The U.S. Supreme Court sided on June 26 with a Missouri church seeking aid from taxpayers to improve its playground. The justices handed down the ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer on the last day of its 2016-2017 session, overturning lower court decisions and creating an exception to the Missouri Constitution’s prohibition against funding houses of worship. Yet, due to a contentious footnote, both supporters and critics of the church’s argument believe future cases will determine the scope of the shift in church-state relations created by the case.
On May 4, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on “promoting free speech and religious liberty.” Using a National Day of Prayer event at the White House for the political act, Trump signed an order he claimed would give “our churches their voices back” and “not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.” Yet, supporters and critics alike note his executive order actually does little, instead outlining a general philosophy. Many Baptists quickly responded to the new executive order.
(RNS) As President Trump readies a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberty, critics are lined up to take action before he even signs it.
Legal and religious experts say that the rights of women, LGBT people and religious minorities will be threatened by the new order but their fears are based on a draft of the order leaked earlier this year.
(RNS) After a year of anticipation, the Supreme Court heard oral argument this week in a case involving religious liberty, federalism and original intent. The justices did so despite a recent development that changed the dynamics of the dispute.
Fresh from a four-year stint in the White House, a Baptist scholar in church-state issues offered advice on faith and politics to a packed church in a suburb of Washington, D.C., on March 8. Melissa Rogers, who served as executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2013 until January 2017, spoke to a meeting of the North American Baptist Fellowship, a group that unites 40 Baptist bodies in Canada and the United States.
By the time our April issue lands in mailboxes, we might have a ninth U.S. Supreme Court justice for the first time since Antonin Scalia’s death more than 13 months ago. The resume of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a reliable conservative justice, suggests he will soon move to Washington, D.C., to become the first Protestant on the high court since 2010.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on church-state issues that originated in Missouri. To learn more about the case, Word&Way editor Brian Kaylor interviewed Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.