Tragedy in Wisconsin: News Roundup

In the news this week: Sikhs Killed in Wisconsin, a Missouri mosque burns, Romney ad raises religion, and other stories.

In the shadow of the White House, as speakers called for unity, trays of food circulated the audience: wraps, potato chips, and choley chawal, a chickpea and rice dish.
 
The candlelight vigil for the victims of the Oak Creek, Wis., Sikh temple shooting symbolically completed what a gunman interrupted on Sunday (Aug. 5) — the langar, a Sikh ritual meal for anyone who wishes to take part.
 
Wednesday’s vigil was one of many nationwide to respond to violence with peace as the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund called for a “National Day of Remembrance and Solidarity.”
 
The attack Sunday “attempted to make Americans afraid of their fellow neighbors, and it is something that the Sikh community has faced time and time again,” said Sartaj Singh Dhami, co-director of RestoringThePride.com, a Sikh advocacy group.
 
“Through resolve, through respect, we will overcome. This is a gift that Sikhs can give to all Americans.”   Washington Post
 
A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground early Monday, just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center, officials said.
 
Authorities are investigating the cause of the latest fire. The mosque's security cameras were destroyed in the blaze, according to Sharon Rhine of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office. CNN
 
The ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday challenging an amendment to the state's constitution it contends violates the religious rights of prison inmates.
 
On Tuesday, Missourians overwhelmingly approved the so-called "right to pray" amendment. The measure says the state can't infringe upon public expressions of religious beliefs, that students have the right to voluntarily pray in schools and that all public schools must display a copy of the Bill of Rights.
 
Critics of the amendment, including the ACLU, warned that it would lead to a flood of lawsuits, particularly a section that said no student "shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs." Sacramento Bee
 
A new TV ad from Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee asks voters whose values they share, then goes on to charge a component of President Obama's health care law as a "war on religion."
 
The ad, released Thursday morning, starts with a narrator asking, "Who shares your values?" It goes on to say the president's health care law is a "plan to declare war on religion, forcing religious institutions to go against their faith."   CBS News
 
Rocked in recent years by sex-abuse scandals and crises in leadership, the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland has been struggling to keep its members close.
 
But this week, a new global survey on faith and atheism has revealed that the crisis of faith in Ireland may be much worse than previously thought.
 
According to the poll released by WIN-Gallup International, the traditionally Catholic country has seen one of the steepest drops worldwide in religiosity. Huffington Post