Religious Liberty for Workers, Protecting Religious Freedom & Care for Immigrants
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.
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.
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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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.
Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.