Religious Institutions

Supreme Court Considers First Amendment Ramifications of Church Sign Ordinance

Supreme Court Considers First Amendment Ramifications of Church Sign Ordinance

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case of whether a local town ordinance violates the First Amendment rights of churches when the ordinance limits the size, quantity, and duration of church signs when political signs are not similarly limited. Attorneys for the town of Gilbert, Arizona have argued that the ordinance is not discriminatory because all non-commercial event signs have the same restrictions. Attorneys for Clyde Reed, the pastor of the Good News Presbyterian Church argued that just because the city claims the ordinance appears to be facially neutral toward religious free speech does not mean that it is actually neutral.

 
 

Should ministers at for-profit wedding chapels be compelled to perform same-sex ceremonies?

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Two ordained ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who operate a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho were threatened with a misdemeanor charge for refusing to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. The Knapps responded by filing a lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order against the city in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

 
 

Standing to Sue at Issue In 7th Cir. Hearing on Ministerial Housing Allowance

Standing to Sue at Issue In 7th Cir. Hearing on Ministerial Housing Allowance

On September 10, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) v. Lew. The judges focused on whether FFRF had standing to bring the case.

 
 

Supreme Court Rules Closely-Held Corporations Have Religious Rights

Supreme Court Rules Closely-Held Corporations Have Religious Rights

Most business owners set up corporations as legal alter-egos to avoid being held personally responsible if their businesses get sued, but in this case, the employers (in Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and Mardel) are saying that their corporations can still manifest the owners' religious beliefs even if it comes at the potential expense of their employees. The Supreme Court agrees.

 
 

Reviewing 2013 – The Year in Religious Liberty

Reviewing 2013 – The Year in Religious Liberty

By Stephen N. Allred – Ultimately, 2013 was a rough year for Christians in many parts of the world who were harassed, raped, murdered and persecuted on account of their faith. In comparison, American Christians, though they faced some challenges, fared rather well.

 
 

What Changed? Will the Court's Same-Sex Marriage Cases Affect You?

What Changed? Will the Court's Same-Sex Marriage Cases Affect You?

Neither Hollingsworth nor Windsor demand that any church, even in states that allow gay marriage, be forced to conduct gay weddings. Moreover, these decisions do not affect the ability of churches to decry homosexuality or homosexual conduct as immoral.

 
 

Prayers, Parks, and Monuments: Litigation Over Religious Symbols in America

Prayers, Parks, and Monuments: Litigation Over Religious Symbols in America

By Jason Hines – Now the clock is ticking for the group because there are KY tourism tax incentives for the project that are set to expire in May of 2014. The longer it takes to open the park, the less the group can receive in rebates. Under the current plan, the group can receive up to 25% of the cost of the project over ten years.

 
 

Stanford Law Program Promotes Religious Accommodation

Stanford Law Program Promotes Religious Accommodation

Students at Stanford University School of Law have a unique opportunity to participate in the nation's only law-school based clinic program that focuses on issues regarding religious freedom and accommodation.

 
 

Accrediting Body Threatens Spiritual Mission of La Sierra University (*UPDATED*)

Accrediting Body Threatens Spiritual Mission of La Sierra University (*UPDATED*)

It is not WASC's role to dictate bylaw changes, determine who is on the board, or to dictate how personnel decisions will be made. Threats to remove accreditation should be taken very seriously and La Sierra University, and its parent organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, like other institutions, can and must challenge WASC when it exceeds its authority.

 
 

Catholic Bishops Promise to Investigate Hospital's Legal Argument That Fetuses Are Not Human

Catholic Bishops Promise to Investigate Hospital's Legal Argument That Fetuses Are Not Human

[fblike style="standard" showfaces="true" verb="like" font="arial"] n Colorado, a Catholic hospital chain is being sued by John Stodghill who claims that the Catholic hospital failed to save the life of his seven-month pregnant wife's twin fetuses when she died. The hospital's lawyers, in turn, argued that fetuses were not people, and even if they were, they would not have survived the […]