Episode 386

Religious Liberty for Workers, Protecting Religious Freedom & Care for Immigrants

Jun 30, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously clarified Thursday (June 29) an almost 50-year-old decision in a way that strengthens the right of employees to practice their religious beliefs without penalty. The Sunday before the fourth of July marks a day many churches focus on and pray for religious liberty. It’s one of the foundational liberties shared by Americans. And, amid a contentious U.S. immigration crisis, messengers to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting resolved to biblically care for immigrants while urging just and compassionate governmental treatment.

Transcript

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously clarified Thursday (June 29) an almost 50-year-old decision in a way that strengthens the right of employees to practice their religious beliefs without penalty.

In a 9-0 opinion, the high court ruled previous interpretations of its 1977 decision in a workplace accommodation case have been mistaken. The justices made clear the standard in such disputes is whether an employer would suffer a substantial cost and not just a minimal or trivial one to accommodate a worker’s free exercise of religion.

Gerald Groff — an evangelical Christian who believes Sunday is the Sabbath and should be observed by rest and worship – appealed to the high court after losing in federal court and before a divided, three-judge panel of the Third Circuit. Groff had sought an accommodation for his belief he should not be forced to work on Sunday.
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The Sunday before the fourth of July marks a day many churches focus on and pray for religious liberty. It’s one of the foundational liberties shared by Americans.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has created videos and bulletin inserts for churches as well as article for folks to consider as they enjoy the freedom of religion and teach others of its value.

ERLC President Brent Leatherwood says the best way to protect religious freedom is to practice and to teach its value to the next generation.
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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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Amid a contentious U.S. immigration crisis, messengers to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting resolved to biblically care for immigrants while urging just and compassionate governmental treatment.

The resolution, the fourth messengers have passed addressing immigration, calls on governmental leaders to “provide clear guidance for immigrants and asylum seekers regarding border policies, legal entry into this country, and work opportunities;” provide “robust avenues for valid asylum claimants,” and “to create legal pathways to permanent status for immigrants who are in our communities by no fault of their own, prioritizing the unity of families.”

The resolution disparages “any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation” as “inconsistent with the Gospel.”

The resolution encourages border protection, adequate resources for border patrol agents, and measures to prevent the exploitation of unaccompanied immigrant children.

The resolution is in step with the larger evangelical community, according to Matt Soerens of the Evangelical Immigration Table. More than 90 percent of evangelical Christians want more secure borders and policies that keep families together, and nearly 80 percent want unauthorized immigrants to have a chance to earn citizenship, the National Immigration Forum reported June 27, based on Soerens’ comments to The Washington Examiner.

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