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Weekly briefing: Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBT workers, Christians talk race, police reform order

Weekly briefing: Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBT workers, Christians talk race, police reform order

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington March 29, 2016. | (Photo: REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Supreme Court rules firing LGBT workers violates Civil Rights law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does apply to sexual orientation and gender identity, even though neither category is specifically mentioned by the law.

This means that a Michigan-based Christian-owned funeral home was wrong to fire a male employee after he transitioned to female. Two other cases that the court ruled on involved employees who claimed they were fired for being gay.

Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based sex, among other things.

Many conservatives and Christians condemned the ruling, calling it “disastrous” and warning of its effects on religious liberty.

The decision comes days after the Trump administration announced that it’s scrapping an Obama-era federal regulation requiring healthcare providers and insurers to perform gender-transition procedures and abortions against their medical judgment or religious convictions.

In another decision this week, the high court blocked the Trump administration from carrying out a plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Christians continue talks on race; Dan Cathy calls for repentance

Pastors and Christian leaders have continued to host conversations on race relations. Among the latest talks, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy urged Christians not to miss this “special moment” in history, saying they need a “period of contrition” before they fight for the black community.

“It has to hurt us. And we as Caucasians until we’re willing to just pick up the baton and fight for our black, African American brothers and sisters, which they are as one human race, we’re shameful.” — Cathy

In that same talk, Pastor Louie Giglio drew criticism for suggesting that the term “white privilege” be renamed “white blessing.” He later apologized for his “horrible choice of words” and said he wanted to help white people see that they are where they are today “because of centuries of gross injustice done to our black brothers and sisters.”

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee also hosted a conversation, where K. Marshall Williams, senior pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church of Philadelphia, said America might not be in the situation it's in today when it comes to racial issues had the Church stood up against oppression and slavery.

“I think God may be stripping us. I don’t know about you, I believe this is a stripping time for me, a pruning time for me, a time … in the refiner's fire, that God would really see what He has as far as the Church of the Lord of Jesus Christ.” — Williams

Read Idaho church to remove Robert E.  Lee from stained glass window

Trump signs executive order encouraging police reforms, chokehold ban

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday encouraging police departments nationwide to enact policies that prohibit the use of chokeholds that restrict airflow except in situations where the use of deadly force is permitted.

The new order calls on state and local law enforcement agencies to "constantly assess and improve their practices and policies to ensure transparent, safe, and accountable delivery of law enforcement services to their communities." 

Interview

Rebecca St. James says God ‘radically’ called her back into music and ministry after 7-year hiatus

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Pray for

Families in Eastern India and Bangladesh who lost their homes in last month's Super Cyclone Amphan

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New releases

Film:

Selfie Dad (video on demand) (June 19)

Albums:

Covers by Switchfoot (June 19)

A Thousand Generations by SEU Worship (June 19)

Books:

Everyday Faithfulness: The Beauty of Ordinary Perseverance in a Demanding World by Glenna Marshall (June 2)

Free at Last? The Gospel in the African American Experience by Carl F. Ellis Jr. (June 16)

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