Friday News Roundup: A bit of all that

istock_000003001750xsmallEveryone once in a while there’s a slow news week. Every once in a while there’s a deluge. And every once in a while there’s a lot of news but it doesn’t hang together in a series of neat trends, and that’s when you get a bit of all that.

This week, updates of Oregon workplace law and faith healing disputes along with issues of employee conscience, atheists on the march and Mormons.

First up, updates on Oregon:

  • In the trial of parents accused of allowing their 15-month-olf daughter to die, a verdit of not guilty of manslaughter:  “The jury forewoman in the trial of an Oregon couple acquitted of manslaughter in their daughter’s pneumonia death says she felt the pair were ”loving people” who didn’t mean to harm the 15-month-old girl.” (New York Times)  The Oregonian’s op-ed page reacts.
  • The Washington Post’s On Faith blog weighs in on Oregon’s new Workplace Religious Freedom Act and its educational exemption in Oregon’s Fashion Police.

Next, a few interesting cases of employees refusing to provide a particular service…and losing their court cases and/or getting fired:

  • Several news sources, including the Telegraph, are reporting on a British pediatrician (or “paediatrician,” for you Brits) who faces being booted (or “sacked,” for you Brits again) from a local adoption council for refusing to place children with same-sex couples.

In New York City, various community and activist groups continue to call on Mayor Bloomberg to recognize the two Muslim Eids as official school holidays. First Amendment Center scholar Charles Haynes weighs in as well.

Atheist and humanist groups around the country have been making their views known with humanist messaging on buses and billboards for the past few months.   New York City-area atheists now join the fray, while atheist groups in Ohio and elsewhere across the US have begun participating in “de-baptism” ceremonies to distance themselves from religion.  The culture war cometh!

Finally, it wouldn’t be a news roundup without a study, would it?  This week, Pew brings us A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S.

We’ll check in on Sarkozy against next week, along with the other faith healing case still in trial and some of the other ongoing stories from the past few weeks. ‘Til then, happy weekending!