Media Watch

Challenges Planned to Prayer Bans as Surge Subsides

THE NEW YORK TIMES,Oct. 23-Prayer in public surged in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks on America, but such expressions are subsiding, the daily reported.

However, challenges to court rulings of the past four decades banning public prayer in public school have also arisen over the past few weeks, mostly in Southern states. South Carolina state legislators are proposing a bill to transform the moment of silence that begins each school day into a moment of prayer, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended his participation in prayers with children at a public school, saying he disagreed with the Supreme Court's ban on such prayers.

Cathedral Videotaping Prompts Thoughts on Profiling

OPINIONJOURNAL.COM, Oct. 19—In a column explaining why racial “profiling” is justified by current national security concerns, Peggy Noonan reports observing two “Mideastern looking men” 25 or 30 years old videotaping St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, the online Wall Street Journal reported.

The incident would have gone unnoticed, Noonan commented, except that it was just three days after the World Trade Center bombing and took place at 9 p.m., which she found to be a strange time for tourists to be out videotaping a landmark “top to bottom.” When the two noticed her and her son staring at them, they “stared back at us in what I thought an aggressive manner.”

Since then, Noonan wrote that she had heard other reports of young, Middle Eastern men videotaping a tall building in Manhattan or attempting to videotape the interior of a petrochemical factory.

Noonan said she assumes most Americans have become “watchful potential warrior[s],” and she asked for the patience of Middle Eastern people living in the United States who might be viewed suspiciously.

Lambs of Christ Founder Sentenced in Buffalo

THE BUFFALO NEWS, Oct. 19—Father Norman U. Weslin, founder of the pro-life group The Lambs of Christ, was sentenced to five months in federal prison for violating a court-ordered buffer zone in front of a Buffalo abortion clinic, the newspaper reported.

Father Weslin said it was God's law that prompted him to kneel and pray four times last year in front of Buffalo GYN Womenservices, the News reported. John J. Molloy, the 71-year-old priest's attorney, told the court that Father Weslin had been contacted by the Pentagon about serving as a military chaplain in or around Afghanistan.

Father Weslin, a retired Army officer, later acknowledged that he had contacted the Pentagon, and the military called back expressing interest.