Religious Liberty

Most Recent

Pro se "RICO" case against CA mandatory vaccination law dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged that the State of California exceeded its powers when it passed a law removing all but medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination laws. In June 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 277 into law, removing the ability of parents to claim religious belief exemptions to otherwise mandatory vaccination laws.  In August […]

 
 

Dangerous Money: Gov't money to churches has strings attached

Dangerous Money: Gov't money to churches has strings attached

Would you choose to mount a sixteen-foot maraschino cherry on the roof of your church?  You probably wouldn’t, but would you consider doing so if it were part of a deal where your church would receive a large donation?  This situation may seem ridiculous, but many times government money offered to religious institutions has very troubling “strings” attached. 

 
 

PA Court flushes Amish free exercise claim after 8-year sewer battle

PA Court flushes Amish free exercise claim after 8-year sewer battle

An eight-year conflict has left a Pennsylvania family struggling to practice their faith against a sewage ordinance in Sugar Grove Township, Pennsylvania. Joseph and Barbara Yoder, an Old Order Amish family, have been ordered by local courts to install an electric pump in their outhouse, an action that directly contradicts their religious beliefs.

 
 

Court orders parties to brief Establishment Clause issue in travel ban case

Court orders parties to brief Establishment Clause issue in travel ban case

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump v. Hawaii (Docket No. 17-965) and directed the parties to prepare briefs and arguments on the issue of whether President Donald Trump's travel ban, Proclamation No. 9645, also known as Executive Order 3 (EO-3), violates the Establishment Clause. 

 
 

Proposed New York guidelines could permit public school districts to regulate private schools

The state of New York is considering guidelines that could dramatically change the relationship between public and private schools.

 
 

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.

 
 

The Turn at the Gate: What Jesus Knew about the Separation of Church and State

"Jesus had two choices. Arriving at Jerusalem, He could turn right at the Damascus Gate and head for the seat of government (Herod’s Palace) or turn left and walk the short distance to the seat of religion (David’s Temple)." Photographed by the author in 1969.

Christians everywhere are driven by the same passion—to share God's love with the world. But not all agree on how that's best accomplished. Some insist that civil authorities should be involved—making it harder to run afoul of the Bible's timeless principles. Others feel compelled to witness on their own. Perhaps it's time to ask the age-old question: What would Jesus do? Good news. He answered that question two thousand years ago

 
 

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

When Not to Tell the Story: The Ethics of Announcing a Religious Conversion

Churches like nothing more than to have a wonderful and exciting conversion story to proclaim to the world.  What happens if proclaiming such a story puts lives in danger?  What happens when a person is put in danger against his will?  These questions have been at the center of a fascinating legal case, Doe v. First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Tulsa, (OK Sup. Ct., Dec. 19, 2017), involving a church that announced on the internet how one converted from Islam to Christianity.  

 
 

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

Supreme Court declines Establishment Clause challenge to Mississippi LGBT law

On Monday, January 8, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declined to review both Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant, two suits filed against Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant contesting the state's law (HB 1523) which allows public officials and businesses to deny services to LGBT people for religious reasons.

 
 

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.