"Anti-Hindu" Valentine's Day sparks violence
St. Valentine's Day originated to commemorate a martyr. Some militant Hindus in India seem keen on bringing an air of violence back to February 14. As lovers in New Delhi and Bombay celebrated their bond, members of the Shiv Sena party raged through restaurants and stores, smashing plants, tossing chairs, and threatening couples. "Down with Valentine's Day!" shouted activists. "We will not allow our culture to be polluted. Long live Hindu culture!" Earlier this week, Shiv Sena head Bal Thackeray called on his followers to disrupt the "Western" holiday. (See more coverage from The Times of India, London's The Independent, and Radio Australia.)
U.S. Marshals (finally) seize Indianapolis Baptist TempleThe Indianapolis Star captures the moment beautifully: "In the end, the holdout at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple came down to this: Two men kneeling before the raised altar. 'Pastor, we're going to have to go,' U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson said softly to the Rev. Gregory J. Dixon, 68, patriarch of the Southside church. For Anderson, seizing the church was a matter of honor and duty, his sworn obligation to carry out a federal judge's order and his personal insistence upon treating church members civilly. For Dixon, the issue was religious liberty, his belief that government had no right to ask God's house to collect the government's taxes. It was the church's refusal since 1984 to withhold employee income and Social Security taxes that led to a tax judgment of about $6 million, including penalties." But of course, the Star's Terry Horne had a long time to think about how to craft the opening of this story: it's been looming since last October. There were no guns, arrests, or injuries. ...1
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