Offertory for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Moses consecrated an altar unto the Lord, offering burnt offerings upon it, and sacrificing peace offerings; and he made an evening sacrifice for a sweet smelling savor unto the Lord God, in the sight of the children of Israel.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

News: Stanford Law School Opens Religious Liberty Clinic

I don't usually read the New York Times -- partly because I trust very few media outlets, out of a mixture of apathy, good training in logic, and anarchist sympathies; partly because its hostility to the Catholic Church makes me cranky (I've checked its headlines for nearly six years now, and can recollect perhaps two occasions on which articles on the Church, which are legion, were anything but negative). However, a blurb caught my eye in today's issue, and I actually read it. The article was rather poor, glaring with oversimplifications and false dichotomies, but the event it described was interesting: Stanford Law, which already houses a number of clinics devoted to particular fields of legal study and practice (such as environmental law and immigrant's rights), has just opened one devoted to cases on religious liberty. A few cases already taken up were mentioned in the Times, including those of some Seventh-Day Adventists fired by FedEx for refusing to work on Saturdays, a convert to Judaism in prison who was refused circumcision, and a Moslem group having difficulties in building a mosque due to land-use laws.

I don't hail this as the dawn of a new era, or even as a group of manifest national, cultural, and religious heroes; but I am cautiously optimistic, and interested to see where this goes. I am particularly encouraged that the group (founded by a Catholic lawyer and including students from divergent Christian traditions) has taken up a case involving the rights of Moslems, a less-than-popular cause among many Christians and among many conservatives, even those who profess great concern for religious liberty. Fingers crossed.

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