Judge grants preliminary injunction against D.C. restrictions on worship
The District of Columbia cannot prevent Capitol Hill Baptist Church from meeting outdoors with proper safety precautions, a judge ruled Oct. 9. Before filing suit against the district, the Southern Baptist church led by Pastor Mark Dever had filed for a waiver against pandemic-related restrictions that limit worship gatherings to 100 people. The church claimed the restrictions had been applied in a discriminatory manner. Judge Trevor McFadden agreed, ruling the district’s present limitations “substantially burden [Capitol Hill Baptist’s] exercise of religion.”
“With this ruling, our government is restoring equity by extending to religious gatherings the same protections that have been afforded other similar gatherings during this pandemic,” said Justin Sok, a pastor at the church.
LifeWay, Rainer settle lawsuit
LifeWay Christian Resources and former CEO Thom Rainer have agreed to settlement terms on a breach of contract lawsuit filed in late September. LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, alleged Rainer violated the terms of his separation agreement by publishing with Tyndale House Publishers, a LifeWay competitor. As part of the settlement with LifeWay, Rainer will not continue his business partnership with Tyndale.
Fuller Seminary prevails in discrimination suit
A judge has dismissed a suit against Fuller Theological Seminary, ruling the school can expel students that have engaged in extramarital activity or entered a same-sex marriage, and still receive federal funding. Two former students had filed suit against Fuller, claiming it violated Title IX by expelling them from the School of Theology for being in same-sex marriages.
High Court allows abortion drug to be dispensed by mail
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to require women to go to a healthcare facility to receive the abortion drug commonly known as RU 486. But after Maryland judge issued a preliminary injunction against the FDA’s rule, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to put the injunction on hold, effectively permitting the drug to continue to be dispensed through the mail.
Pew survey measures American views on pandemic lessons
A large majority—86%—of Americans believe there is a lesson for humankind to learn from the Coronavirus outbreak. They’re split, though, on whether God sent the lesson. While 35% believe the pandemic’s lesson was sent by God, 37% disagree, Pew Research reports.
Sources: Baptist Press, Christian Post, Pew Research