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CBC News: Twin suicide car bombs exploded Sunday at a church inside one of Nigeria’s top military bases, killing at least 11 people and wounding another 30 in an embarrassing attack showing the continued insecurity that haunts Africa’s most populous nation.
Christian Science Monitor: The dictates of government need not conflict with the demands of faiths. Either the courts or Congress needs to make that a reality before the health-care law takes full effect in 2014.
Blog of the Legal Times: President Barack Obama sent three judicial nominees to the Senate on Tuesday for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, all with experience working as public defenders or with a legal aid organization.
AP: A top court in Poland said Tuesday that the ritual slaughter of animals by religious groups, including Jews and Muslims, violates the country’s constitution and animal protection laws.
AP: The leader of the Ohio Senate put a stop Tuesday to a bill that would have imposed the most stringent restriction on abortions in the nation.
Germany: No Patenting Of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, If Obtained Through The Destruction Of Human Embryos
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The case had acquired worldwide notoriety when the Court of Justice of the European Union, answering a prejudicial question that had been submitted to it by the BGH, found that the existence of a human embryo begins at the moment of conception, and that therefore inventions that involved the use of embryonic stem cells were therefore excluded from patent protection under the EU Biopatent Directive.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: The Ohio Supreme Court let stand a newly drawn state legislative map Tuesday in a defeat for Democrats.
Telegraph: Boys will be girls, as they say in Sweden, especially if you’re Toys R Us. The firm’s Swedish franchise has been through its Christmas catalogue and made it gender-neutral. Boys now pucker up to the camera clutching baby dolls. Girls wave guns at the reader to reassure us that females can be violent too.
LifeSiteNews: In a letter to the KSA Director of Student Services, John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, who is representing Protectores Vitae, wrote, “We sincerely hope that it will not be necessary for Mr. Capko and other students to sue the KSA in order to secure their right to freely associate on the Kwantlen campus, free from discrimination by the student association that they are required by law to join.”
LifeSiteNews: The media-generated uproar over the death of Savita Halappanavar in a hospital in Galway has emboldened Labour Party coalition members to push for legalization of abortion on what they believe to be a wave of public support. The government will act “speedily” to “implement a new legal framework” allowing “limited abortion,” said Brendan Howlin, the Labour Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
Ken Connor at Life News: In the wake of President Obama’s decisive reelection, the GOP is engaged in some serious soul-searching. Pundits on the Right and Left are cautioning Republicans that their party is facing extinction unless some major changes are made. They maintain it’s evolve or die for the GOP. The question is, how much can an institution change without losing its identity? If “change” for the Republican Party means ceasing to stand for the conservative principles that have defined it since the time of Abraham Lincoln, is that what Republicans want? Is that what America needs?
LifeNews: Abortion numbers, rates, and ratios for 2009 have been released by the government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC), indicating significantly fewer abortions than found in the previous year’s report. And while the decrease is most welcomed, the abortion industry likes to act as if women no longer died from abortion once it became legal. In fact, CDC reports that twelve more women died in 2008, the most recent year for which the CDC had data, and more than 400 women have died from legal abortion since 1973.
Christian Post: Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren has said that being tolerant of homosexuals does not mean one approves of their choices, while appearing on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday to promote the re-release of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, on the 10th anniversary of its publication.
Protecting Student Religious Liberty at the West Virginia Legislature | Jeremy Dys at Engage Family Minute
Jeremy Dys at Engage Family Minute: This morning, I was invited to provide testimony before Subcommittee C of the Joint Committee on Education. The members wished to discuss the potential First Amendment ramifications concerning the state’s new rules related to harassment and bullying at school.
Mercury News: There is no way to measure their true numbers, but gay activists say that in many cases, these “unicorns” were Republicans before they were gay — driven by conservative upbringings, economic issues and libertarian principles. They often did not acknowledge their sexual orientation, even to themselves, until middle age.
Washington Blade: The White House announced on Tuesday that Obama named Nitza Quiñones Alejandro as part of a group of three nominees to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Quiñones is a lesbian and was recommended by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Seattle Times: The Washington state Health Department will be changing marriage and divorce certificates in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect Dec. 6.
Daily Herald: The Arlington Heights Park District and the Thomas More Society said Monday they are hopeful their dispute over a Nativity scene for the Arlington Heights holiday display won’t reach the lawsuit stage, but attorneys have not yet reached a solution. On Friday the Thomas More Society filed a complaint with the Arlington Heights Park District because it rejected a Nativity scene for the annual holiday display in North School Park. The park district said it rejected the offer in part because it uses only its own lights for the display and because the theme of the display is children’s toys.
9th Circuit reverses sanctions against church seeking identity of Bash Back activists who interrupted worship
Courthouse News Service: A Michigan church that subpoenaed several anonymous email accounts after LGBT-rights activists interrupted its services should not face a sanction, the 9th Circuit ruled Monday.
Reuters: The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Tuesday on behalf of four U.S. servicewomen to challenge a longstanding policy barring women from thousands of ground combat positions, citing the changing nature of warfare and fairness for career soldiers. The civil rights group argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Northern California that a military policy to bar women from combat roles on the basis of gender was unconstitutional. | ACLU press release and complaint
Marines Corps Times: Female Marines soon will be required to perform pull-ups, just like male Marines do, as part of their annual physical fitness tests, the Marine Corps’ top general announced Tuesday. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2014 . . .
A Challenge for Female Marines: Grueling Infantry Officer Course too much for only two women who volunteered.
Michael O’Hanlon at the Wall Street Journal: As for the two women who started in September, one passed the initial “combat endurance test” and the other failed (as did 26 of the 107 male recruits). The test is akin to an Ironman competition combined with examinations of core infantry fighting skills. The woman who failed was (and remains) a remarkable Marine officer. She was extremely fit and had no trouble with the endurance aspects of the test. Her poise under stress and uncertainty was also impressive. But her upper-body strength wasn’t adequate for the several parts of the test requiring intensive use of the arms, back and shoulders.
Seattle Times: With the state’s same-sex-marriage law about to go into effect, gay couples are raising a number of questions — some straightforward, others more complicated. Here are some . . .
Bangor Daily News: A Superior Court judge on Tuesday r uled in favor of the Orono schools and against the parents of a transgender child who in 2007 was forced to stop using the girls bathroom and told to use a staff bathroom after the grandfather of a male student complained.
CNSNews: “I made a pledge to the people of Kentucky that I’m not raising taxes. I took a pledge. I signed a statement, an oath that I wouldn’t raise taxes, and I’m going to adhere to it,” Sen. Paul told Fox New’s Greta Van Susteren Monday night
The Badger Herald: An anti-abortion group within the state has proposed stricter regulations on abortions, including mandating women requesting abortions to watch an ultrasound of their fetuses.
Human Life International Truth and Charity Forum: There is no baby-boom – there is a birth-dearth. And, yes, there is economic stagnation and looming long-term economic decline, but this is exacerbated (or perhaps caused by) the decline in birth rates.
LifeNews: New York Times magazine noticed the fertility gap with an article that shows women with families and women with larger families are more likely to vote Republican.
Akron Beacon Journal Online: Ohio women are having fewer abortions in the state. Induced abortions dropped 12 percent last year, hitting an all-time low since the Ohio Department of Health started tracking them more than 35 years ago.
Journal Star: An anti-abortion group wants Nebraska lawmakers to pass legislation that requires four-dimensional ultrasound images of human fetuses to be posted on a state website.
CNN: Before Sheldon Bruck told his orthodox Jewish parents he was gay, the teenager looked for a way out of homosexuality. His search led him to JONAH — Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing — which claimed on its website to help people “struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions.”
Gatestone Institute: Saudi Arabia has officially opened the doors of a controversial new “interreligious and intercultural dialogue center” in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The King Abdullah International Center for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue was inaugurated during an elaborate ceremony at the Hofburg Palace in downtown Vienna on November 26
Wall Street Journal: One of the more amazing post-election spectacles is the media celebration of Republicans who say they’re willing to repudiate their pledge against raising taxes. So the same folks who like to denounce politicians because they can’t be trusted are now praising politicians who openly admit they can’t be trusted.
Chris Cox and Bill Archer at the Wall Street Journal‘: As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion “fiscal cliff” and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government’s unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one. But it hasn’t.
Atheists threaten school over Charlie Brown Christmas despite parental opt-out option | Matt Sharp on the Vicki McKenna Show
NYC: No equal access for churches that worship | Jordan Lorence on the World and Everything In It with Mary Reichard
ABA Journal: The 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, has had a particularly dismal record before the high court. In the seven Supreme Court terms completed since the fall of 2005, the 6th Circuit has been reversed 31 out of 38 times, for an 81.6 percent reversal rate, based on figures compiled by two Philadelphia lawyers. That leads all the federal circuits for that time period, with the 9th Circuit coming in as the second most reversed—100 out of 128 cases, or 78.1 percent.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday, the inauguration ceremony marking the official opening of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) was held in Vienna, Austria, the Centre’s home base. Among those speaking at the opening ceremony was U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (full text of remarks).
R.J. Snell at Public Discourse: In their book What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George draw our attention to the question that matters most in the marriage debate—what marriage is—and make a reasonable and compassionate argument for marriage as a one-man one-woman union.
Religion Clause Blog: In In re Steven Charles Harvey, (OK Ct. Civil App., Nov. 20, 2012), an Oklahoma appeals court held that a trial court judge abused his discretion in denying Steven Charles Harvey, who was undergoing a sex change, the right to change his name to Christie Ann Harvey
AP: Lee said the treaty, which states that disabled people around the world should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, could subject U.S. law to a U.N. bureaucracy. He said he had “grave concerns for the sovereignty” of the United States.
AP: Campaigners against female circumcision scored a major victory Monday with the approval by a key U.N. committee of a resolution calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation.
NCPA Policy Digest: Consumer-directed health plans are gaining popularity as many employers are beginning to offer them in an effort to reduce health care costs, says the Los Angeles Times.
LifeNews: She became the face for the pro-abortion movement during the 2012 elections and the laughingstock of pro-lifers for her relentless push to force Americans to pay for her birth control. College student Sandra Fluke has been nominated as a potential Person of the Year by Time Magazine.
AP: The French foreign minister says France plans to vote in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week.
SCOTUS Blog: This is the first article in a four-part series explaining the constitutional controversy, now awaiting the Supreme Court’s attention, over same-sex marriage. At its private Conference on Friday, the Court is scheduled to consider ten separate petitions seeking review of lower court decisions on that issue. Eight of the petitions deal with the constitutionality of a 1996 federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, as it applies to gays and lesbians who are already legally married under state law. One petition deals with a similar state law adopted in 2009 in Arizona for state employees. And the tenth involves the constitutionality of California’s “Proposition 8,” a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in that state. Today’s first article in the series deals with the choice of a constitutional “standard of review” — that is, the test to be used to judge the validity of any of these laws. Later articles in the series will deal with the legal arguments for and against same-sex marriage, and with the options the Justices have as they consider the ten petitions.
Warning: Article contains a nude image William Saletan at Slate: The speakers don’t say whether they’re straight or gay. What they share is a sense of decorum. A former art student says that while he loves nude beaches, what’s going …