In today’s News:
Vote your faith
Today is Election Day in the United States. The sanctity of life, family and religious liberty are major concerns for Lutherans and other Christians. The two main parties hold vastly differing views on those three topics among others. Citizens should educate themselves on where the candidates stand and then vote accordingly.
California’s restrictions challenged in court
A California church on Monday went to court over $350,000 in fines it received for violating the state’s coronavirus worship restrictions. The church, Calvary Chapel in San Jose, argued that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders, as well as local restrictions, place an undue burden on the free exercise of faith. The church has been meeting in-person since May and received a fine every time it violated orders limiting congregations to 100 people. The church’s pastor, Mike McClure, said that no members of the church have tested positive for the coronavirus. Santa Clara County, where the church is located, was granted a temporary restraining order against Calvary Chapel while the lawsuit is underway. The order requires the church to follow coronavirus restrictions until its case is decided. The case arose last week when the county claimed that the church, which typically attracts 600 people, poses an “imminent risk of a super-spreader” event. California has faced some of the fiercest battles between churches and governments over how worship should be conducted during the pandemic. The state has both weathered and prosecuted multiple lawsuits related to restrictions on services and gathering size.
Supreme Court will hear religious liberty arguments
The U.S. Supreme Court with newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett is set to hear a case tomorrow regarding Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services (CSS) and whether the city of Philadelphia has a right to block the organization’s status as a state-approved foster care provider because of the organization’s Catholic beliefs. The city cut off CSS foster parents from having children placed in their homes in 2018 and refused to renew their contract with CSS due to the catholic organization’s practice of not placing children in same-sex homes. The district courts and appellate courts both ruled in favor of Philadelphia, claiming that CSS was discriminating against homosexuals and therefore in violation of the nondiscrimination clause of its contract. CSS argues that the government has it backwards — that it is Philadelphia that is discriminating against CSS for being Catholic and violating the organization’s Constitutional rights. In fact, there were no same-sex couples who had brought the complaint against CSS. It was the city who canceled them without provocation.