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Jordan Lorence at Speak Up Movement: It was inevitable that Americans would accept legalized abortion imposed by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. That’s what I constantly heard during my three years at the University of Minnesota Law School in the late 1970′s.
National Review: As David French and my colleague Nina Shea have reported on The Corner, Iran has imprisoned and abused an American citizen, pastor Saeed Abedini and, following a trial on January 21, may sentence him to death. He is accused of undermining national security because of his work with Iran’s burgeoning house-church movement, most recently by raising money for an orphanage.
Fox News (includes video): Supporters of the American pastor held in Iran and facing a possible death sentence for his faith say the State Department is not doing enough to win his release. Pastor Saeed Abedini, a Christian minister and American citizen . . .
Salt Lake Tribune: With the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion, are there abortion opponents who don’t believe in God? Apparently so — and not just a few.
Boston Globe (AP): Questions about God and religion were rife at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos this year — providing a philosophical break from the more temporal concerns that tend to dominate the annual gathering of business and political leaders.
Front Page Magazine: Obama Inc. is consolidating control over the economy which puts its minions in the position of being able to make policy through economic pressure and policy. Under Socialism, you don’t have to pass a law, you just have to use your economic control to make the companies enforce the law.
Chicago CBS Local: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is putting more pressure on gun makers to get behind his push for an assault weapons ban and criminal background checks for gun purchasers.
Jordan Lorence at National Review: Call the ACLU and Barry Lynn right now! Some religious fanatic is urging Congress to enact laws imposing his narrow biblical morality on the rest of us. Doesn’t he know we have an Establishment Clause protecting us from such crassfundamentalism? This Taliban-like pastor, probably poised to use tactics vaguely reminiscent of the Inquisition, is the Reverend Gary Hall, the dean of the Washington National Cathedral, and a leader in the Episcopal Church.
UCanews.com: Leaflets inviting people to a “Bible-burning festival” have stirred outrage in Malaysia. This coincided with a nationalist group leader urging to “seize and burn” Malay-language Bibles, prompting calls for his prosecution.
Christian Institute: David Cameron is struggling to win over a majority of his own MPs to support the redefinition of marriage, The Times reports today. The Bill to change the meaning of marriage has now been published, and MPs will get their first chance to vote on Tuesday 5 February.
Christian Today: Responding to the publication of the legislation, the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens said he did not believe that holding to a traditional understanding of marriage “is, or should be, regarded as a discriminatory position”.
Christian Concern: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has raised concerns over David Cameron’s fast-tracked same-sex ‘marriage’ bill despite exemptions for churches and other faith groups to opt out.
Fox News: The U.S. military ordered soldiers to remove a cross and a steeple from atop a chapel and to board up cross-shaped windows at a remote American forward operating base in Afghanistan.
CNSNews: “Can a nation long endure that does not respect the sanctity of life?” Paul asked. “Can a nation conceived in liberty carry its head high if it denies protection to the youngest and most vulnerable of its citizens? Can a country founded on God-given rights continue to thrive without understanding that life is a precious gift from our creator?
Gen. Dempsey: If Women Can’t Meet Military Standard, Pentagon Will Ask ‘Does It Really Have to Be That High?’
CNSNews (includes video): Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: “Does it really have to be that high?”
NBC17.com: An Army wife, denied full membership at a Fort Bragg spouses club because she’s married to a female Army officer, was named Fort Bragg’s 2013 “spouse of the year” Friday after an annual, national vote that spanned nominees from all military branches, NBC News has learned.
KFDM.com: The arguments were made in papers Englewood-based Catholic Health Initiatives filed in 2010 to persuade a judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City. They appeared to contradict the church’s centuries-old stance that life begins at conception.
LifeNews: Speaker of the House John Boehner, a pro-life congressman from Ohio, released the address to LifeNews that will be played at the March for Life today.
News-Press.com: Following a challenge from the Freedom From Religion Foundation to the city’s practice of holding invocations before City Council meetings, Cape Coral’s city attorney has issued an update on case law in which she indicates the city amended its routine years ago to fall within the law.
Gary Duff at the St. Louis Post Dispatch: In a letter Jan. 21, Sheila Greenbaum, president of the local ACLU, made the case for a woman’s right to an abortion and in her argument took a few shots at males in general and politicians in particular (“Stop politicians from interfering with women’s decisions”). She asked several good but leading questions, so let me offer some questions from a different perspective.
Norman Transcripts: The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and CAIR-Oklahoma, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, recently expressed their appreciation to the Oklahoma Bankers’ Association for clarifying a security measure commonly referred to as “No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses” employed by many of Oklahoma’s banks to better take into account the religious requirements of some customers to cover all or a portion of their heads.
LifeSiteNews: “Sadness, depression, fear of sterility, guilt,” drug abuse and suicide are just some of the effects suffered by women who have abortions in Mexico City, according to the country’s most eminent newspaper, El Universal. The newspaper ran an article openly acknowledging the psychological trauma associated with abortion on January 21.
LifeSiteNews: “The abortion lobby today is a little like the old Soviet bloc, that looked invincible right up to the very day it collapsed under the weight of its own stagnation,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, at a conference at the National Press Club Thursday afternoon. “The old guard of the Kremlin were on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of science and the truth in very much the same way that Big Abortion is today.”
Fox News: New Mexico state legislator is under fire for a proposal critics say could lead to felony charges against rape victims seeking an abortion, but the legislator maintains the measure is being misrepresented.
LifeNews: In the past 10 years, 91 percent of ABC, NBC, and CBS anchor reports on the March for Life and Roe v. Wade failed to mention the word, “life.” In 22 reports, “life” was used just twice.
LifeNews: A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would stop the practice of adults other than a teenage girl’s parents from taking her to another state for an abortion.
Religion Clause Blog: In Persico v. Sebelius, (WD PA, Jan. 22, 2013), a Pennsylvania federal district court dismissed on ripeness grounds a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate brought by the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania and two organizations affiliated with Pennsylvania Catholic Charities.
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (D DC, filed 1/24/2013) challenges the application of the mandate to two related corporations, Freshway Foods and Fresway Logistics, Inc., which process, pack and ship fresh produce.
AP: Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said Friday he will not seek a third term next year, expressing deep frustration with Washington gridlock that he doesn’t see changing in a divided government.
LifeNews: More than 500,000 people are attending today’s March for Life in a massive attendance that could be well higher than that estimate and set records for the annual pro-life event challenging the mantra of unlimited abortion.
Providence Journal: The Democrats who lead Rhode Island’s Senate say they’re in no rush to take up a bill legalizing same-sex marriage despite the House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote in favor of the measure Thursday.
AP: The leader of Rhode Island’s Senate says the fate of gay marriage legislation could hinge on the exemptions it includes for religious organizations that oppose it.
The Hill: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) has a strong lead over possible Democratic contenders in the race to succeed Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), according to a new poll.
Avi Schick at Wall Street Journal: In coming days, the Senate is expected to approve $50.5 billion in federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This is in addition to the $9.7 billion in aid approved earlier this month. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development will determine how most of the aid is distributed. Their to-do list should include a clear message that houses of worship and other religious institutions will be fully eligible for assistance.
One News Now: Jim Campbell, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, believes the supporters of Prop. 8 have a solid case for marriage. “Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western civilization,” he says. “Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life. The ProtectMarriage legal team looks forward to advocating before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the people’s right to preserve this fundamental building block of civilization.”
Florida Baptist Witness: The U.S. Supreme Court has announced the dates it will hear two huge cases concerning lawsuits that could reaffirm the historical definition of marriage or lead to the legalization of gay marriage—March 26 and 27 . . . “Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jim Campbell said in a December statement. ADF supports DOMA and Prop 8. “Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team looks forward to advocating before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the people’s right to preserve this fundamental building block of civilization,” Campbell said.
World Magazine: Meanwhile, outside groups advocating for religious freedom are scant too, especially compared to other interest groups at the UN like the gay-rights lobby. Open Doors USA recently shut down its advocacy operation at the UN in New York, though it still has staff in Europe. The Jubilee Campaign, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Center for Law and Justice, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Humanist and Ethical Union, and the Bahais have staff tasked to lobby the UN on the issue. That amounts to about a dozen people doing full-time advocacy on an issue that affects billions of people around the world.
National Catholic Register: His inaugural address equated same-sex ‘marriage’ with civil rights for black Americans and pledged to advance ‘gay rights’ in 2013, raising serious religious-liberty concerns.
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board last year were “constitutionally invalid” because the Senate wasn’t in recess at the time, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled. | Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 25, 2013)
Roll Call: Abortion opponents rallying by the thousands Friday in Washington at the annual March for Life have lost some political battles lately but won a string of court victories, thanks in part to a diverse coalition challenging a contraception mandate in the health care overhaul . . . The white shoe law firm of Jones Day has also deployed a team of lawyers around the country, including a half-dozen in its Washington office, to defend Catholic dioceses and educational institutions suing the federal government. Other leading players representing the plaintiffs include the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice.
LifeSiteNews: “Let me tell you, to those who think that sometimes you just need to compromise: we are not cannon fodder,” said Kiessling, who is a national spokesperson for Personhood USA and an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom. “You do not get to put us out on the front lines and take a giant step back, and you do not discriminate.”
One News Now: “The government cannot limit constitutionally protected religious liberties in a way that’s foreign to our Constitution,” she contends. “The bill … fails to ensure that those liberties will be respected for all Colorado citizens. Look, the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom — it applies to every American. It is not limited or confined to the four walls of a church.”
Gerard V. Bradley at Public Discourse: The Roe Court’s suppression of a foundational question—who is the law for—means that the decision could be overturned by any of several feticide cases that could reach the current Court.
RT.com: The Russian Lower House has passed at the first reading a bill banning homosexual propaganda towards minors, which has already been labeled by opponents as anti-gay. The bill was supported by 388 MPs with one vote against and one abstentio
AP: Two years after Egypt’s revolution began, the country’s schism was on display Friday as the mainly liberal and secular opposition held rallies saying the goals of the pro-democracy uprising have not been met and denouncing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Garrett Epps at the Atlantic: It’s hardly surprising that the brief is first-rate — BLAG is represented by Paul Clement, the most talented Supreme Court litigator of his generation. Its most powerful argument is this: Gays and lesbians are winning politically. The court should butt out and leave the decision about allowing same-sex marriage to the democratic process.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court does not have the power to rule on the case the Justices have agreed to review on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, a Harvard law professor argued in a brief filed Thursday evening. The professor, Vicki C. Jackson, also argued against letting the Republican members of the House of Representatives’ leadership defend DOMA’s validity, saying they do not speak for Congress, or even for the House.