Antiquities lost, casualties of war: In Syria and Iraq, trying to protect a heritage at risk

The Hyde Amendment at 38

Natural morality, American exceptionalism, and race relations

How the “right to die” came to Europe (part 2)

    The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: Over the past few decades the Dutch have expanded the scope of protected physician killing to include children. With their parent’s permission, a child between the ages of 12 to 16 years old may request and receive assisted suicide. Initially, minors could obtain an assisted death even if their parents objected, but after domestic and international criticism, the law was changed to require parental consent. Even before the Parliament made it legal to euthanize young children, doctors in the Netherlands took it upon themselves to end the life of infants and others who do not have the free will to agree to end their own lives, but whose existence doctors or parents deemed them “unfit.”


  • Posted: 09/19/2014
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  • Category: Global: Sanctity of Life
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  • Source: erlc.com

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How the “right to die” came to Europe (part 1)

#WeAreN: The invisibility of Holy Land Christians

Historic civil rights church to be considered for national recognition

Political sermons in American history

Freedom of religion and freedom of the church

    Library of Law and Liberty: It is widely accepted—in American law, in other countries’ laws, and in human-rights law generally—that “freedom of religion” is fundamental and that it should be protected, respected, and promoted. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, for example, called on all political communities to “promote respect” for the right to religious freedom and to “secure [its] universal and effective recognition and observance.”


  • Posted: 08/07/2014
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.libertylawsite.org

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Democracy and morality: ancient and modern

The Founding Fathers are no longer viewed as great

NRO interviews historian Rodney Stark: God and Man and Moderns

    National Review Online: “The fundamental advantage was belief in the Judeo-Christian God: a conscious, rational being who created a rational universe that runs according to rational principles that can be discovered and comprehended by human beings. From this came two vital features that separated the West from the rest: faith in reason and faith in progress. As a result, Westerners developed science, because they alone believed it to be possible, and for the same reason they devoted immense efforts to progress, because they assumed everything could be improved. In contrast, both China and the Ottoman Empire not only assumed that the present was inferior to the past, but they often actually hindered progress: Both outlawed mechanical clocks.”


  • Posted: 04/17/2014
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: www.nationalreview.com

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Evangelicals opposed abortion much earlier than you think

Steven D. Smith: America the religious

    Christopher Shea interviews Steven D. Smith, co-director the UCSD Institute on Law and Religion, at the Boston Globe: “IDEAS: How did cases on funding parochial schools—a 1947 case said the direct funding of religious instruction would be improper—and then the school-prayer decisions of the ’60s mess up the American settlement? / SMITH: The Supreme Court, most importantly with the school-prayer decisions, effectively rescinded that settlement, because the school-prayer decisions effectively said that the constitutional position or orthodoxy was the secularist one. If I can make an analogy, that would be the modern counterpart to a decision in the 16th or 17th centuries that of the two contending sides, the Protestant or the Catholic, one was the preferred party of a realm.”


  • Posted: 03/31/2014
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.bostonglobe.com

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Michael Brendan Dougherty: The religious roots of the elite liberal agenda

    Michael Brendan Dougherty at The Week: “This ‘class’ that has outsized influence on America’s moral and spiritual life is roughly the same class that has always had it: Mainline Protestants, only now without the doctrinal Protestantism or the churchgoing. . . . The post-Protestants Bottum identifies have just that, ‘a social gospel, without the gospel. For all of them, the sole proof of redemption is the holding of a proper sense of social ills. The only available confidence about their salvation, as something superadded to experience, is the self-esteem that comes with feeling they oppose the social evils of bigotry and power and the groupthink of the mob.’”


  • Posted: 03/27/2014
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  • Category: Miscellaneous
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  • Source: theweek.com

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David P. Goldman: The rise of secular religion

Hagia Sophias: From museums to mosques

Mark Tooley: John Wesley and religious freedom

    Mark Tooley at First Things: “Liberal Evangelicals and United Methodists are perhaps ambivalent to indifferent about religious liberty because they have forgotten their own history. Early Methodists, as precursors of modern Evangelicalism, were often despised and persecuted. John Wesley as an evangelist demanded his rights as a British subject to organize and preach an unpopular Gospel that challenged a morally permissive culture. The democratizing ethos created by the Wesleyan revivals helped create a stronger ethic of religious freedom in both Britain and America.”


  • Posted: 03/10/2014
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.firstthings.com

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Dwight G. Duncan: Our legal heritage favors religious freedom

Dumb, uneducated, and eager to deceive: Media coverage of religious liberty in a nutshell

Matthew J. Franck: Where do our religious freedom principles come from?

Mel Bradford on the proper meaning of “establishment” in the First Amendment

    Mark DeForrest at The Imaginative Conservative: “Bradford brings his skills as a literary critic to bear in his discussion of the use of the term “establishment” in the First Amendment. Far from being a term of indefinite or general meaning, Bradford demonstrates that the word was a term of art with a very specific context and usage in 18th century English law, a law with which the Framers of the First Amendment were quite familiar. This usage was concerned not so much with religious activity influencing the government but with the government’s overt sanctioning of specific religious institutions. Combined with this technical reading of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, Bradford notes, is the jurisdictional language at the beginning of the Amendment, prohibiting the federal government from addressing religion in the states through congressional action. What the Framers meant the Establishment Clause to do was, quite simply, prevent the creation of a national church with the power to enforce doctrine and demand direct support through taxation.”


  • Posted: 02/21/2014
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.theimaginativeconservative.org

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Originalism: We the People of the Past, the Present, and the Future

Presidential power case before court hinges on history

Interpreting the Constitution Through Original Methods Originalism

Our Normative Argument For Originalism | John McGinnis & Michael Rappaport

    John McGinnis & Michael Rappaport at Volokh Conspiracy: We can summarize our argument in three simple propositions. First, stringent supemajority rules provide the best way to make a national constitution. Second, the United States Constitution was enacted mainly under such rules. Third, it is the original meaning that was enacted under those supermajority rules and therefore it is that meaning that should be followed today.


  • Posted: 01/07/2014
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.volokh.com

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Originalism and the Good Constitution

Israel: Christian group plans 100-foot-tall Jesus statue in Muslim-dominated Nazareth

Scotland pushes to bring lingering religious divides into the open

Florida: History textbook under fire in Marion County

Religious Liberty Versus Secular Tyranny

    Ray Nothstine at Acton Institute: James Madison called religious freedom the “lustre of our country” and a guaranteed right elevated above political authority. But in today’s America, some leaders, including President Obama, are trying to redefine the inherent meaning of religious freedom by renaming it “freedom of worship.” This revision implies that you are free to believe and practice what you want as long as it is confined inside the walls of physical houses of worship – a hollow promise compared to the robust guarantee offered by the First Amendment.


  • Posted: 12/18/2013
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.acton.org

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Scientists draw up definitive list of genes that make us human

Talking on What Is Marriage? | NRO interviews Robert George

The European crusade against Christianity | Voice of Russia

Archbishop Mamberti: The Concept Of Human Rights Was Born In A Christian Context

Roe v. Wade at 40 | Gerard V. Bradley at Claremont Institute

Dems’ Power Grab Will Cost Them The War Over The Constitution In Court | Ken Klukowski at Breitbart

Massachusetts Judge OK’s State Funds To Restore Historic Church Windows

JFK Wouldn’t Even Be Allowed To Speak At Today’s Democratic National Convention | Casey Mattox at Bell Towers

God and Gettysburg: “Under God” were Lincoln’s immortal words | Robert George at First Things

    Robert George at First Things: The omission of the words “under God” in a document characterized as a founding text by a liberal legal advocacy organization in the context of our contemporary debates over the role of religion in American public life and the meaning of the Constitution’s provisions pertaining to religion is just too convenient. We now have positive evidence that they know exactly what they are doing, and, to achieve the result they want, they are willing to violate scholarly consensus, common sense, and the memorization of generations
    of schoolchildren.


  • Posted: 11/20/2013
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  • Category: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.firstthings.com

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Obama Criticized As Anti-Religious For Reading First Gettysburg Address Version

Clarence Thomas Vs. Barack Obama On Gettysburg, American Greatness

President Obama’s Gettysburg Snub

America’s Moderate Liberalism: Rediscovering Montesquieu, Recovering Balance

There Is Really Only One Issue in Town of Greece v. Galloway | Marci Hamilton at Justicia

Abortion Clinics: When Closing a Business Makes Sense | Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. at Christian Post

Secularists: Dump Church from Remembrance Day

Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?

FL: Hundreds prepare protest against Islam chapter in Volusia Co. school textbook

Founders’ view of prayer should prevail at Supreme Court | Alan Sears, Joe Infranco at Washington Post

Knesset debate on Jewish prayer on Temple Mount ends in name-calling, walkout

“The U.S. Needs a New Constitution—Here’s How to Write It” | The Atlantic

    Alex Seitz-Wald at The Atlantic: America, we’ve got some bad news: Our Constitution isn’t going to make it. It’s had 224 years of commendable, often glorious service, but there’s a time for everything, and the government shutdown and permanent-crisis governance signal that it’s time to think about moving on. “No society can make a perpetual constitution,” Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1789, the year ours took effect. “The earth belongs always to the living generation and not to the dead .… Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years.”


  • Posted: 11/04/2013
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: www.theatlantic.com

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“Are Catholic bishops really the final authority on the faith?” | Jason Steidl at Washington Post

    Jason Steidl at Washington Post: Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois recently leveled charges of blasphemy against a group of Catholic advocates for gay rights who were planning to pray in the cathedral before a 5:15 pm Mass. These members of the Rainbow Sash Movement intended to wear the colorful sashes and pray a rosary in protest against the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage. The bishop, however, with the backing of law enforcement, prohibited anyone with sashes from entering the cathedral . . . For Catholic supporters of gay marriage, history proves that their dissent, along with the corresponding criticisms and condemnations from bishops, is part of a long tradition of dialogue within the body of faith. Often the condemned minority becomes the accepted majority, and church teaching evolves.


  • Posted: 10/25/2013
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  • Category: Marriage & Family
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  • Source: www.washingtonpost.com

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Disestablishing Our Secular Schools | Charles Glenn at First Things

God Bless America Offensive? | WLOS ABC 13

58% Think America Should Still Honor Christopher Columbus

Christians, Pastors and Politics | Edwin Meese at Christian Post

Religion and the UN: Visions of a new world

Getting the ‘Story’ Right on the First Amendment

McGuffey’s No. 1 School Text: Religion not merely a private affair, social order rests on it | Investor’s Business Daily

Rand Paul: ‘Goons’ blocked WWII Memorial

Vandals torch Ronald Reagan statue at California park

Everyday heroes etched in Supreme Court history

Reagan’s Court v. the Libertarians’

    The American Prospect: But it is Ronald Reagan’s ghost that haunts the chief justice’s chambers, much as Franklin Roosevelt’s haunted the chambers of Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter for decades after his death. Roosevelt and Reagan are the only two 20th-century presidents who consciously pursued a judicial revolution at the Court. Roosevelt’s legal philosophy was based on government as the agent of freedom, equality, and opportunity; Reagan famously declared that “government is the problem,” but he tempered his motto with a willingness to govern, to compromise with political adversaries, and to tax and spend when necessary.


  • Posted: 09/16/2013
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  • Category: Bench & Bar
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  • Source: prospect.org

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Epidemic of babies thrown into trash cans a revival of pagan custom of ‘exposure’: Catholic deacon

Around the world, the cross is in the crosshairs | Christine M. Flowers at Philadelphia Daily News

    Christine M. Flowers at Philadelphia Daily News: This is not about politics. This is about human rights. Westerners need to realize that just because we prize our “freedom from religion” and stand on top of that euphemistic wall screaming “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” people in other parts of the world are dying for their faith. And most of them are dying at the hands of people who subscribe to a twisted vision of Muhammad’s prophecy, one that feels threatened by believers in Christ. It is the same mentality that motivated Hitler to destroy God’s chosen people, the same diseased rationale that led Stalin to burn the churches and imprison its children. Wake up, people. It’s 1939 all over again.


  • Posted: 08/30/2013
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  • Category: Global: Religious Liberty
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  • Source: www.philly.com

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Why we need a convention of the states now: Michael Farris parts ways with friend Phyllis Schlafly over Article V

Originalism and the Constitutionality of Military Intervention in Syria

King’s Dream of Liberty | Alan Sears at NRO

Bishop highlights link between religious liberty, natural law

Rarely Seen Copy Of Magna Carta Coming To Houston

“Kansas school surrenders to ignorance, removes Islam display” | Charles C. Haynes at WashPo

Did Bush-Obama Policies Begin the End of Christianity in Arab Lands?

“Civil Rights Includes Gays 50 Years After March” | AP on CNS

To Oklahoma’s American Indian tribes, Veronica is a battle cry for cultures