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How Appealing: And in news coverage, XBIZ.com reports that “Ira Isaacs Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison, Fined $10K.” According to the article, “Isaacs attorney Roger Jon Diamond indicated that his client will appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Business Week: Taking a less-hostile tone on abortion and gay rights and reducing the number of primary debates are among the steps the Republican Party could make to become more competitive in national elections, said Henry Barbour, a party leader. The nephew of former Mississippi governor and one-time Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour . . .
LifeSiteNews: The Conference of the Bishops of France (CEF) is making a mistake in endorsing an improved “Pact of Civil Solidarity” for homosexuals as an alternative to instituting homosexual ‘marriage’, in contradiction to Catholic teaching, warns the French pro-family association Avenir de la Future (Future of the Culture).
The Blog of the Legal Times: A Washington federal judge today ordered the Russian government to pay $50,000 for each day officials refuse to comply with a court order calling for the return of Jewish religious texts seized in the early twentieth century.
Catholic Culture: “There is a real risk that moral relativism, which imposes itself as a new social norm, will come to undermine the foundations of individual freedom of conscience and religion,” the archbishop said.
Nathaniel Zelinsky at Huffington Post: In March the Supreme Court will hear two cases regarding the constitutionality of laws against same-sex marriage. There is a chance that the high court will rule against marriage equality. Ironically, that outcome could be a partial win for LGBTQ advocates.
“Abortion as a Blessing, Grace, or Gift: Changing the Conversation about Reproductive Rights and Moral Values”
Valerie Tarico at Truth-Out.org: In the end the real morality of our position lies in the right of babies to be truly loved and wanted and in the right of parents to bring babies into this world when they’re fully ready to welcome them with open arms. As my friend Patricia said, every baby should have its toes kissed. Her simple message speaks volumes. Parents who get to plan and choose are more likely to eagerly await that toe kissing.
KWGN.com: Among a slew of new bills introduced in the state senate Wednesday is a measure from senate Republicans that seeks to ban abortion for purposes of gender selection.
Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement: This lawsuit is really about two things. First, it is about generating publicity for Freedom From Religion Foundation. A quick lawsuit, even if it gets dismissed at a later point, can earn some headlines. But secondly, this lawsuit is about fostering FFRF’s radical agenda. FFRF, a group of radical separationist atheists, envisions a future where the tax code is used against churches and pastors to punish them for speaking out on issues of candidates and elections.
Erik Stanley at Speak Up Movement: For years we have been warning that same-sex “marriage” is not the end goal of the radical homosexual legal agenda. Instead, the end goal of that movement is the silencing of all dissent . . . The churches of America must speak up on this issue before it is too late and before the inevitable consequences of recognizing same-sex “marriage” fall on the church. If churches do not speak up now, then they may not have the opportunity later.
Christian Institute: The Daily Mail has said rulings against two Christians in Europe yesterday add to warnings that Churches could be sued for refusing to conduct same-sex marriages if they’re made legal. The paper says in its editorial, “how depressingly predictable that the court found the rights of a sexual minority trumped those of Christians.
KMVT.com (includes video): The Twin Falls City council approved an addition to its anti-discrimination policy for city staff members. One of the council members said this is a step forward for the city because they were behind in the time.
KLEWTV.COM: The Lewiston City Council voted on a policy change that prohibits discrimination against hiring a particular group of citizens. It’s a topic that’s often avoided due to its controversial nature. Members of the Lewiston City Council went back and forth Monday evening, discussing whether or not to add sexual orientation language to the city’s non-discrimination hiring clause.
USA Today: Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s pick for Defense secretary, supports equal benefits for same-sex military couples. He made the pledge in a Monday letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. . . .
Dallas Morning News: A report from the Texas Freedom Network claims the failure to implement a 2007 law that included guidelines to improve the quality of Bible study courses has resulted in factual errors and “blatant religious bias” in the courses.
The Republic: Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Friday he plans to defend the state’s ban on gay marriage with a pair of briefs that will be filed in the coming Supreme Court battle.
Providence Journal: The committee voted at the start of the meeting to hold the bill for further study. A vote to send it to the House floor could happen next week at the earliest, said House spokesman Larry Berman.
Star Tribune: Minnesota’s divisive fight over same-sex marriage is moving to a Capitol showdown. Supporters of legalization are preparing to roll out House and Senate proposals as early as next month. Legislative leaders who shied away from the issue earlier now are not ruling out a vote on the measure this spring.
Telegraph: France’s campaign in Mali has escalated into a ground war when troops fought to prevent al-Qaeda and its allies from striking deep inside territory previously under government control.
BlackHIllsFox.com: Wyoming lawmakers are facing bills this session that would restrict access to abortion services. Meanwhile, a group is capitalizing on the legal victory it won against the state last year that allows it to display an anti-abortion poster in a tunnel leading to the state Capitol.
Reuters: The poll by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, compared to 29 percent who believe it should be. These opinions have changed little from surveys conducted in 2003 and 1992, Pew reported.
Houston Chronicle: U.S. Sen. John McCain said Wednesday he has expressed strong disapproval to Egypt’s Islamist president about his past comments about Jews. Despite an uproar in Washington over the remarks, he said he and other congressmen will press for more aid to Egypt’s ailing economy.
AP: Britain’s media watchdog has fined Playboy 100,000 pounds ($160,000) for failing to protect children from accessing two of its U.K.-based pornographic websites.
AP: Charities and nonprofit organizations worry that new limits on tax deductions for high earners will hurt donations just as charitable giving is starting to rebound from the depths of the recession.
LifeSiteNews: A prominent Toronto psychiatrist has severely criticized the assumptions underlying what has been dubbed by critics as the Canadian federal government’s “bathroom bill,” that is, Bill C-279, a private member’s bill that would afford special protection to so-called “transgender” men and women.
LifeSiteNews: Coalition leaders, including the Rev. Walter Hoye, met last week in Washington to discuss their strategy for the coming year. Rev. Hoye told LifeSiteNews that conventional pro-life tactics aimed at white voters were “developed for the courtroom, not the culture” and don’t work well with the black community.
European Court of Human Rights Vindicates Britain In 3 of 4 Cases Denying Accommodation of Christian Beliefs | Religion Clause Blog
Religion Clause Blog: In New England Prayer Center, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the Town of Easton, 2012 Conn. Super. LEXIS 3063 (CT Super, Dec. 13, 2012), the New England Prayer Center sought a special permit so it could build a house of worship on land it leased from the town.
Religion Clause Blog: According to a report yesterday from Polskie Radio, a trial court in Poland has ruled against 7 members of Parliament from the anti-clerical Palikot’s Movement party who sought to have a cross that hangs in the debating chamber of Parliament removed.
Ed Stetzer at Baptist Press: Louie Giglio withdrew from the program at President Obama’s inauguration in the face of criticism over a 15-year-old sermon referencing homosexuality as a sin. Many will want to debate and desire to nuance the specific wording he used in the sermon, but his points are largely mainstream evangelical beliefs.
Investor’s Business Daily: In 1970, children made up 33% of California’s population, a number that’s expected to shrink to just over a fifth by 2030, a report by the University of Southern California and the Lucile Packard Foundation shows. That year California averaged about 21 seniors per 100 working age adults. By 2030, that number is predicted to rise to 36% of working age adults . . . The state’s birthrate fell to 1.94 children per woman in 2010, below the replacement level of 2.1 children, according to the study, and lower than the overall U.S. rate of 2.06 children in 2012.
Catholic Culture: A Catholic church in Belfast was badly damaged by homemade bombs on Monday night, as renewed tensions in Northern Ireland prompted clashes between Catholics and Protestants.
Citizen Link: “The school district violated the First Amendment by dismissing him,” said Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer, adding that the school district’s policies are “hostile to religion.”
One News Now: “The Constitution doesn’t allow the government to decide what faith is, who the faithful are, or even where they exercise that faith,” contends ADF attorney Kevin Theriot. “It’s not the job of Washington bureaucrats to confine faith to inside homes or inside churches. Faith and religious freedom [are] God-given, not government-driven.”
Ken Connor at Townhall: The reality is that abortion is big business for Planned Parenthood, and Uncle Sam continues to be a complicit financier of the organization’s ghoulish practices. In 2011, Planned Parenthood performed 333,964 abortions, up from 329,445 the year before. The federal government provided the organization with $542.4 million dollars in funding, which is nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s budget.
MyFoxNY.com: A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can’t afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.
Weekly Standard: According to a background briefer provided by the White House, President Barack Obama is asking doctors to help deal with guns. Here’s the relevant passage . . .
Conscientious Abortions? We Don’t Need New Laws Protecting Abortionists | Richard M. Doerflinger at Public Discourse
Richard M. Doerflinger at Public Discourse: A recent argument that abortion providers deserve the same legal protection as pro-life medical providers is philosophically flawed and ignores legal and popular consensus on the evil of abortion.
BizJournals.com: The story, written by The Alliance Defending Freedom on LifeSiteNews.com here www.lifesitenews.com/news/they-said-no-what-happened-when-12-nurses-refused-to-participate-in-abortio/ , introduces a tight-knit group of coworkers who enjoy helping people every day . . . With a little help from lawyers at ADF working in a pro-bono capacity, a court hearing was scheduled to challenge hospital officials regarding the right and legality to force these nurses to perform such work in non-emergency elective circumstances. The case eventually settled though, with a victory for the nurses. “We had gotten everything (the 12 nurses) requested,” Demetrios Stratis, their representing attorney, says. “We’d gotten the hospital to agree not to force them to perform these abortions.” [more]
EUObserver.com: Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel to the Alliance Defending Freedom, said that the “victory for one of the Christian applicants is a significant step forward for religious freedom in Europe.” However, he added that it was “extremely disappointing that the Court ruled against the three other applicants and it is hoped that they will appeal the decision to the Grand Chamber of the Court.”
Huffington Post (includes video): The U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped represent Eweida in British courts, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination. No one should have to hide their faith or act contrary to it.” The ADF called the other three rejections “extremely disappointing.”
Washington Post: The U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped represent Eweida in British courts, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination. No one should have to hide their faith or act contrary to it.” The ADF called the other three rejections “extremely disappointing.”
Life News: “Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences wherever they are,” said lead counsel Jonathan R. Whitehead, one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “They have the God-given freedom to live and transact business according to their faith, and the First Amendment has always protected that. Forcing Americans to ignore their faith just to earn a living is unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.”
LifeNews: President Barack Obama declared today Religious Freedom Day as his administration is working overtime to deny religious freedom to pro-life Americans who do not want their companies, schools or businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions.
LifeNews: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman emailed LifeNews regarding the decision of the Obama administration Tuesday to continue trying to force the Bible publisher to act contrary to its religious beliefs in Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius: “Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish. Regrettably, the administration does not want religious freedom to stand in the way of imposing ObamaCare. The district court rightly halted ObamaCare’s abortion pill mandate against Tyndale House, but the administration continues to argue that a Bible publisher isn’t religious enough to qualify as a religious employer. For the government to say that a Bible publisher isn’t religious is startling. We will continue to argue on appeal that the administration cannot disregard the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom to achieve certain political purposes.”
Bloomberg: Tyndale argues the law violates the religious freedoms of the company and its owners, “who are committed to biblical principles including the belief that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God from the moment of their conception.” “It’s disturbing that the government would appeal in order to argue that a Bible publisher is not religious,” Matthew Bowman, a lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Tyndale and other businesses challenging the health care law.
AP: A middle-school science teacher fired after students learned she had appeared in pornographic movies had hoped not just to get her job back, but to set a precedent for people looking to escape an embarrassing personal history.
AP: Elton John and David Furnish say they have become parents for a second time. The couple say they are “overwhelmed with happiness” at the birth of Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John.
Lawrence M. Vance at Future of Freedom Foundation: According to Planned Parenthood’s latest report, the organization received $542.4 million in “government health services grants and reimbursements,” including “payments from Medicaid managed care plans.” Yet the report also states that Planned Parenthood performed 333,964 abortions in 2011. But Planned Parenthood could not have received a dime of taxpayer money unless Republicans in the House — who play the pro-life card at every election — voted for the funding. They were, after all, in the majority.
SCOTUS Blog: Something really big, and potentially decisive, happened to a major new property rights case between the time the Supreme Court took it on, and Tuesday’s argument by lawyers before the Court. The very idea that an unconstitutional “taking” had occurred to an owner of a small plot of ground in Florida seemed near to vanishing, propelled toward oblivion by a spreading fear on the bench that maybe the entire regulatory apparatus of government might be at risk.
Washington Post (AP): The Vatican is pressing its opposition to gay marriage, insisting Saturday that children should grow up with a father and a mother after Italy’s high court upheld a lower court ruling and granted custody of a child to his gay mother.
Benjamin Wiker at Catholic World Report: Why the affirmation of religious liberty can lead, ironically, to its extinction at the hands of the secular state.
Business Week: “It’s disturbing that the government would appeal in order to argue that a Bible publisher is not religious,” Matthew Bowman, a lawyer from Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Tyndale and other businesses challenging the health care law.
Citizen Link: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the suit on behalf of Sioux Chief Manufacturing, a Catholic-owned business in Peculiar, Mo. “Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences wherever they are,” said ADF Lead Counsel Jonathan Whitehead. “They have God-given freedom to live and transact business according to their faith, and the First Amendment has always protected that.”
One News Now: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, says the government should not force Tyndale House Publishers to violate its Christian beliefs — and that it should be eligible for a religious exemption from providing contraceptives it believes cause abortion. “What [the administration is] doing in this appeal is they are arguing that Bible publishers are not even free to do business according to the book that they publish,” says the attorney. “The administration is arguing that a Bible publisher isn’t even religious enough to qualify as a religious employer.” [more]
Washington Blade: The Religion News Service reported that Alliance Defending Freedom, an American anti-gay organization, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination,” but categorized the court’s decision to reject the other three cases as “extremely disappointing.
Another Small Business Challenge To Federal Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Filed | Religion Clause Blog
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Sioux Chief Mfg. Co., Inc. v . Sebelius, (WD MO, filed 1/14/2013), contends that the mandate violates plaintiffs’ rights under the 1st and 5th Amendments, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. Alliance Defending Freedom issued a press release announcing the filing of the case.
Angelo M. Codevilla at The American Spectator (7/16/2010): The only serious opposition to this arrogant Ruling Party is coming not from feckless Republicans but from what might be called the Country Party — and its vision is revolutionary. Our special Summer Issue cover story.