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The American Association of University Professors is challenging Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, for terminating its tenured philosophy professor in apparent violation of academic freedom.

Many Black faith leaders say that lawmakers in Georgia, Missouri, and elsewhere are focused on reducing effective strategies Black churches have historically employed to mobilize voters.

In a significant church-state case that could bring implications for Christian higher education, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled March 5 that not all professors at Christian colleges could be considered ministers and therefore such schools are not immune from discrimination lawsuits.

After a Southwest Baptist University professor and a student joined a legal effort Friday to block the new governing documents for their school in Bolivar, Missouri, SBU’s attorney responded Tuesday by claiming the school’s legal documents are beyond such legal scrutiny because the school is religious.

Before a judge heard arguments Friday (March 5) involving an effort by a former trustee of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, to block the school’s new governing documents, a current professor and a current student filed to also intervene.

The Supreme Court is reviving a lawsuit brought by a Georgia college student who sued school officials after being prevented from distributing Christian literature on campus. Lower courts said the case was moot, but the Supreme Court disagreed.

A sweeping bill that would extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people is a top priority of President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress. Yet as the Equality Act heads to the Senate, its prospects seem bleak — to a large extent because of opposition from conservative religious leaders.

Southwest Baptist University is urging a circuit court judge to approve its new governing documents and reject an effort by a former trustee to intervene. A Baptist layman filed a petition on Feb. 22 with the Circuit Court of Polk County in an effort to stop the approval of the school’s new governing documents.

As Missouri lawmakers consider creating a day to honor Rush Limbaugh after his death last month, a group of three dozen faith leaders mostly in St. Louis submitted testimony opposing the bill. Rep. Hardy Billington, a Republican and a Baptist deacon, authored a bill two days after Limbaugh’s death.

Faith leaders are ramping up their support for an Oklahoma death row inmate as his clemency hearing nears. Julius Jones, 40, was sentenced to death in 2002, but his advocates say a different person committed the crime in which a prominent Edmond, Oklahoma, businessman was killed during a carjacking.