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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 28, 1994     The Message
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January 28, 1994

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective -- Completing the communications link It was Monday morning when we realized something was wrong. The only news on our news wire was five days old. Catholic News Service pro- rides the Message with religious news from the United States and the world. With satellite and com- puter technology, stories from throughout the universal church are available for use in the Mes- sage. But not on Monday. On Monday, there was very lit- tle stored in our computer from Catholic News Service. The last item we had received were not sto- ries at all, but rather an advisory message that power outages along the East Coast were causing some problems. I remember seeing that advisory message sev- eral times last week -- each time thinking, "I hope they get their problem taken care of pretty soon." On Monday morning it was obvious that the problem was more than a temporary power outage along the East Coast last week. On Monday morn- ing, I wanted to see what the news service had on the March for Life in Washington. I wanted to see "Washington Letter." I wanted to make a copy of the next Charlie Martin column. None of what I wanted ------ Washington ] PAUL R. INGANG EDITOR to do was possible. A quick call to CNS in Wash- ington, D.C., confirmed my fears -- that the temporary power problem had long ceased to be a problem and everything was working at that end of the communications sink. Conversations with two tech- nicians quickly led to the conclu- sion that when I had thought "I hope they get their problem taken care of," I should have given more thought to checking out what might be our problem. Joe, from the Catholic Center maintenance crew, quickly set up a ladder to take a closer look at our satellite receiving dish on the roof. In no time at all he spotted the problem: the cable which should have connected the satellite dish with our computer had been pulled away from the dish. Joe fixed the problem almost as quickly as he found it, and our communications link was back in business. With the cable connection repaired and re-at- tached, we began again to receive stories from throughout the world. The broken link caused us problems, but it also brought to mind the follow- ing reflection: A news item which was written in place, shall we say, traveled on a telephone line for a signal was sent to a satellite 23,000 miles i space, and from there other 23,000 miles to a small receiving rooftop. And there it stopped, a few heads, 50 feet from its final failed connection. The applications of the story are think about just these three: God's grace is available to ways -- through many other persons through the Church, through for us is not getting through, we should God. The whole world of knowledge available to every student. connection. All of the world's technologY enough -- if no one is there with the human touch. A communications system is body else's responsibility. It is always When you renew your subscription you will be completing a ries and information from and throughout the world will ..... your home every week. Civil Rights Commission: Dipping a toe into religious rightS By PATRICIA ZA]POR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Civil Rights Commis- sion is finally getting around to Considering religious rights, a move one former member has been encouraging for more than 16 years. Such attention is overdue, according to former commis- sioner Robert Destro, who has long advocated treating reli- gion-based bias the same as race or gender bias. "Religious discrimination is- sues are probably the toughest to get a handle on," said De- stro, a law professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington. "It's not per- ceived as a civil rights issue, which I think is wrong." Carl A. Anderson, a current commission member and vice president for public policy of the Knights of Columbus, said a surge in religion-related vio- lence and hate crimes, such as vandalism to church property and attempts to intimidate re- The MESS AGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by  Catholic Press of Evansville Edtx ............................................ Paul Leingang Produc Manager ........................... P Boger C, imulation ................................... Amy Housman Adve .................................... Paul Newland Sta rer,..:. ...................... Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication 1994  Pmssof E ligious leaders, has recently caught the commission's atten- tion. That comes five years after Destro's term and his ef- forts to raise the issue ended. Destro was nearly kept off the commission a dozen years ago amid fuss over his testi- mony to the Senate in 1978 that the panel "would not be missed" if it were disbanded. Then general counsel for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Destro ex- plained he had been trying to point out that the commission had been useless in protecting religion-based civil rights claims. He eventually was confirmed to the commission, a post he held from 1983 to 1989. But he never convinced his fellow pan- elists to work on religious is- sues. But as the commission fo- cused on racial and ethnic ten- sions for the last two and a half years, members have be- come increasingly aware of hostility directed at people be- cause of their religious affilia- tions, Anderson said. In a briefing at the commis- sion's Jan. 14 meeting, five speakers offered diverse per- spectives on the status of reli- gious rights in the United States. A Muslim woman, a Catholic priest and an advo- cate of strict church-state sepa- ration touched on the diversity of views the subject inspires. Azizah AI-Hibri discussed polls of attitudes toward reli- gious groups that show Mus- lims are viewed most nega- tively of all faiths. She described some prejudices faced by followers of Islam. A law professor at the Uni- versity of Richmond in Vir- ginia and board member of the American Muslim Council, Ms. AI-Hibri attributes such atti- tudes in part to references like "Muslim fundamentalisC and "Islamic terrorists" that pepper news reports, while religious labels are rarely used to simi- larly identify criminals of other affiliations. "We speak about Bosnian Muslims and Serbs, but not Christian Serbs," she said. "Terrorism is usually a politi- ]![ i I I i ..... i I I Student poem: A Gift to Jesus To the editor:. The poem attached was writ- ten by a student in one of my religion classes at Washington Catholic Middle School. The poem was not an assignment but written rather as a prayer. To me, the idea of a seventh grader taking the time to write a poem about Our Lord was a refreshing change! I thought perhaps the Mes- sage may want to publish this poem as a sign of hope and faith in this present generation of teens. Elaine Carrico A Gift to Jesus He lifted our hearts. We shouted with glee! He sprouted our fields, He calmed the sea. He died on the cross, He rose from the dead. Then we finally found out -- He was what He said. He was spat on, He was stoned, but He always knew that He wasn't alone. He made the trees, He planted the sod. The one I've been describing is the Lord, our God! ....... Scott Ricke Washington Catholic Middle School Washington cal phenomenon. But when Muslims are engaged in it, we talk about Islamic terrorism." Although Muslims are a quickly growing segment of U.S. society, they face discrimi- nation, labeling and lack of un- derstanding not directed at other religious groups, she added. Father Richard John Neuhaus, president of the In- stitute on Religion and Public Life, said religious rights in fact was one of the specific areas the commission was charged with monitoring when it was created, along with abuses based on race, sex, age, handicaps and national origin. "The curious aspect of this is that the commission and even state civil rights commissions have not been publicly conspic- uous with regard to religious rights," Father Neuhaus said. He agreed there are plenty of examples of intolerant atti- tudes and discrimination against Muslims, Catholics and the so-called religious right. and Ch seriously im NeuhauS such schools tack as insidious things as state for teach ing mandated tradicts A third erally finds grees Neuhaus on gious rightS, bers bias, place. W. rector Separation State, said thinks are "alive can society, Seventh'edaYut Hindus ar who fear the Bishop's sc The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A, Gettelfinger'