Death of Snake Handling Preacher Shines Light on Lethal Appalachian Tradition (CNN)

EXCERPT: When Mack Wolford, one of the most famous Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia, is laid to rest Saturday at his West Virginia church, a week after succumbing to a snake bite, his friends may very well show up with boxes of copperheads, rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. That's the Holiness Pentecostal way in tiny mountain towns like Matoaka, home to Wolford's […]


California Senate Approves Controversial Counseling Ban (Pacific Justice Institute)

The California Senate today voted in favor of a groundbreaking bill designed to prohibit counselors and therapists from telling young people it is possible to change same-sex attractions.


Hands Off! Religious Liberty Furor Over Birth Control (Liberty Magazine)

The real sleeper issue here, as it is with much of the political warfare of the present day, is money. Liberty magazine has consistently warned church organizations against taking state money. We have from the very beginning of the Faith-Based Initiative of the previous administration (an initiative still alive and kicking against the First Amendment establishment prick) warned that it is inimical to church-state separation for public monies to be used to advance any particular faith view. So it would seem a little ungrateful to the public purse for a church to object when the state applies generally applicable regulations to an operation it might tend to see as its pocket money project.


War on the Weak: Eugenics in America


Religious Groups Object to Covering Birth Control (Fox News)

EXCERPT: They defied the bishops to support President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now Catholic hospitals are dismayed the law may force them to cover birth control free of charge to their employees. A provision in the law expanded preventive health-care benefits for women, and the administration said last week that must include birth control with no copays. The Catholic […]


Circumcision Ban: Violating Religious Freedom? (Odyssey Networks)

A coalition including Jewish and Muslim groups have launched a lawsuit challenging a proposed ban on circumcision that is due to go before San Francisco voters in the Fall. The coalition asserts that a ban on circumcision, a ritual practice in both religious traditions, represents a violation of the right to religious expression, and that, legally, the city is not […]


State and Federal Legislators Introduce Bill to Outlaw Local Criminalization of Circumcision

California Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) and Assembly member Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) have introduced a bill that would directly ban local bans on circumcision. In a press conference held in Los Angeles yesterday, July 21, 2011, Ma and Gatto said that the bill would render the San Francisco ballot measure moot.


Proposal to Ban Circumcision Draws Strong Criticism (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty)

EXCERPT: At Religion Clause, Howard Friedman notes that Santa Monica could become the second California city to place on the 2012 ballot a ban on circumcision. A similar measure will be up for public referendum in San Francisco, prompting fierce opposition by many religious liberty advocates and others. Here's a sample: The SF Chronicle's editorial board urges voters to turn […]


San Francisco Mulls Circumcision Ban (CBS News)

EXCERPT: Has the time come to cut out circumcision? Pro-foreskin forces say so, and some in San Francisco say they've collected enough signatures to put a proposal to ban circumcision before voters. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to perform circumcision on a male under the age of 18 within the city. Anyone who ignored the ban would face […]


Federal judge dismisses religious challenge to Obama health plan