Religious News From Around the Web October 12, 2020
even more supreme court religious cases! Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings Begin, Man acquitted of “basic human kindness,” Restricting number of congregants violates religious liberty, Little Sisters of the Poor Still Under Fire, Orthodox Jews Burn Masks in Protest, Christian Churches Must Replace Crosses with Communist Symbol
Here Come More Supreme Court Religious Liberty Cases!
As the U.S. Supreme Court began its 2020 session earlier this month, religious freedom cases are in abundance. Included are Muslims put on the no-fly list, employees’ religious practices, religiously affiliated hospitals to follow faith-based principles, whether religious foster-care agencies can refuse to place children with LGBT couples (which could affect some 8,000 faith-affirming adoption and foster care agencies.) And in the first post-Ginsburg abortion case, physicians are suing the FDA to allow patients to receive a medical abortion pill without first visiting a doctor.
Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Begins
With so many religious liberty cases at stake, the confirmation hearing to seat Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic, on the U.S. Supreme Court will likely be very heated. Barrett could tilt the court squarely conservative, and detractors fear that important precedents such as Roe v. Wade could be overturned. The hearing, which will start Oct. 12, stirs additional rancor as it could seat a new member of the High Court shortly before an election, when Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee before he left office.
Man Acquitted of “Basic Human Kindness”
A man who says the government “attempted to criminalize basic human kindness,” was acquitted of “harboring” when he left water for migrants crossing a desert area. His lawyers argued that his religious beliefs motivated him to attempt to help, and cited the 1993 religious freedom law at the heart of the Supreme Court decision that gave Hobby Lobby an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage requirement.
Court: Prohibiting Church Services Larger than 100 “Likely Violates Religious Liberty”
A D.C. court overturned restrictions on the number of Baptist congregants who could gather outdoor with masks and social distancing, saying the restrictions were an infringement on religious liberty. Judge McFadden cited D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s supportive stance toward street protests drawing hundreds of people to the streets, saying it undermined the District’s argument at limiting religious gatherings.
Little Sisters of the Poor Still Under Fire
Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charitable organization won an exemption from a Health and Human Services mandate that employees must be insured for contraception. The Sisters won their case in the U.S. Supreme Court, but that’s not the end of the story. “We have been very distressed by the politicization of our case,” said an article by the Sisters in The Catholic Spirit. “We never wanted this fight, and after our victory at the Supreme Court in 2016, we thought it was over [but] several states and many politicians have promised not to rest until they succeed in stealing our hard-won exemption from the HHS mandate away from us.”
Christian Churches must Replace Cross with Chinese Communist Symbol
Chinese Communist officials ordered crosses on Christian churches to be replaced with a communist party symbol, the five-pointed star. Bitter Winter reported that two Chinese Christian Councils ordered its more than 70 affiliated churches to remove the cross from their official seals, and to erect the five-pointed star, which is used in all other state-run institutions.
Orthodox Jews Burn Masks to Protest COVID Restrictions
New York’s crackdown on gatherings in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods turned tense and at times violent as throngs of young men demonstrated in the streets of Borough Park and set fire to a pile of masks. The late-night protest took aim at new restrictions that would close schools, limit attendance at synagogues services and close nonessential businesses in areas with upticks in COVID-19.