Religious News From Around the Web February 22, 2021
Biden Reestablishes White House Faith Office, French Anti-Radicalism Bill Worries Muslims, Latter-day Saint Missionary Watched Landing of Mars Rover She Helped Engineer, Lent Explained, Conservative Supreme Court Justices Think Religion is Under Siege, Dream of Three Faiths in One Building To Begin in March
Biden Reestablishes White House Faith Office
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Feb. 14 reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In a statement accompanying the announcement of the executive order, Biden echoed his recent remarks to the National Prayer Breakfast, bemoaning widespread physical and economic suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic, racism and climate change. He added that those struggling “are fellow Americans” and are deserving of aid.
French Anti-Radicalism Bill Worries Muslims
Lawmakers in the French parliament’s lower house on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would strengthen oversight of mosques, schools and sports clubs to safeguard France from radical Islamists and to promote respect for French values — one of President Emmanuel Macron’s landmark projects.
Latter-day Saint Missionary Watched Landing of Mars Rover She Helped Engineer
Michelle Wright Amos worked for a year on the Mars 2020 rover as a systems engineer. She missed the launch last July, as she was working for the Church of Latter-day Saints supervising young missionaries in Louisiana. But she and her husband and 200 missionaries in the Baton Rouge area watched on Zoom the Perseverance landing Feb. 19 on Mars.
Lent goes from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday and represents Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. Eastern Orthodox churches and Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists observe Lent usually by fasting or by giving up something they enjoy, such as social media or alcohol. Lent ends the night before Easter Sunday.
Conservative Supreme Court Justices Think Religion is Under Siege
Justices spared churches from California’s Covid-19 restrictions on large indoor gatherings. In late November, the justices ruled for New York churches and synagogues challenging coronavirus occupancy limits. “When a State so obviously targets religion for differential treatment, our job becomes that much clearer,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in a statement in the latest church case. Joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the statement reinforced conservatives’ warnings in recent months of religious liberty under attack.
Dream of Three Faiths in One Building To Begin in March
“The House of One” will be used by Jewish, Christian and Muslim members as a place to pray, worship, gather and, perhaps above all, host a dialogue among their respective religions and with society at large. The building is intended to show that peace is possible among — and through — the world’s “Abrahamic traditions.”