Archive for: March, 2009

UN Human Rights Council approves proposal for limits on religious speech

UN Human Rights Council approves proposal for limits on religious speech

Last week 23 of the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution urging member states to provide "protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general." The act, primarily promoted by Muslim nations, is designed to shield religion, primarily Islam, from criticism in the media and public discourse.  "Islam […]

 
 

EXCERPTS: Douglas Laycock on dangers of protecting liberty 'only for ourselves' (Baptist Joint Committee)

From: http://bjconline.org/news/news/0209laycock.htm Douglas Laycock is the Yale Kamisar Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He is one of the nation's leading authorities on religious liberty law. He made these remarks on January 15 in accepting the National First Freedom Award from the Richmond, Va.,-based First Freedom Center. EXCERPTS: If I am remembered for anything after […]

 
 

Documentary: The End of America by Naomi Wolf

In a stunning indictment of sweeping policy changes during the Bush years, best-selling author Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth) makes a chilling case that American democracy is under threat. Investigating parallels between our current situation and the rise of dictators and fascism in once-free societies, Wolf uncovers a number of deeply unsettling similarities-from the use of paramilitary groups and secret […]

 
 

Obama puts believers and non-believers on the same footing in speeches (WSJ)

Obama puts believers and non-believers on the same footing in speeches (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal has published an interesting take on Barack Obama by Laura Meckler.  Obama has managed to be even more religious than George W. Bush in his speech, but also reaches out equally to non-believers.   Meckler's  article discusses whether Obama can reach out to one end of the spectrum without alienating the other.   EXCERPT:   Mr. […]

 
 

Benedict XVI to release encyclical outlining moral and social issues behind economic crisis

Benedict XVI to release encyclical outlining moral and social issues behind economic crisis

In a BBC News article dated March 12, 2009, the author indicates that Pope Benedict XVI is slated to release a new encyclical that discusses the moral and social issues behind the global economic crisis. Apparently it is proving quite a challenge to write. Benedict XVI "says it is proving more difficult to write than he first imagined because of […]

 
 

World Trends in Religious Freedom – Hudson Institute

 
 

Dayton Tennessee Christian School Sued by U.S. Department of Labor (ASINet)

Last year an injunction was brought against the Laurelbrook School by the US Department of Labor. It alleged that Laurelbrook's vocational program was in violation of juvenile labor laws. The trial, currently in recess, is scheduled to resume on March 30.

 
 

Raw Majority Power: Why Checks and Balances Matter

Raw Majority Power: Why Checks and Balances Matter

An epic battle played out on two levels at the California Supreme Court on March 5. On a surface level, attorneys fought over a technical issue of whether the Proposition 8 prohibition on gay marriage represented a revision or an amendment. On the deeper level, the question asked was whether there are any limits on the majority to impact the rights of the minority.

 
 

CLASSIC: The Proper Relation of Church and State

Originally published in Liberty in 1921 – "Why should we Christians desire that the non-Christian be required by law to observe our religious institutions? Why should we ask that the state punish offenders against our church institutions, when God has withheld such authority from the church?"

 
 

PRECEDENT – A century ago religious groups tried to change the California Constitution to enact a religious law

J.O. Corliss – Liberty Magazine – 1908 – "California is the only State in the American Union without a Sunday law. From 1858 to 1883 a Sunday-rest statute in that State was made so annoying to many of its citizens that it became an object of political contention. The supposed dominant party, through church affiliations, inserted a plank in its platform, pledging itself to maintain the Sunday law for the betterment of the laboring class. The other party went to the polls, on a pledge to repeal the existing statute requiring Sunday rest, on the ground of its hostility to religious rights."

The result was a political upheaval in favor of repealing all Sunday laws in the State of California. About the same time the State supreme court handed down a decision in the case of ex parte Newman, declaring a Sunday law unconstitutional. Since then three attempts have been made by the churches to have the legislature re-enact a Sunday-law statute. These advances have been coldly met, on the ground that any such statute could have no force in the face of the constitutional limitation.