Religious News From Around the Web June 22, 2020
Bostock Case Gives LGBTQ a Win; Southern Poverty Law Center Labels Christians as Hate Groups; Sikh Woman Graduates from West Point; Baptists Sue Over Abortion Requirement; Risch Slams China’s Attempt to Select Next Dalai Lama; Quakers Say Invest in Communities Not Policing; Religion Never Again Nonessential!
SCOTUS: Bostock Case Gives LGBT a Narrow Win – More on Tap
In Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga. Three individuals were fired from jobs. Two individuals were gay and one was hired as a male and then announced they would present as female. The Supreme Court ruled that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, the Court referenced the Religious Freedom Act of 1993 and said: “But how these doctrines protecting religious liberty interact with Title VII are questions for future cases …”
Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel have a religious liberty focus and involve a “ministerial exemption” to civil rights protections such as those in Title VII and will answer if the government may interfere with the hiring and firing of religious school employees.
And in Trump v. Pennsylvania and Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the court will decide if employers with religious objections to birth control may deny insurance coverage for birth control to their employees.
Southern Poverty Law Center Labels Christians as Hate Groups
Another conservative Christian group – the Family Research Council – has been banned from Amazon’s “smile” program because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls it a hate group. The SPLC has itself been labeled a “…far-left propaganda machine that slanders organizations with which it disagrees.” by the CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group which was the target of a shooter who said he was incited to attack the ADF by SPLC’s list of “anti-gay” groups. The Smile Program lets Amazon customers designate a charity to receive a portion of each purchase made by that customer.
First Observant Sikh Graduates from West Point
Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang became the first observant Sikh and first observant Sikh woman to graduate from United States Military Academy West Point. She is a second-generation immigrant raised in Georgia. At West Point, she studied nuclear engineering and will be posted to Okinawa early next year.
Baptist Group Sues Over Abortion Requirement
One thousand Baptist congregations have filed suit against the State of Illinois in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, in opposition to a law which reads: “No individual or group policy of accident and health insurance that provides pregnancy-related benefits may be issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this State … unless the policy provides a covered person with coverage for abortion care.
Sen. Risch Decries China Attempts to Select Next Dalai Lama
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, slammed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for “seeking to interfere in the succession of the next Dalai Lama, which would undermine the religious freedoms of Buddhist practitioners around the world.”
Quakers Say Invest in Communities not Policing
The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, said it supports the movement for black lives, which has called for divestment from the police and investment in black communities. They have appealed to governors in every state to “defund policing and invest instead in critical needs such as schools, health care and transformative justice initiatives that truly center community well-being.”
Never Again Can We Let Religion Become “Nonessential”
“While believers and their religious organizations must be good citizens in a time of crisis, never again can we allow government officials to treat the exercise of religion as simply ‘nonessential.’ Never again must the fundamental right to worship God be trivialized below the ability to buy gasoline.” – Elder David A. Bednar of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints