Religion News: Muslim women blocked from pool win discrimination suit

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Muslim women win pool clothing case

Two Muslim women blocked from a swimming pool in Sweden for refusing to change their clothing have won more than $3,100 each in damages.

The women — dressed in headscarves, sweat pants and long-sleeved T-shirts — accompanied their children to a public pool on two separate occasions in April 2004 but were asked to leave after refusing to change their clothes.

Lifeguards told the women they were not welcome unless they got changed into something lighter because their clothing did not comply with the pool's safety and hygiene regulations.

The court said the women had "been discriminated (against) in a way that is linked to their religion," which prevented them from being able to comply with the demands. – Associated Press

Good Book?

“Beside Still Waters: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt”

Gregg Easterbrook says the ideal readers of “Beside Still Waters: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt” are "those who seek the spiritual center -- whose hearts are open to higher purpose but whose heads are aware of the many valid objections." To these readers, Easterbrook offers contemplative, witty, well-informed essays. Easterbrook is a reporter, not a religion expert, but he's managed to float an extraordinary amount of erudition on his fluid journalistic style. –

Quote of Note

"It's unfortunate we have to do this. This church has other priorities, like helping the poor in this neighborhood. But God didn't give us a choice. When God says do this, we say, 'Yes, sir!'"

The Rev. Walter Coleman of Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago. Flor Crisostomo, 28, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, spurned a deportation order Monday and moved into the church, according to Associated Press reports.

Crisostomo is following in the footsteps of Elvira Arellano, who sought refuge in the same church before being arrested in August. Crisostomo said she chose to defy authorities to illustrate the injustice of U.S. immigration laws.

Get to Know … Billy Graham

Billy Graham, born Nov. 7, 1918, as William Franklin Graham Jr., is an evangelist and an Evangelical Christian. He has been a spiritual adviser to multiple U.S. presidents and was number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for the 20th century. He is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Graham has conducted more than 41 evangelistic crusades since 1948. He began this form of ministry in 1947 and continued until recently. He would rent a large venue, such as a stadium, park or street. He had a group of up to 5,000 people to sing in a choir and then preached the gospel and invited people to come forward. These people, called inquirers, were then given the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a counselor who clarified any questions the inquirer may have had and would pray with that person. As of 2002, Graham's lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped two billion.

Graham has had a personal audience with every sitting United States President since Harry Truman.

Survey Says

According to the most recent survey on evolution -- released in August 2006 -- by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 42 percent of respondents directly rejected evolution, choosing the option that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the creation.

About half (51 percent) believe that evolution has occurred, but many of these (21 percent) think it was guided by a supreme being or higher power, a notion that roughly describes the views of the "intelligent design" movement.

Finally, just 26 percent believe in evolution through natural selection.

The Word

Blasphemy: Swearing in the name of God, denying the existence of God, saying evil things about God, asserting incorrect beliefs about God, etc. --

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Czech Republic

Roman Catholic 26.8 percent

Protestant 2.1 percent

Other 3.3 percent

Unspecified 8.8 percent

Unaffiliated 59 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service