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Faith leaders to Bloomberg: Don’t leave churches homeless; stand for equal access, religious liberty
Discriminatory policies will eject churches from communities citywide
Baptist Press: Redefining marriage to include gay couples has negative consequences that rarely are discussed in the news media, Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney say.
Baptist Press: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have each told Morality in Media (MIM) his administration would prosecute violations of the bans on hardcore pornography, the anti-porn organization reported Monday (Jan. 9).
WorldNetDaily: The group’s outrage was prompted by the warning from the author of six New York Times best-sellers that the America that was founded and built by those who considered the Christian faith important is disintegrating.
The Washington Post: Young elementary school students should use the proper names for body parts and, by the end of fifth grade, know that sexual orientation is “the romantic attraction of an individual to someone of the same gender or a different gender,” according to new sexual education guidelines released Monday by a coalition of health and education groups.
CBN.com: North Carolina is considering compensating sterilization survivors, providing between $20,000 to $50,000 to each verified living victim.
MyFoxChicago (includes video): Two debates this weekend featured candidates complaining about Catholic charities being victimized by “anti-Christian bigotry.”
The Christian Institute: Figures in the report show 22.1 per cent of all abortions in the UK in 2008 were carried out on under 20-year-olds – nearly twice the EU average of 12.0 per cent.
The Christian Institute: More British children are being raised by single parents because the tax and benefit system “encourages transient shack-ups”.
Politico: But one point is already clear: Political Islam is moving from being the dominant opposition voice in the largest Arab country to being a dominant voice of government.
VOA News: an announced on Monday it had sentenced a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen to death for spying for the CIA, creating fresh grounds for hostility with Washington at a time when Tehran has responded to new U.S. sanctions with military threats.
Reuters: Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”
The Daily Caller: Referencing a New York Times report, Johnson said that Obama “gives lip service to gay equality,” but “will not support gay marriage before the election because of the opposition of African Americans, as reflected in his polling, and the need to assure maximum support from African American voters in November.”
LifeSiteNews.com: While the annual report attempted to present the 329,455 abortions it committed last year as only a small aspect of its business, an analysis from Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) shows that the numbers may tell a different story about the abortion-centered nature of Planned Parenthood’s business model.
LifeNews.com: On Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog, BreakPoint editor Gina Dalfonzo wrote a post about girls in India participating in a ceremony to rid themselves of names that mean “unwanted” in Hindi.
NYTimes.com: “It’s gotten to the point where the law school’s diversity efforts are to eliminate everyone from the mainstream,” he said. “They espouse cultural diversity but won’t consider the conservative viewpoint.”
News from The Associated Press: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal seeking to expand the ability of foreigners to contribute to American political campaigns.
The Washington Post: A prominent Christian Egyptian media mogul faces trial on a charge of insulting Islam, lawyers said Monday, based on his relaying a cartoon on his Twitter account.
NYTimes.com: Democratic leaders in New Jersey are planning to make a bill allowing same-sex marriage the centerpiece of their agenda for 2012, reflecting a key change from two years ago, when a leading Senate Democrat abstained from a vote on the issue.
News from The Associated Press: The Czech Republic’s coalition government may crumble over a junior party’s rejection of a plan to compensate religious organizations for property seized by the former Communist regime.
News from The Associated Press: Indiana House Democrats on Monday ended a three-day boycott of the Legislature over a contentious labor bill but are not promising to stay long enough to allow a final vote on the divisive measure.
Speak Up Movement Church Blog: In the first big victory for equal access in New York City this year, the NYC Housing Authority on Friday relented of its efforts to evict the churches meeting for worship services at the community centers of the public housing projects.
David Hacker: ADF Joins Coalition Calling on U.S. Department of Education to Protect Speech on Campus
ADF Attorney David Hacker at Speak Up Movement University: The ADF Center for Academic Freedom joined a broad coalition of organizations today calling on the U.S. Department of Education to clarify when colleges may and may not investigate and punish student “harassment.” The letter, written by our friends at FIRE, is available here.
Two pregnancy help centers will help defend South Dakota’s law that protects women from being coerced into an abortion. A federal court granted a motion, filed by Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney Harold Cassidy . . .
AZCentral.com: Judge John Roll would never have allowed anything like this: a hall filled with his fellow judges and lawyers, friends and family, praising him in a special session of court until the superlatives echoed through the hall.
NYTimes.com: “This is the $100,000 question: Can the evangelical leadership unify behind Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Rick Perry?” said John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council.
OneNewsNow.com: Personhood Arkansas has been blocked by the state attorney general’s office in its effort to take a proposed constitutional amendment to voters.
Findlaw: Can you fire a pregnant waitress? Or any other pregnant employee? Josie Muriel says you can’t, which is why she is suing Larry Flynt’s New York Hustler Club for sex and gender discrimination
Findlaw: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Wednesday in the Texas Sonogram Bill case, Texas Medical Providers, et al v. David Lakey.
Religion Clause: A former Lee’s Corner, Missouri police officer, Caleb Horner, last week filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the police department’s refusal to allow him to return to work amounted to religious discrimination.
KansasCity.com: School districts wrestling over how to control a potential wave of students transferring out of Kansas City schools feared some parents might sue.
LifeNews.com: Now, an Arizona college student who is an employee of the Girl Scouts has quit her job after scouting leaders informed her she would have to turn her pro-life T-shirt inside out. Renise Rodriguez, a 21-year-old religious studies major at the University of Arizona, worked as a Girl Experience Associate for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona in Tucson.
One News New: The ACLU has written the St. Joseph School District complaining that speakers, arranged through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, are inviting students to religious events at the end of their presentations. But Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) says the speakers are within their constitutional rights. [Jeremy quoted]
Greg Lukianoff at Bangor Daily News: This week, FIRE and a broad coalition of organizations (the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, National Coalition Against Censorship, the Heartland Institute, National Association of Scholars, Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom, Feminists for Free Expression, Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Accuracy in Academia, and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni) are writing to the OCR to request that it publicly affirm the Davis standard as the controlling definition for harassment on campus.
Pastoral Protest: Seven are arrested in New York for protesting a discriminatory ban against churches
Christian News Today: “Moments after they were released, Devlin and Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jordan Lorence met me at Ace Hotel in midtown Manhattan,” she wrote. “When I asked Devlin what he thought about getting arrested, he grinned and said, ‘It’s my 28th arrest since I’ve been saved.’ It probably won’t be his last: Devlin plans to be out there protesting again next week and wants more pastors to join him. “Devlin, pastor of Manhattan Bible Church, said the ban assaults freedom of religion and speech. Lorence added that the case is based on a fundamental misinterpretation of the Constitution: He argues that forbidding private speech because it’s religious is not protecting the separation of church and state, but instead is suppressing freedom of religion and freedom of speech.”
One News Now: ADF attorney Bryan Beauman says about the owners of the bed and breakfast, “They’re willing to host weddings for marriages, but they decline to host any civil union ceremonies for both same-sex or opposite-sex couples. But we just believe this discrimination charge is baseless.”
: The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) agreed not to require nurses to aid in abortions, according to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which represented 12 nurses in a lawsuit against the hospital. A federal judge had issued a temporary restraining order in the case against the hospital in November, protecting two of the nurses who were scheduled to assist in abortions the next day.
FIRE: IRE is joined in signing today’s letter by Accuracy in Academia, the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Feminists for Free Expression, the Heartland Institute, the National Association of Scholars, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, and the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance
A.W.R. Hawkins: Book Review: “Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and the War Against Authority”
A.W.R. Hawkins at KirkCenter.org: What are the origins of a force this great? And what kind of world will ours become if political correctness continues to permeate our culture unabated? These questions and many others are answered in Howard S. Schwartz’s Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction.
Eastern Pennslvania Citizens Against Gambling: With less than a month’s notice, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has scheduled a public input hearing to be held on a proposal by the developers of a Valley Forge mini-casino to include table games. Eastern Pennsylvania Citizens Against Gambling (EPCAG) formally opposes the proposal . . .
The Hill: He said that since President Lyndon Johnson introduced the idea of a federal role in healthcare costs have skyrocketed and the system has become controlled by corporations instead of the government.
TheHill.com: But more than most of his rivals, the surging GOP contender has also taken direct aim at the foundation of the American education system: public schools. The former two-term Pennsylvania senator and his wife home-schooled their six children, and he has been a longtime advocate of the approach favored by as many as two million Americans.
NCPA Policy Digest: The number of prescription drug shortages reached record levels in 2011, far surpassing the same figure for even recent years. These shortages have been costly and have disrupted chemotherapy, surgery and care for patients in various states of health. Not surprisingly, government price and output controls are largely to blame . . .
David Carroll Cochran at Public Discourse: So threats to religious liberty do not just harm individual believers. In seeking to corral, marginalize, and privatize religion, they endanger the health of religious institutions more generally, threatening to cut off a critically important source of moral reflection and orientation. This enfeebles rather than enlivens the moral content of our culture, a content that we all, believers and non-believers alike, rely upon to exercise our freedom.
Ken Starr at The Washington Post: If an unbeliever such as Jefferson or non-churchman like Lincoln can serve brilliantly as president, then America should stand — in an intolerant world characterized all too frequently by religious persecution — as a stirring example of welcoming hospitality for highly qualified men and women of good will seeking the nation’s highest office.
Inazu, John D., Justice Ginsburg and Religious Liberty (January 1, 2012). Hastings Law Journal, Forthcoming; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-01-01. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1980310