New justice pledges judicial independence
Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in Oct. 26 as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, shortly after the Senate voted to confirm her by a 52-48 margin. Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, is thought to bring the high court to a 6-3 conservative majority. But she spoke at her swearing-in about the crucial nature of judicial independence.
“The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor,” she said, “and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences.”
Church’s attorney denies COVID ‘outbreak’
After a Los Angeles Times headline reported Grace Community Church had been the site of a COVID-19 outbreak, an attorney for the California church called the headline “grossly misleading” and said cases at the church shouldn’t be characterized as an outbreak. “Three very mild positive tests among more than 7,000 people is hardly news,” said Jenna Ellis, an attorney for the church pastored by John MacArthur. The church is currently gathering for worship in defiance of an order prohibiting indoor services.
U.S. signs international pro-life statement
The United States and at least 31 other members of the United Nations have signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a statement decrying abortion and signaling the right of individual countries to support the sanctity of life without financial retribution or other coercion from other nations. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the statement is the “first time that a multilateral coalition has been built around the issue of defending life.”
President Trump identifies as ‘non-denominational Christian’
In an interview with Religion News Service, President Donald Trump said he considers himself a “non-denominational Christian,” though he was confirmed as a child in the Presbyterian church. Also in the interview, Trump mentioned watching virtual church services during the COVID-19 pandemic, talked about his administration’s commitment to religious liberty, and discussed his own recovery from Coronavirus, during which he said “he felt the prayers of Americans from all across the country—and even around the world.”
“I said, ‘There were miracles coming down from heaven.’ I meant it—Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and returning us to good health.”
Barna: Three key points for church leaders navigating the election
With one week to go before the presidential election, Barna Research is sharing three things leaders need to know as they navigate the season: (1) Churches’ political engagement has intensified since the 2016 election; (2) Half of leaders feel limited in their ability to speak on social and moral issues because people will take offense, and (3) Many young people aren’t turning to the church for answers on social issues. Barna follows up each point with key questions for church leaders.
Sources: Illinois Baptist, Religion News Service, Baptist Press, Christian Post, Barna Research