In today’s News:
Concordia Irvine helps Concordia Portland employees
Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., and the LCMS Northwest District formed a partnership earlier this year to establish the Concordia University, Portland, Ore. (CUP), employee assistance fund. Over 100 donors, individuals and congregations have come together to raise over $55,000 to support CUP employees. The funds raised will go toward covering the medical premium expenses of CUP employees.
Illinois refuses to leave churches alone
In a key appeals court hearing concerning Illinois’ restrictions on churches, the Office of the Governor refused to commit to leaving churches alone, opening the door for more draconian measures against houses of worship. The assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois was asked twice Friday by the judicial panel of the 7th Circuit whether Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker would never again restrict or ban church meetings. “No your honor, we are not,” replied Pritzker’s attorney.
Iowa considers pro-life legislation
Iowa legislators have passed informed consent legislation that would require a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion. It would also require abortionists to give a woman the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her baby before the abortion and to give her information about adoption, the risks of having an abortion, and other community resources that are available to her. The amendment was passed Sunday morning, after legislators worked overnight. If signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the legislation will be an amendment to the state’s existing abortion laws.
Congressman says religious liberty mean discrimination
Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York said Monday that religious liberty is a “bogus term” that merely serves as a “pretext for discrimination.” Maloney was celebrating the the high-profile victory for LGBT rights at the Supreme Court, but he took time to criticize the author of the decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch, for having supported religious liberty. The Supreme Court Ruled Monday that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination, protects lesbian, gay, and transgender workers. Gorsuch, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, delivered the opinion in a six-to-three decision. Maloney co-chairs the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and has previously criticized defenders of religious liberty for attempting to “sanction discrimination.”
An American commission calls for agreement with Pakistan
A U.S. Panel yesterday called for a binding commitment from Pakistan to improving its treatment of religious minorities, including by tackling abuse of blasphemy laws. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises but does not set government policy, said the United States should seek written promises in return for Pakistan exiting the State Department’s blacklist of violators.