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Not All Findings of Religious Freedom Index Are Encouraging

Daily Signal commentary by Thomas Jipping

December 09, 2019

The index also examined the familiar area of church and state. Here, even though the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibits any “religious test for public office,” one-quarter of Americans say that candidates “should be disqualified or blocked from holding public offices” based on their religious beliefs. They also say that “[s]ociety should not tolerate public officials who might allow their religious beliefs to influence their decisions.” 

"Fairness for All:" Wrong legislation at wrong time

Breakpoint commentary by John Stonestreet

December 09, 2019

The Act would enshrine into law something that simply is not true, and for Christians that’s got to be a non-starter: that sexual orientation and gender identity are equal to race, that they are somehow immutable, something someone is born with. 

Physical Interventions on the Bodies of Children to “Affirm” their “Gender Identity” Violate Sound Medical Ethics

Public Discourse commentary by Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George

December 08, 2019

We argue that “gender affirmation” procedures violate sound medical ethics, that it is profoundly unethical to reinforce a male child in his belief that he is not a boy (or a female child in her belief that she is not a girl), and that it is particularly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child to “affirm” a “gender identity” that is at odds with bodily sex.

McConnell highlights conscience rule case, defends religious freedom

Sen. Mitch McConnell remarks in Senate

December 05, 2019

"Last month, New York State convinced a district judge to throw out the Trump administration’s conscience protection rule for healthcare providers. This straightforward rule ensured healthcare workers could not be forced to perform or assist with medical procedures that profoundly violate their religious beliefs. But the radical Democrats in New York could not abide this basic protection for people of faith.  Instead, they want to force Christians and other people of faith who work in healthcare to either assist in procedures like abortion, or lose their jobs."

Media Bungles Reporting on Conscience Rights

Daily Signal commentary by Melanie Israel

December 04, 2019

The rule is intended to provide the tools needed to enforce federal conscience laws that “protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.” The rule also clarifies what these “protected” parties need to do to comply with conscience laws—record keeping, reporting, and non-retaliation requirements, for example.

Compelled Sexual Affirmation in the School Bathroom

Public Discourse commentary by Gerard V. Bradley

December 01, 2019

The argument against these policies must be rooted in the civil liberties of objecting students and the right not be forced to be the object of another’s sexual gaze. Opening intimate facilities to anyone of the opposite sex imposes psycho-sexual trauma on countless non-consenting youths, and constitutes a form of sexual exploitation.

CMA court cases: Good news and bad news

Freedom2Care blog by Jonathan Imbody

December 02, 2019

Left unchallenged by our lawsuit, this unlawful and ideologically driven mandate would have imperiled the careers of many health professionals, by denying the ability to follow medical judgment and conscience. This court victory now protects the religious freedom and medical judgment not only of CMA members but also of health professionals nationwide.

Medical schools should deny applicants who object to provide abortion, assisted death: bioethicist

Global News

December 01, 2019

A bioethicist is calling for medical schools to eliminate applicants who would oppose providing medical services over objections to them based on their personal beliefs. The call from Udo Schuklenk, a Queen’s University professor and the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics, comes as the Alberta government grappled with a controversial bill that would have allowed health-care providers to refuse to provide medical care if they object to it on religious or moral grounds. [originally pub. 11/23/19]

Remarks at international conference highlight Christian persecution

USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick

November 27, 2019

If we do not want history to repeat itself, we cannot afford to remain silent today when, as President Donald J. Trump said, 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or banned. The price of liberty, it has long been said, is eternal vigilance.  More recently, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel observed that, “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”  

These 2 Cases Show Why Trans ‘Rights’ Could Upend the Rights of All

Daily Signal commentary by Nicole Russell

November 27, 2019

Another student voiced her concern with the new policy, saying, through tears: "I feel uncomfortable that my privacy is being invaded. As I am a swimmer, I do change multiple times naked in front of the other students in the locker room. I understand that the board has an obligation to all students, but I was hoping they would go about this in a way that would also accommodate students such as myself."

Chick-Fil-A Orders Values to Go

Daily Signal commentary by Tony Perkins

November 22, 2019

This isn’t about loving and serving the people who identify as LGBT, which the Salvation Army has done—and we’re all called to do. This is about affirming the LGBT identity and the politics that go with it. Those are two very different things. As Christians, we’re called to love—not affirm. “Chick-fil-A made a huge mistake thinking they can appease these people,” Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said, “because they can’t.”

Groups to Congress: Do not cosponsor "Fairness for All" legislation

Heritage, ADF. FRC, CMA, CWA, ACP

November 21, 2019

FFA would: 1) infringe upon medical professionals’ conscience rights if they decline to administer puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries, including on minors; 2) subject foster children to medically unproven treatments imposed by transgender ideology; 3) reduce privacy and safety for females and destroy female athletics; 4) violate freedom of speech, conscience, and religion for countless businesses, charities, and citizens.

63% Support Religious Freedom at Work, Survey Finds

Daily Signal

November 21, 2019

“Most Americans recognize that the freedom to live and work according to our beliefs is an unalienable human right,” Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, said in an email to The Daily Signal. “All Americans lose when the government is empowered to punish citizens for living out their deeply held religious beliefs in the public square.”

Gen Z is the most accommodating generation on religion in the workplace

FOX News

November 20, 2019

"We are eager to contribute a new tool for understanding Americans' sentiments towards our first freedom," Mark Rienzi, president and senior counsel at Becket, told Fox News. The report lists three key findings: "Consensus in a polarized society, preference for hands-off government approach, and support for a culture of accommodation." The Index concludes that despite culture wars, religious freedom is still important to a vast majority of Americans, well above 70 percent, across political and religious divides. [Full report here.]

Salvation Army 'saddened' by Chick-fil-A's decision

FOX News

November 19, 2019

The Christian organization — and Chick-fil-A itself — have been criticized for their stances toward same-sex marriage, and other issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, with many accusing the brands of being anti-LFBTQ+. However, the Salvation Army has defended its practices as helping all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation. “We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population."

David Daleiden Deserves Justice

Americans United for Life

November 15, 2019

Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life, said, "The ruling announced today forcing First Amendment champion David Daleiden to pay Planned Parenthood nearly one million dollars is a tragic miscarriage of justice. Planned Parenthood is America’s deadliest nonprofit and routinely generates tens of millions of dollars each year to produce one product: a dead human being. The work of David Daleiden and his colleagues simply reveals the nature of Planned Parenthood’s business—that after profiting from the death of a human being, they then profit again by the sale of her body parts. "

Why Black Protestants and Evangelicals Still Preach Politics

Christianity Today

November 15, 2019

“While a misappropriation of the separation between Church and State has sometimes been used to suggest people of faith are the only people who can’t consider their values when participating in politics, we know that both our faith and the demands of citizenship require that we bring our full selves to the project of self-governance,” And Campaign leaders declared in their 2020 presidential election statement.

From watchdogs to lapdogs?

World magazine

November 14, 2019

A commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is resigning in protest over what she says are attempts to muzzle the panel. Commissioner Kristina Arriaga cited a legislative attempt to “undermine the independence of the commissioners” to the point “where I can no longer be an effective advocate for religious freedom.”

A Report from the Religious Liberty Front Lines

Christianity Today

November 11, 2019

Luke Goodrich begins by offering a robust, Christian defense of religious liberty. He argues that God created men and women in his image, that he intends for us to be in relationship with him, and that this relationship must be freely chosen. Religious liberty is first and foremost a God-given right grounded in a biblical conception of justice, not a gift from the state. 

Despite HHS Change, Christian Foster Agencies Still Fight LGBT Requirements

Christianity Today

November 08, 2019

But while the new policy will soon allow faith-based agencies to obtain government grants without setting aside their religious beliefs on sexuality, the same agencies face growing pressure from city and state governments. Regulations on prominent foster care ministries have resulted in several legal clashes over the past few years, with one case headed to the Supreme Court next week.

“Faith-based agencies … still need help from SCOTUS,” Becket Law attorney Lori Windham said on Twitter.

Leave Adoption Out of the Culture Wars

Town Hall commentary by Jeff Jacoby

November 06, 2019

In similar fashion, other would-be adoptive parents may prefer to work with agencies grounded in normative religious teachings — just as some birth mothers may choose to place their children for adoption through providers that share their faith. A biological mother who makes the deeply personal decision to let her child be adopted can hardly be faulted for wanting to know that her little one will be raised in a religious home, or in one with a mom and a dad. And faith-based providers often excel at recruiting suitable adoptive parents from religious communities.

Will Gay Rights Trump Religious Freedom?

Town Hall commentary by Luke Goodrich

November 06, 2019

Now that the law recognizes same-sex marriage, conscientious objectors are asking for the same kind of protection. They argue that religion is a core aspect of human identity and that no one should be penalized because of his religious beliefs or practices. Protecting conscientious objectors ensures that religious people are not forced to vio­late a core aspect of their humanity.

Judge overturns Trump-backed 'conscience rule'

FOX News

November 06, 2019

Sen. Ben Sasse, R.-Neb., called the judge's decision "absurd mush." "The point of the First Amendment – especially the free exercise of religion – is to protect the conscience rights of Americans. In this country, government doesn’t get to tell you that your faith is fine on Sunday at church but not Monday at work. The Trump Administration ought to defend basic conscience rights all the way to the Supreme Court," Sasse said in a statement.

CMA Vows to Press on After Court Ruling Endangers Conscience Protections

Christian Medical Association news release

November 06, 2019

Today’s decision in the court case in which we intervened, New York v. HHS, is disappointing, but the Christian Medical Association (CMA) remains committed to fighting for the conscience rights of the over 900,000 religious medical professionals in the United States. No one should be forced to violate their conscience or sincere religious beliefs. And society is better off when medical professionals who are motivated by their convictions are free to provide quality care without being forced to check those convictions at the door.

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