Church to state: halt executions 

click to enlarge week_that_was1-1-04d344c3fac9c3f5.jpg

Tweet of the Week:

"No one's being jailed for practicing her religion. Someone's being jailed for using the government to force others to practice her religion."

— Rachel Held Evans, an iconoclastic Christian writer supportive of LGBT rights, on the saga of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or allow her deputies in the Rowan County, Ky., courthouse to do so either, for which a federal judge held her in contempt and sent her to jail last week. Mike Huckabee, among others, rallied to her cause. Davis was freed on Tuesday but ordered to not interfere with her deputies' issuance of licenses. It remains to be seen if she'll comply.

For Fayetteville

As the Times went to press on Tuesday, voters in Fayetteville were headed to the polls to vote on a city ordinance that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT residents of the city. UPDATE: The civil rights ordinance was ratified by voters. It's a reboot of a somewhat broader measure that was defeated, 52-48, by voters in a referendum last December. The "For Fayetteville" coalition organizing in support of the ordinance has won the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce this time around, but will that be enough to overcome the intensive field work by conservative evangelical churches that wish to retain the ability to legally discriminate against sexual minorities? We'll find out soon.

Havana bound

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is leading a delegation to Cuba to promote trade later this month, according to a spokesman. This makes good sense: Arkansas agriculture is chomping at the bit to see Cuba's borders open further as diplomatic relations normalize, considering the economic opportunities for the state's rice industry and other farmers. But Hutchinson's approach contrasts with the rhetoric of U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, a fellow Republican, who's called the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba "a grave mistake" and has promised to "work to maintain and increase sanctions on the regime."

Church to state: Halt executions

In the pages of the Arkansas Catholic, Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock urged the legislature and the governor to abolish the death penalty in the state.

Taylor was prompted to write after Attorney General Leslie Rutledge sent a request to the governor asking that he set execution dates for the eight men on death row whose appeals have run out. Arkansas recently acquired a supply of execution drugs sufficient to resume lethal injections, which have been stalled in the state since 2005.

The bishop wrote, "I have experienced the death penalty from the side of innocent victims and the side of criminals executed, and what is violated in both cases is the sanctity of life: either by the criminal or by the state. I know you often hear Catholics talk about the sanctity of life in the context of abortion, so today I need to emphasize two obvious things: 1) life does not cease to be sacred once the baby is born, and 2) no one will be fully secure until we reject everything that threatens human life or degrades human dignity."

Joel Anderson to leave UALR

University of Arkansas at Little Rock faculty received a note from Chancellor Joel Anderson last week stating his intention to retire from the position after 45 years at the school, 13 of them as chancellor. It's a shame: He's been a force for good at UALR and the larger community and has skillfully navigated the challenges of running an urban university.

Anderson said in his memo that the time was right to step down because he felt his institution has "growing momentum," including a recent gift of $20 million from the Windgate Foundation to build a new art and design building, a recently announced new partnership with the eStem charter school, increasing student enrollment and more.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in The Week That Was

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Inconsequential News Quiz: Trumpocalypse Now Edition

    • PLEASE READ!!! Celebrate this season with joy and gladness in your heart, Do you know…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 7 years. A couple of months ago…

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: Profile of a plant

    • There is plenty of studies out there, which fill in the holes in this story…

    • on January 19, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation