religious freedom

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Gold Star Father Who Sparred With Trump Gets a Biden Post

Khizr Khan has been appointed by president to US Commission on International Religious Freedom

(Newser) - A Gold Star father who became a household name after sparring with Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election has received a post courtesy of Trump's successor in the White House. CNN reports that President Biden has named Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant and Virginia attorney...

Court Decides Policy Change Didn't Make $1 Lawsuit Moot

Student stopped from handing out religious material on campus has graduated

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is reviving a lawsuit brought by a Georgia college student who sued school officials after being prevented from distributing Christian literature on campus. The high court sided 8-1 with the student, Chike Uzuegbunam, and against Georgia Gwinnett College. Uzuegbunam has since graduated, and the public school in...

Pope Speaks on COVID, and What 'Changed the Way I Saw Life'

In 'NYT' op-ed, pontiff writes that personal freedoms shouldn't displace the common good

(Newser) - When Pope Francis was 21, he became very sick with a flu that had him gasping for breath and totally dependent on his caretakers. He eventually recovered, but that illness "changed the way I saw life," and it now serves as an important reminder to him that only...

Samuel Alito Gave Quite a Speech
Samuel Alito
Gave Quite a Speech
the rundown

Samuel Alito Gave Quite a Speech

Supreme Court justice worries about religious freedoms, pandemic restrictions, gay marriage

(Newser) - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a 30-minute speech via video to conservative lawyers with the Federalist Society on Thursday, and his comments on issues ranging from religious freedom to gay marriage to COVID restrictions were getting lots of attention on Friday. The details:
  • COVID: Alito stressed that he didn'
...

As New SCOTUS Term Opens, Here's What's Coming
New SCOTUS Term Starts
Quietly, but That Could Change
the rundown

New SCOTUS Term Starts Quietly, but That Could Change

The term is so far short on high-profile cases, but perhaps not for long

(Newser) - The Supreme Court began its new term Monday with a remembrance of "a dear friend and a treasured colleague," the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Chief Justice John Roberts paid tribute to Ginsburg as the court resumed its work via telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic. Roberts said...

They Gathered for Easter Services. Then Came the Cops

Ky. churchgoers who flouted governor's orders against mass gatherings ordered to self-quarantine

(Newser) - Pastors in Florida and Louisiana have been hit with charges for flouting coronavirus lockdown rules, and now a pastor in Kentucky, and his parishioners, are facing their own battle. Per WDRB , Gov. Andy Beshear had warned the faithful that anyone who mass-gathered over Easter weekend would be made to self-quarantine...

Law to 'Save Chick-fil-A' Will Hurt Gay Community: Critics

Democrats angered by new Texas bill providing religious protections

(Newser) - Chick-fil-A has a fan in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who on Monday signed into law a bill that blocks "adverse action" against the restaurant and other businesses and persons for contributions to religious groups. The "Save Chick-fil-A" law, to take effect Sept. 1, stems from a decision to...

Death Row Inmate Wants Buddhist Minister With Him at Execution

Patrick Murphy is seeking a stay of execution over the issue

(Newser) - Attorneys for a Texas death row inmate have asked the US Supreme Court to stay his lethal injection until a Buddhist minister can be present with him in the execution chamber, the AP reports. Patrick Murphy's lawyers argue that executing the 57-year-old "Texas 7" member without his spiritual...

A Russian First: Jehovah's Witness Sent to Prison

Dennis Christensen convicted of extremism

(Newser) - A regional court in western Russia on Wednesday sentenced a Danish Jehovah's Witness to six years in prison, in arguably the most severe crackdown on religious freedom in Russia in recent years, the AP reports. The court in Oryol found Dennis Christensen, who was leading the local Bible reading,...

Justice Department Creates 'Religious Liberty Task Force'

Jeff Sessions announced the move Monday

(Newser) - Last year, President Trump signed an executive order on religious freedom , and now the Department of Justice is creating a "religious liberty task force" to implement the guidance that was issued as a result of that order. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the task force Monday during the DoJ'...

Report: HHS to Offer 'Conscience Protections' for Medical Staff

Official announcement expected Thursday on agency's new moral and 'religious liberty' rules

(Newser) - A planned Health and Human Services initiative would offer "conscience protections" for medical workers, and women's and LGBT rights advocates are teaming up with doctors' groups to push back against it before it's even announced. It appears a new civil rights division within the HHS would offer...

He Has a Death Certificate. His Family Says He's Still Alive

They're fighting to keep Shalom Ouanounou on life support in Canada

(Newser) - A man will remain on life support in Canada for the time being, despite the fact that his death certificate has already been issued. Toronto's Shalom Ouanounou, 25, was declared brain dead three days after suffering an asthma attack on Sept. 27, reports the Canadian Press . But while Canadian...

Saudi Kid Arrested After Dancing to an Old Hit

It was the 'Macarena,' and he did it on a public street

(Newser) - Doing the "Macarena" in traffic is a no-no in Saudi Arabia. That's what one hip-swirling teen learned after being caught on a video since gone viral, jamming to the hit tune from the mid-'90s. Saudi police said they arrested the 14-year-old on Tuesday for "improper public...

Creationist Sues Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

He wants to take rocks out of the park to study further, NPS declined request

(Newser) - Somewhere between 15% and 40% of Americans believe our planet is only 10,000 years old, in spite of the literal heaps of evidence that it is far older. One such American, young-Earth creationist Andrew Snelling, is suing the National Park Service for not letting him remove rocks from the...

Trump May Sign Executive Order on Religious Freedom

Civil rights orgs fear order will legalize discrimination against LGBT community

(Newser) - President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on religious liberty on Thursday, and civil rights groups are prepared to sue if the order resembles an earlier version leaked in February, BuzzFeed News reports. According to Politico , the leaked executive order would have basically let people, groups, and some...

NJ Town Officials Accused of Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Justice Department says they rejected mosque for religious reasons

(Newser) - The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge had its mailbox trampled and its name on the box replaced with "ISIS" while seeking permission to build a 4,400-square-foot mosque in Bernards Township, NJ. Then its 70 members feared it was all for naught when, after 39 public hearings, the township'...

School Under Fire for Nixing Charlie Brown Display

Texas woman says takedown of holiday decor infringes on her religious freedom

(Newser) - Dedra Shannon may have to settle for cranking up Vince Guaraldi tunes to get into the holiday spirit at her workplace. The principal at Charles Patterson Middle School in Killeen, Texas, made Shannon, a nurse's aide, take down the Charlie Brown-inspired decor she'd put up on the nurse'...

Miss. Religious Freedom Bill Signed Into Law

Governor ignores opposition from LGBT advocates and state businesses

(Newser) - On Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1523, also known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, into law, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. In doing so, he made it legal for businesses in the state to refuse service "because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage,...

A Kroger Bathroom Is the Unlikely Subject of Praise

Sign says a variety of people can benefit from an inclusive bathroom policy

(Newser) - A bathroom at a Kroger in Athens, Ga., is the unlikely subject of much attention since a customer posted a photo of its unisex bathroom notice to Facebook over the weekend. The sign reads, in part, that the store is opting for a unisex bathroom because "we have a...

Ga. Gov to Veto 'Religious Liberty' Bill

'Georgia is a welcoming state ... full of loving, kind, generous people': Nathan Deal

(Newser) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he'll veto the "religious liberty" bill passed by his state's Legislature nearly two weeks ago, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Deal said in a press conference Monday at the state Capitol that House Bill 757 —which would have allowed religious leaders...

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