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Supreme Court Slam On California COVID Rules Also Burnishes Religious Liberty Protections

The Federalist by Margot Cleveland

On Friday, for the fifth time the U.S. Supreme Court slapped down a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding anti-religious COVID restrictions established by California’s embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom. The court’s unsigned order in Tandon v. Newsom represents much more than a victory for the plaintiffs who sought to host Bible studies in their homes on equal footing with analogous commercial activities: It signifies the reemergence of religious liberty as a valued jurisprudential principle to the Supreme Court

District Judge Permanently Bans Undercover Abortion Trade Show Videos From Public Eye

The Federalist

A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California awarded a permanent injunction to the National Abortion Federation (NAF) on Wednesday, ordering that undercover videos recorded by pro-life activist and journalist David Daleiden are to remain sealed. After Daleiden and other journalists from the Center for Medical Progress recorded videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the trafficking of aborted baby body parts at NAF conferences and trade shows, NAF requested and was awarded a temporary injunction in July 2016.

Watch Gov. DeSantis Shred Everything Wrong With CBS’s ‘Malicious Smear’ Report

The Federalist

CBS, DeSantis said, cut out key facts such as which pharmacies received the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, when Publix was selected to distribute doses, and which location in Florida had the most seniors.
“There’s a video going out now, it’s got millions of views, it shows the ‘60 Minutes’ clip and then it shows the actual answer, and I can tell you, even people that may be on the other side of the aisle from me, when they look at that, you know, they uniformly understand that that was a smear, that that was editing to try to further a narrative and to try to hide the facts,” the governor continued. On Tuesday, DeSantis ripped into CBS for inventing a scandal about his state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and eviscerated the corporate media for being complicit as the true story unraveled.

Why There's No Compromising The Equality Act

Breakpoint podcast

In light of the very real threat posed by the Equality Act, a number of Christians have offered compromise solutions, most notably the Fairness for All Act. FFA would carves out exemptions for churches and certain religious organizations, though it’s unclear which ones, but it would not protect the religious freedoms of private Christian citizens who are medical professionals, business owners, bakers, florists, photographers, and so on. These attempts to preserve legislatively whatever religious freedoms we can, while well-intentioned, are actually premature attempts at deal-making. Tactically unwise, compromise solutions will almost certainly make things more difficult in the future. Rather than carving out a place for Christians in an increasingly hostile culture, this appeasement shrinks the space available to believers, both now and in the future.

Over 250 Male California Prison Inmates Request Transfer to Women’s Facilities

Daily Signal

The new law also requires that CDCR house the individual in a “correctional facility designated for men or women based on the individual’s preference.” Similar legislation has been passed in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Since the law went into effect in January, 261 inmates have requested “gender based housing” transfers, CDCR told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Prison inmates at the Chowchilla facility told the Los Angeles Times that guards had warned that “men are coming” and prisoners should anticipate sexual violence.

Justice Breyer says expanding the Supreme Court could erode trust

Washington Post

“If the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on the other branches,” he said. The court is widely acknowledged to have a 6-to-3 conservative majority, but Breyer even took issue with that. He pointed to the justices’ decision to defy Trump’s insistence that it get involved in the results of the recent election.

The Kind of Leaders Needed to Save America

Daily Signal by Kay C. James

They include the idea that the federal government was created to protect fundamental freedoms and rights such as life, property ownership, freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, and the right to be treated equally under the law. We must reach out more to non-traditional audiences of women, minorities, and young people, and show them how our solutions provide the best outcomes for all Americans. Leaders must also train their organizations to speak to people’s hearts and minds so they have the ability to change both.

A Contest of Civility: The Stakes of the Battle over the Equality Act

Public Discourse by Cory Higdon

There are serious matters at stake in the constellation of ethical issues connected to the Equality Act. Again, legal jargon is never just jargon. Codified laws flow from a worldview, and in the case of the Equality Act, the undergirding worldview is antithetical to human flourishing. That is, perhaps, one of the more pressing and pervasive threats of the Equality Act: the freedom to think, to be offensive, to state publicly without equivocation or fear of retribution that transgenderism, as an example, is destructive.

Gorsuch, Alito balk as Supreme Court declines to hear case about workplace religious accommodations

USA Today

If and when the Supreme Court decides to consider that issue, its ruling could affect corporate dress codes, such as for head scarves, turbans and beards, as well as schedules that permit employees to worship. The court offered no explanation for its decision not to hear the dispute. Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito said it is time to take another look at the standard used to decide such cases.

6th Circuit Reaches Right Conclusion on ‘Preferred Pronouns.’ Other Courts Should Follow Suit.

Daily Signal by Sarah Parshall Perry

In a victory for free speech, the rule of law, and common sense, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has ruled that a philosophy professor could not be forced to use a transgender student’s “preferred pronouns,” and that his suit against the university for violation of his First and 14th Amendment rights could proceed.

Our American experiment of religious liberty – you can have your faith and live it, too

FOX News by Sen. James Lankford

As a Christian, my faith isn’t just a hobby I practice on weekends. My faith impacts my daily life whether I’m in Washington, D.C., or my back yard. Elected officials have the same right as every other American: to have a faith and live their faith. I cannot and should not impose my faith on others, but neither can others impose their faith or lack of faith on me.
Houses of worship, parochial schools, faith-based nonprofits, and others serve our communities and the hungry, hurting, and homeless. However, they are continually scrutinized under the misguided notion that faith-based entities in our nation should not be able to compete for public funding or federal or state programs under the guise that doing so would violate the Establishment Clause.

Image by Markus Winkler

International News

Abortion is a ‘human right,’ says Biden’s new Secretary of State

Live Action News

Antony Blinken, President Biden’s new secretary of state, is rolling back the Trump administration’s policies on abortion and religious freedom. This week, the State Department released its annual report on human rights violations, in which it was announced that a woman’s access to birth control and abortion will be considered a “human right” which the State Department will be monitoring around the world.

Release of USCIRF's 2021 Annual Report

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

The members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom invite you to the release of USCIRF’s
2021 Annual Report: Key Findings and Recommendations
Wednesday, April 21
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
Virtual Launch

Rubio Rebukes ‘Woke Corporate Hypocrites’ At Delta For Ignoring Uyghur Genocide While Decrying Georgia Election Law

The Federalist

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio exposed Delta Air Lines as being full of “woke corporate hypocrites” after CEO Ed Bastian condemned Georgia’s newest election law while still doing business with communist China despite its genocide targeting the Uyghur Muslims.

USCIRF Highlights Impact of Financial Restrictions on Civil Society

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Around the globe, some governments misuse financial restrictions to hamper civil society actors, which can negatively impact religious communities. This factsheet explores the religious freedom implications from the use of excessive financial restrictions to harass and limit the activities of civil society organizations. The ability to solicit and receive financial contributions is an integral component of freedom of religion or belief, and these restrictions can be in violation of international human rights law. Financial harassment can take many forms, from attempts to delegitimize the work of foreign-funded civil society by enacting requirements to register as “foreign agents,” to excessive and intrusive reporting requirements, to exorbitant fees and fines for religious activity, to the seizure of assets or religious property.

After China retaliates with sanctions, U.S. religious freedom advocates say they won’t be silenced

The Catholic Telegraph

“The Chinese government’s baseless sanctions on U.S. and foreign government officials who advocate for human rights and religious freedom in China are an attempt to silence growing international criticism and scrutiny of its genocidal policies against Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang,” stated Gayle Manchin, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), on Tuesday.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also responded to China’s sanctions on Monday.
“The Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide against religious minorities in Xinjiang, so it’s no surprise that China targeted the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which fights for the rights of the faithful worldwide,” he stated.

U.S. religious-rights official says she is 'flattered' to be target of China sanctions

Reuters

The United States on Saturday condemned China’s sanctions against two Americans and a Canadian lawmaker, which followed those imposed by the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada last week for what they say are violations of the rights of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities China’s western region of Xinjiang.
Beijing sanctioned the chair and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Gayle Manchin and Tony Perkins, banning them from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macau. It also prohibited Chinese citizens and institutions from doing business or having any exchanges with them.

USCIRF Applauds Coordinated Sanctions Against Xinjiang Officials

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) applauds the coordinated sanctions that the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union imposed against Chinese officials Wang Junzheng, Secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), under the Global Magnitsky Act for committing egregious religious freedom violations against Uyghur and other Muslims.
“Yesterday's announcement of coordinated sanctions by the United States and like-minded partners sends an unmistakably clear message to the Chinese Communist Party that the international community will not tolerate its repressive, genocidal policies in the Uyghur region,” USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel stated. “The atrocities that the CCP has committed, and continues to commit, are an affront to humanity as well as to universal values and international law to which China has agreed. USCIRF calls on the Chinese government to end its horrific abuses against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims once and for all.”

U.S. pushes controversial abortion and sexual rights at U.N.'s Conference on Women

Washington Times by Grace Melton

This is not the Biden administration’s first display of its intention to undo the Trump administration’s pro-life policies. Following upon the executive order to reverse pro-life protections at home and abroad, the Biden administration stated, “[i]t is the policy of the U.S. to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the U.S., as well as globally,” in an addendum to the U.S. Universal Periodic Review by the Human Rights Council.
Contrast this with the Trump administration’s submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council that affirmed the U.S. commitment to support health programs and life-saving services as the world’s largest bilateral donor to global health programs, while respecting “the sovereign right of nations to make their own laws to protect the unborn” and rejecting “any interpretation of international human rights to require any State to provide access to abortion.”

'The Evidence is Overwhelming': New Report Accuses China's Leaders of Genocide Against Millions of Muslims

CBN News

Murder. Forced sterilization and present-day concentration camps. All tactics China is reportedly using against millions of Muslims known as Uighurs.
That conclusion in a report from the Washington, D.C.-based Newline Institute for Strategy and Policy. The authors say they have proof that Beijing is intent on destroying China's Muslim Uighur population as part of a broader campaign to unify the country under one ethnic identity.
"The evidence is overwhelming that China is clearly in breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention," Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, co-author of the report and director of special initiatives with the Newlines Institute, told CBN News.

China scrubs evidence of Xinjiang clampdown amid ‘genocide’ debate

Washington Post

As Western governments assess whether the crackdown on Uyghurs and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region constitutes genocide, Beijing has slowed the information flow from the area to a trickle, obscuring conditions. A “genocide” designation would be an indelible stain on President Xi Jinping’s legacy. It also could galvanize European nations to join the United States in imposing economic sanctions and fuel calls to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called events in Xinjiang “genocide” on his last full day in office. The Biden administration has continued to use the term.

Image by Markus Winkler
 
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