email was first sent around a year ago by John Piper, the mayor of Clarksville, Tennessee. In it, Piper urged "all patriotic Americans" to protest a U.S. postage stamp commemorating the Islamic holiday of Eid. Piper accused "Muslim Communist" President Obama of ordering the stamp's creation. The stamp was, in fact, created during the George W. Bush administration. A similar stamp, sort of an Arabic Valentine's Day stamp with hearts and a butterfly on it, is also mentioned in the email. That stamp was created on a Web site called Zazzle, that lets people create their own custom stamps, and is not issued by the USPS. Snopes.com recently updated its page debunking this rumor. The USPS's holiday stamps are available here.
Last week, CMD promoted a petition for religious freedom and against intolerance, that was written by Kate Martin, Suzanne Spaulding, and Lisa Graves. Many of you signed this petition, joining thousands of fellow Americans in standing up for religious freedom and against religious bigotry. Deepak Chopra also urged people to stand up with us against intolerance. Almost 3,000 people signed our petition and over 3,000 signed onto a copy our petition circulated separately, in a very short period.
Terry Jones, the controversial pastor in Gainesville, Florida who is calling for an"International Burn A Koran Day" on September 11, may have a personal motive for inflaming national hatred of Muslims: lining his own pocket.