This week, in four days of testimony, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee has been considering House Bill 2 (HB2), that would add anti-discrimination protections for Idahoans based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates have been promoting the “Add the Words” bill for nine years and this is the first year that the Legislature has held hearings.
By Michael Peabody — The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision today that the Arkansas Department of Correction violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) when it prohibited a prisoner from growing a 1/2 inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs.
By Jason Hines, PhD — The Court will answer two questions. First, “does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” Second, “does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?” These questions create three possible outcomes.
On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case of whether a local town ordinance violates the First Amendment rights of churches when the ordinance limits the size, quantity, and duration of church signs when political signs are not similarly limited. Attorneys for the town of Gilbert, Arizona have argued that the ordinance is not discriminatory because all non-commercial event signs have the same restrictions. Attorneys for Clyde Reed, the pastor of the Good News Presbyterian Church argued that just because the city claims the ordinance appears to be facially neutral toward religious free speech does not mean that it is actually neutral.
By Fabian Carballo — 2014 was a very interesting year, full of ironies and reoccurring themes. Here are some of the biggest stories that consumed our national attention for better or worse.
Last week, WorldNetDaily published an editorial by Scott Lively where he scolds American Christians for allowing religious pluralism to become accepted. Religious pluralism, Lively argues, violates the First Commandment which states, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me.”
In his article, entitled “The Deadly ‘Religious Liberty’ Trap,” Lively argues that the “wall of separation of church and state” metaphor had been wrongfully used as a “as a justification for declaring all religions to be equal with Christianity in America, and equally subservient to secular humanist authority.”
Lively’s solution to this situation “is to stop arguing for ‘religious liberty’ and resume our proclamation of the superiority of Christ and His Word over all opposing faiths (along with tolerance for people of other faiths â€“ thatâ€™s how it worked before [Everson v Board of Education (1947)]. Its goal must be nothing less than an official reaffirmation of the Bible as our legal and cultural foundation, which would require overturning Everson and its juridical progeny.”
On November 13, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an atheist group challenging a tax-exempt housing benefit only available to clergy lacked standing to bring the suit because members of the atheist group could not demonstrate that they had suffered an injury as a result of the clergy tax-exemption.
Households throughout the United States are celebrating a presidentially designated Thanksgiving Day. It provides us an opportunity to reflect on the blessings we enjoy as a nation and personally.
The history of this holiday goes back to the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass., in the late autumn of 1620. Although the New World saw intermittent European activity after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, in the minds of many, American history truly began with the Pilgrims.
Because most of the occupants of the Mayflower had belonged to a persecuted religious minority in England â€” Congregationalists, part of the dissenting church movement â€” they came seeking freedom to practice religion in concert with each individualâ€™s own conscience. But the Pilgrimsâ€™ quest was by no means the only reason America came to be viewed as a shelter from religious persecution and intolerance.
On November 6, 2014, attorney Lee Boothby died at the age of 81 in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Boothby was known for his relentless advocacy for religious liberty.
On October 29, 2014, Houston mayor Anissa Parker announced that she is asking city attorneys to drop the controversial subpoena of pastors’ communications. Parker claimed the subpoenas were still appropriate but that she did not “want to have a national debate on freedom of religion when my purpose is to defend … a city ordinance.” Read more at Christianity Today.