In this episode, religious studies scholars Matt Sheedy and Tyler Tully, along with host Candace Mixon, discuss the ramifications of the in-progress Supreme Court case Groff vs. Dejoy, the Catholic Church’s decision to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery, and a recent controversial tweet by the conservative media pundit, Ann Coulter. In threading these discussions together, they consider religion as negotiated in the public sphere and the limits of accommodations across religious boundaries.
In Groff vs. Dejoy, one issue at play is the interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, directly related to workplace accommodations, including for religious reasons. Current precedent reflects on the issue of hardship for the employer in accommodating the request, and that hardship must only be minimal for the employer to find it unable to be accommodated. As the court may widely expand the grounds through which employees may seek religious accommodations, our guests consider the ramifications of this (especially for non-Christian practices and on non-linear framings of time) and connect to broader impacts of religion in recent Supreme Court decisions, such as overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Tully and Sheedy respond to the Catholic Church’s rescinding of the Doctrine of Discovery, demonstrating the Vatican’s “doublespeak” as it downplays the interconnection between “religion” and “politics.” Finally, Sheedy introduces listeners to the incendiary tweet by Ann Coulter that abortion should be banned “for registered republicans only.” The guests consider what happens when legal debates become part of public rhetoric and who is left out when it goes mainstream.