Apr 1: Adoption bills across the country, explaining support for Trump, and more

Executive Branch

New academic research asked why Donald Trump’s religious supporters would turn a blind eye to his extramarital affairs. The authors argue that support for Trump isn’t actually correlated with an individual’s religiosity, but with support for Christian nationalism and disapproval of Islam.

Health providers criticized the vagueness of the new HHS rules allowing physicians to decline service for religious reasons and requiring healthcare organizations to have policies on handling complaints of religious discrimination or coercion.

Judicial Branch

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Catholic Benefits Association, allowing them to not provide contraceptive coverage.

50 States

Last year’s religious freedom and culture wars legislation was focused on transgender bathroom use and Sharia law. This year, state houses are overwhelmingly focused on bills about adoption and foster care – whether religious agencies can decline to place children with families who don’t follow the tenets of their religion. The Kansas legislature just rejected one such bill.


Parents of a Pennsylvania girl were convicted of manslaughter for not seeking medical care for their daughter’s ultimately fatal case of pneumonia. They objected to medicine on religious grounds.

Other reads

Vox investigated how Christmas and Easter diverged in popularity and secularization – the one becoming a national holiday regardless of religious affiliation, and the other remaining distinctly Christian.