Religious Liberty

Hope for CA Churches: Justices Order Review of Virus Rules

"The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a lower federal court to reexamine California restrictions on indoor religious services in areas hard hit by the coronavirus in light of the justices’ recent ruling in favor of churches and synagogues in New York." - CLeaders

436 reads

Christian Political Exile Persists No Matter the President

"I too am troubled by the drift of public opinion on religious liberty, and I too am glad Trump will leave public office—that is, I understand why both perceptions make sense. But I also think both are built on too delimited an idea of exile, one that turns on the erratic shifts of national politics rather than a distinctive vision of the Christian life." - CToday

511 reads

Cuomo, COVID and the "Deadly Game"

In the last article, we saw the Court determined public health considerations cannot run roughshod over religious liberty concerns. Justice Gorsuch, who seemed particularly outraged, quipped the Constitution does not take a sabbatical during a pandemic. However, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan disagree. They wish to continue to defer to Governors and public health orders.

Thus, according to experts, the risk of transmission is higher when people are in close contact with one another for prolonged periods of time, particularly indoors or in other enclosed spaces. The nature of the epidemic, the spikes, the uncertainties, and the need for quick action, taken together, mean that the State has countervailing arguments based upon health, safety, and administrative considerations that must be balanced against the applicants’ First Amendment challenges.

Breyer dissent, p. 4.

I suspect (but, of course, cannot prove) these Justices simply do not appreciate the importance of religious worship and are therefore incapable of adequately protecting it. I’m unmoved by stories about how Joe Biden (et al) have “deep Christian faith.” The Christian faith isn’t play-dough to be molded and appropriated by the owner. It’s objective. It has content. It has meaning. The ideologies of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (and, for that matter, President Trump) largely do not comport with the Christian faith and message.

1368 reads

Cuomo, COVID, and the Notorious ACB

This past Wednesday (25 November 2020), the Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) barred restrictions on religious services in New York that Gov. Cuomo had imposed to combat COVID-19. The vote was 5-4. If the late Justice Ginsburg were on the bench instead of Amy Barrett, it would have gone the other way.

This is not a permanent decision. Justice Kavanaugh explains:

Importantly, the Court’s orders today are not final decisions on the merits. Instead, the Court simply grants temporary injunctive relief until the Court of Appeals in December, and then this Court as appropriate, can more fully consider the merits.

Kavanaugh concurring opinion, p. 1.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, along with some Orthodox Jewish synagogues, asked for injunctive relief from Gov. Cuomo’s order that “imposes severe restrictions on attendance at religious services in areas classified as ‘red’ or ‘orange; zones. In red zones, no more than 10 persons may attend each religious service, and in orange zones, attendance is capped at 25,” (Decision, p. 1).

1523 reads

Survey: Americans trend toward acceptance of church defiance of COVID-19 restrictions

"When asked if they agreed with the statement, 'If the government told us to stop gathering in person for worship I would want my congregation to defy the order,' 34% of respondents who participated in the October survey agreed (with 16% strongly agreeing). By contrast, 21.8% of Americans surveyed in March said that they agreed (with 10.7% strongly agreeing)." - CPost

426 reads

How Anti-Missionary Laws Are Influencing the Evangelical Church in Russia

"...in July 2016, the president of Russia signed a package of “antiterrorist laws” that became known by their co-author name as the Yarovaya Laws. In practice the so-called anti-terrorist laws turned out to be anti-missionary and even anti-church laws." - C.Leaders

482 reads

Pages