Religious News From Around the Web April 12, 2021
Nation of Islam Repudiates Actions of Noah Green, Religious Liberty Winning at SCOTUS, Biden “Packing” Supreme Court? SCOTUS: California Cannot Ban In-Home Religious Services, Would Conversion Therapy Ban Make Certain Prayers Illegal? Amid COVID, India Prepares for World’s Largest Religious Gathering
Nation of Islam Repudiates Actions of Noah Green
The Nation of Islam (NOI) has repudiated claims that Noah Green, who allegedly rammed his car into Capitol police and killed on officer was a NOI member. “The Nation of Islam has no history of violence against the government. Federal, state, and local law enforcement are all well aware of our history,” said an official release. The release goes on to say that Green was not a member, but had at one time shown interest. “We absolutely disavow this act that resulted in the senseless loss of life. It is shocking for us to learn that someone who was attempting to be a part of our ranks may have been involved in something as tragic as this … Mr. Noah Green’s alleged use of an automobile as a weapon and the alleged possession of a knife as reported, violates our teachings.”
Review: Religious Liberty Winning at SCOTUS
Under the current Supreme Court, religious liberty is being treated more favorably than at any time in the past 70 years, according to a study published in The Supreme Court Review. SCOTUS under Chief Justice John Roberts successfully favors religious liberty by 81 percent, said the article, revealing a 31 percent increase as compared to previous decisions of the Supreme Court. That compares to a 46 percent favorability to cases on religious liberty during the 50s and 60s under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a 51 percent favorability during the ’60s to the ’80s under Chief Justice Warren Burger, and a 58 percent favorability under Chief Justice William Rehnquist during the ’80s to 2005.
Biden “Packing” Supreme Court?
President Joe Biden on April 9 issued an Executive Order creating the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States that includes a review of “the membership and size of the Court,” which many fear is the first step to expand the court, so that Biden may appoint liberal justices to swing the court back to a liberal majority. So-called “packing the court” began with Franklin Roosevelt who in 1937 attempted to expand the court to pass his New Deal legislation that the court had ruled unconstitutional. Since 1869 there have been nine justices but the number is not stipulated by the Constitution.
SCOTUS: California Cannot Ban In-Home Religious Services
The Supreme Court, on April 10, ruled by a 5-4 margin that California’s coronavirus-related restrictions on gathering in private homes violated Constitutional rights on the free exercise of religion, the latest ruling from the High Court that prohibits authorities from enforcing limits on religious services. “California treats some comparable secular activities more favorably than at-home religious exercise, permitting hair salons, retail stores, personal care services, movie theaters, private suites at sporting events and concerts and indoor restaurants,” the unsigned majority opinion said.
Would Conversion Therapy Ban Make Certain Prayers Illegal?
John Stevens, national director of the UK’s Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, and Graham Nicholls, director of affinity, told The Christian Institute that if the government introduces a blanket ban on conversion therapy, then ordinary church practices, such as preaching, prayer and pastoral care, could all be criminalized. The government has said it is “committed” to banning conversion therapy, and is under pressure from LGBT lobbyists who said churches should not be permitted to declare homosexual behavior as “sinful.”
Amid COVID, India Prepares for World’s Largest Religious Gathering
The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu pilgrimage held every 12 years at river-ford sites, along the Ganges River in India. This year the government expects more than a million pilgrims a day to bathe in the sacred river. Over 5 million people are expected per day on the most auspicious days – April 12, 14 and 21 – for a total of
100 million celebrants. India’s severe COVID pandemic –with more than 150,000 deaths – has not stopped devout Hindus from making the pilgrimage.