There is an interesting case out of Idaho that could be a critical showdown between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of exercise of religion. At the heart of the controversy are two Christian ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who own a Coeur d’Alene wedding chapel. They have been told that they must either perform same-sex weddings or face a $1000 fine. It raises a legitimate claim of the encroachment of state laws into areas of faith — a question that has been previously raised in less direct ways involving bakeries, photographers and other businesses that has refused for religious reasons to service same-sex marriages. We have previously discussed the difficulty in drawing lines under the First Amendment. If this business is protected, then why is not a bakery of religious individuals? Conversely, if this business is not protected, how about all of the religions that accept payments for religious services?
Just in case you were wondering of the fatal attraction of some Internet relationships, you might want to ponder Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa. Nunez-Figueroa was pulled out of the chimney of a man in Thousand Oaks, California. She was trying to get into the home of a man who said met on online and went on a few dates before he broke it off. She was not ready to end the relationship apparently. She was previously spotted on the roof of the man but ran off. This time she was found stuck in the chimney in the ultimate “why don’t you love me?” scene.
It appears that Hammond City, Indiana may have a serial killer. Darren Deon Vann, 43, has reportedly confess to police to murdering a total of seven women over twenty years. At least some of the women appear to have been prostitutes.
Misty Holt-Singh, 41, had just run into the Stockton, California bank and left her 12-her-old daughter in the car for a quick transaction. In an instant, her life would change as Gilbert Renteria Jr., Jaime Ramos, and Alex Martinez came in to rob the bank. They took Singh hostage and fled in a car. However, the police were quickly on their tail and trapped the car. She may have had a glimmer of hope. After all, there were some 33 police officers surrounding the car. That is when the Stockton police opened up on the car and fired over 600 bullets — killing Holt-Singh, 41, and two of the bank robbers. The family is preparing to sue and saying that the response was excessive and ignored the hostage. Singh was hit 10 times — all from the guns of the police.
It is relatively rare for a judge to be placed into a position of having to determine who gives a sermon at a church but that unenviable position was forced upon Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price who was faced with an uprising against Rev. Juan McFarland, 47, at his Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. They had good cause to want McFarland out. The not-so-good reverend has admitted to using drugs, having sex with church members in the church building and having HIV but not telling sex partners. Price, a GW grad who was honored for this service by having the courthouse named after him and , ordered him to step aside.
We often discuss the disconnect of religious fanatics who rape or beat or kill women and girls in the name of morality. Often such abuses seems to be condoned by governments like Iran. However, after a series of acid attacks on women for not being properly veiled, the Iranian government is actually investigating and denouncing the attacks.
The 34th Beijing International Marathon was held on Sunday — an event long-planned by the government to highlight its economic development and tourism. It did not work out quite that way. Instead of a marathon, the race looked like a competition to see who could hold their breath for over 26 miles after pollution levels surpassed the hazardous level. It looked more like a medical emergency with hundreds of runners using oxygen masks to breath and using sponges to clean off pollution on their skin. The government of course reported only “moderate” pollution. When the Chinese government says that pollution is moderate, it may be time to be a couch potato at home like this lovely couple.