Archive for: 2014

On Being a Pro-life Atheist

On Being a Pro-life Atheist

By Sarah Terzo – In focusing on religious opposition to abortion, the pro-life movement has cemented into popular culture the generalization that being pro-life is the Christian thing to be. And being pro-choice is the nonreligious thing to be. So many atheists have never considered the pro-life position because they see it as a facet of Christian dogma. They wouldn't consider going to a pro-life rally or reading a pro-life book in the way they wouldn't consider going to church or giving their money to Pat Robertson. It simply isn't for them.

 
 

Liberty Twice Removed

Liberty Twice Removed

First Nebuchadnezzar forced the people to worship himself under threat of death. Then he forced the people to worship God under threat of death. He was wrong both times. — By Jason Hines – On January 15 the United States celebrated Religious Freedom Day. Each year on that day we officially recognize the benefits of a wide open society that is respectful not only of people of different faiths, but also of people who have no faith at all. In a statement President Obama said, “Today, America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics… Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what binds us as one is not the tenets of our faiths, the colors of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals – freedom, equality, justice, and our right as a people to set our own course.” It is unfortunate we live in a society where some people do not share these lofty ideals. It is even more unfortunate that some of these people who do not share these ideals are Christians.

 
 

Idaho Bill HB 426 Would Create Religious Right to Discriminate

Protest at the Idaho Capitol - February 17, 2014 -  Photo by Kenneth Freeman / Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved

By Lucan Chartier – Rep. Lynn Luker of Idaho has recently placed two bills before the state's House of Representatives. HB 426 prohibits the denial, revocation, or suspension of “any professional or occupational license or registration” based upon the exercise or expression of religious belief. HB 427 would amend § 73-402 of the Idaho Code – the state's mini-Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – to also provide relief against “any person relying upon any government action, enactment, or law” that substantially burdens a sincerely held religious belief.

 
 

Standing Firm For Faith While Seeking Mutually Acceptable Solutions – Is it Possible to Peacefully Resolve the Religious Wars in America's Marketplace?

Standing Firm For Faith While Seeking Mutually Acceptable Solutions – Is it Possible to Peacefully Resolve the Religious Wars in America's Marketplace?

By Michael Peabody – Parties to these kinds of disputes should be well-served if they cooperatively seek solutions by identifying and respecting those specific personal areas which are non-negotiable and cordoning them off, while respecting the freedom of the areas in between where both sides must intersect. Identifying and preserving these areas of respect and finding opportunities for accommodation is not an easy process in today's ideologically divided world, but the results will be much more profitable for both sides than engaging in perpetual conflict in the public arena. At the same time, the religious rights of the participants on both sides to belief and practice would be honored and protected.

 
 

Will Lawyers In Canada Soon Face A Religious Test? The Hypersensitive Response Over Canada's First Openly Christian Law School

Will Lawyers In Canada Soon Face A Religious Test? The Hypersensitive Response Over Canada's First Openly Christian Law School

By Barry Bussey – The hypersensitive response over Canada's first openly Christian law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) has led to a demand that law societies across Canada not allow TWU law graduates to practise law – because of the religious belief of TWU concerning marriage. In essence, a religious test to determine one's suitability to practise law.

 
 

Pew Research Reports Six-Year Peak in Religious Hostilities

Pew Research Reports Six-Year Peak in Religious Hostilities

According to an in-depth study by the Pew Research Center, 33% of the 198 countries and territories had high religious hostilities in 2012, which has increased from 20% as of mid-2007, with interval studies demonstrating a steady increase. The study indicates that the largest increase in hostilities was in the Middle East and North Africa which experienced political uprisings in […]

 
 

Arguments scheduled on whether RFRA allows employers to limit contraceptive coverage

The United States Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on the Hobby Lobby case for March 25, 2014.  According to SCOTUSBlog, the issue is: "Whether the [RFRA], which provides that the government 'shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion' unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to […]

 
 

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.

 
 

Guest Opinion: Endless exemptions for faith? Hobby Lobby case not a simple one

Guest Opinion: Endless exemptions for faith? Hobby Lobby case not a simple one

By Robert J. Ray – Realistically, can a government allow every employer to customize the rules without descending into administrative chaos? Justice Antonin Scalia argued in Oregon v. Smith that one's religious beliefs don't negate the need to comply with valid laws.
On the other hand, freedom of religion is a crucial principle that must be defended. But how far?