Americans and the afterlife; United Methodist split meeting for now; Philadelphia pays, Catholic adoption agency can reject same-sex parents; Opinion: Build Back Better to Penalize Faith-Based Child Care; Moscow tries to undermine the Orthodox Church
Americans and life after death
a recent Pew Center survey reports that 83 percent of Americans believe in an afterlife. Sixty-one percent believe traditional accounts of heaven or hell. Others believe in some alternative, such as reincarnation. Only 17 percent do not believe in the afterlife.
United Methodist split meeting for now
United Methodists were scheduled to meet at their General Conference in 2020 to discuss splitting the denomination over LGBTQ issues. The proposal calledA protocol of reconciliation and grace through separation.” Negotiated by 16 United Methodist bishops and advocacy group leaders from all theological divisions, it would allow churches and conferences to leave to form new Methodist denominations, including a conservative “Traditionalist” Methodist. The meeting is set for the fall.but the leaders have not ruled out postponing it again.
Philly pays, Catholic adoption agency can turn down same-sex parents
Philadelphia’s four-year legal battle with a Catholic foster care agency over its refusal to work with same-sex parents officially ended quietly this fall when the city agreed to pay $2 million in legal fees and renew the agency’s contract. . In June, the US Supreme Court unanimously rejected Philadelphia’s decision to terminate a contract with Catholic Social Services for its refusal to consider same-sex married couples as potential adoptive parents. That decision sent the dispute back to the appeals court. But lately the city decided not to pursue the legal challenges and reached a resolution passed by the US District Court on October 1.
Opinion: Build Back Better to Penalize Faith-Based Child Care
If your church or synagogue has an orthodox view of gender and sexuality and applies that sincere belief to its hiring practice, you’re out. If your church is in an older building that is not fully ADA compliant, you will be expected to do the expensive renovations necessary to meet those requirements. Secular child care providers will be able to take advantage of federal funds to help achieve those renovations. However, the new law specifically excludes churches of that aid, affirming that the beneficiaries “You may not use federal funds for buildings or facilities that are used primarily for sectarian instruction or religious worship.”
Moscow tries to undermine the Orthodox Church
Moscow’s interference in the Orthodox world is not limited to attacks on the Ecumenical Patriarchate headquarters in Istanbul, as a multi-year attempt by Russian hackers to steal the emails of Bartholomew’s top aides. Since its intervention in the Syrian Civil War in 2015, Moscow has also portrayed itself as a protector of the dwindling Orthodox Christian minority in the Middle East while accusing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of being in the hands of the CIA.