Dalai Lama Relinquishes Power and Much More: News Roundup

In the news this week: the Dalai Lama relinquishes his political role, an Australian school forces Sikh student to shave, two alleged cases of religious discrimination in the workplace and other stories.

The Dalai Lama has officially given up his political and administrative powers, possibly in an attempt to avoid chaos after his death, but remains the spiritual leader of the global Tibetan community. Regarding the decision, the Dalai Lama stated that, “in order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to an elected leadership.” CNN
 
Federal judges are listening to arguments about whether two principals should be held responsible for denying students their First Amendment Rights. Specifically, the principals kept students from passing out candy canes and pens that included the words "God" or "Jesus". Star Local News
 
A Sikh student in Australia, who had already been given administrative approval to keep his beard, was forced to shave by one of his teachers. The incident and resulting outrage among the Indian community has influenced the school to allow facial hair on all Sikh students at the school. The Hindu
 
“New York City may again block religious groups from using school facilities outside of regular school hours for ‘religious worship services,’ a federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday.” The case was initially decided against an evangelical Christian church, then overturned in an appeals court, and now the original decision has been reinstated. New York Times
 
Oregon is trying a couple for neglecting to provide their daughter medical care for a baseball sized tumor had grown over her left eye. The prosecutors are arguing that the tumor could have caused blindness and that the parents had no intention of seeking proper medical attention. The defense is arguing that the suit infringes on the defendants' religious rights and that the parents would have sought medical care in a critical health situation. New York Times
 
This week’s news also includes two new stories of alleged religious discrimination in the workplace. A California woman is suing Macy’s for firing her on account of her adherence to faith traditions. She had worked for the company for 15 years, keeping Sunday as a Sabbath day, but was terminated when assigned to a new supervisor (Standard News Wire). In Alaska, two women are suing the Matanuska Creamery for firing them because they are Mormon. Specifically, they are claiming that they were terminated after notifying the company that one of the co-owners made disparaging remarks about Mormons. Anchorage Daily News