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The Christian Institute: Prime Minister David Cameron has been criticised for being too “embarrassed” to support a Global Day of Prayer, while saying Britain should be a “global beacon for reform” on LGBT issues.
Guardian.co.uk: he justice secretary believes member states, not Strasbourg, should take responsibility for compliance with the convention
Suggested Reading (for Law Students and Profs): Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School
Concurring Opinions : Barry Friedman and John C.P. Goldberg have a new book out on how to take law school exams called Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School. It is something different and really worth recommending. Here are a few reasons why I would love my students to read the book and its online content.
Washington Times: The Republican governor notched a a robust 61 percent job-approval rating, up from a 55 percent mark in a June Quinnipiac poll.
New Hampshire NEWS06: A House subcommittee Wednesday endorsed a bill that would repeal the state’s gay marriage law and bring back a form of civil unions.
WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News: The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is challenging Brewer over two proclamations.
wdbj7.com: The Ten Commandments are still up at Narrows High School despite a lawsuit over it. According to Superintendent Terry Arbogast, it is the only Giles County school that has the Ten Commandments on display along with other documents like the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact.
ADF Attorney Kevin Theriot at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: There’s an increasing willingness in the U.S. to categorize any speech critical of a particular religious belief as “hate speech” that is some how not worthy of First Amendment protection.
ADF Attorney Greg Baylor at The Speak Up Movement University Blog: I am scheduled to debate Professor Richard B. Collins at the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder this Thursday, September 15, 2011, at 12:00 noon.
ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence at the TellADF Blog: On Tuesday, the North Carolina Senate followed the lead of the state House and approved a proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage only as one man and one woman. North Carolina voters will decide whether to add the proposed amendment to the state constitution in a vote during the primary in May 2012.
CSMonitor.com: The Iranian judiciary’s denial that the detained US hikers were about to be released may reflect a power struggle between President Ahmadinejad and clerics.
Robert Knight at OneNewsNow.com: The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal group, has sent letters to eight school districts, including Prince William, advising them that they have every right to keep the filters. But Prince William has caved, at least for now.
Austin Bay at Townhall Conservative: The generals running Egypt’s military services need to decide what kind of future they want for their country, and they must decide quickly.
LifeNews.com: This case, brought before the Court on September 20th 2010, concerns an Italian couple, asymptomatic carriers of cystic fibrosis, wishing to resort to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to conceive in vitro and artificially select an embryo that doesn’t carry cystic fibrosis.
National Catholic Reporter: A divorced doctor fired from his job at a Catholic hospital because he married another woman should be reinstated, a German court ruled Thursday.
It is impossible to say how many Christians there are in China today, but no- one denies the numbers are exploding. The government says 25 million, 18 million Protestants and six million Catholics. Independent estimates all agree this is a vast underestimate. A conservative figure is 60 million. There are already more Chinese at church on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe.
Asia News: he National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Bishops’ conference of Pakistan has released Human Rights Monitor 2011, an annual report on religious minorities in Pakistan that describes in detail the violence they had to endure last year and in the first part of this year. In addition to proving an exhaustive overview of the situation, it also provides proposals to guarantee all Pakistanis more rights and freedom.
LifeSiteNews.com: s Ontario’s debt load continues to grow unabated, the Minister of Health in Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government says they are still considering funding the controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure with taxpayer dollars through the provincial health plan.
The Mexican Supreme Court appears to be on the verge of overturning two state constitutional amendments that protect the right to life from the moment of conception, according to national media sources.
LifeSiteNews.com: The head of UN Women, the recently created “gender equality and empowerment of women” branch of the UN, has called for a huge escalation of “family planning” in third world countries to deal with overpopulation.
LifeNews.com: I watched an old woman die of hunger and thirst. She had Alzheimer’s, this old woman, and was child-like, trusting, vulnerable, with a child’s delight at treats of chocolate and ice cream, and a child’s fear and frustration when tired or ill. I watched her die for six days and nights. I watched her suffer . . .
NYTimes.com: In most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit. A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.
France 24: The eurozone crisis could wreck the European Union, top EU officials warned on Wednesday as the leaders of Germany and France held talks with Greece to avoid a default and widespread chaos.
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative: For many years now, the gay movement has been using school bullying as a wedge to work pro-gay teaching into curricula and into the life of public schools, and to marginalize religious students and others who hold a traditional view of the morality of homosexuality. It goes under the mantra of making schools “safe.” If you don’t affirm homosexuality explicitly, the argument goes, then you are making your schools unsafe for gay kids. You can well imagine how lawsuit-fearing school administrators hate to hear that.
Jacob Sullum at Townhall: At the Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., on Monday night, Mitt Romney said Rick Perry has needlessly “scared seniors” by calling Social Security “a Ponzi scheme.” Romney, more sensitive to the anxieties of retirees, prefers to say “the American people have been effectively defrauded out of their Social Security” (as he puts it in his 2010 book “No Apology”) because Congress has spent the program’s surplus revenue instead of saving it to pay for future benefits — the sort of crime for which bankers “would go to jail.”
NewsOK.com: Judges who will decide whether Oklahoma can ban Islamic law from the state’s courts raised questions Monday about the effect of the ban and why it applies to only one religion.
POLITICO.com: D.C. Circuit Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle announced the move to reporters on Tuesday. In a press release, the courts said the price hike was a “response to inflationary pressures.” Some other fees will also rise, but most filing fees will remain the same.
State Department Releases Annual Report on International Religious Freedom; Names Countries of Particular Concern
Religion Clause: Yesterday, Secretary of State Clinton spoke (full text) at the release of the Department’s 13th Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The report covers the period July- December 2010, reflecting a change in the reporting cycle by the Department. The report discusses separately the situation in 198 countries.
News from The Associated Press: Facing concerns from supporters in Iowa, Herman Cain’s presidential campaign tried to conceal the role of a top adviser who had been ousted as leader of a gay pride group in Wisconsin amid a financial scandal, a former staffer has alleged in legal testimony.
USATODAY.com: Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed believe the government should give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex, about the same as last year, according to the nationwide telephone poll by The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center. Forty-four percent were opposed.
The Hill: Republican Mark Amodei coasted to victory Tuesday, delivering an all-out defeat to Democrat Kate Marshall in Nevada’s first special House election since the state entered the union, according to election results compiled by The Associated Press.
LifeNews.com: The last county in Tennessee to provide taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood has chosen to send its state family planning grant money elsewhere — making it so the abortion business has been almost totally de-funded.
News from The Associated Press: An Army general who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military said Wednesday that repeal is likely to prove “pretty inconsequential.”
WSJ.com: Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now.
Late Tuesday, the Obama administration made a decision to force New Hampshire taxpayers to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business after the state’s Executive Council voted to revoke a $1.8 million contract.
The Hill: President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which he presented to Congress on Monday, would make it illegal for employers to run advertisements saying that they will not consider unemployed workers, or to refuse to consider or hire people because they are unemployed.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at Townhall: Freedom is more than “just another word for nothing left to lose.” It is an ordered framework of liberty for which our Founders risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. As such, it should be extended to people of every race and tribe, and of every faith and tradition. This applies to those who value the Judeo-Christian tradition as much as it applies to anyone else.
Fredericksburg, VA Patch: The Fredericksburg City Council unanimously voted to deny a special use permit to Calvary Christian Center to operate a day school for mentally disabled children on their premises . . . We’re disappointed in the outcome of the vote,” said Eric Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian non-profit advocacy group which advocates for religious rights. ADF lawyers are representing Calvary Christian Center in both federal court and at the local level as the church tries to establish the day school. “We were hopeful that the city would agree that that was a resolution of the federal lawsuit and all the other issues, but obviously the city wants to litigate this matter and that’s what we’ll do.” [more . . .]
Longview News-Journal: News: Attorney Stephanie Schmitt said in a letter date Aug. 29, “I am writing on behalf of concerned Bowie County resident and taxpayer and other Texas members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to urge you to discontinue the practice of scheduling Commissioners Court meetings with Prayers.” Schmitt went on to say, “Removing official prayers form government meetings is the only way to ensure that the Commissioners Court is in compliance with the Constitution.” County Judge Sterling Lacy said “we are going to keep doing what we are doing.” If Lacy and the Commissioner’s Court continue to say a prayer before the start of the meeting, Co-President of the Freedom from Religion Foundation Annie Laurie Gaylor said they are prepared to take the county to court . . . Nichols went on to write, “This offer from the Alliance Defense Fund has the potential to save our county and our taxpayers untold amounts of money. This organization specializes in cases of claims of constitutional violations, primarily dealing with “separation of church and state” complaints. I have made multiple efforts to ensure that they are available to us, should we need them and I believe it would be extremely beneficial to our County to take them up on their offer. It is for this reason that I requested this item to be placed on the agenda for today’s meeting.”
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley at Townhall : Many of you by now have heard about an event that has taken place each year since 2008 where pastors from across the country look at the positions held by candidates running for office, evaluate how those positions line up with Scripture and, based on that evaluation, either favor or oppose a candidate from the pulpit. The event, sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday. This year, it occurs on Oct. 2.
Dakota Voice: Even restrictions on pastoral endorsements of candidates are unconstitutional, and after four years of the Alliance Defense Fund‘s Pulpit Initiative, the IRS has yet to take a single action against dozens of pastors who have deliberately defied the unconstitutional 1954 prohibition on tax exempt organizations.
Dallas Voice: Her defense is that New York law requires employers to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and the town would have to accept hers. She said she will seek the help of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.
WCFCourier.com: A lease agreement with Kaio Church. The space at 815 Orchard Hill Drive will be used to house two of the district’s preschool programs. According to the rental agreement the district will pay the church $8,000 to use the space from Sept. 1 to through June 30, 2012. The board already had approved a $61,940 construction contract with Kidder Construction to make the space suitable for preschool classrooms. The plan has drawn fire from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and support from the Alliance Defense Fund and Focus on the Family.
Christian Post: “Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley in a statement Monday. “Keeping the gospel central to what is preached is not in conflict with addressing the subject of political candidates when warranted. These results show that the desire to keep the gospel central does not mean that pastors want the IRS to regulate their sermons under the threat of revoking their church’s tax-exempt status.” [more . . . ]
Virelli, Louis J., The Unconstitutionality of Supreme Court Recusal Standards (September 1, 2011). Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2011-12. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1920826