A “seismic political week”
As has adequately been reported throughout mainstream media, the Trump administration generated a number of executive orders and memoranda that are now creating significant backlash and raising concerns in many communities. These orders include, but are not limited to, the revival of the North Dakota Keystone pipeline project, immigration restrictions, and actions to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. To see read more about what the administration has done in what some are calling a seismic week of executive action, read the White House website‘s weekly report.
While Trump’s first week as president has been punctuated by seemingly non-stop protest and rallies of one kind or another, the pipeline memorandum and immigration orders have generated the most immediate public reaction. In response to the Jan. 24 pipeline project revival, the Standing Rock Sioux tweeted, “Trump’s executive order on #DAPL–violates the law and tribal treaties. We will be taking legal action.” A day after the orders were signed, Chairman David Archambault II also issued a direct letter to President Trump outlining the issues and his concerns. The full text of that letter is published on the Standing Rock Sioux website.
With regard to the Jan. 27 immigration executive order, the very next day a large number of protesters reportedly made their way to eight international airports around the country, including JFK in New York City where a group of refugees and foreign travelers had been detained. In addition, the ACLU filed a lawsuit calling the immigration order a “Muslim ban” and “violation of the establishment clause.” In response to that suit, a federal judge blocked the president’s deportation order. As word spread internationally, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had his own response. He tweeted, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
The immigration order, which is titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” was signed Friday and is not yet available on the White House website. However, CNN has published the text in full.
This all in one week’s time.
There is other news
- The Satanic Temple is reportedly closer to placing its Baphomet statue on the Arkansas capitol grounds. According to a local Fox affiliate, “A subcommittee of the state Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission on Wednesday cleared the proposal by the Satanic Temple to build” the statue. The project has moved to a public hearing stage, but the date for that hearing has not yet been established.
- Was the Women’s March on Washington a manifestation of the spirit of Witchcraft? Right-wing pastor Lance Wallnau thinks so as do others. As quoted in Right Wing Watch, Wallnau said, “It’s a witchcraft that’s operating behind this stuff,” he said later, “and it’s intimidation and it’s violence and it’s threatening and it’s destructive and it’s clearly the work of the devil. And the media mind controls what we’re dealing with.”
- According to AP, a West Virginia mother is suing her local public school system because its educational program includes Bible classes. As reported, the mother has said that “her child will be forced either to take these weekly classes at her Mercer County elementary school or face ostracism as one of the few children who don’t.” Her suit is backed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). According to that organizations spokesperson, FFRF has “a dozen lawsuits in other states” regarding prayer in school and has one one case where classes were involved.
- Moving outside the U.S., India’s top court has banned the use or mention of caste and religion in election. As reported by The Guardian, the Supreme Court “banned political candidates from seeking election on the basis of religion, caste or language, in a landmark ruling that has unclear but potentially far-reaching consequences for the way Indian politics is practised.”
- According to World Wide Religion news, Norway is also showing signs of pushing religion out of government. The country is officially parting ways with its national church. As reported, “On Jan. 1, the Scandinavian country cut some ties with its Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Norway, rewording the national constitution to change the denomination from ‘the state’s public religion’ to ‘Norway’s national church.’ While some feel that the change in language is not enough to create a true church-state separation, this move does support claims that many countries within Europe are headed toward increased secularism.
- Back in December, as reported by RNS, former president Obama signed a “newly strengthened” international religious freedom act. The changes in the language made the new version a first for atheists and agnostics. As quoted in the RNS article, law professor Caroline Mala Corbin said, “The new law has some really interesting language in it. It takes an expansive view of religious liberty, saying freedom of religion is not just about the right to practice religion. It is also about the right to have your own views about religion including being agnostic and atheistic.”
- Lastly, in arts and entertainment, the popular television show Charmed is getting a reboot. The series began in 1998 with a show entitled, “Something Wicca this way comes,” and then followed the Halliwell sisters, three witches (Shannon Dougherty, Alyssa Milano, and Holli Marie Combs), as they learned magic and fought off evil. The series ended in 2006, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, it will be making a comeback. The CW will air the new Charmed show, but there are no reported dates on its exact launch.