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.
A Tatarstan court had to reject the prosecutor’s suit to have a further 18 books by or about the Turkish Islamic theologian Said Nursi declared “extremist” as police had already burned them. According to a police letter seen by Forum 18 News Service, police claim not to have received a court decision ordering their return to the owner, Nakiya Sharifullina, who had controversially been convicted for “extremist” activity. “We still cry when we remember the burned books,” a local Muslim told Forum 18, adding that they “asked God that these people repent for their actions, since in these books were verses of the Holy Koran”. Four further Nursi titles, plus more Jehovah’s Witness publications, have been declared “extremist” and banned. Websites or pages that host religious materials controversially banned as “extremist” have similarly been banned and added to Russia’s Register of Banned Sites.
By James Coffin – In the United States, individuals and groups have a long history of discrimination against fellow humans.
But over many decades, legislators and judges have curtailed our freedom to negatively impact others’ lives based on our own prejudices. Such government actions have been a great blessing to the targets of discrimination.
Although anti-discrimination laws limit our freedom to say by our actions that we view certain categories of our fellow humans as inferior, unworthy or evil, they also help ensure justice for all.
By James Coffin – Whatever the justices decide concerning legislative prayer, their decision will have little impact on what I’ll do when, as a member of the Christian clergy, I’m asked to pray at such gatherings. I don’t wear one of those WWJD? wristbands. But I regularly ask the what-would-Jesus-do question. And I’m convinced about what he’d do regarding legislative prayer.
The similarity between the persecutions of Muslims in 2013, alleged Communists in 1950, and those believed to be witches in 1692 is a perceived threat to the traditional conservative Christian culture of the American people.
By David Hamstra – It is tempting to resolve the question in favor of one or the other depending on what our moral intuitions tell us about the way the world should be, but to do so, as I will argue later, is to impose upon the weak the vision of morality held by the powerful, putting our society on a trajectory towards totalitarianism. Instead, I want to propose an principled way to approach these cases that will hopefully allow those on either side to find common ground.
Yesterday, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s decision not to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony even if it would violate the photographer’s deeply held religious beliefs.
Although Bishop was the UC Davis scholar-athlete of the year in 2007, and was phenomenally successful on the course, even without Saturday play, he eventually gave up a promising career as a professional golfer in favor of a medical career because he knew that he could not continue to keep the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday and participate in professional tournaments.
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.
Residents of a Christian community in eastern Pakistan, among them Seventh-day Adventists, are reeling after a mob torched their homes and businesses in response to alleged insults against Muhammad.