September 15, 2009
What to Watch: Police Say No Evidence Muslim Family Threatened Runaway Teen
Here's what we're reading today:
-- Florida authorities found no credible threats against Rifqa Bary, a 17-year-old who fled from Ohio to Florida because she claimed her Muslim family would kill her for converting to Christianity. Here's more form the St. Petersburg Times.
The FDLE's report, though, which a judge in Orlando unsealed Monday evening, says there's no evidence of any abuse, and also no indication that she's in danger of being killed. The report calls that fear "a subjective and speculative concern."
FDLE asked the girl's father if he was going to kill her.
"Absolutely not," Mohamed Bary told investigators.
FDLE did not investigate the Islamic community in Columbus or the mosque the Bary family sometimes attends.
-- Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler plans to introduce legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The bill has the support of at least 75 lawmakers, according to the Associated Press. A spokesperson for Rep. Barney Frank told the AP he believes the legislation would have a small chance because it would allow same-sex couples to take their benefits across state lines.
-- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed abortion and the political struggles with her Catholic faith in a Washington Post interview.
Q: Do you think that the federal government should do some federal funding of abortions, personally?
A: Well, the President has made it pretty clear that Congress and the new health insurance plan will not provide federal funds for abortions.
Q: Well, I know that. I was asking you what you thought.
A: I am the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I will support the President's proposal moving forward.
Then she spoke about how the archbishop in the Kansas City area asked that she not present herself for communion.
A: Well, it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life, and I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and I feel that my actions as a parishioner are different than my actions as a public official and that the people who elected me in Kansas had a right to expect me to uphold their rights and their beliefs even if they did not have the same religious beliefs that I had," Sebelius said.
Q: Do you continue to take communion?
A: I really would prefer not to discuss that with you.
-- For some international reading, a council in London has barred a Christian group to display their posters in public places unless they remove words such as “God” and “Christian.” The group plans to hold a series of events on climate change.