Mar 18: South Carolina gives religious exemption to foster agencies, the history of evangelical politics, and more

50 States

The governor of South Carolina issued an executive order allowing faith-based foster agencies to only place children with families who meet their religious standards. The impetus was an agency facing the loss of its license because it only placed children with Christian families.

Massachusetts lost a challenge to the newly expanded religious exemptions in the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled that the state has no standing for its challenge.

Community

The Mennonite woman who was in jail for refusing to testify in a capital punishment case has been released after agreeing to give testimony. She learned that the defense also wanted her to testify, and that her statement might decrease the chance that the defendant would receive the death penalty.

A New Jersey town approved a permit for a mosque after a multi-year zoning dispute and an investigation by the Justice Department. The city said financial considerations over a potential lawsuit with the federal government forced their hand.

A group of Muslim women filed a class action lawsuit against New York City for a policy requiring them to remove headscarves for mugshots. This comes on the heels of a settlement the city reached to pay three women for their experiences under the policy.

Other reads

The Atlantic published a fascinating, in-depth look at the evolving politics of evangelical Christianity – from abolitionists and social justice crusaders in the 19th century to modern culture warriors and Trump supporters. It is an opinion article, and is not shy about its opinion.