By Christy Barritt
New York City Churches Evicted
Approximately 60 churches meeting in New York City public schools were given eviction notices in February of this year.
In December, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take on the case of a Bronx church meeting in a public school, thus allowing the city’s education department to proceed with their plans to close its doors to churches meeting on school grounds.
A bill in the state Legislature could force the approval of worship in schools, but the measure is opposed by the city and not expected to pass through the Assembly.
Most of the affected churches served primarily poor and ethnic neighborhoods throughout the city. Many worry about finding affordable space and are seeking to use movie theaters, Seventh-Day Adventist churches, and off-Broadway theaters.
Same-Sex Marriage Passed in Washington
Washington has become the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
The state’s House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in February, and democratic governor Christine Gregoire signed it into law, saying, “This is a very proud moment . . . I’m proud of who and what we are as a state.”
Opponents vowed to try and prevent the law from taking effect by seeking its repeal through a ballot measure in November.
Other states with legalized gay marriages are: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa. Gay marriages are also legal in the District of Columbia.
Advertising Assisted Suicide Services Okay in Georgia
The Georgia Supreme Court recently ruled that prohibiting anyone from advertising suicide assistance services is a violation of people’s First Amendment right to free speech.
In 1994, legislators made it a felony to advertise assisted suicide services, though the state had no law banning assisted suicide itself.
Four members of the Final Exit Network were charged in 2009 with violating this law after they helped a 58-year-old cancer patient end his life. They contested the case and won when the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the earlier law.
According to the ruling, “The State has failed to provide any explanation or evidence as to why a public advertisement or offer to assist in an otherwise legal activity is sufficiently problematic to justify an intrusion on protected speech rights.”
Opponents fear that more assisted suicides will take place in Georgia due to this ruling.
Excessive Eating Can Lead to Memory Loss
A new study by the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona showed that overeating could double the risk of memory loss in old age.
Researchers said that people over 70 who consume between 2,000-6,000 calories a day are at a greater risk of “mild cognitive impairment.” Mild cognitive impairment is the phase of mental decline that falls somewhere between normal age-related forgetfulness and the more pronounced decline of dementia.
“Consuming excessive calories every day may have ill effects on brain health,” according to head researcher Dr. Yonas Geda, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Mayo Clinic. “This is another reason for us to be aware of our daily caloric intake. The general consensus is eating in moderation is not only good for your body but may be good for your brain as well.”
The eating habits of 1,233 people from the ages of 70 to 89 were studied in order to draw these conclusions.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.