the Web Editors 7-10-2017

Counter-protesters lock arms after members of the Ku Klux Klan rallied in support of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Va. Image via Reuters/Jonathan Ernst.

This is the second widely-publicized white supremacist rally in Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of the statue — the first a white nationalist "torch night" in May. 

 
 
Tom Heneghan 7-07-2017

Image via RNS/WCRC/Anna Siggelkow

Amid ceremonies this year marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, one of Protestantism’s leading branches has officially said it now agrees with the Vatican on the main issue at the root of its split from the Roman Catholic Church half a millennium ago.

Photo courtesy of RNS/the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

 

According to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern Division of New York, which brought the civil complaint against Hobby Lobby, the company in 2010 imported thousands of artifacts that originated in Iraq and were smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

the Web Editors 7-07-2017

1. ICE Officers Instructed to Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants, Regardless of Criminal Histories
“Between February and May, the Trump administration arrested, on average, 108 undocumented immigrants a day with no criminal record, an uptick of some 150 percent from the same time period a year ago.”

2. Officials Say the Answer to Chicago’s Violence Is Jobs. But On What Scale?
WBEZ Chicago did the calculation. Here’s how much it would cost in the first year to employ the target group of more than 30,000 people.

3. Liberating Theology from the Intellectual One-Percenters
How can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology?

Image via RNS/Tony Gentile/Reuters

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who transformed the Vatican’s press office into a modern media operation, has died.

The former Vatican spokesman, 80, was a Spaniard and the first layperson and journalist to hold the job, when he was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Navarro-Valls served as the papal spokesman for 22 years, embracing technology and holding regular, colorful briefings.

the Web Editors 7-05-2017

On June 3, the United Church of Christ passed a resolution on climate change in which they criticized President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord agreement, reports the Boston Globe.

In approving the resolution, the United Church of Christ may have become the first U.S. Christian denomination to officially stand against President Trump’s decision. The resolution asks for people of faith to also take a stand.

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

At a Fourth of July concert hosted by First Baptist Church Dallas at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., President Trump pledged never to forget the men and women who have served in the U.S. military — or the people of faith who put him in the White House.

“My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty,” Trump said at the event on July 1. “We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life.”

Alikay Wood 7-05-2017

stock_photo_world / Shutterstock.com

Christian universities are a sizable business in the United States — the National Center for Education Statistics counts nearly 600 Christian colleges and universities nationally. Title IX makes it illegal for schools to discriminate on the basis of sex, but private universities can apply for an exemption from parts of the law they claim conflict with their religious beliefs. And while many schools seek religious exemptions from nondiscrimination, particularly on beliefs around LGBTQ individuals, entrenched beliefs at many institutions regarding female leadership continue to affect their students.

the Web Editors 6-30-2017

Image via Kokoulina/Shutterstock.com

On June 30, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages do not have a right to spousal benefits, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

The decision of the Texas Supreme Court, which consists entirely of Republican members, affects the legal status of same-sex marriages in Texas, and potentially defies the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 affirmation of same-sex marriages.

Image via Dustin Pearlman/RNS

On Monday, the Supreme Court said it would rule on the executive order in its next term; in the meantime, the order could go into effect — with exceptions. Federal officials could not keep out of the country people who had been accepted to a U.S. school, offered a job by an employer, or enjoy a “bona fide relationship” with a person in the United States.

Image via RNS/LifeWay Research

Researchers also asked about what people think motivates religious believers who oppose sexual freedom. Almost half — 49 percent — said faith is the motivator. A fifth — 20 percent — said the motivator is hate. Another 31 percent were not sure.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.

Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012, after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to “a life of prayer and humble discretion.”

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

One of the most senior officials in the Vatican took a leave of absence and pledged to defend his name after being charged with multiple historical sex crimes in Australia.

Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ most trusted advisors and head of the Holy See’s finance department, is the highest ranking official in the Catholic Church to face abuse charges.

The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray steps to the podium as the newly elected president of the Unitarian Universalist Association during the 2017 General Assembly on June 24, 2017, in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of UU World/Nancy Pierce

An Arizona pastor and immigrant advocate has been elected as the first woman president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The election of the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray on Saturday follows the resignation of the Rev. Peter Morales, who left office in April three months short of the end of his second term amid controversy about diversity in the UUA.

Lucy Hadley 6-27-2017

Image via Dhanya Addanki/ Sojourners 

Sessions v. Dimaya

This case concerns the scope and definition of a federal immigration statute that allows deportation of non-citizens who committed an “aggravated felony.” An immigration court ruled that burglary constituted a “crime of violence,” but the Ninth Circuit Court reversed the immigration court’s decisions, stating that the term “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague.

A man sells rainbow flags near The Stonewall Inn, on the eve of the LGBT Pride March, in the Greenwich Village section of New York City, June 24. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

White evangelical Christians were the most opposed to same-sex marriage, with 35 percent approving it, but the support more than doubled from 14 percent a decade ago. Younger evangelicals were far more supportive, with 47 percent of those born since 1964 approving gay marriages, compared with 26 percent of their older counterparts.

the Web Editors 6-27-2017

Attendees and featured speakers at The Summit call senators' offices to oppose the health care bill. JP Keenan/Sojourners

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has decided to put off a planned vote on a health care bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act until after the July 4 recess, CNN reported on Tuesday. McConnell and other Republican leaders have been pressing to round up enough support for the healthcare legislation, but still appeared to be several votes short.

Dhanya Addanki 6-27-2017

Image via Jp Keenan/ Sojourners 

For Christians, interpretations of what the Bible says about capital punishment vary significantly. But many Christian leaders — from mainline Protestants and Catholics to evangelicals — take a strong stance against capital punishment.

Protesters rally outside the federal court just before a hearing to consider a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Iraqi nationals facing deportation, in Detroit, June 21. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

A federal judge halted late on Monday the deportation of all Iraqi nationals detained during immigration sweeps across the United States this month until at least July 10, expanding a stay he imposed last week. The stay had initially only protected 114 detainees from the Detroit area.

the Web Editors 6-27-2017

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) at the Aspen Ideas Festival June 26.

Identifying as a "progressive Christian and Democrat," Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware offered what he believes is the answer to hyperpartisanship and a deadocked Congress: prayer. 

Coons, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Monday, pointed to the Senate's weekly prayer breakfast he attends each week as something that gives him hope for progress through partisan division. He said about two dozen people of all faiths gather for an hour to do two uncommon things: "We trust each other and we listen ... And out of that experience has come the greatest opportunities for bipartisanship and progress that I've had in seven years."

Pages

Must Reads

Subscribe