Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
FRC: “This morning, hundreds of pro-life demonstrators braved bitter cold and blustery winds in Germantown, Maryland to pray and to protest the decision by the notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart to open a new clinic in the Washington, D.C. suburb.”
USCCB: “Leaders of some of the largest religious communities in the United States have come together to express their commitment toward the protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In an open letter released today, entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States affirmed the importance of preserving marriage’s unique meaning.”
Jan Crawford writes at CBS: “The appeals court panel hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the California gay marriage ban indicated this afternoon they will rule it violates the rights of gays and lesbians — with the only question being just how broadly the ruling will be.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The White House today received the names of nine lawyers who are finalists for three vacancies on the District of Columbia Superior Court.”
Reuters: “The FBI has issued a “cyber crime alert” for a new Barbie doll that comes equipped with a tiny hidden video camera in her chest, saying the toy could be misused to make child porn.”
Christian Post: The Alliance Defense Fund argued for an injunction on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Currently, a temporary stay is allowing researchers to receive federal grants to fund research using embryonic stem cells.
American Spectator: “New York’s 1st District, encompassing eastern Long Island, remains the nation’s last undecided congressional race of 2010. Supporters of Republican challenger Randy Altschuler contend that incumbent Democrat Rep. Tim Bishop was the beneficiary of illegal votes . . . ”
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson called into the community gathering at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse hosted by Marriage Equality USA and made the following remarks in support of marriage equality and Judge Walker’s ruling . . . ”
Liberty Counsel: “When the bank’s corporate office was contacted, a spokesperson told a Fox 35 News reporter that the employee was to decorate with the provided poinsettias in order to avoid offending people.”
The American Independent: “As The Iowa Independent previously reported, several out-of-state groups — New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, Mississippi-based American Family Association, Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.-based Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Georgia-based Faith & Freedom Coalition and Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund — spent nearly $1 million to defeat the Iowa justices and provided unsolicited materials directly to Iowa churches in an effort to influence congregations across the state.”
Christian Newswire: “The government shouldn’t abduct and imprison children simply because it doesn’t like homeschooling. That’s exactly what happened here,” said Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Despite the ill-advised decision on the part of Mr. Johansson, the only menace here is a government drunk with its own power. This sad circumstance is what happens when an over-powerful government pushes a parent to the point of desperation, so social services should not pretend to be surprised.” HSLDA, in partnership with ADF, has appealed the Johansson case to the European Court of Human Rights.
LA Times Blog: “The first half-hour of the hearing on California’s ban on same-sex marriage consisted of judges quizzing the lawyers who oppose gay marriage on the question of whether they have standing to appeal an earlier ruling that found Prop. 8 unconstitutional.”
Christian Today: “Bhatti said the call is unjust and irresponsible and should be discouraged in the strongest possible manner because no one has the right to issue a decree to kill someone else, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper.”
Christian Post: “Iraq’s Christian minority took another hit Sunday evening when gunmen shot and killed an elderly Christian couple in their home.”
365Gay.com: “The California Endowment funded study, “Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults,” is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.” | Caitlin Ryan PhD, ACSW, Stephen T. Russell PhD, David Huebner PhD, MPH, Rafael Diaz PhD, MSW, Jorge Sanchez BA, Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults, 23 Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 205 (Nov. 2010)
Jordan Lorence: “Popping the Question: Will the Ninth Circuit Ask Why We Have Marriage in the First Place?”
ADF attorney Jordan Lorence writes at the Christian Post Advancing Religious Liberty Blog: “The attorneys and judges will discuss many legal concepts, but one big question needs to be answered before we can have a helpful discussion on marriage: Why do we have marriage in the first place? Why do human societies, separated by continents, centuries and culture, overwhelming establish and regulate a public institution called marriage, and define it uniformly as one man and one woman? What is it that their collective experience sees that compels them to have the institution of marriage? Maybe it is because societies want to encourage loving relationships.”
Steve Chapman writes at the Post Chronicle: “The prevailing view used to be: Abortion may be evil, but it’s necessary. Increasingly, the sentiment is: Abortion may be necessary, but it’s evil.”
The Tribune: “The Conservative government is quietly reminding embassy and consular staff around the world that Canada doesn’t accept immigrants who plan to practise polygamy here.”
Stacked deck? Most overturned judge in country won’t step down despite conflict, to hear Prop 8 appeal today
California Catholic Daily: “This obvious conflict provoked even Ann Woolner, a legal columnist who supports same-sex “marriage” to opine that Reinhardt should have recused himself. Last Thursday Woolner wrote in Bloomberg News: ‘Like Virginia Thomas (Justice Thomas’ wife), she (Ramona Ripston) can say whatever she believes about any case, even if her husband may eventually help decide it. But Ripston did more than that. The organization she works for advocated the same cause in a state court that is now being advocated before her husband in federal court… ‘”
DW-World.de: “EU justice ministers have paved the way for European divorce regulations aimed at simplifying the legal process of divorce for binational couples. If adopted, the new rules would take effect in 2012.”
LifeSiteNews: “The population control advocate said that under this scheme the world’s poor could sell their fertility rights and thereby profit from avoiding procreation, reports the Globe and Mail.”
LifeNews: “The New Zealand High Court gave pro-life physicians a victory when it ruled that new Medical Council guidelines have overstepped the law and need to be amended.”
Life News: “LeRoy Carhart arrives at the Germantown Reproductive Health Services abortion center today to start doing late abortions there, and he is facing greeting from pro-life protestors.”
Catholic Culture: “Terrorist organizations associated with the Taliban have issued a fatwa against Shabhaz Bhatti, a Catholic layman who serves as Pakistan’s minister for religious minorities.”
NPR: “The path to adulthood used to be clear — love, marriage, baby carriage — and no one embodied that more than America’s working class. But today, for those with only a high school education, that order no longer holds; in fact, a new study suggests that marriage is foundering in Middle America.”
Ross Douthat writes at the NY Times: “This week, the National Marriage Project is releasing a study charting the decline of the two-parent family among what it calls the “moderately educated middle”. . . This means that a culture war that’s often seen as a clash between liberal elites and a conservative middle America looks more and more like a conflict within the educated class.”
W. Bradford Wilcox and Chuck Donovan write at Christianity Today: “Marriage is in trouble in Middle America. High rates of divorce, nonmarital childbearing and single parenthood were once problems primarily concentrated in poor communities. Now, the American retreat from marriage is moving into the heart of the social order: the middle class.”
AP: “The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday he has opened an preliminary investigation into possible war crimes by North Korea resulting from its recent clashes with South Korea.”
Andie Brownlow writes at the American Thinker: “Liberals and conservatives both believe that as Americans, we should be moral people. The major difference is where their morality intersects with their politics. Most conservatives believe that our morality should come from religion, separate from government. Most progressives incorporate moral guidance as a function of government.”
George Will writes at the Washington Post: “There is,” Willett explains, “a profound difference between an activist judge and an engaged judge.” The former creates rights not specified or implied by the Constitution. The latter defends rights the Framers actually placed there and prevents the elected branches from usurping the judiciary’s duty to declare what the Constitution means. Let us hope the Supreme Court justices are engaged when considering the insurance mandate.
Star-Telegram: “Chase Bank told a Texas businessman to remove the Christmas tree he donated to a local branch because it could offend people.”
Baptist Press: “Iraqi Christians may blend into the ebb and flow of life in the troubled country, but in their churches they have continued to be targets of extremists, most recently an al-Qaida-related group, the Islamic State of Iraq. The persecution has resulted in many Iraqi Christians facing the decision of whether to flee their homeland with their families or stay and likely face severe consequences. Church leaders in Iraq and worldwide are voicing concerns that this may nail the coffin shut on Christian presence in the nation.”
Pioneer Press: But the lawyers involved expect few surprises when it comes to arguments. “A lot of the stuff is going to be repeated,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group that has helped defend Proposition 8. “But what I hope is that it will not be the one-sided presentation of the facts the district court had in its opinion.” (syndicated — originated in the NY Times)
The Oakland Tribune: “We remain very confident,” said James Campbell, a lawyer for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “The law is clearly on our side.”
Christian Post: “According to the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the appeal with ProtectMarriage.com’s Andrew Pugno, what’s at stake in the court battle is more than marriage – it’s America’s democratic system.”
After seizing a child from his parents and holding him in custody with virtually no visitation for 1 1/2 years because he was home-schooled, the Swedish government has now jailed the boy’s father for taking his son home from a supervised visitation when he wasn’t supposed to last week.
ABC 30 HD: Attorney Jim Campbell of the alliance defense fund one of Prop 8′s proponents believes they have strong legal standing “The U.S Supreme Court has recognized that when a state court allows proponents to intervene when the Attorney General refuses to defend this law that the federal courts will do likewise,” said Campbell.
Michael-In-Norfolk – - Coming Out In Mid Life Blog: “The Family Foundation based in Richmond, Virginia, has a long history of promoting an over the top anti-gay agenda. Thus, it is surprising that TFF has been silent on the designation of its allies – e.g., Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, etc. – as either anti-gay groups or anti-gay hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”) [ADF listed as allied organization]”
Culture News Blog: “Opponents of the idea are now speaking out. Religious defense group Alliance Defense says this will encourage sexual harrassment issues on campus.”
LA Times: “Forget the latest episode of “House.” The big TV event on Monday, at least in California, will be the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Proposition 8, airing on C-SPAN. A panel of two appellate judges known to have liberal leanings and one with a more conservative reputation will consider the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, passed by voters in 2008 but tossed out by a federal judge earlier this year.”
Charleston Gazette: “A national group associated with the Family Policy Council of West Virginia has been named a hate group by a civil rights center. The Southern Poverty Law Center announced late last month it would list the Family Research Council and a dozen other organizations as hate groups . . . The Family Policy Council of West Virginia’s website says it has “strategic alliances” with FRC and two other national groups, Focus on the Family and the Alliance Defense Fund.”
Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Cherokee officials say holding high school graduations in a local megachurch can cost tens of thousands of dollars less than staging the ceremonies in a secular hall with similar seating capacity. But a Washington-based organization is threatening to sue, saying that holding the ceremonies at First Baptist Church in Woodstock could violate the religious rights of those who are not Christian. A spokeswoman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State said . . . ”
Emergency Injunction Sought in Federal Court to Stop Harassment of Hispanic Church in Burbank, Illinois
Christian Newswire: “Today, the Chicago church Rios de Agua Viva filed a Federal law suit charging violations of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, along with Federal and Illinois state religious land use rights. The suit was filed in the United States District Court in Chicago.” (Hat tip: Religion Clause Blog)
Rasmussen Reports: “The Obama administration announced last week that it is continuing the ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along the Eastern seaboard and in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Most voters expect that decision to drive up gas prices and hurt the economy.”
Geoffrey A. Fowler writes at the Wall Street Journal (via Google): Lawyers for Proposition 8 said that they would argue Monday at the Ninth Circuit Court that California voters made a “rational public policy choice” to define marriage as between a man and a woman, said Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is part of the legal team with Protectmarriage.com, the group that put Proposition 8 on the ballot. “This is a public-policy choice that is left to lawmakers and the people through the initiative process. The court should simply stay out of this,” he said.
Is It Constitutional for New York to Criminalize Clergy’s Performing Wedding With No Civil License For Couples?
Religion Clause Blog: A Forward article published last week raises the question of the constitutionality of New York’s Domestic Relations Law, Sec. 17, which makes it a misdemeanor for any clergy member to “solemnize or presume to solemnize any marriage between any parties without a license being presented … or with knowledge that either party is legally incompetent to contract matrimony.”
This disturbing report is being widely circulated on the Internet and via email. It appears that the Economic Collapse Blog may be the source of the information. If any readers learn otherwise, please let us know. Here is an excerpt: ”Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little . . . The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind….”
New York Magazine: “First, the judges will face the question of whether groups like the Alliance Defense Fund — which has been funding the side supporting Prop 8 — have the standing to continue to pursue the case in court.”
One News Now: Reinhardt . . . stated he will be able to rule impartially on this appeal. [Jordan] Lorence contends that if Reinhardt actually does that, Prop. 8 may be able to stand in court. “We believe that if he gives a fair reading of the Supreme Court precedent that he will see that he has binding precedent on him as a lower-court judge to affirm Prop. 8,” the ADF attorney remarks, “and that there is no basis in the case law to invalidate Prop. 8 the way that the district court did in this case.”
The city of Hazel Park has agreed to a court order, issued Friday, that prohibits the city from enforcing a zoning ordinance that bans religious groups–but not non-religious groups–from using buildings on commercial property for religious assembly.
Religion Clause Blog: “In Bentley v. Anglican Synod of the Diocese of Westminster, (BC Ct. App., Nov. 15, 2010), the Court of Appeal in the Canadian province of British Columbia refused to permit four break-away Anglican parishes to continue to use parish property and assets for worship.”
Washington Post: “Some Muslims in Southern California and nationally say the cascading revelations have seriously damaged their relationship with the FBI, a partnership that both sides agree is critical to preventing attacks and homegrown terrorism.”
LifeNews: A pro-life organization that monitors end-of-life issues is worried the infamous “death panels” have been added back into the implication of the controversial ObamaCare health care law.
Matthew Hobger writes at Public Discourse: “Though recent progress in induced pluripotent stem-cell research may reduce reliance on embryonic stem cells, it is no moral panacea.”
Mark Strasser, Passive Observers, Passive Displays, and the Establishment Clause, 14 Lewis & Clark Rev. 1123 (2010); Online at: http://www.lclark.edu/livewhale/download/?id=5620
This Article examines jurisprudence surrounding state action, and when that action does and does not violate the Establishment Clause. Division within the Court regarding what constitutes a “passive” state practice has complicated Establishment Clause analyses for lower courts, as evidenced by the chaotic case law on the issue. Because the Court has advanced very little clear guidance on Establishment Clause standards, lower courts issue widely varying opinions and reasoning on the matter, as explored by this Article.
Waldron, Jeremy, The Image of God: Rights, Reason, and Order (November 30, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1718054
The idea that humans are created in the image of God is often cited as a foundation for human rights theory. In this paper, this use of imago dei is surveyed, and while the paper is basically favorable to this foundation, it draws attention to some difficulties (both theological and practical) that using imago dei as a foundation for human rights may involve. Also it explores the suggestion that the image of God idea may be more apt as a foundation for some rights rather than others. Its use in relation to political rights is specifically explored. The moral of the discussion is that foundations do make a difference. We should not expect that, if we simply nail this idea onto the underside of a body of human rights theory as a foundation, everything in the theory will remain as it is.
“Between 200 million and 230 million of them face daily threats of murder, beating, imprisonment and torture, and a further 350 to 400 million encounter discrimination in areas such as jobs and housing. A conservative estimate of the number of Christians killed for their faith each year is somewhere around 150,000.”