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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Schools Receiving Taxpayer-Funded Scholarships

posted on June 30, 2020

Deseret News‘ Kelsey Dallas reports,” The Supreme Court opened the door Tuesday to more state financial support for religious schools, ruling that it’s unconstitutional for taxpayer-funded scholarship programs to exclude faith-based institutions. The justices ruled 5-4 that preventing students at private, religious schools from receiving publicly funded scholarships amounts to religious discrimination.” Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court’s other conservative justices in the decision. Dallas writes, “Currently, nearly 40 states have laws preventing public money from going to religious schools. Those legal provisions will be harder to enforce now that the Supreme Court has said faith-based organizations need to be treated the same as other private institutions.”

Read at Deseret News

How Pro-Life Activists Are Reacting to the Supreme Court’s Latest Abortion Decision

posted on June 30, 2020

Slate’s Ruth Graham writes, “On Monday, abortion rights activists celebrated as the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have shut down two of the state’s three abortion clinics.” Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Court’s liberal justices in the 5-4 decision. Graham writes, “The institutional anti-abortion movement has spent years instructing people with anti-abortion convictions to ‘vote pro-life.’ In presidential elections, this means voting for the candidate who will install federal judges seen as friendly to their cause. What does it say about that strategy that a Republican-nominated justice has handed their movement a major defeat?” The social conservatives she interviewed were divided on a path forward.

Read at Slate

Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers, Supreme Court Rules

posted on June 15, 2020

The New York Times‘ Adam Liptak reports, “The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination, handing the movement for L.G.B.T. equality a stunning victory.” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion; he joined Chief Justice John Roberts in siding with the Court’s liberal justices. Liptak writes, “The case concerned Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex. The question for the justices was whether that last prohibition — discrimination ‘because of sex’— applies to many millions of gay and transgender workers.”

Read at The New York Times

George Floyd Left a Gospel Legacy in Houston

posted on June 10, 2020

Christianity Today‘s Kate Shellnutt reports that George Floyd was an active volunteer with Christian ministries in his Texas community. She writes that “in Houston’s Third Ward, they know Floyd for how he lived for decades—a mentor to a generation of young men and a ‘person of peace’ ushering ministries into the area.” Shellnutt writes, “Floyd spoke of breaking the cycle of violence he saw among young people and used his influence to bring outside ministries to the area to do discipleship and outreach, particularly in the Cuney Homes housing project, locally known as ‘the Bricks.'” He had moved to Minnesota around 2018 for a job with a Christian work program.

Read at Christianity Today

Martin Gugino Is a Catholic Peace Activist, Not an “Antifa Provocateur,” Friends Say

posted on June 9, 2020

Religion News Service’s Yonat Shimron writes that Martin Gugino, who was seriously injured by police in Buffalo during a protest, is a Catholic peace activist. President Donald Trump tweeted the “unfounded claim” that Gugino “could be an ANTIFA provocateur.” Shimron writes, “Friends of the retired computer scientist described Gugino as a devout Catholic and a graduate of Canisius High School, a private Jesuit school in Buffalo, who is a passionate advocate for multiple causes on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. Gugino spent his retirement lending a hand to multiple causes, among them Black Lives Matter.”

Read at Religion News Service

Mitt Romney, Marching with Evangelicals, Becomes First GOP Senator to Join George Floyd Protests in D.C.

posted on June 8, 2020

The Washington Post‘s Michelle Boorstein and Hannah Natanson report, “Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday became the first Republican senator known to march in one of D.C.’s anti-racism demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago.” Romney wore a mask as he walked alongside evangelical demonstrators. He told the Post that “he wanted to find ‘a way to end violence and brutality, and to make sure that people understand that black lives matter.'” The day before, he had tweeted a photo of his father, George Romney, marching with black protesters during the civil rights movement.

Read at The Washington Post

St. John’s Would’ve Been Open to a Trump Visit. All He Had to Do Was Ask.

posted on June 8, 2020

Slate’s Ruth Graham writes that St. John’s Episcopal Church, where Trump staged his infamous photo op last week, has long welcomed presidents and the powerful. Franklin Roosevelt started the inauguration prayer service there, and Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson both sought quiet moments in the space. The church’s rector told Graham that the church would have been open to a scheduled visit from President Trump. “After all, the church has demonstrated an openness to symbolic appearances by presidents of both parties for more than 200 years,” she writes. As for Trump’s forceful expulsion of protesters that stood in his path to the church, Graham writes, “Trump bulldozed the door to St. John’s when the key was sitting right in front of him.”


Read at Slate

Episcopal Bishop on President Trump: “Everything He Has Said and Done Is to Inflame Violence”

posted on June 2, 2020

The Washington Post‘s Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey talk to the Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, after President Trump staged a photo op in front of one of her churches without notifying her. “I am outraged,” she said. Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal from the White House after police used force to clear peaceful protesters from his path. They write, “She excoriated the president for standing in front of the church — its windows boarded up with plywood — holding up a Bible, which Budde said ‘declares that God is love.'” Budde added, “Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence.”

Read at The Washington Post

The Woman Behind “Roe vs. Wade” Didn’t Change Her Mind on Abortion. She Was Paid.

posted on May 19, 2020

The Los Angeles Times‘ Meredith Blake reports that the woman at the center of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade did not change her mind on abortion rights as previously thought. According to a new documentary, “AKA Jane Roe,” premiering Friday on FX, Norma McCorvey claims “she only did it because she was paid by antiabortion groups including Operation Rescue.” The documentary was filmed just prior to McCorvey’s death in 2017.

Read at The Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court Returns to a Complicated Question: Which Religious Workers Count as Ministers?

posted on May 13, 2020

Deseret News‘ Kelsey Dallas reports the the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday in its final religion case of the term. “The case, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, involves a legal concept called the ministerial exception, which bars the government from weighing in on employment disputes between a religious organization and its ministerial employees,” Dallas writes. “The justices will clarify who counts as a minister under the law and decide whether two Catholic school teachers should be allowed to move forward with age and health-related discrimination claims.”

Read at Deseret News