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By Laura King and Laura King,Los Angeles Times | July 22, 2007
ALANYA, Turkey -- Vacationing just a few miles apart on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, the economist from Istanbul and the engineer from Ankara could hardly have more divergent views of a nationwide vote today that is expected to return the ruling party to power - and intensify a battle over the role of Islam in public life. The ruling Justice and Development Party, which has roots in political Islam, is "just too Muslim, too radical," said Reha Guner, drinking tea in a cafe just off a crowded beach where European tourists sunbathed topless and beer flowed freely.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2014
Returning from a religious service (let's omit the denomination), I described it to my college roommate, who asked, "Why do those people bother to be there? What's their purpose?" I answered, "I believe that their purpose is to mean well . "  I have the same reaction to most public prayer at secular occasions: little anodyne sentiments that appear to do little to establish comity and civility. Wouldn't mind dispensing with dragging God into zoning disputes and school boundaries.  But then there are those who want their public prayer full-blooded, invoking not only God but insisting that Jesus participate in the proceedings.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 2, 1997
ANKARA, Turkey -- Angered by what it views as efforts to impose a form of religious fundamentalism in Turkey, the military command here has issued a sharp reprimand to the Islamic-led government.Tension between military commanders and the government has grown steadily in recent weeks, and it surfaced at a meeting Friday of the National Security Council, which is composed of senior military and civilian leaders.As is customary, participants in the meeting made no comments as they left, and no details of the discussion were made public.
NEWS
April 16, 2013
Regarding respect, in general, The Sun's doctrine is correct ("Ben Carson and the price of free speech," April 14). However, the paper's target is wrong. I have the highest respect for Dr. Ben Carson's abilities, accomplishments and social views but virtually none for the anonymous critics on The Sun's editorial board. The Sun under the guise of supposedly objective neutrality condescendingly ridicules the views of Dr. Carson which are Biblically based with natural law argument support.
NEWS
By BORZOU DARAGAHI and BORZOU DARAGAHI,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 20, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A Shiite Muslim coalition built around Iraq's current governing alliance won a commanding number of seats in Thursday's elections, according to preliminary results released yesterday and unofficial reports from around the country. Despite millions spent on a highly visible mass media campaign, the results appeared to be a major defeat for Ayad Allawi, the pro-Western secular Shiite and one-time CIA-backed opposition figure favored by American officials in Baghdad and Washington.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 18, 2003
PARIS - Ignoring opposition from Muslim leaders within France and beyond, President Jacques Chirac called yesterday for a new law banning the wearing of head scarves for Muslim girls, large crosses for Christians and skullcaps for Jewish boys in public schools. In a speech broadcast live on television, Chirac recalled centuries of history that he said defined France as a guarantor of individual liberty, and he said the secular identity of the French state was at stake. If France succumbs to the demands of its religious communities, Chirac said: "It would sacrifice its heritage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Randy Lewis and Randy Lewis,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 9, 2005
It doesn't take much to get Al Green - the Rev. Al Green, that is - up on his pulpit. Especially when the subject is love. The most acclaimed soul singer since Ray Charles has seen love, experienced it and sung about it from many perspectives: as an R&B sex symbol in the 1970s, as a reborn gospel singer and preacher in the '80s and '90s, and lately as a man who has struck a balance between the secular and the spiritual. When Green decided last year to reunite with his longtime songwriting partner and producer Willie Mitchell - with whom he created some of the most enticing, sensual soul records ever in Let's Stay Together, Tired of Being Alone and You Ought to Be With Me - his first stop was his mother's house.
NEWS
By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 21, 1997
For me Christmas is a definingly religious holiday with deep spiritual meaning. Yet those closest to me - my two best friends, my partner of 11 years - are all declaratively agnostic. Is a lasting Christmas tradition possible on such a secular foundation? I believe so - and that the possibility stands firmly on books. For more than two decades I have spent every Christmas Eve with the same friend. Lovers, partners, even family have come and gone, but Roberta and I share Christmas Eve, regardless of who else might be in our lives or included in the celebration.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 22, 2003
JERUSALEM - At the Aroma cafe in the German Colony neighborhood, pumpernickel and rye breads line the shelves next to croissants and rolls. At the Bolinat bar downtown, German wheat beer flows freely from the taps. It is Passover, and displaying or openly selling leavened products such as wheat, barley, oat and rye in Israel is against the law during the weeklong Jewish holiday, which ends at sundown tomorrow. But this year, secular authorities did not dispatch inspectors or levy fines.
NEWS
By Dan Fesperman and Ann LoLordo and Dan Fesperman and Ann LoLordo,SUN FOREIGN STAFF Contributors to this section; Sun research librarians Paul McCardell, Jean Packard and Andrea Wilson, and news intern Brenda Santamaria, contributed to these articles | April 26, 1998
TEL AVIV, Israel - They came by night, wearing black hats and hauling trailers. And when Shimrit Orr's secular neighborhood awakened the next morning in the town of Pardes Hana, the new arrivals were parked on public land next to a sign proclaiming the establishment of a religious school.That was last fall, and it was only the beginning.Within days, fifteen homes were occupied by the newcomers, ultra-Orthodox Jews with strict ideas about how life should be lived. Then the signs went up: "Women should dress modestly."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2012
For Michael Meyerson, the Great Seal of the United States encapsulates the struggle over the relationship between religion and government that has become a defining characteristic of our nation. The front of the seal, with its famous eagle, olive branch and arrows of war, is entirely secular. But the reverse, in which the eye and the inscription both refer to a divine providence, is "undeniably religious," Meyerson writes. Americans are constantly reminded of that duality, since the seal has been reproduced on $1 bills since 1935.
NEWS
December 24, 2009
If Christians like Garrison Keillor don't want Christmas hijacked ("Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone," Dec. 16), then they should keep it in their churches. Once you insist on putting it in the town square, in schools and everywhere possible, you have diluted the religious values you claim to cherish. We can barely get our children excused from school on the Jewish High Holidays, and Mr. Keillor whines about Jews who wrote songs inspired by Christmas. Sandi Brooks, Vernon, Ct.
NEWS
December 24, 2009
In response to Garrison Keillor's column "Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone" (Dec. 16): While I respect your point of view expressing your dislike of the secularization and commercialization of Christmas, I did find your comment about "Jewish guys writing Christmas songs" very offensive. The anger you voiced in that paragraph was hateful, and I, as a longtime fan, was saddened to hear it. I assume by "Jewish guys" you are referring to Irving Berlin? "White Christmas" was written in 1942 and was an important song for many families separated by war. The wish for that song is not unlike your desire to light some candles and sing softly.
NEWS
By Donna M. Owens and Donna M. Owens,Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2009
It's a recent Sunday morning at Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, a sprawling church housed in a former warehouse in Woodlawn. There's a pulse of energy rippling throughout the cavernous room, outfitted with large video screens and rows of chairs instead of pews. A gospel singer raises her voice to the heavens, and a group of spiritual dancers swirls to the music. Meanwhile, members of the large African-American congregation - a mix of young and old, singles and families - stand and sway with arms outstretched.
NEWS
By Michele Gilman | August 3, 2008
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama says he plans to carry on the spirit, if not the details, of President Bush's faith-based initiative. Now, he may truly believe in the transformative power of these "charitable choice" initiatives - or he shrewdly may be trying to convert evangelical voters to the Democratic Party. Or both. Regardless, he should recognize that religious congregations have proved to be no substitute for trained professionals working on our most pressing social problems. During his administration, Mr. Bush welcomed religious organizations into the government contracting fold.
NEWS
By Trudy Rubin | September 2, 2007
The real test of whether Islam and democracy are compatible is taking place not in Iraq or elsewhere in the Arab world but in Turkey. Right now. On Tuesday, a devout Muslim named Abdullah Gul, whose wife wears a head scarf, was elected president of Turkey by the country's parliament. Turkey is a country where the presidency has traditionally been held by a secular figure, and women in head scarves are banned from government buildings. Mr. Gul's election has unnerved many secular Turks.
NEWS
By Trudy Rubin | September 2, 2007
The real test of whether Islam and democracy are compatible is taking place not in Iraq or elsewhere in the Arab world but in Turkey. Right now. On Tuesday, a devout Muslim named Abdullah Gul, whose wife wears a head scarf, was elected president of Turkey by the country's parliament. Turkey is a country where the presidency has traditionally been held by a secular figure, and women in head scarves are banned from government buildings. Mr. Gul's election has unnerved many secular Turks.
FEATURES
By Jim Jones and Jim Jones,Fort Worth Star-Telegram | July 19, 1995
Christian bookstores are following their secular counterparts by creating mega-bookstores that stay open late -- some 24 hours a day -- have cappuccino bars, wing-backed easy chairs and tables where patrons can relax and read."
NEWS
By Laura King and Laura King,Los Angeles TImes | July 23, 2007
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Turkish voters handed the Islamist- influenced ruling party a decisive victory in parliamentary elections yesterday, rewarding it for stewardship of the country's robust economy but raising the specter of bitter new quarrels over the feared erosion of Turkey's secular traditions. With more than two-thirds of the votes counted, the Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials AKP, garnered about 48 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results - a substantial increase over the 34 percent it received in elections five years ago when it came to power.
NEWS
By Laura King and Laura King,Los Angeles Times | July 22, 2007
ALANYA, Turkey -- Vacationing just a few miles apart on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, the economist from Istanbul and the engineer from Ankara could hardly have more divergent views of a nationwide vote today that is expected to return the ruling party to power - and intensify a battle over the role of Islam in public life. The ruling Justice and Development Party, which has roots in political Islam, is "just too Muslim, too radical," said Reha Guner, drinking tea in a cafe just off a crowded beach where European tourists sunbathed topless and beer flowed freely.
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