In today’s News:
The Navy eases religious restrictions
The Navy updated its coronavirus restrictions after chaplains and a religious liberty law firm complained last week alleging that service members were being unlawfully prohibited from attending indoor religious services. Capt. Sarah Self-Kyler, director of fleet public affairs, told Fox News the temporary measures have been in place since late March to protect the health and safety of sailors and their families, noting that conditions still “prohibit sailors from attending off-base indoor religious services, and remain necessary given existing medical information about the current rise in covid-19 cases in certain locations throughout the country.” However, if conditions are met locally, as they are by several Navy installations across the country, “sailors are not prohibited from attending off-base indoor religious services,” she said.” Mike Berry, the First Liberty Institute general counsel who sent the letter last week, expressed assurance that the Navy would do the right thing in light of President Trump’s executive actions.
Supreme Court lets ‘bubble zones’ stand
The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week not to hear challenges by pro-life advocates to two “bubble zone” laws that ban them from exercising pro-life speech outside abortion centers. The court’s July 2 written order declining to hear the cases from Chicago and Harrisburg, Penn., came scant days after its 5-4 ruling striking down a Louisiana law requiring abortion centers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The justices followed the usual practice of not commenting on turning away the cases, Associated Press reported, adding that the court’s order noted that Justice Clarence Thomas would have heard the Chicago case. The Chicago ordinance has been in place since 2009 and forbids pro-life advocates from going within eight feet of a pregnant mother who is within 50 feet of an abortion center.
Protests, yes. Bible conference, no
The Colorado state attorney general attempted to ban Andrew Wommack Ministries from holding in-person gatherings of more than 175 people in accordance with the governor’s orders, while permitting mass protests with no social distancing or other health precautions. The attorney general sent a Cease-and-Desist letter to the ministry in an attempt to shut down its Bible conference held at Charis Bible College on the last day, as well as any future conferences. Liberty Counsel is representing Andrew Wommack Ministries. The attorney general stated that the ministry must cancel the remainder of the conference that ended on July 3 in addition to the July 4 celebration. However, on June 26, Andrew Wommack and his executive team met with Teller County and Woodland Park public health and law enforcement officials to review and discuss the hosting of a safe and large faith-based gathering. As a result, the ministry submitted an updated plan, which the county offered further recommendations that was acceptable to the ministry. Then ministry officials received a cease and desist order from the state.