NEWSLETTER – JULY 2013
“The Golden Rule in the Public Square”
“Friends Talking Faith” Is Going Weekly!
The Rev. Bryan Fulwider, Rabbi Steve Engel and Imam Muhammad Musri
The “Friends Talking Faith” radio show is undergoing major changes. Starting July 2, it will air every Tuesday at 6:30 pm, following “Marketplace” with Kai Ryssdal on 90.7 WMFE, Orlando. Learn more about the program and listen to archived broadcasts at The Three Wise Guys. Upcoming program dates and topics include:
OCPS Still Seeking Faith-Based Partners
Religious Barriers Then and Now
Habitat’s ReStores Seek Volunteers
Interfaith Discussion, July 10
FBI to Track Hate Crimes Against Other Religions
An advisory policy board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) voted on June 5, 2013, to revise its list of groups for which it keeps hate-crime statistics. It will now also includeSikhs, Hindus and Arab Americans. “The highly anticipated decision comes more than two years after the Sikh Coalition first requested that the agency begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh Americans the way it does for Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists,” reports a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. “During this [two-year] period, Sikhs have been subjected to a spate of suspected hate attacks in California, Florida, New York, Washington; and the massacre of six worshippers last August 5, 2012, at a Sikh gurdwara [temple] in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. . . . Over 140 bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and American Sikh Congressional Caucus, as well as the U.S. Attorney General, endorsed the Sikh Coalition’s request to add hate-crime tracking categories for Sikhs, Hindus and Arab Americans.”
Perspective on Buddhist Behavior in Myanmar
People around the globe who monitor world events have been shocked by the persecution being inflicted on Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhists. The shock comes not just from the fact that humans mistreat each other, but more particularly that it’s being done by adherents and leaders of a life philosophy that so strongly advocates peace. An article on the website of the South China Morning Post suggests that it’s a relative handful of Buddhist monks who are advocating and leading this persecution. Other segments of the Buddhist population are doing what they can to counter the results of what a relative few are orchestrating.
Australian Prime Minister Visits Sikh Gurdwara
U.S. Shias and Sunnis Continue to Support Accord
Atheists in Florida Making News–Repeatedly
The First Atheist Monument – Starke, Florida
Florida’s atheists, usually working in tandem with some national organization, have captured headlines recently: (1) When the American Atheists sued Bradford County last July, claiming that the Ten Commandments monument that had been put in in front of the county courthouse constituted a governmental endorsement of religion, they didn’t succeed in forcing its removal. Instead, they ended up with permission to add their own monument–which the Huffington Post declares is the first such monument to atheism in the nation. (2)When the Humanists of the Treasure Coast requested the Vero Beach City Council to proclaim a Humanist Recognition Week, Mayor Craig Fletcher declared: “I refuse to support an organization that does not believe in Jesus Christ.” Nevertheless, the request was approved by a vote of 3-2. The mayor’s statement created deep concern among the non-Christian segments of the Vero Beach faith community, who called a meeting of religious leaders to discuss the matter. The mayor retracted his statement and apologized. The Indian River County Commission later passed a similar request for the county to likewise proclaim a Humanist Recognition Week. (3) According to a press release, “The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and its local chapter, the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC), filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Orange County School Board for censorship of their literature distribution on May 2, the National Day of Reason. The CFFC distributed selected items in response to the unfettered distribution of Christian Bibles in January by World Changers of Florida (WCF), but the School Board prohibited many of the submitted materials.” The permission to distribute Bibles was uncensored, the plaintiffs claim. The censoring by OCPS of the atheist material was cited as the basis for the lawsuit.
Islamic Center Invites Public to Participate in Iftar
Ramadan Dinner known as Iftar
The Islamic Center of Orlando, in the spirit of building bridges of dialogue and understanding about Islam, annually invites those of other faiths to experience with them a day of prayer, fasting and the ritual fast-breaking dinner (Iftar) at sunset. This year the invitation is for Monday, July 22. Each year during the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset for 29 or 30 days until the arrival of the new moon. During that time, they do not eat, drink or have conjugal relations from dawn until sunset. As a prelude to the the Monday event, on Sunday, July 21, at 2:00 pm at Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church(4851 South Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819) in their Attic (Building C), Imam Abdurrahman Sykes will host a “Ramadan 101” class to explain the next day’s events, which will be held at the Muslim Academy of Greater Orlando (11551 Ruby Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32836). If you’re unable to attend the “Ramadan 101” class at Saint Luke’s, you’re still invited to participate in the July 22 Iftar. Plan to arrive at 7:30 pm sharp. Seating is limited, so RSVP by July 16 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-629-5590. Please provide your name, the number in your party and your religious affiliation.
Interested in a More Complete Ramadan Experience?
For those who wish to have the full experience of a day of Ramadan fasting in addition to attending the Iftar to which the Islamic Center of Orlando is inviting the public, the prayer and fasting schedule for Monday, July 22, is as follows:
Those who choose not to fast and pray according to the schedule above are still invited to join for the fast-breaking dinner (Iftar). Please arrive at MAGO between 7:45 and 8:00 pm. Seating is limited, so RSVP by July 16 to email@example.com or 407-629-5590. Please provide your name, the number in your party and your religious affiliation.
Save the Date – Multi-Faith Workshop
James Coffin, Executive Director
PO Box 3310, Winter Park, FL 32790-3310
|T 321-228-4599 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
| W http://interfaithfl.org/Please forward this email to any you feel would be interested. To be placed on the Interfaith Council’s email newsletter list, send your request to email@example.com.