The ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was observed with prayers and services of remembrance, but also with demonstrations and arguments over plans for an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York.
A retired California Presbyterian minister, rebuked by the church after being charged with violating her ordination vows by performing marriages of same-sex couples, plans to appeal the ruling, which she said sent contradictory messages about the church's support of gay rights.
An Anglican vicar has been sentenced to four years in prison for conducting hundreds of fake marriages as part of a fraud helping illegal immigrants set up permanent homes in Britain. Alex Brown was convicted of carrying out some 360 sham marriages at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in St. Leonards-on-Sea in southern England.
A disturbing factor in the rash of police shootings of unarmed black people and of deaths in police custody is that many of the victims were apprehended for petty offenses. Sandra Bland was stopped for not signaling a lane change, Samuel DuBose for a missing license plate, and Walter Scott for a busted taillight. A trend among municipalities is to issue fines as a means of generating revenue, and this onerous strategy falls disproportionately on people of color, many of whom are poor themselves. Not having the means to pay the fines can land them in jail, resulting in job loss and perpetuation of poverty—and increased distrust of law enforcement (Mother Jones, September/October).