WEEK IN RELIGION

A Belfast, Ireland, bakery recently had a £500 fine overturned by the United Kingdom’s highest court for refusing to bake a cake with a message that promoted same-sex marriage. In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled in favor of Ashers Bakery, owned by Evangelical Christians Daniel and Amy McArthur, stating there was no discrimination involved because the refusal to bake the cake was based on the message and not because of the person who had ordered it. Gareth Lee originally had placed an order for the cake to take to an event organized to promote the legalization of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland in 2014. The bakery initially took the order, but later informed Lee that they could not bake the cake and gave him a refund. Lee then sued Ashers for discrimination based on his sexual orientation and political beliefs and a Belfast county court and a court of appeals later ruled in favor of Lee. “It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics,” Lady Hale said in explaining the Court’s judgement. “But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favors to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”

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STUDY SAYS

Study finds teens less likely to believe abortion, homosexuality are morally wrong

According to a recent Barna survey, teenagers are twice as likely than Baby Boomers to believe morality is relative and are less likely to believe abortion and homosexuality are morally wrong. The survey found that 24 percent of teens strongly believe that “what is morally right and wrong changes over time base on society, while only 12 percent of Baby Boomers strongly believe the same statement.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Hope, Not Fear: Changing the Way We View Death” by Rabbi Benjamin Blech

In “Hope, Not Fear,” Rabbi Benjamin Blech helps readers approach the end of life with calm. More than six years ago Blech was diagnosed with a fatal illness and given six months to live. Over the course of his career Rabbi Blech had counseled hundreds of people through the losses of loved ones and their own end of life, but when confronted with his own unexpected diagnosis he struggled with mortality in a new way. This personal and heartfelt book shares the answers people grappling with the end of life want to know — from what happens when we die to how we can live fully in the meantime.

— Rowman & LIttlefield Publishers

THE WORD

eerie: Pronounced “AE-roov.” A symbolic enclosure in which observant Orthodox Jews are permitted to perform tasks that would otherwise be forbidden, such as carrying items on the Sabbath and other holy days from one “domain” to another.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Jordan is:

— Muslim: 97.2 percent

— Christian: 2.2 percent

— Buddhist: 0.4 percent

— Hindu: 0.1 percent

— Jewish: 0.1 percent

— Folk religionist: 0.1 percent

— Unaffiliated: 0.1 percent

— Other: 0.1 percent

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