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Religion Clause Blog: In Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, (WD OK, Nov. 19, 2012), an Oklahoma federal district court denied a preliminary injunction, rejecting both 1st Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims by Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Mardel, Inc. and …
Michael J. New at National Review: Last week, a number of media outlets including Slate and the Huffington Post were eagerly promoting a new study about women who were denied abortions. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco are conducting a “turnaway” study where they track the experiences of women who were unable to obtain abortions due to gestational age of their unborn child. The preliminary results indicate that women who were denied abortions were more likely to be suffering from both stress and economic hardship than women who were able to obtain abortions. However, the mainstream media is missing several important details
The Atlantic: For Gay Catholics, an Alternative to the Collection Plate Still, the reality is this: Every time Catholics tithe at a local parish, they are not only helping to keep the lights on for Mass and to make sure …
Sharon Groves of HRC at the Washington Post: ncorporating faith into equality campaigns is still, at a nascent stage. We need to learn how to better collaborate with the richly diverse religious communities that are part of the fabric of faith in America but that often get left out when campaigns focus on the moveable middle. We need a better understanding of geographical differences that affect communities of faith.
New America Media: But an analysis of national data shows that despite high-profile support from African-American men like President Obama and Jay-Z, political support within the black community for legalizing same-sex marriage is being driven largely by women. The Washington Post notes that nationally, 59 percent of black women now support gay marriage, compared with 42 percent of black men, which the Post terms “a huge gender gap.”
Chad Griffin and Lynn Schusterman at the Washington Post: And yet, too often we turn a blind eye on faith communities that are neglecting these values. The dissonance is acutely felt among our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friends, family members and colleagues, who are overwhelmingly less engaged in their faith communities than their heterosexual counterparts because they are unsure of where they are welcome. It is in our power and our interest to work together to change this norm. LGBT equality is the major civil rights issue of our time.
Video: Rev. Sirico Responds to Court Ruling on Tyndale House and Obamacare | The Blaze.tv at Acton Institute
Blaze.tv at the Acton Institute Power Blog: On Nov. 19, Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico discussed a recent federal court ruling on the Obama Administration’s HHS Contraception Mandate on TheBlaze.com’s Real News. For more on this story, see the Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius resource page on the website of Alliance Defending Freedom.
Church of England: The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to reject the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops.
Washington Post: If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
Ed Whelan at National Review Bench Memos: The HHS contraceptive mandate suffered another loss last Friday—its third loss in the four decisions that have addressed the merits of the claim that the HHS mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In a thorough opinion in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the federal district court for the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction that bars the federal government from penalizing a publishing house for its religiously based refusal to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives that also operate as abortifacients. I’ll highlight two aspects of Judge Walton’s impressive ruling . . . Congratulations to the Alliance Defending Freedom for its victory.
CNET.com: Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans’ e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.
California Family Council: Black Protestants, according to Pew, are twice as likely as churchgoers overall to hear about candidates at church. Among regular churchgoers, four-in-10 (40 percent) black Protestants say their clergy have spoken directly about the candidates, compared with 17 percent of white Catholics, 12 percent of white evangelicals and just 5 percent of white mainline Protestants.
Glenn Stanton at National Review Online: And only a few decades ago in certain developed Western nations did it become an identity — something someone was. And this was only after the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying same-sex attraction as a mental disorder in 1973. Don’t think for a moment that this was done as a result of the careful scientific deliberation of the association. It is commonly known they acquiesced to the rambunctious and constant protest of gay activists. And this brings us to where we are today with the issue: People are just born that way, so accept it. Mark Steyn explains the implications of this social evolution: One can object to and even criminalize an act; one is obligated to be sympathetic toward a condition; but once it’s a fully fledged 24/7 identity, like being Hispanic or Inuit, anything less than wholehearted acceptance gets you marked down as a bigot.
Washington Post: BarackOFraudo.com lists Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia as states “won by Voter Fraud.” Slate’s David Weigel talked to Chambers, who pointed to some overwhelmingly Democratic districts and the way Virginia’s votes came in as signs of voter fraud. …
Sydney Morning Herald: NSW is one step closer to a vote on legalising same-sex marriage, MPs from across the political spectrum giving official notice of new legislation.
SB Sun: Coming off successful measures legalizing gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington, gay rights activists are targeting:
— Oregon and Hawaii in the West;
Salon: “No American should be forced to give up a constitutionally protected freedom, nor should any American be forced to give up his or her job to maintain that freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “Religious freedom is paramount to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses. They can perform their job without violating their conscience.”
Boston Globe: A Catholic advocacy group was delivering more than 5,000 petition signatures to the Knights of Columbus that ask the Catholic fraternal organization to stop funding divisive political issues, such as opposing same-sex marriage. Catholics United Education Fund planned to protest Tuesday outside the Knights’ New Haven headquarters.
Education News: After months of protesting a policy requiring high school students to wear an RFID-enabled ID badge around their necks at all times, Andrea Hernandez is being involuntarily withdrawn from John Jay High School in San Antonio effective November 26th, according to a letter sent by the district that has now been made public.
Expatica.com: Two companies which used to produce animal porn films are hoping to sue the government for millions of euros for loss of earnings, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.
Despite President Obama’s Win, Pro-Life Victories “are in the works,” says AULA’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest
Sacramento Bee: Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said that despite the possible continuation of the pro-abortion federal policies of now re-elected President Obama, AUL’s proven track record of state legislative success is a roadmap to expand a culture of life – with or without the president’s support. A pro-life majority being retained in the U.S. House also means that President Obama will not be able to force through his radical abortion agenda without opposition.
OakLawnPatch: Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching told Patch on Monday that the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s asked the village remove a cross, which has been stored on top of the West 119th Street water tower year round and lighted every holiday season for almost 40 years.
Washington Post: “The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections. Now they tell us we have to keep moderating. If we do that, will we win?” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader.
Speak Up Movement University Blog: Beginning the spring of 2013, Alliance Defending Freedom and Speak Up University want to host a “Free Speech on Campus” event at your school. We will provide a meal and information about your rights on campus, as well as looking specifically at the policies from your school.
Jordan Lorence at Speak Up Movement University Blog: I attended the annual banquet of the Federalist Society Thursday night in Washington D.C., and learned about increasing efforts by law schools to restrict the number of debates Fed Soc sponsors on law school campuses around the nation.
Irish Mother’s Death Tragic—Just Like Using it to Promote Abortion on Demand | Paul Coleman at Townhall
Paul Coleman at Townhall: In late October, a 31-year old female dentist named Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland after being refused an abortion. And although there was no causal link between the refused abortion and her death at the time, and there remains none now, pro-abortion proponents are seizing on her death as sufficient reason to legalize abortions in Ireland.
AP: Argentine President Cristina Fernandez faced a nationwide strike on Tuesday, led by the union bosses who used to be her most steadfast supporters.
Everyday Christian: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) started Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2008 to challenge the 1954 Johnson Amendment that prohibits tax-exempt churches from making political endorsements. ADF hoped the IRS would take action so that a lawsuit could be filed that would repeal the law. “It’s outrageous for pastors and churches to be threatened or punished by the government for applying biblical teachings to all areas of life, including candidates and elections,” ADF legal counsel Erik Stanley told Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link last month. He added that the purpose of the October event was “to make sure that the pastor, and not the IRS, decides what is said from the pulpit.”
Washington Times: When Congress recessed in September for several weeks ahead of the November elections, they left behind 19 judicial nominations that had been approved by the SenateJudiciary Committee but that were awaiting final Senate action. Most are noncontroversial, as 17 received bipartisan support in the committee and seven have support from Republican home-state senators.
AP: A Kansas appeals court attorney was fired Monday after using foul language about the state’s former attorney general in comments she posted to Twitter last week.
Wendy McElroy at the Future of Freedom Foundation: A racial agenda is about to be unleashed on America. According to Investor’s Business Daily (Nov. 8), the Obama administration intends to eliminate the “persistent gaps” between whites and minorities “in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.”
Politico: Advocates have identified Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and New Jersey as states where they believe that as early as 2014 they’ll see gay marriage legalized through ballot measures, court decisions or state legislative action.
Reuters: They’re focusing on a type of worship that is Judeo-Christian, and that is the type of religion being excluded,” Jordan Lorence, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, the Christian nonprofit representing the Bronx church, told a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Justin Dyer at Public Discourse: Adam Freedman’s stark proposal in The Naked Constitution that we strip our founding document of its modern and academic glosses shows us that we need to take structural reforms to our Constitution seriously.
Religion Clause Blog: A petition for certiorari (full text) was filed last week with the U.S. Supreme Court in American Atheists, Inc. v. Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, (cert. filed 11/13/2012).
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday’s Huffington Post reports that Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the U.S. Congress, will take her oath of office in January using the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text.
AP: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservatives chose a right-leaning new leader on Monday in a razor-thin victory – 98 votes – and with so much rancor that some feared the party could break apart.
AP: From California to Maine, unions used their political muscle in the recent elections to help install Democratic governors, build labor-friendly majorities in state legislatures and defeat ballot initiatives against them.
Politico: Florida Rep. Allen West — the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.
LA Times: In a closely watched case that has attracted national attention, Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a request from the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee to erect multiple large displays depicting the story of the birth of Jesus in the park overlooking the ocean. The coalition of churches has erected the displays every December since the 1950s. But last year, after requests for display spots exceeded the space allotted, the city held a lottery to allocate spaces. Atheists won 18 of 21 spots. A Jewish group won another.
CNBC: Some 45 percent of those polled said the holiday season brings so much financial pressure, they would prefer to skip it altogether. Almost half said their level of stress related to holiday expenses is high or extremely high. That’s probably because nearly the same amount — some 45 percent — say they do not expect to have enough money set aside to cover holiday expenses.
EWTN: The D.C.-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the company and its president and chief executive Mark D. Taylor. “Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” the group’s senior legal counsel Matt Bowman said Nov. 16. “The court has done the right thing in halting the mandate while our lawsuit moves forward.”