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Marion Smith at Human Events: This July 4th America still stands for freedom, but precariously so. Welfare and entitlement programs strain the federal budget, while sapping the spirit of self-government and the virtues that enable it.
LifeNews: The North Carolina state legislature has de-funded Planned Parenthood — with legislative leaders agreeing to a state budget that redirects $343,000 in family planning funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business, to county health departments.
Washington Post (AP): The group had only collected about 30,000 of the roughly 385,000 signatures required for November ballots, Patrick Johnston, the director of Personhood Ohio, said Tuesday.
LifeSiteNews: A Colorado state senator has joined national pro-life groups condemning the attack on Personhood founder Keith Mason’s Denver home, where his four young children were terrorized by a vandal shattering the family’s front door with a 45-pound rock in the middle of the night.
Canada.com: The nationwide survey commissioned by Postmedia News and Global TV, which examined the state of Canadian values, revealed that a majority would support a law that places limits on when a woman can’t have an abortion, such as during the last trimester of her pregnancy. But support for an outright ban on all abortions is weak.
Christian Newswire: Today, Judge Sophia Hall of the Cook County Circuit Court granted the Thomas More Society’s motion to intervene on behalf of two downstate county clerks in Illinois’ same-sex marriage case brought by the ACLU and Lambda Legal. The motion was not opposed by the other parties in the case.
Catholic Culture: Prince Alois of Liechtenstein won a solid electoral victory when 65% of the little country’s voters opposed a referendum that would have ended his legislative veto power.
Ruth Institute: Paul Diamond is one of the top religious liberty litigators in the United Kingdom. Listen to this hard-hitting interview I did with him last fall. When I interviewed him on Catholic Radio, I had no idea that the threats he described in the UK would be coming to the U.S. so soon. In both countries, the overall problem is the same. The government is taking it upon itself to create a new moral universe around what it describes as “sexual freedom.
Kevin J. Hassan at the Heritage Foundation: And then there’s the best reason, and that is: The nature of this fight is unlike any other fight in the history of the Western tradition. This is not hyperbole. The way that religious fights have played out over the centuries has been in terms of Christians against Muslims, Muslims against Christians, Catholics against Orthodox, Orthodox against Catholics, Protestants against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. But never before have we had a situation where the fight is not between principled people fighting over their principles. The fight is now between people who believe in something and people who believe in precisely nothing. They are nihilists, and this is a threat that is simply unprecedented.
Lyle Denniston at the SCOTUS Blog: Ordinarily, this blog does not deal in ”scoop” journalism, although we have been known to be first on some things. We focus more on what the Court does than on whether the Justices have good manners or like each other, or on what they do in their free time. Now and then, though, someone else’s “scoop” comes along, and seems to come from inside the Court — giving it apparent credibility — and appears to have the potential to affect the way the Justices actually work together. This post is about such a story.
The Telegraph: The Prime Minister is being driven against all his instincts on the EU by the new Eurosceptic Tory party.
Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: : Bronx Household of Faith Wins Permanent Injunction Against NYC School Policy Banning Worship Services
CNN: How much would it take for you to consider selling your bone marrow? A U.S. appeals court puts the price at about $3,000 in a ruling that now makes it legal to pay donors for their bone-marrow tissue.
CNN: The leader of Mexico’s leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced Tuesday that he has asked Mexico’s Federal Election Institute for a recount of the ballots cast in Sunday’s presidential election.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The shadow event is being reported on by “Countdown 2015 Europe” which describes itself as “a consortium of 16 leading European non-governmental organizations working to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries.” Many of their partners will be participating in the debate.
Christian Today: Christian Concern is taking the Law Society and a government-owned conference centre and to court after they cancelled the group’s marriage conference.
Christian Post: After the initial appeal’s ruling in late May, Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt argued that the court went too far in determining Congress’s rationale. “In allowing one state to hold the federal government, and potentially other states, hostage to redefine marriage, the 1st Circuit attempts a bridge too far. Under this rationale, if just one state decided to accept polygamy, the federal government and perhaps other states would be forced to accept it, too,” he said.
Seattle Times: A Washington initiative to define marriage as between a man and a woman is not getting enough signatures to qualify for the ballot alongside the state’s marriage referendum.
Reeves & Associates: The issue of gay marriage has received much attention from the media. In May, President Obama declared his support for gay marriage. Also garnering attention is the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) on the immigrant community. Under DOMA, a US citizen cannot petition a same-sex spouse for a green card.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: The United Methodist Church in the Northwest, at odds with its parent denomination, has endorsed Referendum 74 and called on voters to make Washington the nation’s seventh state to enact same-sex marriage.
Gatestone Institute: The report, which examines some of the main Islamist groups operating in Spain, shows that the common thread linking all the groups together is their mutual desire to establish an Islamic Caliphate.
LifeSiteNews: Hu Xia was seven months pregnant with her second child when officials in Shangche township, located in Hubei province, told her she must pay a fine or undergo an abortion.
LifeNews: A book about sex by J. Budziszewski uses natural law arguments to persuade young adults of the moral benefits of purity . . . But what about those who think that morality requires a bit more of us? How can they persuade young people that reserving sexual intimacy for marriage is the right thing to do? In his book On the Meaning of Sex, popular author and political philosopher J. Budziszewski attempts to make such an argument on the basis of human nature and natural law. He begins with an anecdote from teaching.
Daily Caller: “Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its “Outreach Toolkits” page. “Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food. By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals.”
This post may be updated. AllVoices.com: Affordable Care Act: What is a state health insurance exchange and how will it benefit selecting health insurance? • 15 states have established state exchanges • 1 state planning for partnership exchange • 18 …
New Civil Rights Movement: As researchers and scholars, many of whom with extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research in family structures and child outcomes, we write to raise serious concerns about the most recent issue of Social Science Research and the set of papers focused on parenting by lesbians and gay men. In this regard, we have particular concern about Mark Regnerus’ paper entitled “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study.”
Boston Globe: The Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act bars discrimination in employment, housing, education, and lending. The law also enables prosecutors to bring hate crime charges in attacks that target someone for being transgender.
LifeNews: “The court’s opinion did not decide the issues in our cases,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “We are challenging the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on religious liberty grounds which are …
KRQE.com: Matt Bowman with the Alliance Defense Fund said women have their rights, but pharmacists also have the right to religious freedom. “One person’s right to do something doesn’t mean they can force other people to help when it violates the other people’s faith,” said Bowman. “Protecting the right of a health care professional’s conscience is part of the right of religious freedom because representing the right of conscience isn’t stopping anyone from getting drugs. They can go elsewhere.”
Sioux City Journal: Two groups filed objections Monday to a petition brought by 41 Republican legislators seeking emergency rules to stop government-funded abortions for victims of rape or incest.
TimesFreePress.com: The Hamilton County Commission approved a new prayer policy today, further formalizing the body’s intent to allow public prayer at meetings.
Las Vegas Sun: A local libertarian think tank’s recent email blast to 12,000 teachers encouraging them to drop their union membership has further inflamed tense relations between the Clark County School District and the local teachers union.
Reuters: Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic opened without incident on Monday after a last-minute court ruling prevented the state from enforcing a new law that could have forced it to close.
Clark D. Forsythe at National Review: Twenty years ago today, on Monday, June 29, 1992, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a tragic mistake in the view of pro-life Americans because it failed to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the whole story is far more complex.
C-Span (includes video): Reporters from some of the nation’s biggest newspapers and press services offer a behind-the-scenes look at the 2011-12 session of the U.S. Supreme Court. The D.C. Bar Section on Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice hosts the panel discussion.
Religion Clause Blog: Last weekend, senior Austrian government officials and members of Austria’s Islamic community attended ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of Austria’s Law on Islam.
The Guardian: French police have raided the home and offices of the former president Nicolas Sarkozy as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal campaign-financing by France’s wealthiest woman.
Fox News: “The Andy Griffith Show” was a loving portrait of the town where few grew up but many wished they did — a place where all foibles are forgiven and friendships are forever. Villains came through town and moved on, usually changed by their stay in Mayberry. That was all a credit to Griffith, said Craig Fincannon, who met Griffith in 1974.
Public Discourse: Outside the West, tens of millions of human beings are subject to violent persecution because of their religious beliefs, or those of their tormentors. Scores of millions more are subject to serious restrictions on their religious freedom. In the West itself, including the United States, religious freedom is also under various pressures . . . The resulting monograph, Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right, is the Task Force’s considered statement on these matters. It is informed by insights from all these academic disciplines and religious traditions. In Religious Freedom: Why Now? the reader will encounter the following arguments . . .
Daniel Pipes at National Review: The Russian and Chinese actions point to these alliances shaping the foreign policies of outside powers, too. Whereas the European Union and the U.S. government are increasingly sympathetic to Islamism, in part as a way to tame their own Muslim populations, Moscow and Beijing have a history of open conflict with their Muslim populations and therefore adopt policies more hostile to Islamism in the Middle East.
USA Today: The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 100,000 members since 2010. By 2014, union projections show, it could lose a cumulative total of about 308,000 full-time teachers and other workers, a 16% drop from 2010. Lost dues will shrink NEA’s budget an estimated $65 million, or 18%.
AP: Stockton City Manager Bob Deis has said the Central Valley city’s financial problem stems from years of overly generous public employee contracts and too much borrowing for revitalization projects, such as a sports arena.
AP: But with 99 percent of the vote tallied in the preliminary count, Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party trails by just six percentage points behind the election’s apparent victor, Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
One News Now: The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) is demanding a meeting with President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the president’s endorsement of homosexual “marriage.”
AP: Attorney General Eric Holder is charging that he’s become a “proxy” for Republican attacks against President Barack Obama in an election year.
One News: A Texas third-grader will now be allowed to hand out invitations to an after-school Bible club, thanks to a lawsuit filed by Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) . . . Matt Sharp says the district has gone beyond his firm’s requests.”Something that I think is really important is that they’ve also agreed to provide mandatory teacher training upon the rights of students to engage in religious expression at school for the upcoming school year,” he reports. “So we think this is an incredible win.” [more]
AP: The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya said Muslims will form vigilante groups alongside Christians to guard churches in Kenya’s North Eastern Province, where the latest attacks occurred.
The Hill: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to do a better job of managing complaints about tax-exempt groups, according to a federal audit released on Monday. The Treasury Department’s inspector general . . .
The Hill: The House as early as next week will pass legislation prohibiting the IRS from receiving any money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the 2010 healthcare reform law.
The Hill: Some 130 lawmakers sent President Obama a letter on Monday expressing their opposition to a pending arms trade treaty if it impinges on gun rights and U.S. sovereignty in any way.
The Hill: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign broke with congressional Republicans on Monday by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty, not a tax.
Talking Points Memo: The Romney campaign has been taking pains to emphasize they believe the individual mandate is not a tax. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus didn’t get that memo. On CNN’s “Starting Point” Tuesday morning, Priebus said that the position of both the RNC and the Romney campaign is that the mandate is, in fact, a tax.
The Hill: “Reconciliation is available because the Supreme Court has now declared it a tax,” McConnell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “They have unearthed the massive deception that was practiced by the president and the Democrats, constantly denying that it was a tax. As a tax, it is eligible for reconciliation.”
WorldNetDaily: “We’re left with Obamacare, and we are left with a damaged Constitution, and we have a Republican leadership that’s clueless in how to slow any of this down,” Limbaugh said this afternoon.
AP: It’s on his to-do list, but U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the odds are against repealing the health care law championed by President Barack Obama.
CNSNews: “My perception is when you have a Democrat president there are litmus tests in their mind that they will know for an absolute ironclad fact that that person is going to vote the way they want them to vote,” Abbott said. “You know that Barack Obama knows exactly how Justice Kagan is going to vote and he wouldn’t have put her up there if she wasn’t going to vote that way,” he said. “If you go back to some presidents of the past, you see, it seems like a similar commitment was not there.”
CNSNews: A record of 8,733,461 workers took federal disability insurance payments in June 2012, according to the Social Security Administration. That was up from 8,707,185 in May.