This morning President Obama threw a straight pitch directly into the strike zone when he nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland, currently the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was confirmed to that court in 1997 with bipartisan Congressional support and has been well regarded by both Democrats and Republicans.
Political careers are made by identifying, or in some cases creating, amorphous bogeymen who have nothing in mind but the destruction of “The Constitution” and the “American way of life.” The call to get rid of the bogeyman and “all will be well” is a pernicious promise.
Have you ever wondered what legal mechanism existed that permitted the legalization of slavery in the United States after the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791? How it was that men, women, and children were held in bondage after Francis Scott Key wrote the famous words, “land of the free, and the home of the brave” in 1812? How segregation persisted in law until the late 1960s?
On February 20, 2015, Rabbi David Saperstein was sworn in as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. Saperstein is the fourth person to hold the post since it was created as part of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
By Jason Hines – Attacks on the President’s faith are an attempt to redefine the constitutional role of religion in American life. Both Senator Santorum and Pastor Graham have established a de facto religious test for the office of President. Why does it matter to Pastor Graham whether President Obama is a Christian? Why does it matter to Senator Santorum that Obama has a phony, unchristian theology? These things matter because to them a person should not be president unless they are Christian. And that Christianity cannot just be any Christianity, but a form of Christianity that is aligned with what they think is correct.
A campaign against the state of California mandating abortion coverage in insurance plans is intensifying. Several complaints have been filed with the federal government to keep it from violating what Christian legal groups consider American’s fundamental rights and go against their religiously held beliefs and conscience.
An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada recently wasn’t allowed to re-enlist because he refused to sign an oath containing the phrase “so help me God.”
Initially, Air Force personnel reported that enlistees used to be allowed to opt out of the oath’s appeal to deity, but the provision had been withdrawn on Oct. 30, 2013. The Air Force claimed that only Congress could reinstate it.
However, when the American Humanist Association and the media became involved, the Air Force sought legal counsel and reverted to the former practice. But that didn’t please some Christians.
By Ryan Bell – In the United States, the claim that Christians are being persecuted is unsubstantiated. Of course there are cases of intolerance. Christians in predominantly secular contexts, like public universities and large cities like New York and Los Angeles, do experience discrimination, but it hardly rises to the level of what could be credibly called persecution.
On June 16, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in the much-anticipated case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court finding in favor of the Pro-Life group, Susan B. Anthony List (SBA). The court ruled that SBA and co-petitioner COAST (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes) have standing to challenge an Ohio election statute under which they had been threatened with prosecution for holding members of Congress responsible for their voting record.
By Prince Charles – For more than twenty years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding between them. Islam is the second largest faith community in the world and the second largest in Britain, and so bridges between Islam and Christianity are something that must concern every responsible person.