Author Archive: Michael Peabody

BLOG: Democrats Begin Faith-filled Convention

For all practical purposes, it resembled an interfaith worship service. In a move designed to appeal to religious voters, the Democrats opened their convention in Denver last night with prayer, a gospel song, and a Torah recitation by a rabbi. A Catholic nun and Muslim women in headscarves also made appearances. (You may recall that Obama received some criticism when his staff asked two Muslim women wearing headscarves not to stand behind him at an appearance.)

 
 

INTERVIEW: Barry Lynn – Why Churches Should Stay out of Politics (SpectrumMagazine.org)

INTERVIEW: Barry Lynn – Why Churches Should Stay out of Politics (SpectrumMagazine.org)

Spectrum Magazine has just interviewed Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Lynn is an attorney, activist, and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

 
 

ANALYSIS: California Supreme Court unanimously rules that physicians cannot withhold fertility treatments to homosexuals

Do the rights of religious freedom and free speech, as guaranteed in both the federal and the California Constitutions, exempt a medical clinic's physicians from complying with the California Unruh Civil Rights Act's prohibition against discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation? The California Supreme Court says "No."

 
 

California Court Reverses Itself and Says Homeschooling Parents Do Not Need Credentials

This overturned the decision the judges made in February requiring homeschooling parents to possess credentials. In their decision, they stated, "It is important to recognize that it is not for us to consider, as a matter of policy, whether homeschooling should be permitted in California . That job is for the Legislature. It is not the duty of the courts to make the law; we endeavor to interpret it."

 
 

EEOC issues New Guidelines on Religious Discrimination

EEOC issues New Guidelines on Religious Discrimination

Thanks to the tireless efforts of many the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released new guidelines that make clearer recommendations regarding workplace religious discrimination and accommodation of religious practices.  The full guidelines, available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/religion.html , are remarkable in that the EEOC has clarified definitions and provided clear examples of prohibited conduct that can be used in evaluating cases. […]

 
 

Proposal Would Deny Federal Money if Employees Must Provide Medical Care to Which They Object (WashingtonPost.com)

The Bush Administration has proposed new regulations which would deny federal money to medical facilities if they required employees to act against their religious conscience in providing certain health benefits.  This raises a number of pertinent questions: Does this go too far, or is it just what religious employees need?  Is the proposed regulation too broad, or just right?  Should […]

 
 

Landowner Of Proposed Muslim Community Site Files Suit Against Town

In Walkersville, Maryland, a landowner who wanted to sell his farm to a Muslim group is suing the town for religious discrimination because they have refused his right to do so. This is a classic case of "NIMBYism" (Not in My Back Yard) where city officials used what sounds like neutral language to carefully make it impossible for a religious […]

 
 

VIDEO: For Independence Day – "Letters From War" by Mark Schultz

Regardless of what you think about the war, I think we all hope and pray that the men and women who are serving make it home safe.

 
 

IRLA Meeting draws large crowd in Angola

John Graz, Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (http://www.irla.org) reports that 40,000 people attended the IRLA meeting in Luanda, Angola on June 28.  On July 5, a meeting will be held in St. Petersburg and on July 12 a Festival of Religious Freedom will be held in in Honolulu, and meetings are planned for Mexico in August 2008.

 
 

Professor Steven Calabresi on Enforcing Morality (Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy)

In this essay published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Steven Calabresi, the George C. Dix Professor of Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law, comments on Judge Robert Bork's thought-provoking book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, specifically focusing on governmental efforts to enforce morality.  Calabresi argues that there is a place in the government for legislating morality. "This […]