Religious News From Around the Web February 8, 2021
SCOTUS Rules on California Worship Ban; Can We Reconcile Politics in the Pews? State Funding of Religious Schools goes to SCOTUS; Pope Francis is a Biden Fan, but Other Catholics? Denmark Law Would Require Government Review of Sermons; Alleged Rape in Chinese Uighur Detention Camps
SCOTUS Rules on California Case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California may not ban in-person worship. The court, however, did allow restrictions on singing and chanting inside, and a limitation of 25 percent of capacity. The decision – in response to suits by two California churches – reversed last year’s decision made before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett which depleted the court’s former liberal majority.
Can We Reconcile Politics in the Pews?
How does one move forward with disparate political and social viewpoints in a congregation? A woman who had been praying at the Capitol in support of President Donald Trump; another who accepted QAnon narratives and a Black immigrant who said “They wouldn’t have reached the Capitol doors if they had been a different color.”
State Funding of Religious Schools goes to SCOTUS
Last year’s Supreme Court ruling on Espinoza v Montana Dept of Revenue said that if a state provides support for private schools they cannot exclude private religious schools. That and the more conservative High Court gives some parents hope that state funding of religious schools may be allowed. Currently, parents who send children to religious schools must pay taxes to support public schools they do not use, as well as paying tuition to the schools they do use.
Pope Francis is a Biden Fan, but Other Catholics?
Biden, the second Catholic President, has supported abortion proponents, and while Pope Francis is cordial to the new President, Biden got a hostile reception from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference. “I must point out that our new president has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage and gender,” said Gomez, president of the conference. But President Biden, at the National Prayer Breakfast said: “For so many in our nation, this is a dark, dark time. So where do we turn? Faith.”
Denmark Law Would Require Government Review of Sermons
A draft law in Denmark, aimed at monitoring the growth of Islamic extremism, would require all sermons to be translated and submitted to the government. Christian leaders in Denmark fear that the law, if enacted would impinge on religious freedom, as, to avoid discrimination, it would apply to all faiths equally. The proposed law will be reviewed this month in Parliament.
Alleged Rape in Chinese Uighur Detention Camps
China has persecuted Uighur Muslims among other religious groups for many years. The latest charges are that Uighurs have been raped in detention camps. Ironically, on January 1 of this year, China took a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.