The Supreme Court and religion

“For decades, the Supreme Court took a robust approach to the establishment clause and provided relatively weak protections under the free exercise clause. Now, though, the court is taking the exactly the opposite course, finding little that violates the establishment clause and creating robust protections under the free exercise clause. The implications of this shift are enormous.”

There is a deep political divide on the U.S. Supreme Court, and in the country, over the Constitution and religion. Liberals long have interpreted the establishment clause of the First Amendment as best understood through Thomas Jefferson?s metaphor that there should be a wall separating church and state. For decades, this was the approach taken by the Supreme Court, but conservatives reject this notion and believe the government violates the establishment clause only if it coerces religious participation or gives assistance that favors some religions over others.

Christianity, white supremacy, and Trumpism intertwined

“Since 2008, the country has moved from being a majority Christian nation to one that is no longer a majority Christian nation (from 54% white and Christian to 44% white and Christian). This change took place during the tenure of our first African American president. The dysfunction and violence we are seeing is in large part an attempt to preserve a vision of white Christian America that is passing from the scene.

“The willingness among those in the crowd Wednesday to believe outlandish conspiracy theories and the unwillingness to accept the election results are born from the same source: a desperate desire by some white Christians to hang onto ownership of a diversifying country.

“As many have rightly declared, the violent disregard for the rule of law we witnessed is not the best of who we are. But if we’re going to heal our nation, we need to confess that it remains, still today, a troubling part of America’s political and religious heritage.”

(RNS) ? The attack exposed the comfortable juxtaposition of Christianity and white supremacy.

Science? We don’t need no stinking science!

The Supreme Court ruling against New York state's decision to limit religious gatherings in a few high-incidence parts of New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic will cause grave danger in the rest of the country, where public health authorities will feel hamstrung to restrict religious gatherings even when the virus is spreading out of control, writes Jeffrey Sachs.

Also a fine example of doublethink

“The enthusiastic, uncritical embrace of President Trump by white evangelicals is among the most mind-blowing development of the Trump era. How can a group that for decades—and especially during the Bill Clinton presidency—insisted that character counts and that personal integrity is an essential component of presidential leadership not only turn a blind eye to the ethical and moral transgressions of Donald Trump, but also constantly defend him? Why are those who have been on the vanguard of ‘family values’ so eager to give a man with a sordid personal and sexual history a mulligan? …

“There’s a very high cost to our politics for celebrating the Trump style, but what is most personally painful to me as a person of the Christian faith is the cost to the Christian witness. Nonchalantly jettisoning the ethic of Jesus in favor of a political leader who embraces the ethic of Thrasymachus and Nietzsche—might makes right, the strong should rule over the weak, justice has no intrinsic worth, moral values are socially constructed and subjective—is troubling enough.

“But there is also the undeniable hypocrisy of people who once made moral character, and especially sexual fidelity, central to their political calculus and who are now embracing a man of boundless corruptions.”

Support for Trump comes at a high cost for Christian witness.