Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
LaTimes.com: The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled that the U.S. and Florida constitutions trump Florida law and give parenting rights to both women. State law, it added, has not kept up with the times. | D.M.H. v. D.M.T., No. 5D09-3559 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. (5th), Dec. 23, 2011)
Kevin Theriot at Speak Up Movement: The more fundamental question, however, is what does the Bronx Household of Faith case tell us about the state of religious freedom in America? At minimum, we now know that some government officials and federal judges believe religious worship gets less constitutional protection than virtually any other type of expression – including political speeches, scientific lectures, global warming conferences, homosexual “rights” rallies, and even anti-religious teaching.
The Independent: Jody and Simon Blake have spent the past couple of months showing off their twins Reuben and Floren to friends – and delighting in the looks of bemusement that greet them. Because while Reuben went back to school yesterday, his sister Floren will have to wait until 2017.
Christian Newswire: The Theology of the Body Institute announced this week that Damon Owens, well-known Catholic speaker and lecturer, is joining the seven-year-old organization as its Executive Director.
Lisa Keen of Keen News Service at Windy City Times : Fight for freedom of religion: The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund and others have a concerted effort underway in the courts to undermine laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Their strategy is to argue that people who discriminate against LGBT people do so because their religious beliefs require them to do so. Their question to the court is, “What rules? .
The Washington Post: The British government’s latest Citizenship Survey reports that in the five years leading up to 2010, the percentage of declared Christians in the region dropped by 7 percent, although they nonetheless held solid at 70 percent.
K2 Radio: “We’re interested in protecting First Amendment rights across the country in situations like this where a group is being singled out because of their religious expression and that expression is being banned, even where other groups are allowed to erect similar displays and similar viewpoints in the area,” said Jonathan Scruggs, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund. Scruggs said WyWatch Family Action wants to put up materials communicating members’ belief that “life begins in the womb.” “I don’t think it’s the type of situation where it’s any type of gruesome photo or anything along those lines, where it’s a baby that’s been aborted, or a fetus that’s been aborted,” Scruggs. “It’s more of a depiction of a baby in the womb.”
ChicagoTribune.com: The Illinois Department of Public Health has approved a settlement that will allow a Rockford abortion clinic to reopen with a $9,750 fine.
Martin Parsons at Conservative Home Blog: As the Christian church remembers the visit of the magi, now is also a good time to reflect on the suffering of Christians in the region where Christianity originally emerged. The Middle East is unfortunately full of tyrants prepared to imprison, torture and even massacre anyone they think just might threaten their power . . . [country by country list tracks Sharia spread]
The Tory Diary: Islamic persecution of Christians is a massive global issue. It has grown with instability across the Middle East. The Middle East Forum’s record of violence and intolerance in November alone includes . . .
The Christian Institute: A High Court family judge has spoken out against Britain’s liberal divorce culture, encouraging couples to “mend it – don’t end it”. Sir Paul Coleridge . . .
CNSnews.com: According to its latest annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) received $487.4 million in tax dollars over a twelve-month period and performed 329,455 abortions.
Human Events: “Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch,” he said.
The Washington Post: Rick Santorum’s socially conservative brand has helped him break through with a last-minute surge in Iowa. But his agenda isn’t restricted to reimposing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” outlawing gay marriage nationwide, or promoting prayer in public schools. Santorum also wants to use the federal tax incentives to promote traditional marriage and families.
Seattle Times: Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday said she’ll put forward legislation to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The proposal will be introduced during the legislative session that starts Monday. If it’s approved, Washington would become the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
Washington Examiner: When President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) defends Obama’s “recess appointment” — made today after the Senate adjourned yesterday — his lawyers will have to argue against the position they took on recess appointments last year, during a Supreme Court hearing.
Christian Today: The UK had the second highest teen abortion rates at a rate of 22.1 per cent, and it has also been reported that a quarter of all abortions in the UK are from teenagers, according to Mail Online.
Reuters: Many U.S. fertility clinics don’t tell egg donors that embryos made from their eggs may end up being used in stem cell research, according to a new government survey.
Telegraph: Nigeria’s president has declared a state of emergency in areas of the country hit by a growing Islamist insurgency, amid escalating violence in Africa’s most populous nation.
Journal and Courier | jconline.com: County commissioners gave their approval Tuesday to a rezoning that will allow for construction of an Islamic community center in northwest Tippecanoe County, although the vote was not without controversy.
Stonegate Institute: New citizenship rules that entered into effect on January 1, 2012 will require all applicants to pass exams on French culture and history and also to prove that their French language skills are equivalent to those of a 15-year-old native speaker. Moreover, candidates seeking French citizenship will be required to pledge allegiance to “French values.”
Catholic Culture: Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja–Nigeria’s capital–is urging the nation’s Christians to ignore an ultimatum, reportedly issued the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram, to leave the northern part of the nation within three days or face attack.
Catholic Culture: Shouting “Allahu akbar” [Allah is greater], residents of Assuit, a southern Egyptian city, burned Christians’ homes after images deemed insulting to Muhammad appeared on a local Christian teenager’s Facebook page.
SMH.com.au: Backbencher Stephen Jones’s pledge, on Melbourne gay radio station Joy FM, follows accusations from gay marriage advocates that Labor was setting the bill up to fail.
Baltimoresun.com: Maryland’s AFL-CIO, a 300,000-member strong labor union, will back the same-sex marriage legislation, marking a key endorsement from a powerful political force in the state.
ChicagoTribune.com: A Rockford abortion clinic that’s been closed since September can reopen under a settlement signed Wednesday.
ADF Attorney Michael Norton at Townhall: But now Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has a put a new twist on this, and perhaps unintentionally demonstrated that those simpler times are gone. They’ve done this by showing that the way to a teen’s heart is through his or her cell phone: literally through texting about sexual issues and answering questions teens might have about their sexuality.
Chris Wilkerson at SEO | Law Firm: For the past decade, the political issue of same-sex marriage has played out like a tug of war in state legislatures across the country as weddings are legalized, then banned or rejected, then celebrated.
Paul.House.Gov: It is especially a slap in the face to the American family when the Federal Reserve dilutes the dollars we work for in order to bail out profligate banks and governments in Europe. The already perilous state of our economy and our currency should not be further endangered in a futile attempt to save the Euro.
Findlaw: Employment law and OSHA compliance become infinitely more interesting when applied to California’s pornography industry. This week, a Los Angeles city clerk certified more than 70,000 signatures for a ballot initiative to require condoms in porn.
WPCVA.com: An opinion by Virginia’s attorney general on prayer at public meetings warns governmental bodies and officers to “take heed” of recent cases decided by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. | VA AG Op. #11-105 (Dec. 9, 2011)
LifeSiteNews.com: Leaders of the American branch of the Salvation Army have criticized the decision by the international branch of the church to condone abortion in some cases, saying that the new position does not reflect the beliefs of members in the United States.
Constitutional experts warn a new law that allows the president to permanently detain U.S. citizens without trial could be used against pro-life activists, who have already been defined as potential terrorists in documents by some government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Citizens ask Maryland State Ethics Commission to Correct: “Use the Wrong Pronouns and You’re Out” Ruling
PFOX has forwarded the following email: Citizens ask Maryland State Ethics Commission to Correct “Use the Wrong Pronouns and You’re Out” Ruling by Montgomery Co. Ethics Commission The Maryland State Ethics Commission has been asked by Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government (MCRG) …
News from Missouri Family Policy Council: The Alliance Defense Fund had filed suit on behalf of the pro-life nurses in defense of their conscience rights under federal law.
John Ellwood at The Volokh Conspiracy: In October 2010, my former boss at DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, Steve Bradbury, and I wrote this op-ed arguing that such pro forma sessions at which no business is conducted do not interrupt a recess of the Senate within the meaning of the Recess Appointments Clause, and thus do not interfere with the President’s recess appointment authority.
U.S. Senator Scott Brown at The Boston Globe: GOP PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Newt Gingrich recently made disturbing comments regarding the judiciary. He proposed that Congress should be able to impeach judges whose decisions he believes to be wrong. If elected, he would abolish courts that displease him, ignore Supreme Court decisions he doesn’t approve of, and order US marshals to arrest judges to force them to explain their decisions to Congress.
Religion Clause: The Lehigh Valley Morning Call reported yesterday on the settlement of a federal lawsuit that had been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Allentown (PA) by a woman who worked as a bookkeeper at a Catholic Church in Easton (PA).
Courthouse News Service: A religious display that included a baby Jesus, a cross and a sign, “Reunite the church and state …” was removed last week from the entrance to the Lubbock County Courthouse – but another Texas county refused to remove its religious display.
Angela Franks at Public Discourse: A new biography of Margaret Sanger fails to confront the Planned Parenthood founder’s ideological commitment to eugenics and population control.
Education News: Researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business analysed school suspension rates among boys and girls in the US. They also used surveys of parents and teachers relating to children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
NCPA Policy Digest: Considering that the United States has a 17.75 percent share in the IMF, these lending commitments put the U.S. taxpayer at risk for an almost $20 billion loss should those countries be unable to repay the IMF.
The Right Scoop (includes video): She also noted rather passionately though, that the GOP had better not marginalize Ron Paul and his supporters after tonight because their fiscal concerns are very legitimate and the GOP had better work with them.
WSLS 10: “It was just a mistake,” Gingrich told CNN while campaigning in Iowa Wednesday night. “We hired somebody who turned in false signatures. We turned in 11,100; we needed 10,000 and 1500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud.”
TheHill.com: President Obama is under strong pressure from liberals to use his recess-appointment power during the congressional break, but doing so would break 20 years of precedent, putting him in a tough position.