Millennials say religious groups alienating youth: Top 5 news stories

Poll: 70 Percent Of US Millennials Say Religious Groups ‘Alienating’ YouthProtesters denounce the Dalai Lama as a ‘dictator’Muslim-American man wins nearly $1.2 million in job discrimination caseEEOC details employer rules as religious worker complaints riseReligious liberty vs. civil rights: A balancing act

 

Last week’s top news, from our perspective:

 

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Poll: 70 Percent Of US Millennials Say Religious Groups ‘Alienating’ Youth

Nearly one-third of Millennials who have left their childhood religion cited anti-gay teachings as a major factor, with 70 percent of young Americans agreeing that religious groups are alienating their generation.

 

Protesters denounce the Dalai Lama as a ‘dictator’

Protesting the Dalai Lama? For many, that sounds like throwing eggs at Santa Claus.

Yet on his current tour of the U.S., the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism — and Nobel laureate — has been dogged by protesters nearly everywhere he speaks.

These protesters are from the International Shugden Community of Buddhists, whose devotion to the centuries-old deity Dorje Shugden has been rejected by the Dalai Lama as divisive.

 

Muslim-American man wins nearly $1.2 million in job discrimination case

A Muslim American man from Ypsilanti has won a nearly $1.2-million jury award after successfully arguing he was harassed, taunted and discriminated against at work because of his religion, race and appearance — most notably, his long beard.

Ali Aboubaker, 56, a U.S. citizen and Tunisia native with four advanced degrees, was awarded the judgment on Thursday following a two-week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

 

EEOC details employer rules as religious worker complaints rise

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new, detailed guidelines for employers Thursday (March 6) as the number of complaints and million-dollar settlements for cases of religious workplace discrimination neared record levels in 2013.

An EEOC spokesperson, Justine Lisser, said Thursday that the 20-year trend shows “a persistent uptick in religious discrimination charges that continues unabated.” Complaints have more than doubled since 1997. Lisser also said that representatives of religious groups have asked for more EEOC outreach in this area.

 

Religious liberty vs. civil rights: A balancing act

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer may have ended the latest controversy in her state by vetoing a “religious freedom” bill that threatened gay men and lesbians, but the nation’s legislatures and courts are just getting started.

Congress and the states often carve out exceptions for religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has consistently made room for religious exercise. And unlike race and gender, sexual orientation is not a protected class — yet.

However, for a religious liberty bill such as Arizona’s to pass the smell test, it must show a compelling interest on the part of those who want to flex their religious muscles, and it must not impose undue costs or burdens on others. That is where many such efforts collapse.