Muslims find safety among Christians in C. African Republic: Top 5 news stories

Muslims seek refuge in C. African Republic churchKansas, Arizona bills reflect national fight over gay rights vs. religious libertyPolice arrest man for threatening to stab two Muslim teensAlcoholics Anonymous, Without the ReligionJudge rejects California city’s religious war memorial

Last week’s top news, from our perspective:

 

 

From Wikimedia Commons. Author: Ji-Elle

Muslims seek refuge in C. African Republic church

The Christian militiamen know hundreds of Muslims are hiding here on the grounds of the Catholic church and now they’re giving them a final ultimatum: Leave Central African Republic within a week or face death at the hands of machete-wielding youths.

On Monday, some of the 30 Cameroonian peacekeepers fired into the air to disperse angry militia fighters congregated outside the concrete walls of the church compound. The gunfire sent traumatized children running for cover and set off a chorus of wails throughout the courtyard.

The peacekeepers are all that stand between nearly 800 Muslims and the armed gangs who want them dead.

 

Kansas, Arizona bills reflect national fight over gay rights vs. religious liberty

Gay rights are colliding with religious rights in states like Arizona and Kansas as the national debate over gay marriage morphs into a fight over the dividing line between religious liberty and anti-gay discrimination.

More broadly, the fight mirrors the national debate on whether the religious rights of business owners also extend to their for-profit companies. Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether companies like Hobby Lobby must provide contraceptive services that their owners consider immoral.

 

Police arrest man for threatening to stab two Muslim teens

Albuquerque police have arrested a man accused of threatening to stab a couple of teenagers playing basketball, simply because he hated Muslims.

Nilsson Wood is accused of threatening a 15-year-old and his friend with a knife.

The incident happened at the basketball court that is part of the Islamic Center of New Mexico.

 

Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the Religion

Three floors above a Manhattan street of loading docks and coffee shops, in a functional room of folding chairs and linoleum tile, a man who introduced himself as Vic began to speak. “Today is my 35th anniversary,” he said. The dozen people seated around him applauded, and several even whooped in support.

By most overt measures, this gathering two weeks ago was just another meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, one of its multitude of meetings worldwide. At the session’s end an hour later, however, as the participants clasped hands, instead of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in usual A.A. fashion, they said together, “Live and let live.”

This meeting, as the parting phrase suggests, is one of a growing number within A.A. that appeal to nonreligious people in recovery, who might variously describe themselves as agnostics, atheists, humanists or freethinkers.

 

Judge rejects California city’s religious war memorial

A California federal judge has rejected a proposed religious memorial at a publicly owned baseball stadium as a violation of both federal and state laws.

On Thursday (Feb. 27), U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of California’s Central District ruled that a granite monument depicting a soldier kneeling in prayer before a cross lacked “a secular purpose” and has “the unconstitutional effect” of endorsing religion over nonreligion.