How faith can engage culture on controversial issues:
--a coercive contraceptive mandate;
--the gutting of the only federal conscience regulation in health care;
--the denial of federal funds to a ministry because it opposes abortions;
--the administration's court case to restrict faith-based organizations' hiring rights;
--forcing health professionals to participate in sex reassignment procedures and abortion;
--firings, discrimination and coercion of life-honoring health care professionals.
Urge your lawmakers to keep the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act in HR 3020: Prevent abortion coercion - protect patient access to pro-life doctors and nurses.
We are calling on churches across America to observe April 17, 2016 as Stand with the Persecuted Sunday. Please make time during your weekend services to view a brief, 2-minute video, distribute a special bulletin insert, and spend time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters internationally. While believers face growing hostility in America, we have experienced nothing like the mistreatment, displacement, violence, rape, crucifixions, and beheadings experienced by followers of Jesus in Iraq, Syria, Libya, other parts of the Middle East and beyond. We are honored to partner with ministries like Open Doors USA, The Voice of the Martyrs, Institute on Religion and Democracy, In Defense of Christians, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-USA, International Christian Concern, 21st Century Wilberforce, and others who are highlighting the plight of the persecuted. Please urge your pastor and church to join us on Sunday, April 17 and Stand with the Persecuted.
In the face of corporate bullying and vitriolic, misleading opposition from progressive groups, Gov. Bryant and the Mississippi state legislature courageously protected the religious liberty of their fellow citizens-liberties that have been under assault all around the country. In a sensible world, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act shouldn't have taken much bravery to sign. All it does is reaffirm First Amendment rights that religious orders, schools, and businesses have enjoyed for 227 years. It doesn't give anyone a license to discriminate, and it doesn't victimize anybody. But this is not a sensible world.
The Alliance Defending Freedom news release below highlights an important case that illustrates just how far some will go to force abortion ideology on those who would protect the unborn. Thanks to colleagues Matt Bowman and Kevin Theriot for their typically excellent work in this case. "Those who doubt that anyone would ever try to force someone to commit an abortion need only look at this case," explained ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. "This is precisely what the ACLU sought to do. The court came to the right conclusion in putting an end to their quest. The ruling relies on important case law that our pro-life medical group clients cited showing that the ACLU's case was based on pure speculation."
Last December a group of pro-life organizations represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion to intervene on the case. These groups included the Catholic Medical Association, Christian Medical Association, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Concerned Women for America. In a statement released following news of the dismissal, ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot said, "No American should be forced to commit an abortion - least of all faith-based medical workers who went into the profession to follow their faith and save lives, not take them."
Confusion around the new law seems to come from media coverage that fails to distinguish its protections for religious organizations - which do not apply to businesses - from its much narrower policy concerning a handful of small businesses in a specific circumstance: wedding-related vendors in the context of participating in wedding ceremonies. The only provisions that apply to businesses generally are the assurances that private employers can set their own bathroom and employee dress policies based on their particular circumstances. Most of the new law is about protecting religious groups and individuals who have a different perspective on marriage. It guarantees their religious freedom while not taking anything away from anyone else. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of differences.
if these boycotts are really a matter of principle—and not just grandstanding—then why do so many of these same companies do business in foreign countries with terrible records on human rights in general, and for LGBT people in particular? The governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, pointed out this hypocrisy. After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a travel ban for state employees to North Carolina, Gov. McCrory asked how it was consistent with Gov. Cuomo’s trip to Cuba—with state business leaders—to promote trade with that country. Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of PayPal. The CEO of PayPal announced that the company wouldn’t expand in North Carolina because of “PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect.” Really? Then PayPal might want to explain why its international headquarters are in Singapore, where people engaged in private consensual same-sex acts can face two years in jail.
Nearly a half-million children are in the foster care system, and roughly a quarter of them are available for adoption. Over 1,000 non-profit agencies, many of them faith-based, work to find safe and loving homes for these children. States such as Mississippi are being pressured to end their relationships with these faith-based organizations because the government doesn't like the organizations' beliefs about natural marriage. This is just one example of how states are being used to discriminate against people with deeply held religious beliefs. This penalizes more than the religious organization; it hurts society as a whole
Religious believers around the world experience violence, repression, and exile of various forms and degrees. It deserves our attention and America's action. This lecture featured remarks by former Congressman Frank Wolf of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative; Dr. Thomas Farr, Director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Tina Ramirez, Founder and Executive Director of Hardwired Global, an organization focused on training and promoting religious freedom around the world.; and Pervez Rafique, President of Bleeding for Belief, an organization working to stop religious persecution in Pakistan and former Member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly in Pakistan.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, has signed the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, a law that guarantees religious freedom in the wake of last year's activist Supreme Court decision redefining marriage for the country. The left, big business, and even Planned Parenthood weighed in against the legislation. Mississippi policymakers, reflecting the overwhelming support of the state's citizens, stood up to the bullying and enacted commonsense religious liberty protection. The law protects religious beliefs in a precise and balanced way.
Should it be illegal for a Democratic lawmaker to reject as unqualified any Republican and Tea Partier who applies for work in their congressional office? Wouldn’t it be outlandish if that was illegal? What about a Muslim student club at a community college turning down an atheist who seeks a leadership post, or a Christian student group at a public university requiring leaders to be Christians in belief and conduct? Should the leadership criteria of the religious student groups be labeled as discriminatory and be forbidden? That’s just what various public colleges and universities have declared—but such an interpretation of discrimination is no longer allowed in Kansas, thanks to a measure signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback on March 22, 2016. The Kansas bill, SB 175, is brief but addresses a serious problem created by a significant number of colleges and universities and legitimized, in part, by the US Supreme Court.