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Government Shouldn't Force Religious Schools to Violate Religious Beliefs

Daily Signal commentary by Ryan Anderson

January 8, 2015

Just before the Christmas break, the D.C. City Council passed a law that could force pro-life organizations to pay for abortion coverage. But that wasn't the only piece of bad legislation, violating religious liberty which came out of the D.C. Council in December. A new bill might force Christian schools to recognize an LGBT student group or host a "gay pride" day on campus. Here's how: In a unanimous vote on Dec. 2, the D.C. Council approved legislation that revokes religious liberty protections that Congress passed for the District back in 1989. The Orwellian titled bill-"The Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014"-eliminates an important protection for a key human right: religious liberty.

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Filed under: Religious freedomHeritage FoundationEducation

The Price of a Pro-Life Contract

Human Life Review commentary by Connie Marshner

January 6, 2015

The discrepancy in response to each of these situations, however, made it easy for the court to find that the school had discriminated against Emily Herx on the basis of her gender. A representative of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend testified at the trial that the diocese had assets of $30 million. The award decreed on December 20 amounts to almost 7% of its financial net worth. It's a steep price to pay for having failed to catechize several generations. Of course, I hope the Diocese will appeal to the Supreme Court. And certainly I will pray the Court will understand that the First Amendment protects the right of a church to decide who can represent it in a classroom . . . even if the church is playing catch-up with its own team members.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedom

Rick Warren at Vatican: be 'winsome under attack'

Daily Hope

January 6, 2015

Christians must defend marriage by facing opponents winsomely and demonstrating that God's plan of one man and one woman for life promotes human flourishing, Rick Warren told international religious leaders at the Vatican Nov. 18. To stem the cultural tide in favor of gay marriage, Christians should promote "tasteful" movies and television shows that celebrate marriage, Warren said. Media produced by marriage proponents should portray "the joys and benefits of healthy marriages and the hard work it takes to maintain a great marriage." Social media should be used "to mentor the next generation" regarding marriage, he said.

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Filed under: Religious freedomMarriage

School Ground Bullies in the Nation's Capital

Wall Street Journal commentary by Patrick Reilly

December 26, 2014

On Dec. 2, the Council of the District of Columbia passed an amendment to the D.C. Human Rights Act, repealing protections for religious schools and colleges to determine their own rules regarding gay and lesbian student activities. If the current or incoming mayor signs it, the amendment will become law and likely force the Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington schools to provide recognition, facilities and perhaps even funding to gay and lesbian student clubs that oppose Catholic teachings. The D.C. Council approved the amendment unanimously, despite vigorous opposition from Catholic University, the D.C. Catholic Conference and the Alliance Defending Freedom, among other religious groups.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomHomosexuality

Here's How the Media Got the Latest Religious Liberty Bill Wrong

Daily Signal Commentary by Ryan Anderson

December 13, 2014

Finishing off a week that was pretty bad for the media, CBS News is now spinning a story about a Michigan religious freedom bill. Their headline reads: "Bill would let Michigan doctors, EMTs refuse to treat gay patients." But the bill does nothing of the sort. The bill, passed by the Michigan House last week, is the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And, as the legal scholar Ed Whelan points out, "the bill is modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, [and] at least 19 other states have enacted laws modeled on the federal RFRA, and nothing remotely like what CBS News alleges has ever happened anywhere."

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Filed under: CommentariesHeritage FoundationConscience freedom

Freedom of Conscience Protected in Virginia


December 13, 2014

The pharmacist contacted the ACLJ after she received a notice stating that the Board of Pharmacy was initiating an investigation based on the complaint. We sent a letter to the Board asking that the case be closed and resolved in her favor "because her actions were fully consistent with Virginia law and regulations and, by the Complainant's own admission, did not harm the Complainant's daughter in any way." Our letter cited numerous previous cases in which we have represented pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals who conscientiously object, on religious or moral grounds, to personally participating in or facilitating the use of certain procedures or drugs because they end a human life.

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Filed under: ContraceptionConscience freedomACLJ

Conscience and Abortion Funding Concerns in the CRomnibus

Daily Signal commentary by Sarah Torre

December 10, 2014

Congress should permanently prohibit federal funding of abortion and ensure transparency in health care. The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act would ensure that no federal funds could be used to pay for abortion or health benefit plans that cover abortion, including those offered through Obamacare exchanges. The current version of the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act also includes language from another bill, the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which would address the serious lack of transparency about abortion coverage that has been noted by groups on both sides of the abortion debate.

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Filed under: AbortionCommentariesHeritage Foundation

Michael Lindsay on Covenant and Conflict at Gordon College

Christianity Today

December 9, 2014

Since July, Michael Lindsay, the 42-year-old president of Gordon College near Boston, has faced the firing line. Due to public allegations that his college supports discrimination against LGBT students and faculty, Lindsay spent much of the past five months defending Gordon's long-standing policy calling students and faculty to refrain from sex outside Christian marriage. Earlier in 2014, Lindsay and other Christian leaders signed a letter supporting a religious exemption from the presidential executive order prohibiting employment discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal government and for federal contractors.

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Filed under: Religious freedomHomosexuality

Is Economic Liberty Necessary for Religious Liberty?

The Christian Post

November 13, 2014

While the relationship between economic and religious freedom is complicated, religious freedom advocates should also champion economic freedom because they both rely upon some of the same foundational principles, several of the speakers argued. There are four major themes in the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom, also known as Dignitatis Humanae, which is Latin for "of the dignity of the human person," noted Jay Richards, assistant research professor in the School of Business and Economics at CUA: Religious freedom should be based upon 1) the fundamental dignity of every human person, 2) freedom of association, 3) the rights of parents to raise their children according to their beliefs, and 4) the God-ordained but limited role of government. A case for economic freedom can also be made based upon those same four principles, Richards argued. The "defenses are more or less the same."

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Filed under: Religious freedomLegislationEconomics

Religious freedom battle daunting. but bishops urged to persist

Catholic News Agency

November 12, 2014

More than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. "That's keeping us all pretty busy," he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops' religious freedom committee. In addition, Archbishop William E. Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by "laws redefining marriage." Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on marriage. Despite the ongoing challenges in the realm of religious freedom, the archbishop called for hope.

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Filed under: Religious freedomU.S. Conf. Catholic BishopsMarriage

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