May 6, 2017

6 religious freedom controversies from this week

Amr Nabil/AP

Every day this week, we saw religious debates in the hot seat:

Monday: The United Methodist Church ruled that the consecration of an openly gay bishop was against the law.

Tuesday: Kansas City Archdiocese disavows the Girl Scouts over abortion promotion and their relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Wednesday: An Alabama governor signed a law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to turn away gay couples.

Thursday: President Trump signed an executive order promoting religious liberties.

Friday: An Iowa governor signed legislation banning abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy, and the state Supreme Court immediately halted it.

Canada has their problems, too: A polygamist stood trial for his relations with 24 women.

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.