The case of Rifqa Bary, a teenage girl who fled from Ohio to Florida because she believed her Muslim family would kill her for converting to Christianity, returned to court yesterday. Judge Daniel Dawson ruled that Rifqa can remain in Florida for now, but cannot have contact with the pastor's family with whom she had been staying. Judge Dawson will talk with judges in Ohio to determine where Bary's case belongs ….
Many Christians have rallied around Bary, but in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times, Christian attorney Craig McCarthy outlines why he thinks Christians should support Bary's parents, whom he defended in court from August 10 until September 3. He discusses the implications the case may have for Christian parents; he says, "homeschoolers in particular ought to pause and weigh the power of the state to take your child into foster care against your feelings on this case and whether or not you would wish to be afforded a competent defense should religious biases be used against you some day."
Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, owners of the Bounty House Hotel and members of an evangelical church in Liverpool, England, were arrested in March over comments made during a discussion with a Muslim guest on the differences between Islam and Christianity. The comments under fire: Mrs. Vogelenzang described Muslim dress as putting women into "bondage," while her husband is reported to have described the Islam prophet Muhammad as a "warlord."
Mr. Vogelenzang denies his charge, while Sharon admits she used the word bondage, but claims she was not trying to offend. Because of the bad publicity generated by the case, the hotel has struggled to fill rooms, and the Vogelenzangs risk losing their business. The Christian Institute, which is funding the legal defense of the couple, says they are being persecuted for speaking about their faith.
Today the United States Army will make Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa L. King its top drill sergeant, in charge of its drill sergeant school in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Sergeant Major King is the first woman to hold the position. The New York Timesreports that though women make up more than 13 percent of the Army, only 8 percent of high-rank soldiers are female. Sergeant Major King says one of her top priorities will be to recruit more women into the school.
XX Factor, the women's blog of online magazine Slate and one of the blogs we follow here at Her.meneutics, is currently accepting essays about how "a major life event has altered your religiosity." Last week, the blog featured an essay by Melba Simons Brown on how her husband's death strengthened her Christian faith. If you're interested, this is a great opportunity to share your faith experiences with a secular audience. Follow this link for submission instructions.