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The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to clear up conflicting positions among various appellate courts regarding the historical practice of offering prayers at public meetings according to the faith of the prayer-giver.
International Planned Parenthood’s Strategic Goal: Increase Abortion Services by 82 Percent–in Africa
CNSnews.com: In its strategic plan for Africa for the years 2010-215, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has set an organizational goal of increasing its “abortion services” in that part of the world by 82 percent.
Mary C. Curtis at The Washington Post: The debate about how one chooses to practice any faith – or not – is public. While many still see the separation as benefit for both church and state, Santorum has said he judges Kennedy’s speech and his sentiments “appalling,” and he hopes South Carolina voters agree. When the divide is not just over religious doctrine but also the role of faith itself in government, the alliance between conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants isn’t puzzling at all. It makes perfect sense.
News from The Associated Press: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill into law legalizing sports betting in his state – but only after a federal ban on such gambling is overturned.
LifeNews.com: Missouri lawmakers have introduced legislation which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers and religiously-based health care institutions. The proposals would ensure that physicians and nurses would not face employment discrimination for refusing to participate in medical procedures which violate their religious beliefs.
Ken Klukowski: Shocker! Supreme Court lets stand lower bench’s ban on saying ‘Jesus’ too often in public prayers | Washington Examiner
Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: David Cortman, ADF’s lead counsel said, “we are obviously disappointed that the Supreme Court did not agree to hear our case on behalf of the Forsyth County Commissioners and the local community. “We continue to believe that the lower court’s decision requiring public officials to censor the prayers of private citizens is inconsistent with historical practice and constitutional requirements. ADF will continue to defend legislative prayer throughout the country until the Supreme Courts hears a case that clears up the confusion.”
NYTimes.com: It has been more than four decades since states first began putting numbers runners out of business by starting their own legal lotteries, which now yield them about $18 billion a year. Now several states are thinking about trying to plug budget gaps by profiting . . .
TPMMuckraker: This suit is just one of many that argues that “religious liberty” is at stake as LGBT rights expand. And, along with the Alliance Defense Fund, the Thomas More Law Center dedicates itself to fighting against “a culture increasingly hostile to Christians and their faith.”
JournalNow.com: “I’m surprised and disappointed,” said Mike Johnson, the ADF attorney who argued Forsyth County’s case before the courts. “We really were expecting that the court would want to take a look at the case. I think that this leaves a very important constitutional law issue essentially unresolved. We believe that sometime soon, the Supreme Court will have to hear one of these cases to resolve the issue.”
Sweden Crushing Homeschoolers: Exorbitant Fines as Politicians Call for Gov’t to Seize Home-schooled Children
Christian Newswire: The Home School Legal Defense Association and Alliance Defense Fund and have applied to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of one family whose child was abducted by the government in 2009 and have filed a brief in a Swedish appellate court on behalf of another family fined an amount equivalent to $26,000.
Radio Prague (includes audio): A woman’s right to give birth at home is back in the spotlight in the Czech Republic, as a group of pregnant women intend to file a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Czech state makes planned home births virtually impossible; there are midwives qualified to deliver babies at home, but they lack official registration and insurance companies won’t cover them.
Christian Concern: Increasing numbers of muslims in Britain are making use of sharia courts to resolve family and financial disputes in line with Islamic principles, according to the BBC.
Christian Concern: Conservative MP’s are planning what could be the biggest ever backbench rebellion faced by Prime Minister David Cameron over his stated intention to legislate for full homosexual marriage.
The Christian Institute: A Muslim campaigner has lent her backing to a “pioneering” Bill which aims to tackle the problems caused by Sharia councils operating in England and Wales.
NY Law Journal: The question has been posed by an unidentified judge in a query to the state courts’ Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, but the answer remains unclear . . . In Opinion 11-87 . . . Dale Schowengerdt, legal counsel …
Students for Life Convention Next Sunday: RSVP to watch the nation’s largest pro-life conference LIVE!
Speak Up Movement University Blog: The 2012 Students for Life National Pro-Life Conference is little more than a week away, and ADF is excited to once again partner with Students for Life to hold the biggest pro-life student conference anywhere.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears at the TellADF Blog: A federal court has granted the motion of an Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney permitting two South Dakota pregnancy centers to intervene in defense of a new state law – already under attack from Planned Parenthood – that would ensure crucial protections for mothers and their preborn children.
Speak Up Movement University: And this year, ADF is launching a new program designed to reach college upperclassmen and those who have recently graduated from college who are pursuing future careers as a leaders in law and public policy. Launching this summer, and aptly named the Alliance Defense Fund Collegiate Academy . . .
LifeSiteNews.com: A majority of legislators in Argentina’s National Congress now say that they support the decriminalization of abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to a poll conducted by the government’s Center for Labor Studies and Investigations (CEIL) and reported by Argentina’s Pagina 12.
LifeSiteNews.com: Mexico’s historically socially-conservative party, the National Action Party (PAN), has nominated a pro-abortion politician for the 2012 Mexico City mayoral race.
ADF Attorney Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement Church Blog: Earlier, Kevin Theriot blogged about the Supreme Court’s decision in EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor. The case was a phenomenal win for religious freedom and has far-reaching implications. In analyzing the opinion, one important implication is that the Supreme Court has announced heightened protection for the internal affairs of a church and for situations that affect the faith and mission of the church.
LifeSiteNews.com: A federal judge has ruled that the Justice Department’s may proceed with its prosecution of a peaceful 80-year-old pro-life counselor.
Rebecca Taylor at LifeNews.com: And yet this “solution” disturbs me because it is like rearranging the furniture and picking up the dung all the while ignoring the giant elephant in the room. It is the abortion that kills not the information gathered in routine ultrasounds.
Canada: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board says no to so-called ‘gay-straight alliances’
TheSpec: Don’t expect to find any gay-straight alliances in the city’s Catholic schools — at least, not any groups that go by that name. “We commend any initiatives and efforts to reduce bullying,” said Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board chair Pat Daly
The Malakoff News: Officials for both Henderson County and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) confirmed this week that the next round in the battle over the county’s Christmas display will likely come in March, when the FFRF is expected to ask Commissioners’ Court for the right to display one of its banners on the lawn in December.
Eurasia Review: According to official data from the Belgrade Institute of Public Health, 23,000 abortions are performed in Serbia annually, but unofficial data suggests a number as high as 150,000 . . . A large number of abortions are a potential economic threat to Serbia, because due to its aging population the country can expect a low number of work-age adults in the future.
Business Day: South African Institute for Race Relations survey shows that by 2040, fertility rates are expected to drop below the “replacement level” — where couples have two children to replenish the population
Rapid City Journal: The lawyer for two South Dakota crisis pregnancy centers said their role in the upcoming legal battle over the state’s latest attempt to restrict abortions will be essential to defending an abortion counseling law.
CMAJ: While American legislators contemplate criminalizing sex-selective abortion, experts say the experience of other nations which have tried to impose such a prohibition indicates that it is difficult to enforce and easy to skirt.
BBC News: Scotland’s largest health board has been taken to court by Catholic staff who claim conscientious objections over abortion procedures were disregarded.
WKSR.com: In a news story posted on the WDXE website, Williams believes that a more appropriate time for such prayers would be before 8am or after 5pm. Williams said employees can pray on their own time. She cited separation of church and state for her directive.
Washington State Catholic Bishops: “Marriage and the Common Good: A statement on legislation to redefine marriage”
Diocese of Spokane: The legislation to redefine marriage, therefore, is not in the public interest. Marriage is certainly about the public recognition of a relationship between a man and a woman which carries certain rights and responsibilities for the two adults. But, it is much more
Washington Post: In a sign of the tough road ahead for same-sex marriage legislation in Maryland, House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Monday that he would assign this year’s bill to two committees instead of one, a procedural change that could increase the measure’s chances of passage.
Baltimore Sun: At an labor dominated Annapolis rally last night where topics ranged from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s wind legislation to union pay, U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards offered strong support for same-sex marriage.
Voice of America: orona was impeached by the House of Representatives in December on corruption allegations as well as accusations that he tried to block prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Chicago Tribune: Organizers of a drive to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said they have far more signatures than they need to file on Tuesday to force the
AthensNews.com: Ohio U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, recently threatened to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama over his recent controversial recess appointments.
News from The Associated Press: An extremist cleric described as one of Europe’s leading al-Qaida operatives should not be deported to face terrorism charges in Jordan because of the risk evidence obtained through torture would be used against him, Europe’s highest court ruled Tuesday.
News from The Associated Press: The Maldives’ military has arrested the chief justice of the country’s criminal court after he released an opposition leader who had been detained without a warrant for allegedly defaming the government.
News from The Associated Press: The EU’s executive Commission said the new constitution that came into force Jan. 1 undermines the independence of the national central bank and the judiciary and does not respect data privacy principles.
Are school vouchers OK in Arizona?: Andrew F. Morrill, President of the Arizona Education Association, says S.B. 1553 violates our state constitution by diverting public funds to private schools.
News from The Associated Press: The Supreme Court has passed up a pair of cases for the online age – whether schools may censor students who are at home when they create online attacks against school officials and other students.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday’s Iowa State Daily reports that a class which was originally scheduled in Iowa State University’s business school has now been cancelled because of church-state concerns.
Joyce Brown letter in Citizen-Times: I believe many taxpayers would opt to send their children to private schools but they have so much taken from their income to keep the government schools operating that they cannot afford private or religious schools.
Winston Salem-Journal: The county, backed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian group, appealed the ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A local group, the N.C. Partnership for Religious Liberty, pledged $300,000 towards any legal fees the county would pay if it lost the case.
Mike Adams at Townhall: Common sense alone should have reigned in the SFCC administration. But it required the intervention of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Washington Attorney General. In the end, the student pro-life group prevailed . . . After the ADF intervened, there was a successful federal injunction against the speech code that was used to punish the LACC student for uttering “offensive” speech.
Baptist Press: “It is problematic under current regulations,” said Erik Stanley, a senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is campaigning to roll back IRS curbs on believers’ speech. But if the IRS concludes that the church violated the IRS code, the ADF “will represent the church, just as it would represent any church for what is said from the pulpit,” he said.
Odyssey Networks: Nearly 200 politicians, pastors, and church members protested a recent court ruling that allows the City of New York to deny churches and other religious organizations after hours access to public school facilities. Mayor Bloomberg plans to evict the church groups on February 12th. (Jordan Lorence appears in the video)
The Hill: Hospitals and other healthcare providers are worried that a Medicare panel has painted a target on their backs just as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill to prevent a payment cut to physicians.
TheHill.com: He must stick to the $1.047 trillion spending cap he agreed to with GOP leaders, which means he will call for less discretionary spending than he did last year. Senior administration officials fear a backlash from the left and are trying to prepare their allies to expect a disappointing budget, sources say.
Balkinization: One of the curious features of the Supreme Court’s version of the ministerial exception is that the rule is stated in absolute terms that eschew all attempts at balancing.
Black Box Voting: In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.
CNN Poll: Mitt Romney is all tied up with President Barack Obama in a likely general election matchup, with the president showing signs of weakness on the economy and Romney seen as out of touch with ordinary Americans, according to a new national survey.