Is a second Hobby Lobby case in the works? Meggan Sommerville is a sixteen-year Hobby Lobby employee in Aurora, Illinois who has been denied access to the store’s restroom because she is transgendered. Sommerville underwent legal gender transition in 2010 but has not yet had gender-reassignment surgery.
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.
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.
Agape love is the central premise of Protestant Christian theology. According to The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics, “Luther’s rediscovery of the primacy of agape was the linchpin of the Reformation and the rediscovery of genuine Christian ethics.” (See G. Meilaender and W. Werpehowski, The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics, 2007, p. 456.)
Many confuse the concept of agape love with the concept of caritas, or charity, but these are two separate ideas. The concept of agape love is the love of God reaching down to save humanity through grace, while caritas is about humans reaching upward toward God through works.
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.
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?
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.
By Kevin Straub – Christianity, if it looks to Christ as its norm, will have nothing to do with the affairs of national/international politics and the wielding of the sword. It will not be involved in any of the processes involved in the adjustments of the balances of earthly powers. This is not our work. However, it has come to be standard thinking in Christianity that it is a part of our work. The discussions of whether to enter into a war or to stay out of that war is not merely academic in today’s Christianity; it is deemed the Christian’s duty to engage in a politicized Christianity. Today’s Christianity, since the time of Constantine, is not concerned solely with the gospel work, remaining an outside observer of the machinations of worldly powers, but as subscribers to the notion of “the just war,” is necessarily fundamentally involved in the geopolitical movements and the questions of taking nation(s) into war or not.
By George B. Gainer – This coming November 15, will make 25 years since I was asked to present “The Wisdom of Solomon? or The Politics of Pragmatism? The General Conference Abortion Decision 1970-71” to the gathered attendees at the Loma Linda University Conference on Abortion. The great majority of those present were shocked to learn that the General Conference of SDA’s was operating with 2 different sets of guidelines on abortion. The 1970 Abortion Guidelines, which were more restrictive, were the set made available to our own Adventist clergy and laity, as well as the general public. The 1971 Interruption of Pregnancy Guidelines superceded the 1970 Guidelines and opened the door to abortion on demand for any reason in our hospitals (16 months before Roe v. Wade). The liberalized 1971 Guidelines were sent exclusively to our SDA Medical Institutions and never made known to our clergy and laity or the public.