In today’s News:
NSLA School Shepherd Award given
The Rev. Jonathan Dinger, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church and School in Pocatello, Idaho, was selected by national Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) as the recipient of the 2020 NLSA School Shepherd Award. This award honors “a faithful pastor who provides outstanding encouragement, support and service to his school,” and who is able to “understand and articulate a clear philosophy of Lutheran education and provide spiritual encouragement, guidance and support for the schools entrusted to his care,” according to NLSA. Dinger is a graduate of Concordia University, Portland, Ore., and of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Prior to his Seminary studies, he served as a high school teacher for several years. He has served as Grace Lutheran’s pastor since 2007. Dinger was nominated by the NLSA validation team and endorsed by the LCMS Northwest District, then selected from among various nominees by the NLSA Selection Committee.
Religious identity in America declines
The most common religious identity among young adults in the U.S. is “none,” and the majority of Americans don’t believe it’s necessary for a person to believe in God to be moral and have good values, a new survey has found. Released yesterday, the American Enterprise Institute’s Survey Center on American Life investigating contemporary religion in the U.S. found that among young adults age 18 to 29, the most common religious identity today is “none.” More than one in three young adults are religiously unaffiliated. Nearly nine in 10 Americans report they believe in God, but just over half report they believe in God without any doubts at all. Of these, more than eight in 10 white evangelical protestants and black protestants say they are absolutely certain God exists. Overall, 42 percent of Americans have a close social connection with someone who is religiously unaffiliated — up from 18 percent in 2004. Additionally, most Americans say it’s not necessary for a person to believe in God to be moral and have good values. Close to six in 10 Americans say a belief in God is not a precondition to being moral and having good values, while 41 percent of the public say a belief in God is essential.
Court asked to reinstate abortion pill restrictions
The Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a requirement that women visit a medical facility to obtain abortion-inducing pills, seeking to lift a lower-court order that has allowed delivery by mail during the pandemic. The filing yesterday renews a request the court temporarily rejected in October, when it was shorthanded after the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court now has a stronger conservative majority with Justice Amy Coney Barrett having filled Ginsburg’s seat.
Informed consent law blocked
A Tennessee law that ensures women are not rushed into aborting their unborn babies will remain blocked after a federal judge ruled Monday. The AP reports U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman refused to lift his block on the state 48-hour waiting period law, which requires abortion facilities to provide informed consent counseling to women at least two days prior to an abortion.