Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Kevin Theriot at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Increased animosity toward churches because of their Biblically based moral teaching sometimes results in actual disruption of church services.
NYTimes.com: But a recent published account of a party at Mr. Berlusconi’s home where one female guest performed a striptease dressed as a nun, apparently was more than the Church could stand.
Detroit Free Press: A proposed state-level ban on a procedure opponents call “partial birth” abortion is getting final approval in the Republican-led Michigan Legislature
News from The Associated Press: Saudi King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers, a government official said Wednesday.
Yesterday, in a complicated series of eight opinions from 16 judges spanning 100 pages, a majority of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held that Plano, Texas school principals had qualified immunity in a lawsuit charging them with restricting elementary school students’ distribution of religious literature because the law was not clearly established. A separate majority of the court held that the principals’ actions were unconstitutional.
News from The Associated Press: Police may put the brakes on a party bus that was apparently operating as a Sunday strip club for reveling Lions fans at a popular tailgating spot in Detroit.
The Irish Times: Ali Selim said yesterday that the centre had received “a great number of complaints” from Muslim parents in south Co Dublin “regarding a limited number of schools that will only accept Catholic children”. They are considering asking Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin to intervene, he said.
English pravda.ru: A large terrorist act, prepared by Islamists, has been prevented in Britain. This is another reason to pay attention to the problem of the Muslims in this country. On September 26 . . .
FCO.gov.uk: Foreign Secretary William Hague has spoken following reports that Iranian Church Leader Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces a death sentence after refusing an order to recant his faith.
The Christian Institute: A High Court judge has today ruled in favour of a “minimally conscious” woman whose family wanted to end her life.
Minnesota Independent: Some teachers at Anoka-Hennepin School District have failed a teachers test because they refused to affirm that the district’s policy limiting discussions of LGBT issues in the district’s schools is intended to make “students feel safe.”
European Parliament condemns daily violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Europarl.europa.eu: Parliament called today for an end to the discrimination and violence suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on a daily basis both in the EU and outside it and stressed that gender identity disorders should not be treated as psychiatric conditions.
NY Daily News: In the new collective bargaining agreement that ended the 2011 lockout, ratified by the NFL players’ union, there is a formal clause prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
NYTimes.com: Ms. Belforti, represented by a Christian legal advocacy group based in Arizona, the Alliance Defense Fund, is arguing that state law requires New York to accommodate her religious beliefs.
Christian Post: The ACLU brought suit in March on behalf of two members of the American Humanist Association, Raul Martinez and Michael Jacobson, who said they were denied certificates to perform marriages because they are not affiliated with a religious organization.
CBS News: U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn, appointed by Republican President George H.W. Bush, wrote in her 115-page opinion that some parts of the law are in conflict with federal statutes, but others aren’t.
National Law Journal on Law.com: The University of Illinois announced Wednesday that its law school reported inaccurate data to the American Bar Association on the academic credentials of its incoming students for the past three years, in addition to publishing inflated figures on its Web site this fall.
Liberty Counsel: Last week, high school freshman Dakota Ary was given in-school suspension for telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong because of his Christian faith. Western Hills High School teacher, Kristopher Franks, is responsible for his suspension and has now been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Americans United for Life: Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that Planned Parenthood’s response to news of a Congressional investigation into its institutional practices and policies and to require an accounting of the more than $360 million it receives in taxpayer funding each year “once again ignored the heart of the issue, which are allegations of the mishandling of the taxpayer trust and taxpayer dollars.”
The Blog of Legal Times: Planned Parenthood has retained lawyers from Hogan Lovells as it prepares to respond to a sweeping new inquiry into how the organization and its affiliates use federal money.
The Arab Tribune: Arab and Guntersville high school football fans are rivals, but they came together Friday night. Spectators in both sets of bleachers could be heard reciting The Lord’s Prayer shortly before kickoff.
Minnesota Public Radio News (includes audio): Angered that a 2009 ban on spending state funds on human cloning was dropped from state spending bills during final budget hearings, the state’s largest anti-abortion group is targeting some of its traditional allies.
News-Herald.com: Legislation that revises the process of judicial bypass under Ohio’s Parental Consent for Abortion law passed the Ohio Senate. The measure, House Bill 63 . . .
SMH.com.au: More than 100 protesters are targeting a Melbourne function attended by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, condemning the government’s stance on same-sex marriage and asylum seekers.
Nigerian Observer Online Edition: A piece of legislature that forbids same sex marriage in Nigeria passed its Second Reading yesterday in the Senate. Titled a “Bill for an Act to Prohibit Marriage of Persons of Same Sex, Solemnisation of Same and for Other Related Matters” . . .
Kansan.com: Dale Schowengerdt, an experienced litigator, argued against legalization of gay marriage during the discussion panel. “This rush to same-sex marriage is a passion of the hour,” Schowengerdt said. “This is such a radical change that it will produce a harmful effect on society.”
UPI.com: The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago says in addition to growing numbers of Americans who now approve of same-sex marriage, there is overwhelming support for basic civil liberties and freedom of expression for gays and lesbians, a university release said Wednesday.
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said late Monday that it was staying a lower court judge’s order that would have made the videos public on Sept. 30 so it could be briefed on the matter.
OneNewsNow.com: The 26 states that have sued to overturn President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul have filed a Supreme Court appeal pressing for a speedy ruling to the “grave constitutional questions” surrounding the law.
OneNewsNow.com: Utah is considering a revolutionary approach to school funding by taking school choice to the next level of “class choice.”
LifeNews.com: Now that Congress has announced it will begin an investigation of Planned Parenthood, one question on the minds of watchdogs of the abortion business is whether it will disclose information about its history of Medicaid fraud.
NCRegister.com: The National Organization for Marriage has launched the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance to support the freedom to express one’s belief that marriage should be the union of a man and woman without fear of harassment or punishment.
LifeNews.com: Now, Congressman Chris Smith, the pro-life New Jersey Republican who headed the hearing, has introduced the China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011. The legislation gives the president of the United States the right to deny entry into the U.S. any people who have been directly involved in the population control program —
Joe Carter at First Things: The rapidity by which the baby-making process has evolved has outpaced our moral reflection. While I lack the knowledge and wisdom to provide much guidance, there are few considerations, ranging from the personal to the linguistic, which I believe should guide our thinking about reproductive technologies
HSLDA: We have previously let you know about the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will require nearly all health insurance providers to fully cover birth control drugs and abortion-inducing drugs.
Asia News: The rape of Christian women in Punjab has become a “common practice” an “outrageous” phenomenon compounded by the fact that “the police protect the guilty” and not the victims.
Asia News: The Chinese Financial Index fell by 24%, more than that of European and American bank stocks. Chinese banks are plagued by insolvent debts due to loans to local governments and the stagnant property market. The country’s growth, currently estimated at 9.5%, is at risk
Asia News: The retired bishop of Hong Kong, attacks the Chinese government proposal that imposes separate classes for “national education”. According to the prelate, “they want to foment nationalism, the Church does not accept this situation.” Hong Kong deputies also express doubts.
Catholic Culture: Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican argues that Christians in the Middle East have good reason to be skeptical about the “Arab Spring” rebellions.
WSJ.com: “Equal access means equal access, and that includes religious services,” said Jordan Lorence, an attorney for the church.
The Hill: Schweikert said his bill would save billions of dollars over the next few decades by transitioning to a dollar coin in four years, or as soon as $600 million worth of dollar coins are in circulation. Schweikert said 3 billion paper dollars are shredded every year, and the constant need to destroy these dollars and create new ones is a cost the government can no longer bear.
First Amendment Center: A federal law that prohibits the unauthorized wearing of military medals does not violate the First Amendment, a federal appeals court panel has ruled. | United States v. Perelman
ADF Attorney Joel Oster appeared on the Josh Tolley Show to discuss this: Will 2nd Circuit uphold right of NY town to allow prayer before public meetings? | MP3 audio 27:27 mins
Religion Clause Blog: Petitions seeking Supreme Court review were filed yesterday in two cases of interest. A petition for certiorari (full text) was filed in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York. (ADF press release.) . . . A petition for certiorari (full text) was also filed in Victory Through Jesus Sports Ministry Foundation v. Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. (Liberty Counsel press release.)
Vanderbilt University: One of the requirements to be a registered student organization at Vanderbilt is that student organizations’ constitutions be in compliance with the university’s nondiscrimination policy and that they sign a statement that they will comply with the policy.
KOAT Albuquerque: The meeting was packed and emotional. Many in attendance spoke out against the American Civil Liberties Union and a proposal that would bar churches from offering their facilities to county departments that need large places for events.
News from The Associated Press: Federal Court Justice Mordy Bromberg ruled that fair-skinned Aborigines were likely to have been “offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the imputations” included in columnist Andrew Bolt’s two articles published by the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne in 2009.
News from The Associated Press: Switzerland’s lower house of parliament voted 101-77 Wednesday to outlaw veils like the burqa worn by some Muslim women when using public transportation or dealing with authorities.
AWR Hawkins: The Man in the Middle Puts George W. Bush in the Forefront – An Insider Account of Faith and Politics
AWR Hawkins at Townhall : All these things and more were brought to the forefront of my mind as I recently read a book by my friend Timothy S. Goeglein, titled “The Man in the Middle: An Insider Account of Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era” (released September 15, 2011). Because Tim served as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison in the Bush administration for nearly eight years, he saw the president from an angle untainted by the mainstream media’s reports, the Democrat’s attacks, and our jihad-driven enemy’s propaganda.
Commonweal: As a result, marriage licenses are only available in Ledyard with a prior appointment. A lesbian couple moved into town from Miami, sought a marriage license and then refused to wait for an appointment, preferring instead to file a lawsuit. On one side is People for the American Way, representing the couple. On the other side is the Alliance Defense Fund.
KETKNBC.com: The pastors, along with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit Alliance Defense Fund, are reacting to a law stating that churches are not allowed to support politicians from the pulpit, according to the ADF. | www.pulpitfreedom.org
Longview News: The commissioners also approved the inter-local agreement with the Tex-Americas Center as well as agreeing to consult with the Alliance Defense Fund to assist in a court response to the letter the county received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation requesting the court discontinue from saying a prayer before the start of each commissioners court meeting . . . The county’s response to the request has been to continue to say a prayer, therefore the consultations with the Alliance Defense Fund was passed unanimously by the court.
The Issaquah Press: Attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal advocacy group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., represented Ascherl in federal court. “Christians shouldn’t be threatened with arrest and quarantined in isolated ‘expression areas’ when they want to share their beliefs,” Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Nate Kellum said in a statement. “The federal judge did the right thing by halting the enforcement of a city ordinance that effectively censors anyone who wishes to express his or her beliefs through the distribution of literature. That violates the constitutionally protected right to free speech in public areas at a free event that’s open to everyone.”
The Town Talk: “Christian students should not be prevented from peacefully expressing their beliefs outside of class time. They don’t abandon their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF senior counsel David Cortman. “Misinformed public school officials need to understand that the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ cannot be used as a reason to keep students from promoting or participating in ‘See You at the Pole.’”
Christian Post: Yet Erik Stanley of the Alliance Defense Fund believes the guidelines should be discarded. “Pastors have a right to speak about Biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment,” he said in a statement. Referring to the enforcement of federal tax regulation, Stanley continued, “No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights.”
NCPA Policy Digest: More than 4,100 legislators in 33 states are positioned to benefit from special retirement laws that they and their predecessors have enacted to boost their pensions by up to $100,000 a year, a USA Today investigation found. Even as legislators cut basic state services and slash benefits for police, teachers and other workers, they have preserved pension laws that grant themselves perks unavailable to voters they serve or workers they direct.
Arland K. Nichols at Public Discourse: The HHS mandate on contraception is based on insufficient research and betrays the committee’s deep pro-contraceptive bias.
The Barna Group – Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church: No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. Reason #1 . . .
Spiegel Online: US President Obama has given the Europeans a harsh lecture on the dangers of their ongoing debt crisis. Offended by the unsolicited advice, Europeans have suggested the US get its own house in order first. Obama’s remarks were “arrogant” and “absurd,” German commentators say on Wednesday.
CNN.com: Florida is now expected to hold its presidential primary on the last day in January 2012, a move likely to throw the carefully arranged Republican nominating calendar into disarray and jumpstart the nominating process a month earlier than party leaders had hoped.
SignOnSanDiego.com: he California Department of Transportation has released copies of the complaints that led to the removal last month of three crosses from a desert-view vista off state Route 79 outside Julian.
FT.com: Insurance premiums for family health benefits in 2011 jumped 9 per cent from a year ago to $15,073, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That represented a sharp acceleration from 2010, when premiums rose by a modest 3 per cent, and easily outpaced a 2 per cent rise in wages.
Matstunehag.com: Second@s Plus, a lobby group in Switzerland consisting of mostly Muslim immigrants, demand that Switzerland removes the cross from the nation’s flag.