Religious Institutions

Mississippi legislature passes law to weaponize churches

Mississippi legislature passes law to weaponize churches

There are two distinct reactions to gun violence. One is to tighten gun regulations in an effort to get guns off the street. The other is to arm more people so they can kill would-be attackers. The Charleston, South Carolina, shooting at a church last year has provided the Mississippi legislature with a pretext to do the latter.

 
 

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.

 
 

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in key contraception mandate case

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in key contraception mandate case

This morning the eight-member United States Supreme Court heard the contraceptive mandate cases that were consolidated under the name Zubik v. Burwell (Docket Number 15-191). (See transcript.) They key issue in all the cases was religious employers who rejected the method of receiving the "religious employer exemption" to the Affordable Care Act (2010) which required group health plans and insurance issues to offer plans that provided "approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity."

 
 

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Taxpayers Must Pay for Church Playground Upgrade

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Taxpayers Must Pay for Church Playground Upgrade

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Missouri taxpayers can be compelled to pay for "non-sectarian" church upgrades. Case: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley

 
 

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?

 
 

Catholic Hospitals Appeal Federal Court Decision Saying They're Not Catholic Enough

Northridge Hospital in Northridge, CA is a Dignity Health facility (from LinkedIn)

Longstanding, agency-approved exemption of religious hospitals from federal pension law had been overturned, threatening Dignity Health chain of U.S. hospitals with ruinous penalties

 
 

Free Exercise After Obergefell: Warnings from the Dissent

Free Exercise After Obergefell:  Warnings from the Dissent

Statements of Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito on free exercise of religion in light of the same-sex marriage decision.

 
 

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Supreme Court Finds National Right to Same-Sex Marriage

U.S. Supreme Court - DepositPhotos.com / trekandshoot

How the Supreme Court's decision could affect the religious liberty rights of religious organizations and individuals

 
 

When Legislation Fails, Gov Jindal Orders 'Protection of Conscience'

Gov. Bobby Jindal

hen the Louisiana state legislature failed to pass the "Marriage and Conscience Act" (HB 707)  earlier this year, on May 19, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order  that will accomplish the same goal.  HB 707 provided that the state of Louisiana could take no "adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts […]

 
 

Supreme Court Rules Sign Ordinance Adversely Affecting Church Fails Strict Scrutiny

Supreme Court Rules Sign Ordinance Adversely Affecting Church Fails Strict Scrutiny

fter a lengthy legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously (see Reed v. Gilbert  , decided June 18, 2015) that a town cannot bar church signs when it allows similar signs promoting political or ideological viewpoints. In 2007, Good News Community Church sued Gilbert, Arizona, when the town enforced a law banning the church from posting road signs […]