In today’s News:
Today is International Religious Freedom Day
The U.S. Commission On International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today commemorates International Religious Freedom Day today, marking the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). IRFA sought to make religious freedom a priority in U.S. foreign policy in a variety of ways, including by creating governmental institutions including USCIRF and the State Department’s IRF office, requiring monitoring and reporting on religious freedom violations, and establishing consequences for the worst violators.
Religious freedom wins on campus
Florida State University’s student supreme court has reinstated Jack Denton as president of the student senate. Denton was removed from his post in June over comments in a private chat group for Catholic students that were subsequently circulated to a member of the senate. In the group chat, Denton had expressed concerns that policy positions of certain groups, such as the ACLU and blacklivesmatter.com, contradicted church teaching on abortion, marriage, sexuality, and policing and cautioned students to be aware of those positions before they donated to the groups. He was subsequently accused of transphobia and racism by fellow students and, after a first vote of no-confidence in him failed, he was removed in another vote of the student senate June 5. Denton filed suit against the student senate’s decision in both the university court and in federal court.
Pro-life group recognized on Iowa campus
The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is reversing the student government’s controversial decision to bar recognition of an anti-abortion group that student senators said was hateful. UNI’s President Mark A. Nook said the ban would violate the First Amendment if it was allowed to proceed. Students for Life of America (SFLA) sent its appeal to Nook last week after the student supreme court upheld the ban and argued that the group’s UNI chapter would “violate a university policy guaranteeing the “right to be treated with dignity and respect by all persons involved in the student conduct process.” The issue emerged after Young America’s Foundation, a conservative nonprofit, posted footage from a Zoom meeting in which student senators likened SFLA to white supremacists and argued they were a hate group whose rhetoric was “infringing on basic human rights.”
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in
The United States Senate voted 52 to 48 yesterday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, marking a conservative shift in the federal judiciary’s balance of power.
Huge Christian rally in Washington, D.C.
Tens of thousands of mostly young Christians gathered at the national mall on Sunday to proclaim “Let Us Worship,” amid the draconian restrictions still being enforced in many jurisdictions across the land against church assemblies. They came from all across the country to pray for the nation at a critical moment in history. Sunday’s event in Washington, D.C. brought an estimated 30,000 believers together to join their voices in prayer.