Religious News From Around the Web Feb. 17, 2020

Religion and Politics, Klobuchar, Coronavirus and the Eucharist, Polygamy, Faith-Based Treatment of Vets, No to Married Priests, State of the Church Survey

2020 State of the Church Survey
American-churchBarna Group, a research group focused on the intersection of faith and culture, released a “2020 State of the Church” survey which revealed that “reaching a younger audience” is the most pressing concern for Protestant pastors, followed by “declining or inconsistent outreach and evangelism,” followed by some 12 other issues.

Religious Democrats Embrace Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar is the most popular of the candidates among Democratic voters who attend church regularly – according to an exit poll during the New Hampshire Primaries – at 27 percent, beating Bernie Sanders (16 percent), Pete Buttigieg (16 percent), and Joe Biden (13 percent).

Religion and Political Liabilities
While around 90 percent of American voters would vote for a black, female, Catholic or Jewish candidate for president, only about 80 percent would vote for an evangelical Christian, gay, or lesbian candidate, and fewer still for a Muslim, atheist, or under-40 candidate. At the bottom of the preference, only 45 percent would vote for a socialist candidate and 53 percent say they would not according to a Gallup poll.

Podcast on Sacredness of Creation
ChipmunkThe Anglican Church of Canada launched “Sacred Teachings Wisdom of the Land” a series of podcasts in which indigenous speakers share their traditions on the sacredness of creation, the importance of the natural world to First Peoples.

Corona Virus and the Eucharist
How to avoid spreading the Coronavirus during church services and especially during the Eucharist is the subject of an information campaign by the Church of England. Advice ranges from practical steps such as hand washing, to avoiding intinction (dipping the bread in the wine so that the communicant receives both together.)

Utah Bill Would Decriminalize Polygamy
Utah’s Senate Bill 102, that would reduce polygamy among consenting adults to a misdemeanor, was endorsed by a state Senate committee last week. Current law makes polygamy a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. There are reportedly some 30,000 people in Utah in polygamous relationships, even though Latter-day Saints rejected the practice in 1890.

Faith-Based Organizations May Get Nod to Treat Vets
vietnam-memorialA proposed VA rule would allow faith-based organizations to partner with the federal government to help veterans, reversing an Obama administration rule that required faith-based social services providers to refer beneficiaries to a secular provider.

Pope Francis: Priests Stay Celibate
The recent Amazon Synod of the Catholic Church raised hope that priest shortages in the Amazon could be ameliorated by allowing the consecration of married men. But in the official report, the Pope did not address the issue of allowing married men to become priests or women to become deacons.

Supreme Court Asked to Intervene in Religious Liberty Case

Ken Paxton
Texas AG Ken Paxton
In 2017 Texas passed a law that allowed foster care agencies to deny placements to gay couples based on religious convictions. California then banned state-funded travel to Texas. “California is attempting to punish Texans for respecting the right of conscience for foster care and adoption providers,” said Texas AG Ken Paxton, who is asking the Supreme Court to strike down a 2016 California law that bans state-funded travel to states with “discriminatory laws.”