Tuesday's News & Ideas - 6/16/2020

  • SCOTUS protects LGBTQ rights
  • Black churches need to support voting
  • Why are white Christians suddenly standing up for racial justice?
  • What are the links between religion and health?
  • Legal issues in reopening churches
  • Hope is not optimism

Supreme Court rules that federal law protects LGBTQ persons from employment discrimination
Religion News Service: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on Monday in a landmark opinion that makes employment discrimination against LGBTQ persons illegal in all 50 states and has important implications for religious organizations.
New York Times: Conservative Christians see ‘seismic implications’ in Supreme Court ruling*

Protecting the vote is one way to show Black lives matter
Sojourners: While many pastors of Black congregations are facing challenges associated with COVID-19 in their faith communities, they cannot allow their congregants to become lethargic to the 2020 election. Black church communities cannot afford to allow the pandemic to suppress the Black vote, writes the Rev. Mycal X. Brickhouse.

Why are so many white Christians suddenly standing up for racial justice?
Christian Century: In recent weeks, lacking access to buildings and the well-established responses they host, historically white churches have been less able to keep a distance. We’ve been less sheltered, less apt to respond in traditional ways, and in turn have had less power to moderate the tension and thereby neutralize the moment, writes a pastor.*

Here’s what the science says about the links between religion and health
Deseret News: Scientists say stress levels, healthy habits and community support could be key to beating the virus.

Religious freedom lessons from COVID-19 disputes
Christianity Today: Understanding the legal issues at play can help the church if government restrictions return with another pandemic spike, write a law professor and law student.

The Spark

Even when optimism has been lost, hope has a role to play
Hope is not optimism. While optimism is a confident attitude that something desirable will come about, hope requires only possibility. And we can believe, rationally, that the chances of success are low yet continue to see something as worth pursuing, two philosophy professors write.

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