AIR FORCE-ETHICS COURSE
Air Force suspends course that used Bible verses
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) - The Air Force has suspended a course
that nuclear missile launch officers were required to take called
"Christian Just War Theory."
David Smith, spokesman for the Air Force's Air Education and
Training Command, says the course will be revised after complaints
about its use of Bible passages to show that it can be moral to go
Smith says that approach is now considered inappropriate in a
He says the Air Force felt the training was needed for officers
who might be called upon to launch nuclear missiles "because of
the nature of the job."
The Washington Post reports that the course was apparently
taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for
more than 20 years.
Some religious figures oppose Perry prayer event
HOUSTON (AP) - Some Houston religious leaders are voicing
concern over Gov. Rick Perry's involvement in this Saturday's
prayer meeting at Reliant Stadium.
The statement by more than 50 Muslim, Jewish and Christian
leaders says that by hosting the event, Perry sends "an official
endorsement of one faith" and excludes those "who do not share
Asked about the statement, Perry aides say he "looks forward to
attending `The Response, a day of prayer and fasting for our
Christian historian David Barton, who will help lead the
prayers, says Perry agreed to promote the event before he began
considering a presidential bid. Perry has said he'll announce by
the end of this month whether he'll seek the Republican nomination
for president in 2012.
METHODISTS-SAME SEX BLESSING
Minn. Methodists investigate same-sex blessings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Leaders of the United Methodist Church in
Minnesota are investigating a complaint against a Minneapolis
pastor who blessed same-sex unions as part of gay pride
The Star Tribune reports that the Rev. Greg Renstrom of New
Harmony Methodist Church admitted bestowing blessings on six
same-sex couples on June 25. Renstrom said none of the blessings
took place on Methodist Church property, but he realized he might
be violating denominational rules.
The United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline states that
"Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be
conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our
In June, a United Methodist pastor in Wisconsin was suspended
for 20 days after being convicted in a church trial of officiating
at a same-sex union.
Gospel singer Delois Barrett Campbell dead at 85
CHICAGO (AP) - Delois Barrett Campbell, a member of the Barrett
Sisters gospel trio, has died at the age of 85 in a Chicago
For decades, the Barrett Sisters electrified audiences worldwide
with their powerful harmonies.
Delois Barrett Campbell, the oldest of the sibling vocal trio,
was born and raised in Chicago, where she was steeped in the gospel
The Barrett Sisters recorded their first album, "Jesus Loves
Me," in the mid-1960s.
New generations discovered them when the trio appeared in the
1982 documentary "Say Amen, Somebody" and in Patti LaBelle's 1990
television special "Going Home to Gospel."
Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich called them "the
greatest female trio in gospel history."
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL CONTROVERSY
NY archdiocese: Principal fired for racist views
NEW YORK (AP) - The Archdiocese of New York has fired the
principal of a mostly black and Hispanic elementary school in the
Bronx for writings it deemed racist.
Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling says school officials
reviewed Frank Borzellieri's books and columns and found that he
espoused white supremacist views that were at odds with the
church's mission and values. The firing came after the New York
Daily News reported that Borzellieri had written that expanding
black and Hispanic populations will create a "New Dark Age."
Borzellieri and his book publisher didn't respond to requests
for comment Tuesday from the AP.
He had been principal of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School for two
On the school's website, Father Eric Rapaglia, the pastor of Mt.
Carmel, apologized and said that neither he nor a search committee
knew about Borzellieri's political writings when they hired him.
Philadelphia museum features 'Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus'
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of
Art takes a fresh look at religious paintings, drawings and prints
by one of history's most revered artists.
"Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" contains works from museums
and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. The exhibition of
more than 50 works by the Dutch master and his pupils includes a
group of seven oil paintings of Jesus Christ that have not been
together since they left Rembrandt's studio in 1656.
Timothy Rub, director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, calls
the show "a rare moment to observe the image of Jesus through the
imagination of this artistic genius whose life was devoted to
representations of biblical truths."
Iraq sentences 3 to death in Baghdad church attack
BAGHDAD (AP) - An Iraqi court has sentenced three men to death
for masterminding a church siege last year that killed 68 people in
one of the most horrific attacks on Iraq's Christian minority.
The three men were found guilty of planning and preparing the
Oct. 31 attack, when al-Qaida suicide bombers held worshippers
hostage at Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation cathedral for hours
before detonating explosive belts. The attack horrified Iraqis and
Christians across the world.
Upwards of a million Iraqi Christians have fled the country in
recent years, and those who remain are targets for insurgents.
On Tuesday a car bomb blew up outside a church in the northern
city of Kirkuk (keer-KOOK'), wounding 23 people. The city's police
chief says bombs also were found in cars parked outside two other
Italian parliament commission approves burqa ban
ROME (AP) - An Italian parliamentary commission has approved a
draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces
The law's sponsor says she wants to help Muslim women integrate
into Italian society. But a spokesman for the Union of Islamic
Communities in Italy says the law would isolate devout Muslim
women, who would not be able to leave their homes.
Women who violate the ban could be fined hundreds of dollars,
while third parties who force women to cover their faces in public
would be fined $43,000 and face up to a year in jail.
Italy, an overwhelmingly Catholic country with a small Muslim
minority, is the latest European country to act against the burqa.
France and Belgium have banned face-covering Islamic dress in
NYC mosque developer: Project may take years
NEW YORK (AP) - The developer of an Islamic community center and
mosque near ground zero says it may take years to determine what
kind of project Muslims and non-Muslims want.
Sharif El-Gamal tells The New York Times that decisions will be
made after consultation with lower Manhattan residents and New York
El-Gamal says that in the past year he's built relationships
with neighborhood groups. He's recruited a 9/11 victim's relative
to his advisory board and sought donors from around the country. He
concedes he should have done those things before going public with
He also says he'll only accept money from sources that reflect
El-Gamal's vision for the project remains unchanged: a mosque,
health club, theater and religious and interfaith programming open
Chicago area Muslims push for a 'green' Ramadan
CHICAGO (AP) - Some Chicago-area Muslims say they have an
additional focus during their holy month of Ramadan (RAH'-mah-dahn)
-- the environment.
Officials with the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater
Chicago launched several green initiatives Monday, the first day of
the Islamic month marked by fasting and prayer.
The council represents dozens of Muslim organizations, which are
being asked to focus more on recycling and solar energy.
Council members say they're also working with the Chicago's
Field Museum on an environmental study.
Illinois legislators recently adopted a resolution designating
Ramadan as a "Green Month."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)