SCOTUS Hears Fulton v City of Philadelphia
Michigan State Funded Adoption Agencies Are Barred from Discriminating Same-sex CouplesThe U. S. Supreme Court on Nov. 4 heard Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case in which 200-year-old Catholic Social Services (CSS)had its contract with the city of Philadelphia cancelled because CSS does not place foster children with same-sex couples. LGBT interests fear the case could will carve out religious exemptions to LGBT rights, while religious liberty advocates see it is government interference with fundamental principles of religious liberty. More information is available on SCOTUSblog or the oral arguments can be viewed on CSPAN.

Opinion: Fulton v Philadelphia Could Examine Employment Div. v Smith
closed-churchIn 1990, Employment Div. v Smith, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a rule applied to everyone may proceed, even if it burdens a religious minority, as long as it is applied evenly. So for example, a rule against gathering in public enacted during the pandemic shut down religious services, marriages, christenings, etc., but those restrictions were allowed because they were applied broadly, even though burdening religious liberty. But Fulton v. Philadelphia could examine that as explained in a recent SCOTUS blog.

Justice Barrett Sworn In

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the East Conference Room, Supreme Court Building. Judge Barrett’s husband, Jesse M. Barrett, holds the Bible. Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administers the
Judicial Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett
in the East Conference Room,
Supreme Court Building.
Judge Barrett’s husband, Jesse M. Barrett,
holds the Bible.
Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of
the Supreme Court of the United States

On Oct. 27, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Judicial Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The selection of justices has become very politicized in recent years and Barrett’s confirmation was especially contentious in that she is conservative and was selected to succeed liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed in September. Barrett is also a Catholic and will hear cases with religious liberty implications, and she was nominated by President Trump just prior to the election, while Democrats wanted to wait for whoever was elected to make the appointment. Highlights of the Senate hearings are available online.

French PM Says “Naked Breasts” Are More Representative of France than a HijabFollowing Attacks, French Muslims Protect Church
Following a deadly Islamic attack on a church in Nice, France, a group of young Muslims stood in front of a Catholic cathedral in their town of Lodeve during All Saints Holiday weekend as a symbolic gesture of protection, earning appreciation from townspeople. “It’s very good, these young people who are against violence,” said the cathedral’s priest, the Rev. Luis Iniguez.”

Sikh Men Use Turbans to Help Save Girls

When two girls fell through the ice in Calgary, several elderly Sikh men unwound their turbans to use as a rope to attempt a rescue. The girls were pulled from the frigid water using siding, turbans and a garden hose and suffered no ill effects. The men said that removing their turbans is a big thing in their faith, but they did it to try to help the girls. A video of the rescue may be seen here.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Plan “What is God’s Kingdom?” Campaign

Jehovah's Witness Headquarters in Warwick New York. Photo By Ken Bermido CC

Jehovah’s Witness Headquarters in Warwick New York.
Photo By Ken Bermido CC

Jehovah’s Witnesses this November will distribute an issue of the Watchtower magazine entitled “What Is God’s Kingdom?” Jehovah’s Witnesses will distribute the magazine to the general public, business owners, local and national government officials, as well as court officials.