Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
The Gospel Herald: Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the issue of same-sex marriage, one Christian denomination has a plan to skirt around anti-discrimination laws, particularly in regards to the LGBT community. The Southern Baptists Convention have released their plan online.
The Christian Institute: National newspapers have raised concerns about the ruling against the Christian-run bakery that declined to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.
The New York Times: I’m not sure if most liberals, or most same-sex marriage supporters, would call this broad claim “wild” per se. The eye-rolling only really enters in when social conservatives get specific about how they think it cashes out — with lower marriage rates, more unstable families, more children born out of wedlock, more commodification of reproduction, fewer children born overall, etc. the further we move away from the idea of marriage as something essentially linked to conjugality, sexual difference, and procreation.
Colorado Independent: “This bill is meant to respond to a tragedy,” said Mike Norton, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a national Christian lobbying group. “People know that what happened in Longmont was murder.”
One News Now: “This is simply a way for these public universities to accommodate the needs of their religious student athletes,” Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom says. “And public universities have tremendous leeway under the First Amendment to accommodate the needs of their students, including the religious needs of their students.”
Aleteia: Christian aid groups were expecting to hear about the fate of some 150 Syrian Christian hostages today, but a promised ISIS announcement about the captives was not forthcoming.
Religion News Service: The American Sociological Review recently published Timothy O’Brien and Shiri Noy‘s research on the ways Americans approach the perceived conflicts between scientific and religious worldviews. Some people are religious and poo-poo science; others view science as authoritative. O’Brien and Noy uncover a third group they call the post-seculars. These post-seculars are highly religious, accept many scientific accounts, but remain skeptical of scientific theories that conflict with their religious cosmology.
Christian News Network: But the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) contended that Ferguson’s actions were inappropriate since he never received a complaint, but rather filed on his own volition. It also filed a motion asking that Ferguson and the ACLU—which filed a separate suit—be prohibited from attacking Stutzman on a personal level.
BR Now: Casey Mattox, senior counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and a letter signer, said in a written statement, “The government has no business forcing pro-life and faith-based organizations to betray the very values they were created to advance. Congress should exercise its authority to stop these hopelessly illegal bills rather than allow D.C. officials to waste American taxpayer dollars defending the indefensible.”
Judge’s tough decision lectures about church rights and protections from ‘power of the state’ in huge win for Christian law school battling for survival
The Blaze: The court ruled that the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, which regulates legal practices in the province, does not have the right to issue such a denial, concluding that the governing body violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada’s bill of rights, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal firm based in the United States.
You can read the transcript from the oral arguments for Reed v. Town of Gilbert here. Our own David Cortman argued the case.
Christian News Network: A Minnesota high school sports league’s decision to allow male students who ‘identify’ as females to participate in girls’ sports has elicited concern from many parents and Christians.
LA Times: The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether states that issue specialty license plates must include potentially controversial ones with Confederate battle flags or abortion-related messages.
The Catholic Globe: Furthermore, the Society’s brief explains that Planned Parenthood’s assertions that webcam abortions are “exceptionally safe” ignore the extensive evidence presented at hearings before the Board concerning the dangers of drug-induced abortion. These dangers are also documented expansively in the Friend-of-the-Court briefs submitted by Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom.
Christianity Today: It is my contention that, while movies and television cannot be blamed exclusively for our society’s rejection of theologically conservative ideas about marriage, they have certainly made it easier for our neighbors to imagine that such a marriage, especially its exclusive status, is impossible or undesirable. I also contend that we have not fully reckoned with the power of the artistic imagination.
WND: “Far from being unconstitutional, religious speech is expressly protected by the First Amendment,” says ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp, “and public schools have no business stopping students from praying together during their free time.”
The Christian Institute: Christian groups at California State University have been stripped of recognition because they refused to sign a policy which would require them to open their membership and leadership to all students, including non-Christians.
The Global Dispatch: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
The Daily Signal: On Tuesday, United States District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez upheld Puerto Rico’s law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He concluded that the U.S. Constitution does not require the redefinition of marriage.
Time Magazine: On October 5, referred to by its organizers as “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” more than 1,500 pastors preached sermons about political candidates and their views on matters before the electorate. The day was organized by Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that advocates the absolute right of clergy to endorse candidates or parties without interference from the government or the IRS.
Tyler Paper: The city of Houston has gone too far. City Hall has subpoenaed the sermons and communications of several pastors, and that’s unacceptable.
Charisma News: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Newsmax: “I am not opposed to birth control,” he answered, CNN reported. “That’s basically what Plan B is. Plan B is taking two birth control pills in the morning and two in the evening and I am not opposed to that.”
Family Studies: If I know anything about men, it’s that they respond best to messages that leave a little room for heroism. It’s why Playstation uses the “Greatness Awaits” campaign, and it’s why the Army’s old advertisements challenged men to “Be all that you can be.” Advertisements to men that emphasize safety and caution are probably not as effective as those that draw on adventure and sacrifice and risk-taking.
Breitbart: ADF’s David Cortman—who is lead counsel in Reed—exclusively tells Breitbart News, “We are thrilled the Court accepted this case and are confident they will hold that religious signs should be protected under the First Amendment.”
Public Discourse: Respect for religious conscience is not an afterthought or luxury, but the very essence of the American political and social compact. Adapted from testimony presented before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
Life News: After learning her birth story, Kristi’s goals in life changed. She had been working full time and decided that her career wasn’t where her heart was. She went back to school for social work and plans to become an adoption counselor so she can help women who are facing the difficult situation of pregnancy in cases like her mother’s.
Huffington Post: Across the street from a Christian church in this quiet northern Iraqi town, Mounir Behram sits down for lunch with his family. He works as an armed guard protecting the church, an easy job on most days. But now, hardline Sunni extremists — infamous for targeting those who don’t conform to their brand of Islam — control nearby Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. He is plagued by worries that the extremists will invade this predominantly Christian town.
Christian Post: A Florida school superintendent apologized for an incident involving a 12-year-old student who was told by his teacher that he could not read the Bible during a free-reading period in class.
Via BBC News: The DUP has tabled a petition of concern on an assembly motion due to be debated on Tuesday. The motion proposes that Stormont introduce legislation similar to other jurisdictions in Britain and Ireland. Under the …
Matthew Archbold at The Cardinal Newman Society: “ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said in a release at the time the lawsuit was filed, ‘The government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising their fundamental freedoms. Any government willing to force a family-run Christian ministry to participate in immoral acts under the threat of crippling fines is a government everyone should fear.’”
WorldNetDaily: “The Alliance Defending Freedom also blasted the ‘hate-crimes’ bill, calling it ‘another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment.’ ‘All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice,’ ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. ‘This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe.’”
OneNewsNow: “‘Every community group in New York City is welcome to rent empty school buildings except for one purpose: worship services,” [Jordan Lorence] explains. ‘For many religious organizations and churches, their worship services serve as the point where they can provide help and hope to the poorest communities. There is no reason why they should be targeted for exclusion.’”
Charisma News: “‘In America, we don’t try to separate what people do from what they believe,’ says Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kevin Theriot. ‘Faith-based organizations should be free to operate according to the faith they teach and live out every day.’”
The Christian Institute: “The issue has been taken up by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and it is suing the school district. Matt Sharp, a lawyer for ADF, said: ‘Public schools ought to encourage, not suppress, the free exchange of ideas, including those communicated through Valentine’s Day cards. A Bible verse and a reference to God does not make such a card unconstitutional.’”
Live Action: “Like the fact that, while the abortion surcharge lets Obama apologists say tax dollars aren’t directly funding abortion, abortion-inclusive exchange plans remain eligible for federal subsidies, meaning that even if your state bans abortion coverage completely, your taxes will still be paying for plans that kill babies in other states. By Alliance Defending Freedom’s math, ‘this fund could completely subsidize 2 million abortions per year.’”
WorldNetDaily: “‘The government has put religious employers to a cruel choice: “Abandon your religious beliefs or be fined out of existence,”‘ said ADF lead counsel Matthew Bowman when the case was launched. ‘Thankfully, the Constitution and other federal laws don’t allow that.’”
Christian Post: “‘In America, we don’t try to separate what people do from what they believe,’ Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot said Friday regarding the injunction issued by a federal judge in Colorado in Dobson v. Sebelius.”
The New American: “ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco countered that singling out ‘a faith-based message for censorship is exactly the type of hostility to religion that the First Amendment forbids’ . . . ADF attorney Matt Sharp said that it is the hope of the legal group that the Nazareth district ‘will do the right thing and revoke the policy. This is a policy that applies from kindergarten to a senior in high school. That is all we are asking.’”
Associated Press: “Alliance Defending Freedom, which also had a representative at the Utah oral arguments, left the court encouraged, Babione said. ‘From our perspective, that is a good thing, because we don’t think this is an issue that can be decided based on superficial sentiments, but really needs to be decided on the important government interest at stake,’ he said.”
News Observer: “Like Nichol, Mike Adams, who writes a column for the conservative website Townhall.com, does not mince words. Writing with sarcasm and barbed humor, he attacks feminists, advocates of gun control and other liberal targets. He does not hesitate to write pointedly about administrators at UNCW. Certain that the university denied his promotion because he had expressed unpopular views, Adams sued UNCW in 2007. His lawsuit, supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that when he was an atheist and a liberal, his department praised and promoted him, but when his views changed, he lost favor and was denied promotion in retaliation for his columns. He has been conducting this lawsuit for seven years.”
Community college to reach settlement with student barred from preaching Gospel on campus | Christian News Network
Christian News Network: “Therefore, Parks contacted the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) for assistance, which filed a lawsuit against the university. Attorneys argued that the school’s silencing of Parks’ preaching is a violation of his First Amendment constitutional rights.”
News On 6: [in photo caption] “A spokesperson for the Alliance Defending Freedom said, ‘We think that the voice of Oklahomans should be respected, and lawsuits like these attempt to silence important public debate.’”
Emma Margolin at MSNBC: “On the other hand, Judge Paul J Kelly, a 1991 George H.W. Bush appointee, seemed much more in favor of allowing voters to dictate their state’s marriage laws. Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Byron Babione, who is representing the Tulsa County clerk, told the Associated Press he was encouraged by the hard questions posed during the Utah hearing last week.”
OneNewsNow: “‘This idea that their faith is something that needs to be kept private, something that’s not welcome in school and in public conservation,’ [Matt Sharp] explains.”
Sarah Jean Seman at Townhall: “The Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit, Parks v. The Members of the State Board of the Virginia Community College System, explains that sidewalks and open spaces on campus are areas where students have broad free speech rights, including the right to express their views anonymously and spontaneously.”
Christian Post: “Parks was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom of Scottsdale, Ariz. David Hacker, ADF senior legal counsel, stated that free speech is an important component of collegiate life. ‘Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,’ said Hacker.”
Newsmax: “‘Public schools ought to encourage, not suppress, the free exchange of ideas, including those communicated through Valentine’s Day cards,’ said Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the alliance. ‘A Bible verse and a reference to God does not make such a card unconstitutional.”
The New American: “ADF attorney Travis Barham said after the ruling that ‘as the marketplace of ideas, universities must respect the freedom of professors to express their points of view. The jury found that disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s religious and political views is no grounds for denying him a promotion. The court’s order rights the wrong done to Dr. Adams by granting him the full professorship he has long deserved.’”
OneNewsNow: “‘Officials within the university did not like the conservative and Christian viewpoints that he expressed in his column, in his books, in his speeches,’ the attorney explains. ‘And because they didn’t like those conservative and Christian viewpoints, they denied him a promotion that he rightfully deserved.’”
Patriot Post: “This week, a U.S. District judge followed up on that verdict, ordering UNCW to promote Adams and provide $50,000 in back pay in what many are calling a ‘landmark anti-discrimination case.’ Eight years ago, the university’s sociology department turned down Adams’s application for promotion, despite a folio of awards, student recommendations, 125 speaking appearances, and 11 published peer-review articles. It was the first time, his attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom pointed out, that a professor with that many peer-reviewed pieces had ever been denied promotion at the Department level.”
Gospel Herald: “‘It is disconcerting because the (state) decision was so harsh that this small company can now be forced by state anti-discrimination laws to create messages that they don’t agree with,’ [Jordan Lorence] told Fox News. ‘This new authoritarianism – forcing people to bow the knee to a new orthodoxy or they be punished – is very chilling.’”
Court orders university to promote professor after being discriminated against for Christian views | Christian News Network
Christian News Network: “‘They concluded that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington retaliated against Dr Adams by denying him a promotion in 2006 and they retaliated against him because they did not like the views he expressed in his books and columns and speeches,’ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Travis Barham explained to reporters following the verdict. ‘Basically, they didn’t like what he said in his own time.’”
WORLD: “‘No one deserves to be silenced simply for having a viewpoint that city officials don’t favor,’ lawyer Rory Gray said in a statement. ‘When the city creates an opportunity for community advertising, it cannot single out pro-life organizations for censorship. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their political or religious beliefs.’”
Charisma News: “‘To single out a faith-based message for censorship is exactly the type of hostility to religion that the First Amendment forbids,’ added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. ‘We hope the school district will revise its policies to respect the constitutionally protected free speech of its students and make ongoing litigation unnecessary.’”
Court rules bias at University of North Carolina-Wilmington against conservative professor | Washington Times
Washington Times: “‘To our knowledge, this is the first court to rule that a university unlawfully retaliated against a conservative professor for his views, award him back pay, and order the university to promote him to the position he was wrongfully denied,’ said lawyer Travis Barham of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, which also represented Mr. Adams.”
WND: “‘This is a great day not only for Dr. Adams but for all who value academic freedom,’ said Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which, along with the American Center for Law and Justice, represented Adams.”
Charisma News: “‘As the marketplace of ideas, universities must respect the freedom of professors to express their points of view,’ says Alliance Defending Freedom litigation staff counsel Travis Barham. ‘The jury last month found that disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s religious and political views is no grounds for denying him a promotion. The court’s order rights the wrong done to Dr. Adams by granting him the full professorship he has long deserved.’”
Christian Today: “Speaking to LifeSiteNews.com, senior ADF counsel David Cortman said: ‘Americans oppose unjust laws that strong-arm citizens to express ideas against their will. Elaine and numerous others like her around the country have been more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are not willing to promote any and all messages.’”
The New American: “The attorneys at ADF expressed dismay over the Supreme Court’s ruling, but did discern a small ray of light. Said senior attorney Jordan Lorence: ‘This is not the same thing as the Court affirming the decision below. All it means is that the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.’”
The Christian Institute: “‘The injustice is difficult to overstate,’ said ADF president Alan Sears. ‘Make no mistake, this issue is all about the government forcing a citizen to communicate a message against her will and against her beliefs.’”
Parents claim school banned son’s God-themed Valentine’s Day cards – and now they’re suing | The Blaze
The Blaze: “‘They prepared a Valentine’s note that said this is the history of Valentine’s and we wanted to share God’s love, message of God’s love for you, so they included the Bible verse John 3:16,’ Sharp told WFMZ-TV. ‘The teacher sees the Bible verse, brings it up to the principal and ultimately it led to the notes being removed from our client’s cards.’”
Nazareth Area School District sued over religious notes removed from Valentine’s Day cards | The Express-Times
Rudy Miller at The Express-Times: “The Abramos’ cause has been taken up by an organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom, which wrote to Nazareth Area superintendent Dennis Riker in December 2013 urging him to change the policy banning the distribution of religious materials, the suit says. When the family reached out to him to intervene on Feb. 19, Riker allegedly told them he forwarded the matter to the district attorney to handle, the suit says.”
Bob Unruh at WND: “‘A Bible verse and a reference to God does not make such a card unconstitutional,’ said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. ‘Religious expression is just as protected by the First Amendment as other messages that students communicate.’”
Supreme Court declines appeal of Christian photographer ordered to shoot same-sex ceremonies | Christian News Network
Heather Clark at the Christian News Network: “‘Only unjust laws separate what people say from what they believe,’ commented ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence following word that the case had been declined. ‘The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment. We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would use this case to affirm this basic constitutional principle; however, the court will likely have several more opportunities to do just that in other cases of ours that are working their way through the court system.’”
Patriot Post: “Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly known as Alliance Defense Fund) is representing the church, and it’s considering an appeal to the full Second Circuit or to the U.S. Supreme Court. The group’s senior counsel on the case, Jordan Lorence, says, ‘The First Amendment prohibits New York City from singling out worship services and excluding them from empty school buildings.’ Why? Because these groups ‘pay the same uniform rates that everyone else does to use the schools,’ and therefore can’t be denied solely based on religion.”
CBN News: “The injustice is difficult to overstate,” Alan Sears, president and general counsel for the ADF, said. “Make no mistake, this issue is all about the government forcing a citizen to communicate a message against her will and against her beliefs.”
Christian News: “‘Only unjust laws separate what people say from what they believe,’ commented ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence following word that the case had been declined. ‘The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment. We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would use this case to affirm this basic constitutional principle; however, the court will likely have several more opportunities to do just that in other cases of ours that are working their way through the court system.’”
Tony Perkins: “Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jordan Lorence, who represented the husband-wife team, couldn’t believe his ears. ‘Should the government force a videographer who is an animal rights activist to create a video promoting hunting and taxidermy?’ Jordan asked. ‘Of course not, and neither should the government force this photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience.’”
Christian Science Monitor: “‘The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment,’ ADF lawyer Jordan Lorence said in a statement.”
Jeri Clausing at the Associated Press: “An Arizona-based group, Alliance Defending Freedom, defended the Albuquerque studio. The group said it was also arguing cases including those of a Washington state florist and a Colorado cake artist who refused to do work for same-sex couples and a Kentucky T-shirt printer who declined to make shirts promoting a gay-pride festival.”
Albuquerque Journal: “Jordan Lorence, senior trial counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the photo studio, said the reasons for doing so were mostly technical because part of the studio’s defense relied on the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”