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Religious News From Around the Web February 1, 2021

Texas Abortion Ban Voided, Gen Z Religiously Unaffiliated, Federal Court Sides With Catholic Groups Over Gender Mandate, Supreme Court Addresses Two Religion Cases, Blinken Favors Cooperation With China Despite Uighurs Genocide, Can Catholic Schools Survive?

Texas Abortion Ban Voided

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The U.S. Supreme Court last week voided lower court rulings that halted abortions during the COVID pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 2020 executive order prohibited abortion under all but a few narrow circumstances in an attempt to preserve medical resources for COVID-19 patients.

Generation Z Religiously Unaffiliated
Americans born after 1996 – so-called Generation Z – are beginning to vote, and researchers surveyed more than 10,000 young people age 13 to 25. Nearly 40 percent describe themselves as “religiously unaffiliated,” whether agnostic, atheist, or nothing in particular. However, 60 percent of those young people who are not involved with organized religion consider themselves as “spiritual,” and 19 percent say they attend religious services at least once a month. Furthermore, 12 percent said they have become more religious in the last five years,

Court Sides With Catholic Groups Over Gender Mandate

By sarahmirk [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Last week, a federal court in North Dakota allowed Catholic medical professionals, hospitals and organizations the right to refuse performing or providing insurance coverage for gender transition procedures, or insurance coverage for gender transition drugs, if it violates their religious beliefs. In addition, the ruling prevents the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from issuing similar mandates or enforcement actions based on how it interprets sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Supreme Court Addresses Two Religion Cases
In one before the Supreme Court, a death row inmate claims Texas’ refusal to allow a clergy member in the execution chamber violates his religious liberty rights. The Supreme Court sent that case back to the lower court. In the other case, a challenger to Nevada’s worship service COVID restrictions sought Supreme Court review prior to judgment by the lower court, but the High Court refused to intervene.

New Secretary of State Favors Cooperation With China Despite Uighurs Genocide

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week on his first full day in the job, that he favored cooperation with China on climate change and other issues of shared concern, even as he reiterated that genocide had been committed against Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region.

Can Catholic Schools Survive?

By Patriarca12 via Wikimedia Commons
Catholic schools must focus on the characteristics that make them academically successful and distinguish them from traditional public schools, but must also seek new models and governance structures that will help them achieve financial sustainability, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute. Catholic school parents pay tuition as well as taxes to support schools their children don’t attend, saving state and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

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