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The Supreme Court has ruled for a Missouri church that claimed religious discrimination after it was refused state funds to improve its playground.

Ruling 7-2, the court on June 26 determined that the state had unfairly denied funds for Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause.

Alan Gomez 6-26-2017

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The court ruled that Trump may bar people from six majority Muslim countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — if they have no “bona fide” relationship to the U.S. Those that have established ties will be allowed to continue entering the country.

That means officials at the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department will have to begin sorting through each application submitted by travelers from the six targeted countries to determine if they have enough of a link to the U.S. to enter.

the Web Editors 6-26-2017

Image via Rena Schild/Shutterstock.com

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear during its next term a case regarding President Trump’s ban on travel into the U.S. for people from six countries whose populations are majorly Muslim. In doing so, the Supreme Court permitted a revised version of President Trump’s ban to go into effect immediately until the case is heard. The Supreme Court’s next term will begin in October.

the Web Editors 6-26-2017

Editor's Note: On June 21, the day before Senate Republicans released the text of their health care plan, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) spoke at The Summit, Sojourners' annual gathering of faith and justice leaders, about the Christian call to recognize the inherent human dignity in those who would be most affected by drastic health care cuts. At the link is the full text of his remarks, as prepared for delivery.

 

Saadia Faruqi 6-23-2017

In a political environment in which the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. is particularly strong, and Europe is facing backlash against refugees and minority populations, a timely new anthology, Mirror on the Veil, offers a refreshing and important look at the very visible practice of veiling among Muslim women.

the Web Editors 6-23-2017

1. Here’s What You Can Do Now About the Senate Health Care Bill
“At The Summit, Sojourners' annual gathering of leaders from across the country, attendees spent Friday morning calling their senators, demanding they vote against the bill — which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to push through next week, before the July 4 recess. Those gathered are calling on their constituents to do the same. Here's how.”

2. The Literal Whitewashing of Chicago’s Latino Murals
The increasing gentrification of the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago favors luxury condos over iconic images of Frida Kahlo, Emiliano Zapata, Subcomandante Marcos, and César Chávez.

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 U.S. district court judge in Michigan has temporarily blocked the deportations of more than 100 Iraqi nationals until a decision is reached over who has jurisdiction over the matter, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

A protester is escorted by police after being arrested during a demonstration outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's constituent office.  June 22. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Senate leaders on Thursday unveiled a draft of legislation to replace Obamacare, proposing to kill a tax on the wealthy that pays for it and reduce aid to the poor to cut costs.

U.S. Capitol is seen after the House approved a bill to repeal major parts of Obamacare. May 4. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A seven-year push by U.S. Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and kill the taxes it imposed on the wealthy will reach a critical juncture on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders unveil a draft bill they aim to put to a vote, possibly as early as next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants have worked in secret for weeks on the bill, which is expected to curb Obamacare's expanded Medicaid help for the poor and reshape subsidies to low-income people for private insurance.

Image via Adelle M. Banks/ RNS 

“The Church has both the unique ability and unparalleled capacity to confront the staggering crisis of crime and incarceration in America,” the declaration reads, “and to respond with restorative solutions for communities, victims, and individuals responsible for crime.”

Hanaa Youssef and Mina Habib hold the victim's portrait in Minya, Egypt June 8. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egyptian schoolboy Mina Habib rarely leaves his house these days. The 10-year-old is still recovering from seeing Islamist gunmen kill his father for being Christian. In an attack claimed by Islamic State, gunmen ambushed a group of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in Minya in southern Egypt last month, killing 29 and wounding 24, with Mina's father Adel among the dead.

A woman protestson the capitol steps after a jury found Jeronimo Yanez not guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Castile, in St. Paul, Minn. REUTERS/Eric Miller

Video footage of the fatal shooting of a black motorist by a Minnesota police officer released on Tuesday showed how quickly the incident unfolded but shed no light on whether the victim had reached for the gun he told the officer he was carrying.

Image via Emily McFarlen Miller/RNS

As the Ark Encounter marks its first anniversary on July 7, attendance at the ark “will draw near the low end of the estimated guest number,” Ham wrote. Park co-founder Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader it will attract its 1 millionth visitor by July.

the Web Editors 6-19-2017

In a series of floor motions, inquiries and lengthy speeches, Democrats criticized the closed-door meetings that Republicans have been holding to craft a replacement for Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act. They called for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a Senate vote, which Republicans say could come in the next two weeks, although a draft bill has yet to emerge publicly.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Va., charged with murder. Courtesy Fairfax County Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS

"This tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect," a police statement said. "Our investigation at this point does not indicate the victim was targeted because of her race or religion."

the Web Editors 6-19-2017

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The attack happened early on Sunday near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque — the largest mosque in the northern Virginia area with 10 days left in the holy month of Ramadan. The victim, identified by the mosque and relatives as Nabra Hassanen, and several friends were walking outside the mosque when they got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement.

the Web Editors 6-16-2017

FILE PHOTO - Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

After five days of deliberation, a jury has found the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile not guilty on all charges.

the Web Editors 6-16-2017

1. 27 Pulse Survivors, Family Members, and First Responders Share Their Stories

“Not only did I have nowhere to hide that night but now in general in my life, this very personal, sensitive subject, it’s out there for everyone to know. That’s why that just kept ringing in my head. Nowhere left to hide. I could no longer hide who I am." The stunning photo essay and website “Dear World Orlando” marks one year since the Pulse nightclub shooting.

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Kelly said in a statement on Thursday he was rescinding the initiative, known as DAPA, because "there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

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After a quarter-century, the Rev. Barry Lynn is retiring as head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In court, in congressional hearings, and on cable television, Lynn has led the fight against school-sponsored prayer, religious symbols on public property, and any law that allows government to privilege people of faith.