Thursday, October 23, 2014

Speed Posting 10/23/14: Hobby Lobby Goes to Guantanamo, Athletes Behaving Badly And Murder As The Logical Consequence of Romantic Pursuit

1.  This is probably the weirdest attempt to apply the Hobby Lobby decision to religious freedom:  A "high-value" Guantanamo detainee argues that his religious values are violated if female guards are allowed to touch him:

Bin Attash, a Yemeni, is a devout Muslim whose religious beliefs prohibit physical contact between unrelated men and women. But a new policy at Guantanamo's Camp 7, the top-secret facility that houses more than a dozen former CIA captives, now requires female guards to have physical contact with the high-value detainees when escorting them to meet with their attorneys. A detainee's wrists and ankles are shackled when he's moved; two guards stand on each side of him, holding his forearms.
I doubt that the Hobby Lobby decision would extend to Bin Attash (one of the alleged plotters of the 911 massacres).  But the very idea that he could argue so is nightmarish.  For instance, all three large Abrahamic religions include texts which suggest that women should never give orders to men.  Imagine a man arguing that his religious rights are violated because his teacher or his boss is a woman.

The whole Hobby Lobby case shows us what might happen when someone's "religious rights" are determined to require fewer  rights for other people.

2.  Florida State quarterback (a talented college football player for those of you who are not in the US) Jameis Wilson has been in recent newsFirst he yelled "F*** her right in the p****" (how the asterisks are yelled I do not know) on top of a table in the middle of the Florida State campus.  Then I read that he is facing a disciplinary hearing into charges that he sexually assaulted another Florida State student in 2012.*

This story reminds me of the British case of Ched Evans in the sense that the two men are  much valued by their respective sports, and some sportswriters turn into pretzels trying to separate the "ethical dilemmas" from just being allowed to root for the players of their choice without any insomnia.  I grant that this problem is a real one.  But most ordinary people don't get to pursue a wonderful career after a prison stay.

Then there's the sentence of Oscar Pistorius, a famous disabled athlete in South Africa who put several bullets into his girlfriend,  Reeva Steenkamp, killing her dead.  Pistorius has been given five years in prison for that, though he may serve only ten months of that in prison and the rest under house arrest.  As Pistorius' father stated:

“This has been an incredibly hard and painful process for everyone involved"
Not for Reeva Steenkamp, though, as she no longer exists.

3.  Finally, from the "Worst Headlines Ever" folder, this:
Romantic pursuit may have sparked murder-suicide near Houston hospital
So.  And it's not just the headline:

The suspect, identified as a 58-year-old male, walked up behind the female coworker and shot her several times before turning the gun on himself in an outpatient pharmacy near Ben Taub General Hospital, according to Houston police spokesman John Cannon.

Cannon told the Los Angeles Times that at least seven other employees heard the gunshots, and several colleagues told police that the suspect may have been trying to "enhance" a relationship with the female victim.
“Some of the employees are telling us in recent days the suspect had been trying to further a relationship with her. … That’s the only possible motive we are working on right now," Cannon said in a phone interview.
 If you can't "enhance" the relationship, just shoot her, I guess.  I don't know about you, but my idea of "romance" doesn't include stalking people or killing them dead if they spurn your advances.

*It's worth noting that after the "F*** her right in the p**** comment Wilson apologized to the university, the coaches and his team.  He then apologized again to his teammates, quoting his selfishness as the reason why he yelled what he did.  Can you spot the people he didn't address in his apology at all?