Ep. 08: Religious freedom in the age of coronavirus

Apr 9, 2020

As the coronavirus changes everything – including the topics for this podcast series – Amanda Tyler and Holly Hollman review how religious freedom principles are coming into focus. They talk about three principles that are part of many conversations during this time: the essential nature of religion for many people (04:53), why the government does not have to treat religious organizations differently when it comes to health and safety (12:00), and why the government should not fund religion (19:55). In the third segment, Amanda and Holly talk about what they are doing – and being inspired by – during this week that marks the beginning of Passover and the advent of Easter.

Segment 1: Religion is essential, but the government doesn’t have to treat religious organizations differently when it comes to health and safety. (starting at 00:40)

The front-page Washington Post story that Holly and Amanda mentioned is from April 5, titled “Coronavirus creates conflict for churches, where gatherings can be dangerous but also provide solace.” It was written by Scott Wilson, Michelle Boorstein, Arelis R. Hernández and Lori Rozsa.

Amanda read a message on COVID-19 from Timothy Stewart, the president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Read the entire statement at this link.


Segment 2: Government should not fund religion. (starting at 19:55)

Holly and Amanda discussed the Espinoza case on government funding of religion during episode 2 of this podcast series.

Holly mentioned the 2017 Trinity Lutheran case about funding a church playground. Learn more and read BJC’s brief at BJConline.org/TrinityLutheran.

For more information and frequently asked questions about the regulations and guidelines of the CARES Act from the Small Business Association, visit this link.


Segment 3: Where did we see religion respected in the world around us? Passover and Easter week (starting at 32:14)

Holly mentioned the article by Marc Fisher in the Washington Post titled “Flushing out the true cause of the global toilet paper shortage amid coronavirus pandemic.”

Amanda is using this matzo ball soup recipe from The New York Times.

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