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Surrendering Neither Grace Nor Truth in the Religious Liberty Debate

Christian Post commentary by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 14, 2015

Recently, the news has been tough for Christians here at home. Stories involving the erosion of religious liberty in America, as in the failure in Indiana to protect the rights of business persons who don't wish to participate in same-sex weddings, have persuaded some that the chips are not only down but depleted. As a result, some Christians seem to be heralding cultural defeat and advocating a gracious concession to the other side. They urge us, in as many words, to reduce our witness to acts of private charity and church ministry.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomFamily Research Council

The Shifting Definition of Religious Freedom: Why We Can't Bow to the New Established Religion

Breakpoint commentary by Eric Metaxas

April 13, 2015

The message is clear: not only should Christians remain silent about gay marriage if we know what's good for us, but we must be made to agree with and even celebrate what Scripture calls sin. As Ana Marie Cox recently said of Christians on MSNBC, "you're going to have to force [them] to do things they don't want to do." But gay columnist Frank Bruni recently took it to the next level in the New York Times, writing that it's time Christians get with the program and "take homosexuality off the sin list."

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomPersecution

Why Do We Need Louisiana's Marriage and Conscience Act? Ask Indiana Pizza Owners

Daily Signal commentary by Travis Weber

April 13, 2015

Nevertheless, such people are increasingly being ostracized, fired and facing death threats simply because of such beliefs. All of this makes protection of their individual rights and civil liberties even more crucial. Protecting their rights is what Louisiana's Marriage and Conscience Act (H.B. 707) would do. This bill would prohibit the government from taking "any adverse action against a person" due to that person's "religious belief[s] or moral convictions[s] about the institution of marriage."

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Filed under: Religious freedomFamily Research CouncilMarriage

The Case Against Gay Marriage: Top Law Firms Won't Touch It

New York Times

April 11, 2015

Ryan T. Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who opposes same-sex marriage, said the episode was a turning point. "When the former solicitor general and superstar Supreme Court litigator is forced to resign from his partnership," Mr. Anderson said, "that shows a lot." The current climate, Professor McConnell of Stanford said, means that important distinctions are being lost. One is that it is possible to favor same-sex marriage as a policy matter without believing that the Constitution requires it. But this is, he said, a topic he has learned to avoid. "You're going to shut up, particularly if you don't care that much," he said. "I usually just keep it to myself."

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Filed under: CourtsHeritage FoundationMarriage

The 'Party of CEOs' and Religious Liberty

National Review Online commentary by Maggie Gallagher

April 10, 2015

"Big business has been at the forefront of the backlash against the Indiana law, and similar legislation pending in states around the U.S.," reports CNN's Money channel. Salesforce's Marc Benioff pledged to reduce investments in Indiana and help employees relocate (to one of the other 20 states with RFRAs?), pronouncing Indiana's rather innocuous RFRA to be "brutal" and "unjust." Most eloquently and helpfully, Benioff explained the social phenomena we are now witnessing: "One thing that you're seeing is that there is a third [political] party emerging in this country, which is the party of CEOs." I am sure much of this reflects the sincere if misguided sentiments of the Party of CEOs, but there is another force at work here as well. When I say that traditional believers lack institutions, I mean that over the last ten years, the stage for the moment that has just emerged has been set, piece by piece, with very little effective, creative, or well-funded response by the so-called Religious Right.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomHomosexuality

Five actions churches should take in a changing legal culture

Alliance Defending Freedom

April 9, 2015

These new political, cultural, and legal realities directly affect the church's freedom to live out its faith. While most church decisions about internal governance or doctrine currently enjoy constitutional protection, churches cannot assume that these protections will stand indefinitely. Maintaining a gospel-centered witness in today's culture requires not only standing firm on the truths of Scripture, but also taking affirmative steps to protect the church's freedom to continue peacefully teach and live out its faith. Here are five ways churches can protect their freedom to maintain fidelity to the faith.

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

You Will Be Made To Worship Their god

Red State commentary by Casey Mattox

April 8, 2015

Of all of the principles that the left is suddenly willing to sacrifice on the altar of same-sex marriage - free speech, free exercise of religion, the rule of law, the right to vote, etc. - the most surprising to me is that it is now demanding compulsory participation and support of religious services. The opponents of RFRA are still quick to deploy their "separation of church and state" cliché, but one side is demanding that the state fine people for declining to participate in a religious service. It isn't mine. It's the ACLU and its allies who are ready to use the power of the state to compel unwilling people to participate in religious services.

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Filed under: Religious freedomAlliance Defending FreedomHomosexuality

Who will stand?

First Things commentary by Robert P. George

April 5, 2015

The lynch mob is now giddy with success and drunk on the misery and pain of its victims. It is urged on by a compliant and even gleeful media. It is reinforced in its sense of righteousness and moral superiority by the "beautiful people" and the intellectual class. It has been joined by the big corporations who perceive their economic interests to be in joining up with the mandarins of cultural power. It owns one political party and has intimidated the leaders of the other into supine and humiliating obeisance. And so, who if anyone will courageously stand up to the mob? Who will resist? Who will speak truth to its raw and frightening power?

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomHomosexuality

The Post-Indiana Future for Christians

American Conservative commentary by Rod Dreher

April 3, 2015

On the conservative side, said Kingsfield, Republican politicians are abysmal at making a public case for why religious liberty is fundamental to American life. "The fact that Mike Pence can't articulate it, and Asa Hutchinson doesn't care and can't articulate it, is shocking," Kingsfield said. Why can't Republicans articulate this? We don't have anybody who gets it and who can unite us. Barring that, the craven business community will drag the Republican Party along wherever the culture is leading, and lawyers, academics, and media will cheer because they can't imagine that they might be wrong about any of it."

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Filed under: Religious freedomLegislation

The Church of the Left

National Review commentary by Yuval Levin

April 3, 2015

Madison was making this case not in the context of arguing for permitting the free exercise of religion but rather in the context of arguing against the establishment of any religion by law. His point was that no one ought to be compelled to affirm as true a religious tenet he took to be false and that no one should be compelled to participate in a religious rite that violated his own understanding of his religious obligations. But this is also the essence of the argument that a wedding vendor who wants to remain free to refrain from participating in a same-sex wedding would advance.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomHomosexuality

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