In this episode of Legal Spirits, Center Co-Directors Mark Movsesian and Marc DeGirolami explore C.S. Lewis’s great essay on the calling of the Christian scholar, “Learning in War-Time.” Lewis wrote the essay at the start of World War II, but it continues to speak to students and faculty today–Christian and non-Christian. As Lewis observes, “human life is always lived on the edge of a precipice,” and the question why people should devote what little time they have on earth to academic pursuits when so many other things call for our attention is a perennial one. Lewis’s message is one of humility, courage, and controlled hope, even in the worst of times. Listen in!
Just a note to thank the organizers of last week’s conference on religious liberty at the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal for hosting me. The event brought together a diverse group of scholars with truly differing points of view–something for which the organizers deserve a lot of praise. I presented a paper on the 50th anniversary this year of Wisconsin v. Yoder and received some very helpful comments. I look forward to seeing my essay in print in a forthcoming symposium edition of the Law Journal, and to reading the other participants’ papers!
Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Mack. The arguments come after a Texas federal district court held that a program devised by a Justice of the Peace under which his court sessions are opened with a prayer from a volunteer chaplain violates the Establishment Clause.
- In Mahoney v. United States Capitol Police Board, a D.C. federal district court refused to grant a preliminary injunction to a clergyman who was denied a permit to hold a large prayer vigil on part of the Capitol grounds.
- In Weston v. Sears, an Ohio federal magistrate judge recommended that Plaintiff, a Seventh Day Adventist, be permitted to proceed in forma pauperis with her Title VII claim for religious discrimination. Plaintiff was fired for failing, until after the end of her Sabbath, to return multiple phone calls from her manager.
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed a bill prohibiting discrimination against faith-based adoption and foster care organizations, including a requirement that they place children in same-sex households when doing so would violate their religious beliefs.
- In Affaire Assemblée chrétienne des Témoins de Jéhovah d’Anderlecht et autres c. Belgique, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Belgium that was denied a property tax exemption for property they used for religious worship.
- Spain’s Senate voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that amends the country’s penal code to criminalize “harassment” of women entering abortion clinics.