Months into pandemic, more Americans support defiance of restrictions
A new survey found Americans were more likely to agree with churches defying government restrictions than they were at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Just over one-third—34%—said they would want their congregation to defy a government order to stop gathering in person, compared to 21.8% in March. And 39% of Americans disagreed with churches’ defiance of worship restrictions in October, down from 55.6% in March.
Supreme Court rules 5-4 that New York can’t enforce certain limits
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling temporarily barred New York from enacting certain restrictions on churches and synagogues in areas identified as COVID hotspots. The state had previously limited attendance in certain “red” and “orange” hotspots to 10 or 25 people, respectively. New Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined other conservative justices in the majority opinion, while Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s liberal justices dissented.
“Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area,” the opinion read. “But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”
ERLC explains legislative agenda proposed by LGBT group
Last week’s Briefing included the news that the “Blueprint for Positive Change” released by the Human Rights Campaign includes stripping accreditation from Christian colleges that uphold policies opposing homosexuality. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has issued more information on the agenda, stating that “the proposals outlined by HRC pose serious challenges to religious liberty, a biblical understanding of human sexuality, and ultimately the common good of our society.” Among the agenda’s recommendations is full-scale implementation of Bostock v. Clay County, which applies to the LGBT community the same anti-discrimination protections granted to women by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
WMU writes letters for Lottie
The annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Week of Prayer for International Missions is Nov. 29-Dec. 7, and leaders from Woman’s Missionary Union are spearheading an effort to encourage churches to give. Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director of WMU and former leader of Illinois WMU, initiated an effort to write letters to churches to rally support for the offering, after learning that almost half of SBC churches don’t give to the offering. “At our core is the passion to take the Gospel of Christ to those who have never heard,” she said. “The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is critical to our shared commitment to make him known among the nations.”
Sources: Baptist Press, Christian Post, Associated Press, ERLC