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 *
KCRG.com: Proponents of traditional marriage say they plan to keep the political heat on state lawmakers even though the chances of forcing action on a constitutional amendment to let voters decide whether marriage should be defined as only between one man and one woman likely will not get debated in the Iowa Senate this session.
LifeNews: The Chilean parliament is currently considering an amendment to the Penal Code that would legalise therapeutic abortion in a country widely acknowledged as having amongst the most stringent abortion laws in the world. It is unlikely to go through
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: Religious people have moral views just like secular people do, and they’re just as entitled as secular people to use the political process to enact their views into law. True, religious people’s moral views may rest on unproven and probably unprovable metaphysical assumptions — but the same is generally true as to secular people’s moral views.
Dodge Globe: A push by abortion opponents to ensure Kansas doesn’t have even indirect involvement in terminating pregnancies has legislators focusing on the state medical school, whose officials worry lawmakers could endanger its accreditation.
Times-News MagicValley.com: The Idaho Senate passed a bill today that would require women to receive an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. The bill passed on a 23-12 vote.
Boston Herald: “While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.
Jamie Whyte at WSJ (via Google): Even a strict separation of state and culture would probably fail to completely eliminate cultural conflict. “Live and let live” is a fine sentiment but not one that comes easily to us humans, whose social dispositions still seem to reflect our tribal ancestry. That is a pity. But the proper response of government officials is not to take sides in these tribal conflicts. It is to stop anyone from winning by force rather than by argument or good example.
Republic (AP): Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he’s disappointed with the decision of state Senate leaders not to bring right-to-die legislation to a vote in the chamber this year.
LifeSiteNews: A self-proclaimed ‘lesbian’ whose two children attend a Catholic school near Peterborough is demanding that the Peterborough Catholic school board remove a Catechism quote dealing with homosexuality from a school pamphlet . . .
LifeSiteNews: In an interview with the UK Guardian newspaper yesterday, the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said that the question of legalization of homosexual acts is off the table, despite criticism and international pressure. “We like ourselves just the way we are,” she said.
Telegraph (includes video): Mr Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, pledged to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam, saying: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”
Christian Institute: British Muslim men reportedly bring about 12,000 brides to Britain each year, leaving UK-born Muslim females struggling to find a husband.
LifeNews: The Maryland Board of Physicians has refused to allow abortionist Nicola Irene Riley to surrender her Maryland medical license “on several occasions” in order to avoid discipline for her part in Steven Chase Brigham’s illegal late-term abortion scheme, according to the liberal, pro-abortion blog, the Daily Kos.
FoxNews: A day after reports surfaced that a Massachusetts public school was renaming St. Patrick’s Day “O’Green Day,” officials denied there was any attempt under way to rebrand the holiday.
Sisney v. Reisch, No. 10-3003 (8th Cir. March 19, 2012) Charles E. Sisney is incarcerated in the South Dakota State Penitentiary (“SDSP”), where he practices the Jewish faith. In 2003, Sisney filed suit claiming certain SDSP Officials violated his First …
HHS: Officials at the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury today took the next step in the Obama administration’s effort to ensure women access to recommended preventive services while respecting religious liberty. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued today outlines draft proposals to implement the policy announced by President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Feb. 10, 2012
Religion Clause Blog: The case involves claims by 12 plaintiffs that the voucher program violates state constitutional provisions that bar the use of tax funds for religious institutions and which require a general and uniform system of common schools. | Meredith v. Daniels
Religion Clause Blog: The state’s Attorney General has issued Opinion No. 12-29 (March 2, 2012), concluding that a proposed amendment to the bills that would exclude partnership agreements with political or religious non-profits (and their affiliates) is constitutionally defensible
Religion Clause Blog: In the wake of Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution last year, the country’s Parliament is in the midst of drafting a new constitution.
Religion Clause Blog: U-T San Diego reported last week that California’s Attorney General has issued an Opinion (March 7, 2012) (full text) concluding that it would violate the “No Preference” clause (Art. 1, Sec. 4) of the California Constitution for the California Department of Parks and Recreation to permit the city of Encinitas to install the “Surfing Madonna” mosaic on state property at Moonlight State Beach.
Alexander Volokh, Do Faith-Based Prisons Work? 63 Alabama Law Review 43-95 (2011), Online: http://www.law.ua.edu/pubs/lrarticles/Volume%2063/Issue%201/2-Volokh.pdf
Thus, based on current research, there is no strong reason to believe that faith-based prisons work. However, there is also no strong reason to
Thomas Messner at the Heritage Foundation: As the U.S. Supreme Court recognized long ago, “the public is deeply interested” in maintaining the institution of marriage, because “it is the foundation of the family and of society” and without it “there would be neither civilization nor progress.” Marriage remains just as important to society today. Efforts to defend the core meaning of marriage as having something to do with mothers, fathers, and children should be coupled with efforts to strengthen marriage in general.
MySanAntonio.com: A judge ruled that a Fayetteville woman’s lawsuit can proceed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, in which she claims the diocese knew or should have known about a sexual relationship she was lured into by a priest.
JillStanek.com: I spoke with ADF attorney Mike Norton today about personal liability. “Current or former employees who have information about potential fraud should speak with an attorney for guidance,” said Norton. “I would be happy to talk to anyone who thinks they have knowledge about fraud committed by Planned Parenthood. I want to make sure they are protected as whistleblowers and help reveal the crime rather than become a bullseye of the investigation.”
Pakistan Today reports that on Friday a court in the Pakistani city of Kasur imposed a life sentence and a fine equivalent to $2200 (US) for blasphemy on Police Station House Officer Manzarul Haq Shah Jahan.
The Times of Israel: MK Ya’akov Katz called Monday for Jews to leave France in the wake of a deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse.
LifeNews: The White House announced today that colleges and universities will also be forced to join religious employers in instituting the new HHS mandate that requires them to provide coverage for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
AP: Australia says its ambassador to China is requesting permission to visit Tibet to investigate why protesters are setting themselves on fire.
AP: The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Christian groups that challenged a discrimination policy at California state universities.
Jon Milbank at ABC.net.au: The controversy surrounding gay marriage has now reached a fever pitch in countries like Australia and the UK, as governments have begun to move past debate and towards legislative change. While such intensity can have the benefit of clarifying just what is at stake – on both sides of the argument – it can also obscure some of the deeper, intrinsically related issues.
David Brooks at the NY Times: Usually, high religious observance and low income go along with high birthrates. But, according to the United States Census Bureau, Iran now has a similar birth rate to New England — which is the least fertile region in the U.S.
AP: Should babies conceived through artificial insemination after a father’s death get his Social Security survivor benefits?
One News Now: The Thomas More Society (TMS) is taking issue with a multimillion-dollar adult club about to open next door to a monastery in Stone Park, Illinois, and it is calling into question local ordinances and how they disappeared.
One News Now: After an investigation by Life Dynamics revealed the practice, Investigate Magazine, a New Zealand-based current affairs publication from a conservative Christian standpoint, went on to determine that a Maryland brokerage firm has been arranging the sale of parts of American aborted babies . . .
One News Now: A pastor is pushing a new family planning campaign, but not the type that calls for being fruitful and multiplying. Instead, Richard Cizik, formerly of the National Association of Evangelicals and now with the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, wants to reduce the population to fight alleged global warming.
The Hill: Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.
Wall Street Journal: The Land of Lincoln once proved a reliable home for centrist Republicans, making it the kind of state Mitt Romney would have carried comfortably. Not anymore. The former Massachusetts governor finds himself locked in a dogfight here with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum . . .
WWAYTV3.com: The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina today criticized the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners for voting Monday to reject a state grant that would have funded reproductive health care and family planning services for women.
KSL.com: Describing it as “the most extreme law in the nation,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has asked Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to veto legislation that establishes a 72-hour waiting period between initial consultation and an abortion procedure.
Salisbury Post: Only two of the 15 candidates say the county should follow the direction of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. Five others said they would change the way they pray if ordered but would support a legal fight. One did not respond.
The Tenneessean: Senate Bill 893, sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, protects teachers who want to debate evolution, climate change and other widely accepted science in the classroom.
ACLU: As announced in February, the modification will allow institutions like religiously affiliated hospitals and other non-profits to opt out of contributing to the cost of contraceptive coverage for their employees, and instead have insurance companies provide the coverage directly.
Deseret News: The Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint with HHS, and Vanderbilt quickly backed down. “Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman.
El Paso Times: Bopp, who also is mentioned in the article, said the purpose of the James Madison Center is not to help get Republicans elected, and McConnell “was not involved in (the center’s) day-to-day operations.” Instead, the James Madison Center became involved in the case at the behest of the Alliance Defense Fund, Bopp said. “This case has revealed that your Texas campaign-finance laws have some bad features,” he said . . . The Liberty Legal Institute didn’t respond last week to questions for this story. The Alliance Defense Fund, a national organization that had already joined the recall fight, also says in its mission statement that it fights for constitutional freedoms. “ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through . . . ” [more]
Times Union: There was a verdict in the wrenching Rutgers webcam spying case, but no resolution to a broader question that hovered over it: To what extent are hate crime laws a help or a hindrance in the pursuit of justice? . . . “These laws serve only one purpose — they criminalize thoughts and beliefs that are not considered politically correct,” said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “There’s a clash and a conflict — I don’t know that it’s here yet, but it’s coming — with freedom of expression and freedom of religion,” Stanley said.
West, Robin L., A Marriage is a Marriage is a Marriage: The Limits of Perry v. Brown (2012). Harvard Law Review Forum, Vol. 125, pp. 47-53, 2012; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-027. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2020293
Washington Times: If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening.
Crosswalk: In ADX v. Reed, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that San Diego State University could prevent religious groups from selecting leaders based on belief, even though other campus organizations are allowed to be selective about who leads them, and in some cases, who attends their meetings. Sororities and fraternities, for example, are allowed to restrict membership by gender. And
New American: ADF senior counsel Michael Norton added that “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it. No matter where a person stands on abortion, everyone should agree that Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Reuters: In all, some 136 amicus briefs have been filed with the high court in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act litigation.
Harry R. Jackson, Jr. at Townhall: The largely white religious right is literally becoming a melting pot of diversity as far as this marriage issue is concerned. Huge numbers of blacks and Hispanics of faith are starting to feel that there is a “not so subtle” media attack on the nation’s most fundamental institutions. They realize that many movies and TV sitcoms have gone out of their way to express support of “so called” gay rights.
NCPA Policy Digest: One of the primary arguments made by opponents of school choice programs is that by allowing students to leave public schools, the fiscal security of those schools will inherently be made worse. In supporting this point, they emphasize that if a student leaves a school, many fixed costs still remain that will become more expensive per student, says Benjamin Scafidl, a fellow with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Rasmussen: Even before the U.S. Supreme Court begins hearings later this month on the constitutionality of the national health care law, fewer voters than ever view the high court positively.
Argentinosalertos.org (Google translation from Spanish): The Supreme Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday March 13 unanimously that abortions in women who are raped are not punishable. You can get an abortion without judicial authorization. Women only need to complete an affidavit attesting to the violation for doctors performing the abortion ” in a fast, accessible and safe . . . Institutions and relating to be presented in individual amicus curiae applying to reverse the judgment of the superior court of chubut . . . Alliance Defense Fund . . .
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman regarding today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case Alpha Delta Chi v. Reed, involving a Christian sorority and fraternity at San Diego State …