Groups want probe of NYPD surveillance. The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty joined more than 120 national, state and local organizations in an open letter urging the Department of Justice to investigate post-9/11 surveillance practices in New York City that signers say jeopardize the civil rights of Muslims. The diverse group of religious, racial justice, civil rights and community-based organizations cited New York Police Department documents showing “unlawful religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance of Muslims in New York City (and beyond)” over the past decade. Other groups signing the letter include the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Council on American Islamic Relations, NAACP, National Religious Campaign Against Torture and New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. Signers also include the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and public-policy extensions of the United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church.
Criswell chair endowed at seminary. Jack Pogue, a layman at First Baptist Church in Dallas, endowed the W.A. Criswell Chair of expository preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Criswell was pastor of First Baptist in Dallas from 1944 to 1993. Pogue, a businessman and longtime friend of Criswell, also has funded a digital library that provides free access to Criswell’s 4,100-plus sermons in digital format.