Faith Digest: Sydney bishop dresses down casual clergy

Sydney bishop dresses down casual clergy. An Anglican bishop in Australia’s largest city has dressed down his clergy over their lack of sartorial style. “Why are our clergy the worst dressed people in church?” wrote Bishop Robert Forsyth of South Sydney on a website for the city’s Anglicans. Forsyth, writing in his regular column, “The Grumpy Bishop,” said he is concerned the casual wear of some clergy sends a bad message to “unbelievers and outsiders.” Forsyth says the idea of “Sunday best” does not exist any more. Still, he continued, “There is a way of dressing casual that looks really good ... (and) there is a way that looks positively … scruffy.”

Faith DigestJordan files complaint over Dead Sea Scrolls. Jordan has complained to a United Nations agency after Canada refused to seize the Dead Sea Scrolls at a recent exhibit in Toronto. Jordan asserts the ancient manuscripts, on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority, were stolen from a museum in East Jerusalem, which Israel seized from Jordan during the Six-Day War of 1967. Some of the earliest biblical and religious writings ever found, the 2,000-year-old scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in caves overlooking the Dead Sea. Seventeen of the approximately 900 scrolls had been on display in Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum since June. After Canada declined to seize the scrolls, Jordan announced it had complained to UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization—citing the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.

American faithful disapprove of marriage to atheists. Most Americans accept interracial marriage, but many people of faith say they would be troubled by a family member’s decision to marry an atheist, the Pew Research Center reports. Seven in 10 Americans associated with a religion said they either would be bothered but come to accept such a marriage (43 percent), or they would not ever accept (27 percent) it, the poll found.

Charges of religion-related job bias hits record. Incidents of alleged religion-based workplace discrimination hit record highs in 2009, along with complaints of bias based on disability and national origin, according to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. Charges of religion-related bias in private-sector jobs have increased steadily from fiscal year 1997, when they amounted to 2.1 percent of workplace discrimination complaints, to fiscal year 2009, when they were 3.6 percent. The overall number of charges filed during the most recent fiscal year—93,277—was the second-highest ever. Victims received monetary relief of more than $376 million during the time period studied, which ended Sept. 30, 2009. Of the 3,386 religion-based charges received by the EEOC, 2,958 were resolved. About 60 percent of resolved cases—both overall and specifically religious ones—were found to have “no reasonable cause” based on evidence obtained during an investigation. Those bringing charges still could challenge their employers through private court action.



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