Following complaints from a local atheist, a post office in California removed a poster carrying the words "God Bless America" from public view so it wouldn't violate the separation of church and state, reports the Santa Maria Times.
The phrase on the poster in the Lompoc post office, which also pictured an American flag, so offended local resident Matt Hughes that he demanded it be removed.
"They posted a religious expression, in this case, a prayer, and it's not the business of our government to be promoting religion," Hughes said. "That's the business of our churches."
The postmaster to whom he complained moved the poster to a back room out of public view. It had been hanging on a wall above the customer service counter since shortly after 9/11/01.
Crimes of Biblical Proportion
Police officers in Wales arrested a Christian campaigner in Cardiff for distributing leaflets outside a gay-themed event which included anti-homosexuality quotations from the Bible that were deemed abusive by authorities, according to the London Evening Standard.
The South Wales police arrested evangelical Stephen Green outside the Mardi Gras event in Cardiff and charged him with using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour." A spokesman for the police said Green had not behaved in a violent or aggressive manner, but that officers arrested him because "the leaflet contained Biblical quotes about homosexuality."
The leaflets were titled Same-Sex Love - Same-Sex Sex: What does the Bible Say?, and included a series of quotations, among them one from Leviticus stating "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination" and another from Romans.
Black leaders in France are demanding that the new edition of a dictionary be recalled because its definition of the word 'colonization' puts too positive a spin on the concept, according to the Associated Press.
Patrick Lozes, the president of the Representative Council of Black Associations, wants all copies of the iconic Petit Robert dictionary pulled off the shelves because it defines "colonization" as "exploitation, getting the best return out of countries which have become colonies."
"It's not acceptable to continue to put out a message that colonization may have had a positive role," Lozes said.
"Our role is not to be the thought police. We don't want to dictate what is said," Lozes insisted. "But we don't want dictionaries to continue to make this country believe that colonization had positive outcomes."
The publishers of the dictionary have so far refused Lozes' demands. The books are "written by professional lexicographers and linguists and in no case are to be dictated by an interest group of any kind," the company said.
A Democratic candidate for state auditor in Ohio is accusing her Republic opponent of "conspiracy to incite racial bigotry" for asking in a poll of probable voters whether the Dem's role as president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus affected their view of her, reports the Akron Beacon Journal.
Democrat Barbara Sykes is suing her Republican opponent, Mary Taylor, for resorting "to a morally repulsive form of race baiting intended to incite racial bigotry." She believes voters will be negatively affected by the poll's racial overtone.
A Salt Lake County Republican wants the mayor of that city officially reprimanded for using the adjective "slavish" to describe his devotion to President Bush, according to the Deseret News.
James Evans, who is black, is convinced that Mayor Rocky Anderson's choice of words was racist.
"I have no doubt it was purposeful," Evans said. "He singled me out, and when he mentioned my name, it told me I was definitely on his mind ... He knew what he was doing."
In the speech, at an anti-war rally, Anderson said: "So James Evans and these folks who financed this massive radio campaign these last few days, let them understand that blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism. A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president."
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