This week in the news: presidential voting in Nigeria included violence, but also rays of hope, a Jehovah’s witness challenges Kentucky on being denied a bloodless transfusion, and an Alaskan business owner is fined for religious discrimination
Jehovah's witness fights for bloodless transplant
The constitutional implications of this case are difficult to discern because it falls in the shadow of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions 30 years apart that take different positions.In the more recent case from 1990, the high court decided that the government could adopt laws that might burden someone’s religion as long as the law was neutral and didn’t target a specific faith.But Stinemetz’s legal team cites a 1963 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled that government needed a compelling state interest to justify infringing on someone’s right to freely exercise their religion. (Jehovah’s Witness sues Kansas for bloodless transplant, The Kansas City Star)
Employee experiences religious discrimination
During a hearing in Anchorage last year, Kopf did not contest he talked with Dowler about religion daily. He denied allegations he told her that Catholics would go to hell and are the “root of all evil.”The tensions concerning religion and other issues apparently lasted for about six months, according to the human rights commission case. Dowler worked for the store as a clerk and then a manager for 27 years. Kopf purchased the business in July 2008 and immediately began talking about religion with Dowler.
One exhibit used in the case was the memo that inspired the employees to quit. In it, Kopf wrote: “The OWNER of this BUSINESS is a very active CHRISTIAN who by nature of personality strives with lifetime goals to the befit of humanity. The OWNER is by nature prone to religious and philosophic conversations.” (Goldstream Valley Store owner fined $76000 in religious discrimination case, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)