In today’s News:
LCMS President Harrison asks the Attorney General to protect religious liberty
LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison wrote a letter to the U.S. Attorney general in defense of religious liberties. This letter is in concert with the work of several LCMS district presidents who have addressed officials concerning the role of government and the church. The district presidents of Illinois wrote a letter to their governor regarding recent plans for reopening, which they believe are unnecessarily restrictive on church-affiliated bodies. The LCMS has 500 congregations and 115 schools in Illinois.
A Maine congregation wants meeting restrictions lifted
Calvary Chapel of Bangor, Maine, filed an emergency injunction to the First Circuit Court of Appeals pending an appeal regarding the lawsuit against Governor Janet Mills’ orders that discriminate against churches and prohibit in-person and drive-in worship services. Under the governor’s orders, no religious gatherings are permitted, including parking lot services. Mills said that churches will only be allowed to meet in small numbers when she is satisfied with the “metrics,” and when that happens, she will require churches to apply to re-open. Approved churches will then need to display a “badge” at the front door signifying they are approved to open. However, Mills has no process in place now to begin the approval process and no application for the churches.
Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia is commended
First Liberty Institute commended United States Department Of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia for issuing a directive and new guidance that protects religious liberty for faith-based organizations that partner with the federal government. The secretary’s actions reflect principles implemented by president Trump’s executive order 13798, “promoting free speech and religious liberty.” Religious organizations, like their secular counterparts, provide essential services desirable to federal agencies through government contracts.
$80 million in relief funds went to Planned Parenthood
According to a Fox News report, $80 million in stimulus funds intended to help small businesses struggling through coronavirus economic hardship have gone instead to Planned Parenthood, the multi-billion dollar abortion business. Under the Cares Act’s Paycheck Protection Program, Congress allocated $349 billion in federal funds to provide assistance to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. In August 2019, Planned Parenthood rejected Title X federal funding after the Tump administration’s rules required abortion facilities to fiscally and physically separate family planning services from abortion, organizations like Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are ineligible to receive the PPP relief funds under affiliation rules established by the Small Business Administration.