DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     June 24, 1998     vol. 9, no. 122

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

US SUPREME COURT REJECTS SCHOOL PRAYER APPEAL WHILE TWO AMERICANS ARE DISCOVERED EXPORTING RADICAL STERILIZATION DRUG TO THIRD WORLD AND ACROSS THE SEA BRITISH PARLIAMENT ANNOUNCES IT IS LOWERING AGE OF CONSENT FOR HOMOSEXUALITY

          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by Alabama Gov. Fob James of a lower court ruling that strongly restricted the expression of religion in Alabama's DeKalb County schools.

          US District Judge Ira DeMent last year struck down an Alabama law that would have allowed "nonsectarian, non-proselytizing, student-initiated, voluntary prayers" at all school-related events. He said the law would be coercive and lead to "excessive entanglement" between religion and government. He said eliminating administration-approved or teacher-led prayers or devotionals does not limit individual exercise of personal religious beliefs.

          James appealed the judge's order to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, but then asked the Supreme Court to bypass the appeals court and order DeMent to rescind his injunction. In the appeal, he attacked a series of court decision over the past four decades that have limited public expression of faith. "Freedom of religion is disappearing in America," he argued in the appeal. "Because of this court, a few people claiming freedom from religion can silence others in public places such as schools."

          Meanwhile there's shocking news out of New York that two Americans are engaged in a controversial campaign to export a controversial sterilization drug to women in developing countries in order to limit immigration to the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

          The newspaper said Stephen Mumford, 55, and Dr. Elton Kessel, 79, who are the only distributors of quinacrine pellets in the world, operate the non-profit Center for Research on Population and Security, manufacturing the drug in Switzerland and distributing it in 20 countries. Quinacrine irreversibly sterilizes women after it is inserted in the uterus and then scars the fallopian tubes. The process is painful, causing some women to faint, and may have dangerous side-effects.

          Quinacrine is banned in the US and even most population control groups, as well as the World Health Organization, oppose its use. Mumford told The Journal that his organization believes Quinacrine is a way to decrease world population and reduce the potential number of immigrants to the United States from developing nations. "This explosion in human numbers, which after 2050 will come entirely from immigrants and the offspring of immigrants, will dominate our lives. There will be chaos and anarchy," Mumford said. Many demographers dispute those numbers and most claims of a dangerous population explosion that could threaten the world's food supply.

          Mumford estimated that more than 100,000 women have been sterilized over the past decade. The report said the population control group is supported by anti-immigration organizations in the US.

          Meanwhile things are getting worse in London as well for the British House of Commons on Monday voted to lower the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16, giving to intense lobbying by radical homosexual groups and rejecting a plea by religious leaders not to further erode declining moral values.

          The proposed law, which was supported by Prime Minister Tony Blair, passed the House of Commons by a vote of 333-129, but it must still be approved by the House of Lords where senior Anglican bishops who seated there may block it. Several opinion polls this week indicated a majority of Britons opposed the law. Blair said the law brings Britain into line with other European Union nations which also have the lowered age of consent.

          Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, and Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster, Catholic primate of England and Wales, were united in their opposition to the bill. "Pressures are at work to legitimize any and every lifestyle, irrespective of any difference in value quality between them," the country's Anglican bishops said in a statement before the vote. "These pressures should be resisted." They later said the vote violated the government's duty to offer "a vision of what is good."


Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 24, 1998       volume 9, no. 122
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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