'I'd rather be arrested than compromise my beliefs': Sikh called for jury service refuses to take off ceremonial dagger to comply with courtroom rules on weapons
A Sikh says he is being prevented from carrying out jury service because a California court has refused to allow him to carry a 6in dagger.
Gursant Singh is due to appear for jury duty on April 29 but because Sutter County Court bans weapons he will not be allowed to bring his 'kirpan' - a small knife that Sikhs must carry at all times.
The rule means Singh must choose between going against his religion or breaking the law, which could lead to him being fined or imprisoned.
In previous cases when Sikhs have attended the court house, they have left their kirpan with security guards, but Singh said he would rather be arrested than compromise his beliefs.
Atheists who complained about pre-meeting prayers conducted by members of the Pismo Beach City Council in California can now claim a win.
Council members say they’re going to stop saying prayers at public meetings and that the volunteer chaplain will no longer be invited to give the opening invocations, The Blaze reported. They’ve also agreed to pay a symbolic settlement of $1 to each of the the two plaintiffs — and another $47,500 to cover the two plaintiffs’ legal fees.
The council members announced their decision on the heels of complaints filed by the out-of-state Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is headquartered in Wisconsin, and by the more local Atheists United San Luis Obispo. Their allegations: Both prayer and chaplain — who was an unpaid volunteer — violate the California Constitution and the state’s civil rights laws, The Blaze reported.
So now the Rev. Paul Jones has been given the boot, along with the prayer practice.
“We’re getting everything we asked for,” said Atheists United board member David Leidner to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. “I think what it means first and foremost is we have a government that is welcoming to all of its citizens. And it also means that we have protected the separation between church and state in our county.”
Attorneys for an Oregon couple accused of allowing their daughter to die of untreated diabetes complications don’t want jurors to hear about their faith-healing beliefs at trial.
Defense attorneys argue that evidence regarding the religious beliefs and practices of Travis and Wenona Rossiter would be prejudicial, reported the Albany Democrat-Herald.
The Rossiters, who are from Albany, are members of the fundamentalist Church of the First Born, which teaches that medical treatment is sinful and instructs followers to trust in God to heal them through faith.
Since 1976, at least 82 children linked to the church have died from lack of medical treatment, according to Children’s Health Care Is A Legal Duty.
Prosecutors plan to show 12-year-old Syble Rossiter was deprived of life-saving medical care by her parents, who instead relied on faith-healing rites.
“They knew she was in great peril,” said Prosecutor Keith Stein. “They didn’t seek out medical care, and the reason they didn’t do it was their religious beliefs. This is what the case is about, and in truth, this is what happened.”
Scientists in the US are shaking their heads following the release of a survey showing half the population there don't believe in the Big Bang.
The AP-GfK survey also shows 40 percent of US adults don't believe in man-made climate change, 15 percent don't think vaccines work and 8 percent deny the existence of the human genome.
"Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts," 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine winner Randy Schekman of the University of California told the Associated Press.
Forty percent also expressed doubt about the age of the Earth and evolution and the survey shows confidence in the existence of evolution, the Big Bang and climate change closely corresponds with faith in religion.
"When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can't argue against faith," says 2012 Nobel Prize winning biochemistry professor Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University.
"It makes sense now that science would have made no headway because faith is untestable."
More Democrats believe the scientific view of the world than Republicans.
Prof Lefkowitz said the lack of belief in scientific realities is the result of "concerted campaigns to discredit scientific fact" from political, religious and business groups.
Source: 3 News
In a recent radio interview, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila compared Colorado's "godlessness" to Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia and said it portends a government that will "eventually fall."
Citing the growing number of atheists and agnostics here, Aquila also said godlessness in Colorado engenders a "lack of respect for the goodness of the human person."
Soon after making this bigoted comment against atheists like me, Aquila became the face of opposition to a bill, killed last week, that would have barred state and local governments from interfering with reproductive healthcare decisions.
An April 15 rally, led by Aquila, galvanized opposition to the bill and got saturation local media coverage.
Reporters cited a letter, signed by Aquila, which called on Catholics to "pray for the conversion of the heart and mind of those who support such irrational, unscientific, and a denial of conscience legislation."
Fair enough. His opinion. But if Aquila is going to jump up and down about science, journalists should cover Aquila's unscientific views, including his anger at the media for failing to cover Satan, who is "real."