World Religion News: 2020 in Review January 4, 2021
Want to Worship? Show Me Your Papers! Religious Liberty Under Attack and Into Focus, Religious Overreaches Could Backfire, You Don’t Have to Be a Supreme Court Justice to See a Thumb on the Scales, QAnon, a New Religion or the Latest Stupidity? Religion’s Role in the Wild West of Immorality and Irresponsibility, Political and Religious Holograms, Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictions on Religious School Funding, Churches Say: “You’re Not the Boss of Me!”
Want to Worship? Show Me Your Papers!
In 2020, religious liberty was under fire. Churches ordered to close while bars and cannabis dispensaries remained open; business people ordered to violate religious principles on abortion, birth control, wearing of religious garb, marriage and more. Will 2021 go even further?
Religious Liberty Under Attack and Into Focus
A rundown of religious liberty cases – Obergefell, Masterpiece Cakeshop, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v Newsom, Little Sisters of the Poor v Pennsylvania, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, and Espinoza v Montana Dept. of Revenue – and what those cases mean for people of faith.
Religious Overreaches Could Backfire
The Supreme Court struck down New York State’s COVID restrictions on houses of worship. The good news is that the Bill of Rights has triumphed, and that’s important — no one should be permitted to take away those rights. But the bad news? Good sense has evidently been kicked to the curb by some religious leaders, which could backfire.
You Don’t Have to Be a Supreme Court Justice to See a Thumb on the Scales
For those rational individuals who thought that the First Amendment kept government out of religious affairs, assured the people’s right to worship as they chose, and guaranteed the right to “peaceably assemble,” a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court may come as a shock.
QAnon, a New Religion or the Latest Stupidity?
We’ve seen actual covert programs exposed, so how credible is QAnon’s expose of a supposedly left-wing deep-state satanic child-abuse ring? I’d sooner believe that Area 51 contains a flying saucer and pickled aliens than subscribe to the QAnon lunacy. So what to make of it?
Religion’s Role in the Wild West of Immorality and Irresponsibility
According to George Washington it is religious principle that lays the foundation of national morality, and is a source of popular government. Unfortunately, religious principle is in decline in the United States and elsewhere in the world, and as ethics and morality decline, laws and justice have become more pervasive, more punitive, more arbitrary and more unjust. It’s not the government, in other words – it’s us.
Political and Religious Holograms
“Lumpers” see holograms – unreal pictures spun out of thin air. Recently one of my daughters told me she thought Marx had some great ideas. I thought she was talking about Groucho, but she was referring to Karl the founder of communism who was not very funny.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictions on Religious School Funding
Is the Espinoza v Montana Department of Revenue decision broad enough to open the doors to public funding of private religious schools? National Public Radio, called Espinoza “… a case with potentially profound implications … that would work a sea change in constitutional law, significantly removing the longstanding high wall of separation between church and state.”
Churches Say: “You’re Not the Boss of Me!”
And once the battle begins, the fringes – people who feel “God will protect us so why be careful” on one side, to those that think “religion is a stupid thing and who are churches to defy the law?” on the other – weigh in and pretty soon you have a lot of upset people.