Author Archive: Jason Hines

Op-Ed: Castile verdict is a nightmare come to life

Allysza Castile (Philando's sister) speaking outside the Ramsey County Courthouse in St Paul, MN after a not guilty verdict was reached in the trial of Officer Jeronimo Yanez in the killing of Philando Castile last July.
(Photo: Lorie Shaull. CC-BY SA 2.0.)

By Jason Hines – I’m sitting here without a plan. I do not even have a rough outline of where these thoughts will go. If I have a plan, it is simply to write because the Spectrum Blog needs a post for Thursday morning and there is nothing else I want to talk about. I sit here writing now not […]

 
 

Evangelicals' witness suffers due to political maneuvering

Evangelicals' witness suffers due to political maneuvering

For almost 40 years Evangelical Christians, under the guise of the Religious Right, courted political power specifically through the Republican Party. As a political group, they have accomplished little of what they desired.

 
 

Op-Ed: Do Your Homework

Op-Ed: Do Your Homework

By Jason Hines, Ph.D., J.D. – One of the unfortunate things about the discussion that occurs whenever a police officer shoots another unarmed Black man is its monotony. I was planning to sit out the debate that would occur around the death of Alton Sterling. The reason I wanted to sit the discussion out is because we always seem to hit the same beats. Black folk say #BlackLivesMatter. The ignorant and the bigots among us say #AllLivesMatter. Before long, someone asks, “What about Black on Black crime?”

 
 

Legal Analysis: Zubik petitioners may have pushed argument too far

Legal Analysis: Zubik petitioners may have pushed argument too far

By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Prior to 1990, the Supreme Court’s standard in determining whether a law violated a citizen’s free exercise of religion was intimately tied to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. An Adventist, Adele Sherbert, sued to receive unemployment benefits after she was fired from her job because she refused to work on the Sabbath. In the case that now bears her name, Sherbert v. Verner, the Court ruled in her favor, establishing the rule that the government could not substantially burden a citizen’s religious freedom unless the government had a compelling interest and had narrowly tailored the measure to minimize infringement.

 
 

Opinion: The Spiritual Dimension to the County Clerk's Refusal to License Same-Sex Marriages

Opinion: The Spiritual Dimension to the County Clerk's Refusal to License Same-Sex Marriages

Davis has made a decision according to her conscience, has had the willingness to not only follow it through, but also to go to jail for it. I am surprisingly both outraged by and sympathetic to her plight. I would love to talk about the legal ramifications of what she is doing (and I still might do that briefly), but tonight my mind turns primarily to the spiritual consequences of Davis's actions.

 
 

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Has Christianity in America become so materialistic that we conflate our freedom to worship with our ability to save a dollar?

 
 

Understanding RFRA: Does Indiana's New Law Allow Businesses to Discriminate?

Understanding RFRA:  Does Indiana's New Law Allow Businesses to Discriminate?

By Jason Hines – This week, Governor Mike Pence held a press conference in order to clarify the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act that has received so much criticism lately.

 
 

Opinion: Playing Political Football with the President's Faith

Opinion: Playing Political Football with the President's Faith

By Jason Hines – Attacks on the President's faith are an attempt to redefine the constitutional role of religion in American life. Both Senator Santorum and Pastor Graham have established a de facto religious test for the office of President. Why does it matter to Pastor Graham whether President Obama is a Christian? Why does it matter to Senator Santorum that Obama has a phony, unchristian theology? These things matter because to them a person should not be president unless they are Christian. And that Christianity cannot just be any Christianity, but a form of Christianity that is aligned with what they think is correct.

 
 

Supreme Court Plans to Make National Decision on Same-Sex Marriage – What it Means

Supreme Court Plans to Make National Decision on Same-Sex Marriage – What it Means

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.

 
 

Opinion on the Hobby Lobby Decision: More Equal Than Others

Opinion on the Hobby Lobby Decision: More Equal Than Others

By Jason Hines – Today the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that Hobby Lobby and other closely held corporations can refuse to cover certain forms of contraception in the insurance plans they provide to employees because of their “religious beliefs.” Now I put religious beliefs in quotes because despite the Court's decision, I refuse to admit that corporations, created in order to separate themselves from the people who create them, can have religious beliefs.