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The dispute arose in when the Rincon Band decided that its existing Compact negotiated by former Governor Gray Davis in was too restrictive to permit expansion of gaming operations to accommodate what had become a very successful tribal casino.

With that, the Tribe formally requested negotiations for a new Compact. Those talks commenced, but in October of the voters recalled Davis and elected Schwarzenegger, whose campaign was premised on his promise to make the gaming tribes "pay their fair share" of gaming revenues to help the State address its growing budget deficits.

During the subsequent protracted negotiations, the State proposed to extend the term of the Compact, but demanded percent of the casino's net win.

Ultimately, the negotiations included a variety of proposals including that the Tribe increase its payments to the existing Revenue Sharing Trust Fund which distributes cash payments to non-gaming tribes within the state and pay to the State's general fund 25 percent of the net win on new slot machines, as well as other elements of financial significance.

Ultimately, the State's demand was that Rincon pay into the general fund percent of its total net win and up to 25 percent of the revenue from all additional gaming devices.

Although similar deals had already been accepted by a handful of California tribes, Rincon refused the deal and litigation ensued.

Tribal gaming in California was the product of a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot through the kind of "Sagebrush Rebellion" initiative which has over the years both cut state revenues by slashing taxes and mandated funding for various programs.

The result is that the Governor and state legislature currently have. Out of this situation was born the Governor's successful rallying cry that he would pry the dollars out of tribal casinos which would help alleviate the state's fiscal problems.

It is important to know that financial concessions were made in the Compacts, but they were in return for the tribes having statewide exclusivity for all casino gaming.

Of additional significance is that payments were dedicated to two specific funds created for the benefit of tribes; that money was not available for diversion to the general fund.

The problem with the Schwarzenegger approach is that he demanded money from expanded tribal gaming earmarked for the general fund but did not have any "exclusivity" of gaming opportunity to "sell" in return for the payments.

This fact was the foundation for the District Court's ruling against the State, as well as the Ninth Circuit's affirmation on April 20 in the form of a major decision based on extensive analysis.

The appellate panel split , and dissenting judge Jay Bybee wrote a page dissent which is sure to be a focal point of the State's petition for rehearing en banc.

That the court found the prescribed payments would constitute an unlawful tax on tribal casino revenues opens the door for tribes which accepted the Schwarzenegger Compacts to cease making the newly condemned payments and demand new negotiations to deal with the unlawful provisions only adds to the ever-deepening fiscal sinkhole in Sacramento.

The legal truth is that the Governor's "Fair Share" Program is in shambles and unlikely to be salvaged by the courts.

For casinos in California, the financial community likely will experience a positive impact, since there is the prospect that tribes will find it feasible to pursue previously unrealistic gaming expansion which now becomes economically viable in the absence of financial concessions to the State.

To this point, the Ninth Circuit ruling seems to suggest that Schwarzenegger probably has no choice but to agree to additional gaming devices upon tribal request, and without additional compensation since the State has nothing to offer in return.

Other states are on notice that they need to identify truly exclusive benefits for gaming tribes for which payments would be lawful.

This issue was a significant element in the long-running saga between the Seminole Tribe and the State of Florida, which only recently was resolved on terms much closer to those sought by the Tribe and Governor Charlie Crist than the demands of leaders in the state legislature.

Gaming tribes are likely to discover that the " Rincon Rule" is a mixed bag because their interest in negotiating Compacts could become more complicated if the Governors decide that there is little reason to be generous in making concessions for which they can generate only limited financial concessions to apply to the states' universal budget woes.

There is a judicial remedy in the federal law which tribes can pursue in the absence of "good faith" negotiations, but litigation is expensive and time-consuming, and even futile if a state pleads its sovereign immunity to defeat a lawsuit.

Tribal gaming regulators and the Secretary of the Interior are almost certain to encounter new creative notions of what can be negotiated in Compacts.

Financial concessions in return for some form of gaming "exclusivity" was invented in Connecticut so that the Foxwoods Casino could offer slots since expanded to include the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Since then, there has been a never-ending search by states for ways to tap into the tribal casino revenue stream. The Rincon case may have arisen out of an extreme set of demands in California, but it is a wake-up call for the entire industry.

Scrutiny of revenue-sharing proposals almost certainly will become more intense. The Ninth Circuit noted that the Schwarzenegger Compact approvals at the Department of the Interior were done "reluctantly" and only after the "tribes themselves confirmed the desirability of the amendments.

Tribes were willing to compromise in return for what they desperately needed on the gaming floor, and the Interior accepted what it conceded might not be consistent with the law.

Those days may be nearing an end, and we have the Californians to thank. They're back! Another chapter in the case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.

Lake of the Torches Economic Development Corp. WI Jan. The Wells Fargo litigation has been the subject of a great deal of attention throughout Indian Country.

Indeed, the Indian gaming industry has carefully followed the story since the U. The Court found that the Trust Indenture constituted a management contract which was executed without approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission "NIGC" — as such the entire Indenture including the waiver was null and void.

Eager to turn the page on that decision, on February 8, , Wells Fargo filed a motion to alter or amend the Court's January 6 Order and for leave to file an amended complaint.

Wells Fargo , No. WI April 23, Order and Decision. The following discussion provides a synopsis of the Court's April 23 Order and Decision. In its Motions, Wells Fargo argued that the Court committed clear error when it found that the Trust Indenture was a management contract and therefore null and void for want of NIGC approval.

At the outset, the Court flatly refused to revisit the substance of its management contract analysis, noting that the Bank failed to cite any controlling precedent demonstrating that the Court committed clear error.

However, the Court did assess the Bank's arguments with respect to the severability or lack thereof of the Indenture provisions that implicated "management.

The Bank asserted that the primary purpose of the Indenture was to secure repayment of the Bonds — not the management of the Tribe's gaming establishment — and therefore severance of the offensive "management provisions" would be proper.

But the Court rejected the Bank's contention, reasoning that, even if the management provisions could be severed, the remainder of the Indenture would nevertheless be null and void because the entire document constituted an unapproved management contract, leaving nothing left to enforce.

Furthermore, the provisions that the Bank sought to enforce — those governing "Event of Default" which included the appointment of a receiver — were among the provisions that the Court found to be management provisions.

Consequently, if the Court were to sever those illegal management provisions, the primary purpose of the Trust Indenture would be defeated.

Such a result, the Court implied, would be contrary to the traditional principles governing severance of offensive contract provisions.

Finally, Wells Fargo asserted that the Court's ruling was premature in that the jurisdictional issue i.

Under those circumstances, the Bank argued that the Court's dismissal of its Motion to Appoint a Receiver was akin to granting the EDC's "unfilled motion for summary judgment.

In particular, Wells Fargo took issue with the Court's consideration of the affidavit of Kevin Washburn.

While the Court recognized that its ruling was unconventional, it found that it committed no clear legal error and noted that the Washburn Affidavit was "merely persuasive legal authority" that the Indenture was a management contract — as a matter of law not fact.

The Court found that the management contract issue was the primary issue before the Court and that issue was raised as a defense in the EDC's first set of motion papers.

Indeed, the Court concluded "the management issue was brought squarely and immediately before the Court" thus the Bank had ample opportunity to be heard.

In addition to its motion to alter or amend the judgment, Wells Fargo also sought to file an Amended Complaint, proposing to expand the scope of the allegations to include claims brought pursuant to all the documents generated during the bond transaction — including the Bonds themselves.

Apparently, the Bonds like the Trust Indenture contained a provision that ostensibly waived the EDC's sovereign immunity.

The Bank argued that the Bonds and related transaction documents were not void, even if the Indenture was, because they were merely "collateral agreements" to the Trust Indenture.

The Court rejected the Bank's contentions, finding that its determination that the Trust Indenture is a management contract meant that the entire transaction including those documents the Bank identified as "collateral agreements" was subject to the NIGC management contract approval process.

As such, the parties should have submitted all the documents to the NIGC for review and their "failure to procure NIGC approval in the first instance renders all the collateral agreements void ab initio.

The Court explained that the two documents, the Bonds and the Trust Indenture, were so highly interconnected that it was "hard to imagine" one existing without the other.

In fact, the Court noted that the Bond incorporated the terms of the Trust Indenture by reference. Accordingly, the Bonds and the Trust.

Indenture together reflected the parties' intention for the trustee to exert managerial control over the gaming operation in the event that the EDC defaulted.

As to Wells Fargo's remaining claims, which sounded in tort and equity, the Court found that those arguments were dependant on the legality and validity of the bond transaction.

As result of the Court's finding that the bond transaction was null and void, any waiver of sovereign immunity contained in a collateral document thereto is also null and void.

In a press release following the Order, Lac Du Flambeau Tribal President Jerome "Brooks" Big John stated, "this significant victory confirms the strength of the Tribe's legal position and provides the [Tribe] with further confidence in the Tribe's ability to manage Tribal operations in support of the Tribal membership.

There is little doubt as to where the parties to the Wells Fargo litigation stand. But questions remain as to how this decision will ultimately affect the financing of Indian gaming projects.

Of course, the credit crunch and the state of the economy have taken their toll on the Indian gaming industry, and it seems obvious that this decision could only serve to make cautious investors even more so.

Could the Wells Fargo litigation have a more concrete impact on the evaluation of management contracts?

The Court's discussion of the relationship between NIGC review and approval of management contracts and collateral agreements thereto certainly implies that it may.

Although the Court's discussion on this point is not entirely clear, the Court suggests that the failure to submit a collateral agreement to the NIGC for review may, by that fact alone, render the collateral agreement void.

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But sociologists of religion have also questioned assumptions and prior conclusions about gendered differences. Why, this literature asks, are women so often attached to beliefs that appear antithetical to their own freedom?

Scholars describe, for example, Jewish women who wear prayer shawls traditionally worn only by men and how, in doing so, they simultaneously challenge and reproduce gender roles.

To note a different example that has attracted much attention, consider the controversial case of Muslim women leading Friday prayers at their mosques and how they seek to overcome gendered barriers and norms.

In some traditions, women often exercise agency despite gendered barriers, taking on leadership roles in their segregated spaces, as well as in esoteric religious practices, such as those aimed at healing others or removing afflictions from evil.

The task in the continuing study of gender and prayer is to observe and analyze the relevance of gender and power, but also to heed the critical insights that many feminist theorists have made, especially with regard to making problematic generalizations.

But by examining specific cases of prayer practices, we can better explore in what contexts, under what conditions, and according to whom, gender acquires meaning.

Gender plays a role, whether implicitly or explicitly, in many of the facets of prayer we discuss—whether it is prayer as a form of healing, warfare, politics, social solidarity, or a mechanistic bodily practice.

Deities, spirits, objects, and religious narratives often have different relationships to women than to men across religious traditions.

Some degree of gender segregation or gendered division of labor exists in many collective prayer practices, either with clear theological basis or in development with various structural contexts.

Thus, we find phenomena like U. We find prayer forms that reinforce hegemonic feminine and masculine norms; alternatively, we may also find prayer forms that redefine gender and aim to support feminist projects.

Most recently, we witness growing conversations about prayer and marginalized communities, including those who fall outside of the male-female binary that constructs much of our world.

I became interested in national prayer days after seeing that President Lincoln had called for national fasting, humiliation, and prayer at the beginning of the Civil War.

I wanted to see if other presidents had issued such strongly religious calls and when they stopped doing so.

After looking at every presidential prayer proclamation, from Washington to Obama, I wrote a 2,word piece. From Patheos :.

Lincoln demanded a brand of repentance so intense and humble that it went by the name of humiliation. What are we asking for?

Three Buddhist teachers explore what prayer means in a nontheistic tradition and the best way to approach it in your practice.

Read more. Not too long ago, many people were predicting the demise of Christianity. Their predictions may have been borne out in Western countries, where church attendance appears to be dropping.

But the worldwide picture is completely different where such talk has been utterly silenced by an explosion of belief in African and Asian countries.

Known as glossolalia, also called speaking in tongues, this prayer practice is often called the baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth McAlister has written an op-ed piece for the LA Times on imprecatory prayer and claiming credit for negative events.

Negative prayer is actually quite common. Some American evangelicals also have participated in high-profile prayer campaigns aimed at bringing adversity to others.

You can read the full piece here. In November, Winifred Fallers Sullivan contributed an essay on a case that was being reviewed by the U.

At town meetings held in Greece, NY, an opening prayer was—and continues to be—common practice. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court handed down their ruling in Town of Greece v.

Galloway , splitting in favor of the town continuing to open its board meetings with prayer. It is interesting to note that the five justices in the majority decision are Catholic, while three of the four in the minority are Jewish.

People often talk and write about praying in their houses or in the house of God, or at hospital beds or over meals. But one of the places people pray the most and talk about the least is in the car.

In fact, lots of miracles center on cars. People say God knows everything, but adults and children may actually believe something quite different.

French businessman Jean-Luc Petithuguenin employs more than staff, comprising 52 different nationalities, in his recycling business located in Seine-Saint Denis, the immigrant and Muslim heart of Paris.

In practice, that means banning visible signs of religious belief—such as the Muslim headscarf, known as the hijab—as well as prayer rooms.

The article, which takes a closer look at prayer practices in various communities around the United States, examines the ways in which prayer practices have evolved more recently.

Indeed, if they were alive today, pontiffs of the past would no doubt have been confused and amused by one of the first official actions of Pope Francis.

Read the full piece here. Reverberations is one year old! Over the past year, the scholars and journalists taking part in the program, as well as an ever-increasing roster of other contributors, have begun to make good on the original promise of Reverberations as a hub for different kinds of thought on the practice of prayer and its many incarnations and implications.

Some of our earliest posts asked what it means to study prayer as a practice and raised questions about prayer in public spaces, and the potential tension between secular state and believing citizen.

And as Reverberations continues to grow into its second year, there is much to look forward to. Over the course of the next few months, NDSP grantees and advisory council members will share insights from their ongoing projects in the form of documentary film work on Pentecostal practice in Mumbai; personal reflections on the place of prayer in the lives of those who self-identify as secular; resources for thinking about interfaith prayer spaces, and more.

Thank you to all who have written for us in the past year, and to all who have read—we look forward to another great year!

Similarities abound but so do differences…. The old joke goes that Haiti is 70 percent Catholic, 30 percent Protestant and percent Vodou.

Listen to the story here. Dolls and phonographs share an intimacy with prayer. Since the early days of phonography, praying dolls have been produced on a mass scale as a playful means to imprint pious attitudes upon the developing child.

Nones, which is what scholars are calling people who claim no religion, make up 20 percent of the population, and their numbers are rising faster than any other religious category.

One third of Americans under 30 fall into that group. In , noted Theosophist and alleged pedophile Charles Webster Leadbeater discovered the teenager Krishnamurti on the banks of the Adyar River in a wealthy Madras suburb.

Theosophy is a form of esoteric thought that seeks to understand human-divine connections through a mystical synthesis between ideas of Eastern and Western spiritualism.

During the same period, she co-founded the Indian Home Rule League , which advocated for Indian self-rule and status as a British Dominion.

Part of her platform included national education programs to uncover a notion of pre-modern Indian, Hindu civilization beloved of the Theosophists, and to prepare Indian peoples for some form of self-government within what was then an informal British Commonwealth arrangement.

Yoga garnered a significant amount of journalistic attention in , but often not for spiritual reasons. If you are looking to make money off of spirituality, Yoga perhaps now offers the best chance.

The far more interesting question concerns how Yoga evolved from an ancient Indian spiritual discipline into a modern American exercise trend.

They instead argue that Yoga was fundamentally transformed in India via the colonial encounter and thus remains caught up in European encroachments.

Playful phenomena often reveal hidden or unacknowledged elements in the practice of prayer. Postcard images of praying children were widely circulated throughout the early twentieth century, and these representations of childhood piety helped to solidify particular understandings of prayer within the popular imaginary.

In this classic account of contagion, a woman with a seemingly incurable discharge of blood boldly makes her way through the dense throng following Jesus, reaching out her expectant hand to touch Jesus, the healer.

The desire to look beyond the conventional in pursuit of the spiritual, according to van der Veer, was enabled by western imperialism, which paved the way for Euro-American encounters with Indian and Chinese spiritualities.

These were eventually reimagined and transformed to go beyond the dogmatism of Christianity. This, like much of the recent literature devoted to the anthropological turn to the secular, also suggests that contemporary notions of spirituality and religion are rooted in the not-so-distant past.

Kevin Ladd has contributed a wonderful piece on how prayer is more than a slot machine. It will run soon. Others by me and interested New Directions in the Study of Prayer participants will follow.

Some posts may extend into pieces for the Psychology Today print edition, as well. Do atheists and agnostics pray?

Yes, indeedy. Quite a bit it turns out. And 11 percent pray weekly or monthly. Read the rest of the post, here. The novelist begins his work where human knowledge begins—with the senses; he works through the limitations of matter… he has to stay within the concrete possibilities of his culture.

This is an excerpt from a recent recording of The Jackson Memorial Hour , a live gospel radio program broadcast each Sunday from a station in Virginia thanks to Sister Dorothy and Brother Aldie Allen for providing me with recordings of their broadcast.

He gave us back a thousand colors. Our skepticism when it comes to academic findings about prayer is of course heightened by the nature of the subject itself and by the fact that any finding is so prone to being immediately seized upon and politicized by believers and nonbelievers.

That academics are politicizing the subject in their own way and with such fervor is a nice sidelight, speaking again journalistically.

So what all this amounts to is just another story of human nature. We all have our Gods and we all protect them fiercely.

But luckily, the universe of the mind is limitless. Arguably, of course. As a professor and journalist my primary academic focus is about researching and reporting on how people interact with God.

The direct experience of God has been of endless interest to me my entire life, probably since the moment my caretaker told me about prayer, and how it was possible to speak with God by praying.

It was quite a revelation to be told that God was with me, even inside me, and that He was listening when I prayed, either in Church with others via rituals, or by myself, aloud or silently.

The idea of God being present and accessible, essentially in every way, was amazing. This is a mass-market glimpse of what some people say they encounter through Church, and through prayer in a ritualized context.

Through this gift of the spirit, the sensory capacities of the mortal flesh are quickened with a preternatural capacity to sense the presence of that which, under everyday sensory regimes, persists undetected.

Prominent faith healers such as William Branham, A. The gift of discernment, therefore, is a divine prosthesis that allows the human hand to detect the spirit during the therapeutic performance of prayer.

The divinely attuned capacities of the body, however, are not the only media for the detection of the spirit. Artificial devices and material objects have also played a crucial role in the discernment of sacred presence, and reveal striking homologies with the specifically somatic gift previously described.

More specifically, mass circulated Pentecostal magazines included photographs that were described as having registered sacred presences unavailable to the naked eye see illustration from A.

Are those prayers being wielded as an alternative, non-violent weapon? Are they meant to pacify? Just what is it, I wondered, that those responding prayerfully are asking of God?

But does Bloom really believe that it is foolish to empathize with the pain of others? Emphasizing their capacity to hear and respond to prayer, representations of the gods in the ancient world often depicted deities with disproportionately large ears.

One possible approach to the technological history of prayer, therefore, would be organized by the techniques employed for the displacement and amplification of the voice.

These technologies for the displacement of the voice as if the voice were not always fleeting! Techniques of ventriloquism , the ritual manipulation of the mouth through the mask , speaking tubes, and electronic amplifiers could all be invoked, among many others, in this particular technical history of divine communication.

The New Directions in the Study of Prayer project has broadened my thinking about the forms that prayer can take. Religion Dispatches ran my piece yesterday:.

I was surprised that the sight of her stirred such deep feeling in me—and in so many other people. Fifty-year-old Wendy Davis looked so small standing before the Texas Senate last week in her pink sneakers , blonde hair falling softly around her face, filibustering to stop passage of a law that would have closed most abortion clinics in Texas.

The rest of the article is available here. His tribute to her includes a glimpse of how profoundly meaningful the simplest, most private acts of prayer can be.

In her last years, Lorna Colbert became a little confused, he tells us. And so people who loved her would ask her simple questions to help her remember.

Tucked among all that she had forgotten was the vivid memory of a prayer she said while tucking her children in at night. His account caused me to reflect on how rare it is to see a completely genuine moment reflected in the media.

We have become so accustomed to being watchers who are being watched that nothing ever seems quite pure of intent. But this little story did. Boorstein interviews atheists and researchers alike who report praying despite their atheist beliefs.

Historian, Gordon Melton, who studies new American religions, reports increased organization among atheists in the last decade, despite their varied views on the supernatural.

How would atheists who describe themselves as spiritual define the word? And how do the 6 percent of self-described atheists who pray define the practice?

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