Author Archive: Michael Peabody

California Court Rules For-Profit Christian School May Require Teachers’ Faith Statements

California Court Rules For-Profit Christian School May Require Teachers’ Faith Statements

In March 2015 a Ventura County Superior Court judge upheld the right of a for-profit Christian preschool to compel teachers to make a statement of faith and to obtain a statement by a pastor regarding how frequently they attend church, comment on their faith, and to endorse them as employees a Christian preschool.

 
 

Court Rules Adventist Entitled to Unemployment Benefits After Being Terminated for Absences

Court Rules Adventist Entitled to Unemployment Benefits After Being Terminated for Absences

On March 17, 2015, the a three-judge panel of the Appeals Court of Georgia ruled unanimously that the denial of unemployment benefits to a Seventh-day Adventist who was fired for refusing to work on Saturdays was unconstitutional.

 
 

Gibson Filming Project Based on War Hero Who Refused to Carry Weapon

Gibson Filming Project Based on War Hero Who Refused to Carry Weapon

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, and director and actor Mel Gibson is working on making a film based on the life of one of the soldiers, Seventh-day Adventist conscientious objector, Desmond T. Doss, who won a Congressional Medal of Honor for saving dozens of lives while refusing to carry a weapon.

 
 

Understanding RFRA: A History – From an Adventist Mill Worker to Hobby Lobby

President Clinton signs Religious Freedom Restoration Act - November 16, 1993 - National Archives

Tracing the history of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from a Seventh-day Adventist textile mill worker to Hobby Lobby.

 
 

Rabbi Saperstein Sworn in as Ambassador for Religious Freedom

Rabbi Saperstein Sworn in as Ambassador for Religious Freedom

On February 20, 2015, Rabbi David Saperstein was sworn in as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. Saperstein is the fourth person to hold the post since it was created as part of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

 
 

Unintended Consequences? California Bill Would Eliminate Religious Belief Exemption to Vaccines

Unintended Consequences? California Bill Would Eliminate Religious Belief Exemption to Vaccines

Today, California lawmakers introduced legislation (SB 277) that would eliminate the “personal belief” exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.

 
 

Washington Bill Simplifies Accommodation for Religious Objectors to Labor Union Dues

"WACapitolLegislativeBldg" by User:Cacophony - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

In practical terms, SB 5552 would make it easier for the employee and union to agree upon a charity, and take the union out of the position of evaluating the theology of the employee.

 
 

Idaho: Northwest Religious Liberty Association Calls for Conscience Exemption to Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Greg Hamilton and Steve McPherson of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association testified before the Idaho House State Affairs Committee - January 26, 2015

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.

 
 

U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Right of Prisoner to Wear Beard

Gregory Houston Holt, aka Abdul Maalik Muhammad

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.

 
 

EDITORIAL: To Preserve Faith, Keep Church and State Separate

EDITORIAL: To Preserve Faith, Keep Church and State Separate

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 – that’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.”