Author Archive: Michael Peabody

Proposed Missouri gun law expanding concealed carry to churches violates religious liberty, say clergy

Proposed Missouri gun law expanding concealed carry to churches violates religious liberty, say clergy

Clergy in Missouri are objecting to legislationthat would remove the requirement that individual Concealed Carry Weapon permits first obtain the permission from their pastor before carrying concealed weapons in church and require signage if churches do not permit concealed carry.

 
 

Moves by both sides make citizen journalism an endangered species

Moves by both sides make citizen journalism an endangered species

Regulation of online speech is marching forward from both the left and the right, and it may only be a matter of time until free expression on the Internet becomes a thing of the past.

 
 

Court hears argument on whether pro-life centers must provide abortion information

Court hears argument on whether pro-life centers must provide abortion information

On March 20, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a case challenging a California law that requires pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to advise pregnant women of the availability of publicly-funded family planning services, including contraception and abortion. Unlicensed clinics must also disclose that their personnel are unlicensed.

 
 

Supreme Court hears public sector union compulsory speech case

Supreme Court hears public sector union compulsory speech case

Today the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving whether it constitutional to require government employees who do not join their respective unions to still pay fees to the unions for the cost of negotiating and administering their employment contracts.

 
 

Analysis: CA judge rules pending trial, baker can refuse same-sex wedding cakes

Analysis: CA judge rules pending trial, baker can refuse same-sex wedding cakes

Last week, a judge in Bakersfield, California made a preliminary ruling that a baker can continue to refuse to bake same-sex wedding cakes until the case goes to trial in June.

 
 

The real definition of religious liberty

The real definition of religious liberty

In the book, 1984, George Orwell paints a bleak portrait of a future where Big Brother is watching everything you do, and the thought police can practically read your mind. In order to gain the support of the population, an ironically named Ministry of Truth twists the meaning of words to make terrible concepts seem acceptable with slogans such as War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; and Ignorance is Strength.

 
 

#MeToo isn't enough – act now to prevent and stop sexual abuse

#MeToo isn't enough – act now to prevent and stop sexual abuse

The #MeToo movement has opened the floodgates on sexual abuse allegations. Now it is up to churches, schools, and institutions to prevent it, and for parents to know the signs of sexual abuse to protect their children.

 
 

10th Cir. reverses summary judgment in Title VII Sabbath accommodation case

10th Cir. reverses summary judgment in Title VII Sabbath accommodation case

On January 17, 2018, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court improperly granted summary judgment against plaintiffs in a holy day observance case.

 
 

FEMA's reversal of no-aid policy for churches raises Constitutional concerns

FEMA's reversal of no-aid policy for churches raises Constitutional concerns

Last summer, Hurricane Harvey created a wake of destruction across southeast Texas, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stepped in to provide disaster-relief grants to some organizations. Under FEMA’s policy at the time, churches could receive funding to repair only those portions of their facilities where less than 50 percent of the space was used for religious purposes. As a result, schools or church-run hospitals and community centers could receive aid, but not church sanctuaries.

 
 

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

As part of the final push to enact tax reform before the end of the year, a proposed tax code change that would permit churches and other non-profit organizations to engage in partisan political campaigning has been dropped from the House and Senate reconciliation version of 2017 tax bill. Although the House version of the bill had included a repeal of the controversial Johnson Amendment, the Senate version kept it intact. Proponents of the repeal have argued for the right of pastors to speak freely about candidates from the pulpit, and opponents claim it would provide a "dark money" tax-exempt way to launder otherwise non-tax deductible campaign donations.