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In Brief
In Brief

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Judge: Ga. County May Pray to Jesus

Cobb County, Ga., commissioners can pray in the name of Jesus at their meetings under a new federal court ruling.

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story ruled Sept. 8 that clergy who say an invocation at the meetings could "identify the deity to whom they direct their prayer." But Story also took issue with the way commissioners choose the clergy who appear at the meetings because it was clear that certain faiths "were categorically excluded from the list."

The case was filed in August 2005 by the Georgia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of seven people, who argued that the references to Jesus were an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity.

-- Associated Press

Thousands Attend Extended Revival

For six weeks, thousands of people have been going to a river baptism in Cane River, N.C., a tiny town near Asheville.

The Cane River Tent Revival started July 31 and was supposed to end two weeks later, but people -- sometimes 4,000 a night -- have kept coming. They waded with purpose into the rain-chilled waters, meeting with the pastors who submerged and lifted them.

"I've had opportunities in the past to be involved in area-wide meetings," said the Rev. Ralph Sexton Jr. "But this exceeds all expectations."

Sexton credits the large crowds to God and troubled times.

"In our communities, there seems to be a hunger to return to basic moral and faith values," he said. "We have an unsettled world. Every continent has a madman, and every country is asking for peace and safety and we're finding none.

"This is my first cornfield revival," he said, "and I hope it won't be my last."

-- Associated Press

Senator: Drop 'Islamic Fascists'

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) is calling on President Bush to refrain from using the phrase "Islamic fascists," saying it offends Muslims and has nothing to do with America's enemies.

In a speech to the Arab American Institute in Washington, Feingold said: "We must avoid using misleading and offensive terms that link Islam with those who subvert this great religion or who distort its teachings to justify terrorist activities."

Feingold is a potential 2008 presidential candidate.

Bush isn't the only politician to use the phrase. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has drawn parallels between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying both required fighting an ideologically-motivated foe in multiple countries.

-- Associated Press

Muslims Urged To Buy Into Media

The head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) told officials from Islamic countries that Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world..

Information ministers and officials meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the 57-nation OIC, the world's largest Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000, including the passengers and crew of a jetliner that crashed in Pennsylvania.

"Muslim investors must invest in the large media institutions of the world . . . so that they have the ability to affect their policies via their administrative boards," OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told the gathering.

Muslim stakes in Western media are minimal. Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns 5.46 percent of conglomerate News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch-run group behind the Fox News Channel.

-- Reuters

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