Post by Catherine Wanner, Professor of History and Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, and Tetiana Kalenychenko, Coordinator and Facilitator of the Dialogue in Action Project, and Lecturer in Religious Studies at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University.
The role of religious organizations in addressing social and cultural policies has only intensified since the Maidan protests of November 2013-February 2014. One of the signature accomplishments of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose slogan was “Army, Language, Faith,” was securing the Tomos that led to the creation of a canonically recognized Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). In an already crowded religious landscape, the question now is how this new church might shape social and political policies. Will the OCU take a lead from its northern neighbor and maintain a close alliance with the state? This is a distinct possibility given the priority President Poroshenko placed on the creation of this church in the first place for building national solidarity and his active role in bringing it into existence. Continue reading “From Chaplains of Maidan to Military Chaplains: One Year after the Tomos”
Elizabeth A. Clark is Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. She joined an amicus brief of 34 legal scholars in support of the cakeshop in this case.
No one seems pleased with the result in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In significant ways, both those supporting Jack Phillips, the baker, and proponents of Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the same-sex couple, lost. On the one hand, the Supreme Court refused to grant unqualified protection to those who conscientiously object to providing goods and services to same-sex couples, and at the same time the court shut down efforts to assert that all forms of discrimination affecting same-sex couples should be labeled mere bigotry. The court pushed for a more pluralist approach, noting both that “gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,” and that “[a]t the same time, the religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.” Continue reading “Masterpiece Cakeshop: And the winner is … pluralism?”