News Stories

 

U.S. Civil Rights Office Rejects Rationing Medical Care Based on Disability, Age

New York Times

March 28, 2020

“Our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life from ruthless utilitarianism,” Roger Severino, the office’s director, said in a news release. “Persons with disabilities, with limited English skills and older persons should not be put at the end of the line for health care during emergencies.”

How Religious Groups Are Helping During COVID-19 Pandemic

Daily Signal commentary by Emilie Kao

March 27, 2020

Religious organizations, long at the forefront of America’s health care system, are playing a vital role in combating COVID-19. Seventeen percent of America’s hospitals are faith-based, with Catholic hospitals hosting 1 in every 6 of the nation’s hospital beds and Seventh-day Adventists treating over 5 million patients each year. As American cases of COVID-19 have surged, their services have become critical to the country’s ability to treat patients and stop the disease’s spread.

USCIRF Strongly Condemns Terrorist Attack against Sikh House of Worship in Kabul

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

March 25, 2020

“The horrific terrorist attack on the gurdwara in Kabul is a tragic reminder of the many challenges facing Afghanistan’s religious minorities amidst the struggle to find a lasting peace,” USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins stated. “Such an attack on a sacred space represents one of the most egregious assaults on religious freedom. We are thankful for the Afghan security forces’ efforts to save the hostages held by the terrorists but more work needs to be done to prevent these attacks against houses of worship in Afghanistan and the needless loss of life.”

Coronavirus Response Reveals Character of Governments

Freedom2Care commentary by Jonathan Imbody

March 23, 2020

As the U.S., state and local governments and healthcare professionals labor tirelessly in compassionate and effective efforts to protect American citizens from the spreading Covid-19 Coronavirus, governments in certain countries instead are reportedly exposing persecuted religious groups to the threat. So charges the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in a just-released report, "The Global Response to the Coronavirus: Impact on Religious Practice and Religious Freedom."

Abortion and Coronavirus: Here’s What You Need to Know

Daily Signal commentary by Melanie Israel

March 23, 2020

An initial draft of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which President Donald Trump recently signed into law, did not contain language applying Hyde Amendment protections to new funding. Congress and the White House worked to ensure that the final version of the bill maintained this important protection, which generally prohibits federal funding from providing for elective abortions.

Selection of Sarah Makin-Acciani shows the commitment to religious liberty

The Hill commentary by Timothy Head

March 23, 2020

Sarah Makin-Acciani, has been tapped to serve on the National Security Council (NSC) as the president’s adviser on international religious freedom. The position is an important one; some sources say that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged the White House to fill this position for nearly 20 years. 

Global Response to the Coronavirus: Impact on Religious Practice and Religious Freedom

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

March 20, 2020

Human rights advocates are concerned that COVID-19 — and the [Chinese] government’s response—risk exacerbating ongoing religious freedom violations. As noted in USCIRF’s 2019 Annual Report, the Chinese government has detained more than 1 million Uighur and other Muslims in concentration camps in Xinjiang since April 2017. The combination of limited access to medical resources and large concentrations of elderly detainees could lead to a humanitarian disaster if the virus reaches any of those camps.

Problematic Women: Ladies, Know Your First Amendment Rights.

Daily Signal

March 19, 2020

[F]ree speech zones are really unconstitutional at public schools, and some states like California actually have statutes that apply the First Amendment to private schools as well. The concept that you need a license to exercise your Bill of Rights, guaranteed rights that really spring from our natural rights as men and women is antithetical to the words in the Constitution. [T]he university administrators think that is perfectly OK, and they get away with it because we don’t have an army of lawyers, unfortunately, ready to defend the rights of high school students and college students who suffer this type of discrimination.

Banning ‘Conversion Therapy’

Breakpoint commentary

March 18, 2020

Anyone who counsels or psychologically treats someone with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, to help them bring their feelings in line with their body, is accused of conversion therapy. The newly invented standards of care now call for so-called gender “affirming” therapy, which instead tries to bring the body in line with feelings, often through lifelong doses of cross-sex hormones and mutilating “sex-change” operations.

The Empirical Case against “Conversion-Therapy” Bans

Public Discourse commentary by Paul Dirks

March 15, 2020

Regardless of the theory one chooses to explain these findings, or whether both have validity, the fact that many LGBT people have childhood trauma in their past argues that these experiences ought to legally be able to be explored in therapy. This is especially the case for minors, a group that are often singled out as a particular reason for banning therapy related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Religious-Freedom Revolution

National Review commentary by Isaac Six

March 13, 2020

The two biggest and most visible initiatives out of Washington, D.C., have been the launch of a new International Religious Freedom Alliance by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in February, and the proliferation of international religious-freedom roundtables in more than two dozen countries. Make no mistake: The challenges that lie ahead are incredible. As is oft-cited in the world of IRF, most of the world’s population (over 80 percent) lives in countries with high levels of government restrictions or social hostility toward religion.

Professor, Punished for Not Using Preferred Pronouns, Appeals After Judge Dismisses Case

Daily Signal commentary by Rachel del Guidice

March 13, 2020

“Professors don’t give up their First Amendment freedoms simply by choosing to teach,” said Travis Barham, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal aid group that represents the professor. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, says he was “illegally disciplined” by his employer because he chose not to adhere to a male student’s insistence on being referred to with female titles and pronouns.

California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking

The Federalist commentary by Thomas Brejcha

March 10, 2020

An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it’s time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press. The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetus body parts. 

‘Whiteboard Girl’ Harassed For Expressing Conservative Views At University Of Chicago

The Federalist

March 09, 2020

Evita Duffy, daughter of former Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., wrote, “I vote because the coronavirus won’t destroy America, but socialism will.” Duffy received intense backlash from her classmates, including threats and personal attacks. Classmates called her racist, xenophobic, and told her she deserved to be bullied.

No, The Supreme Court Should Not Allow Discrimination Against Christians In The Name Of Neutrality

The Federalist commentary by Nathanael Blake

March 09, 2020

[Justice Scalia's] decision gave the government enormous power to regulate religion through ostensibly neutral laws, making it so that when government intrudes into religious practice, it is religion that has to justify itself, rather than the other way round. By this reasoning, Congress could not pass a law specifically requiring Jews to eat pork, but it could pass a law requiring everyone to eat pork, so long as it was motivated by some neutral public justification.

Pro-Lifers Should Get Same Access to Schools as Planned Parenthood Does

Daily Signal commentary by Nicole Russell

March 06, 2020

Students for Life has requested access to Los Angeles public schools to counteract the rhetoric and statistics students learn about abortion rights through behemoth organizations such as Planned Parenthood. I’ve always been confounded by the no-holds-barred infiltration of secularism, anti-God, anti-free market, and anti-life values the public school system has maintained with hardly any competition since the 1960s.

Religious Freedom and Employment Division v. Smith

Breakpoint commentary by John Stonestreet

March 06, 2020

Even worse, religious freedom is made a subset of freedom of speech, instead of the “first freedom.” In a legal sense, living by millennia-old biblical precepts is treated as the constitutional equivalent of creating sexually explicit material.

In Congress, an Assault on Religious Liberty, in the Name of LGBT Rights

Natinoal Review commentary by John Hirschauer

March 05, 2020

Ocasio-Cortez proceeded to compare religious objectors to same-sex marriage to antebellum defenders of chattel slavery, proving, albeit unintentionally, just how useful “the perspective of a” veritable “woman of faith” would have been to proceedings where believers were wantonly compared to slaveowners.

Pro-Lifers’ Social Media Bans Are Too Numerous To Not Be Censorship

The Federalist commentary by Lila Rose

March 02, 2020

But these companies openly engage in viewpoint discrimination, which, if done by government entities in the traditional “town squares” of America, would be brazenly unconstitutional. Big Tech routinely steps into the abortion debate, censors the pro-life side, favors the pro-abortion side, and then laughably claims to be enforcing neutral policies. Just last year, Twitter restricted an image of the late Nobel Prize-winner Mother Theresa, posted by the president of Susan B. Anthony List. 

Our justices should protect this religious organization’s rights

Phila. Daily News commentary by Christine Flowers

March 02, 2020

Lori Windham of the Becket Law firm, which is representing CSS, observed, “We are confident that the court will realize that the best solution is the one that has worked in Philadelphia for a century: all hands on deck.” And that’s really the crux of the issue. If there were no other organizations accepting LGBTQ couples, perhaps the city would be right. But that’s clearly not the case. Coming down on a Catholic organization for ministering to children according to the dictates of a faith that doesn’t evolve with changing societal mores is patently wrong.

A Religious Liberty Ruling That Might Surprise You

Public Discourse commentary by Howard Slugh

February 25, 2020

On January 31, 2020, a U.S. district court in Arizona held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) protects the rights of religiously motivated individuals to place water, and other supplies, in areas where migrants are likely to encounter dangerous conditions. That holding might surprise some readers who have heard the false narrative that religious liberty is primarily a tool of “the Christian right” to oppress minorities.

In New Supreme Court Case, Religious Liberty Is at Stake

Daily Signal commentary by Kassie Dulin

February 25, 2020

The city then gave the agency an ultimatum: agree to certify same-sex couples as foster parents or end its foster care services. Catholic Social Services could not violate its religious beliefs, so the city ended its contract with the agency, effectively shutting down its foster care program. As a result, dozens of Catholic Social Services foster families have been denied the ability to foster children through the agency they know and trust, even as the city faces an unprecedented foster care crisis and has put out a call for more foster families.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds “Protect Life Rule”

Americans United for Life

February 24, 2020

“Americans United for Life is grateful that the court of appeals has seen through the false cries of the abortion industry and upheld a rule that protects women’s health as well as taxpayers’ consciences,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life. “We look forward to the implementation of the rule in a way that ensures that no public funding is ever used for elective abortions.”

Judges Allow ‘Pensacola Cross’ to Remain Standing

Daily Signal commentary by Tony Perkins

February 24, 2020

“Religious symbols aren’t like graffiti that the government has to erase as soon as someone complains,” said Luke Goodrich, the Becket lawyer representing the city. “The Supreme Court has rightly ruled that governments can recognize the important role of religion in our history and culture.”

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